Insurrections and Overthrowing the Government: What Does it All Mean?

What is an Insurrection or Coup D’etat?

The legal and proper way to remove and replace elected officials is through elections. Institutions and structure of government can also be changed legally through properly passed legislation or constitutional amendment or constitutional convention. See our Guide to the U.S. Constitution.

Any other means of doing so is illegal. When a group of people, or even governmental officials, attempt to overthrow the government with violence or threats, or through other means such as fraud or attempting to overturn the results of a valid election, this may be considered an insurrection or coup d’etat (sometimes shortened as “coup“).

When a person incites a riot as part of an attempt to overthrow the government, this may be considered sedition. In other words, it is seditious to try to start an insurrection.

Related Pages

What is Martial Law?

What Can and Can’t the Government Do?

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