Rebellion

Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order.[1] It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority.

A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and then manifests itself by the refusal to submit or to obey the authority responsible for this situation. Rebellion can be individual or collective, peaceful (civil disobedience, civil resistance, and nonviolent resistance) or violent (terrorism, sabotage and guerrilla warfare.)

In political terms, rebellion and revolt are often distinguished by their different aims. If rebellion generally seeks to evade and/or gain concessions from an oppressive power, a revolt seeks to overthrow and destroy that power, as well as its accompanying laws. The goal of rebellion is resistance while a revolt seeks a revolution.[citation needed] As power shifts relative to the external adversary, or power shifts within a mixed coalition, or positions harden or soften on either side, an insurrection may seesaw between the two forms.

Classification

"Rebellion for a hope" by Mexican artist Mauricio García Vega

An armed but limited rebellion is an insurrection,[2] and if the established government does not recognize the rebels as belligerents then they are insurgents and the revolt is an insurgency.[3] In a larger conflict the rebels may be recognized as belligerents without their government being recognized by the established government, in which case the conflict becomes a civil war.[4]

Civil resistance movements have often aimed at, and brought about, the fall of a government or head of state, and in these cases could be considered a form of rebellion. In many of these cases the opposition movement saw itself not only as nonviolent, but also as upholding their country's constitutional system against a government that was unlawful, for example if it had refused to acknowledge its defeat in an election. Thus the term "rebel" does not always capture the element in some of these movements of acting as a defender of legality and constitutionalism.[5]

There are a number of terms that are associated with rebel and rebellion. They range from those with positive connotations to those with pejorative connotations. Examples include: