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As a counter-revolution ( lat . Contra = against) or counter-revolution is called the a revolution actually or supposedly antagonistic activities, forces and classes and against which emerged from the revolution state or system -related aspirations of individuals, groups or other countries. The counterrevolution aims to reverse the consequences of a revolution and to restore the old state power and, under certain circumstances, to deal bloody accounts with the revolution.

The term counter-revolution first appeared in connection with the French Revolution of 1789 and referred to the efforts of their opponents Joseph de Maistre , Louis de Bonald and others. a. to restore the fallen monarchy .

The real socialist systems, which saw themselves as states that emerged from the proletarian revolution, often described the internal opposition directed against them as counterrevolutionary - even decades after the respective state was founded and completely independent of the actual political positions of the respective opposition. The same still applies today to the People's Republic of China , North Korea and Cuba ; lately also for democratic systems (BE Harcourt, 2019).


  • Roger Dufraisse (ed.): Revolution and counter-revolution 1789-1830. On the intellectual debate in France and Germany (= Writings of the Historisches Kolleg . Colloquia. Vol. 19). Munich 1991, ISBN 3-486-55844-7 ( digitized version )
  • Bernard E. Harcourt : Die Gegenrevolution, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2019, ISBN 978-3103974362
  • Aurel Kolnai : Counter-Revolution . In: Kölner Vierteljahrshefte for sociology. Vol. 10 (1932), pp. 171-199 and 295-319.
  • Jean-Jacques Langendorf (ed.): Pamphleteers and theorists of the counter-revolution. (Batteries, vol. 36). Matthes & Seitz, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-88221-242-X .
  • Matthias Middell: Resistance to Revolutions. 1789-1989. (Contributions to universal history and comparative social research, vol. 12). LUV, Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3-929031-46-9 .
  • Matthias Middell: The birth of the counter-revolution in France 1788–1792. (Contributions to universal history and comparative social research, vol. 15). LUV, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-86583-051-X .
  • Jacques de Saint Victor: La première contre-révolution 1789–1791 . PUF, Paris 2010, ISBN 978-2-13-057077-6 .
  • Michael Wagner: England and the French counter-revolution 1789–1802. (Ancien Régime, Enlightenment and Revolution, Vol. 27). Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-486-56066-2 . (also dissertation, University of Mainz 1989)

Web links

Wiktionary: Counterrevolution  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations