List of successful coups d'?tat and coup attempts throughout history

Posted in History

A coup d'?tat (pronounced /ku de'ta/), or simply coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment ? mostly replacing just the high-level figures.

It is also an example of political engineering. It can be (although not necessarily) violent, but it is different from a revolution, which is staged by a larger group and radically changes the political system through unconstitutional means.

Coups d'?tat are listed by date starting with the oldest known. 

509 BC: the Roman Senate overthrow of the monarchy and the proclamations of the republic.

44 BC: Julius Caesar was overthrown by members of the Roman Senate.

189: Ten Eunuchs of Later Han Dynasty were murdered by troops led by Yuan Shao, Yuan Shu and Cao Cao; Dong Zhuo took over the government by force.

476: Odoacer, king of the Herules overthrows Romulus Augustus, last Roman emperor and sends the insignia to Constantinople; the Western Roman Empire thus ends.

632: Shi'a Muslims insist that the Succession to Muhammad was a coup.

642: Yeon Gaesomun of Goguryeo led a military coup that killed King Yeongryu and installed King Bojang as puppet under military rule.

680: King Wamba of the Visigoths is drugged, tonsured and dressed in a monk's cloak, so he would be considered an ordained man and hence he could not reign.

839: Jang Bogo of Silla overthrows King Minae and install King Sinmu on the throne.

1010: General Gang Jo of Goryeo stages a coup that overthrew King Mokjong.

1126: Yi Ja-gyeom of Goryeo makes a failed attempt to overthrow King Injong.

1170: General Jeong Jung-bu of Goryeo led a military coup that deposed King Uijong and installed puppet king Myeongjong under military regime.

1197: Choe Chung-heon of Goryeo stages a military coup that ousted and killed military dictator Yi Ui-Min, and deposed King Myeongjong.

1258: General Kim Jun of Goryeo overthrows and kills then-military dictator Choe Ui.

1388: General Yi Seonggye of Goryeo led a military coup that deposed King U, murdered General Choe Young, and installed puppet ruler King Chang and eventually King Gongyang. Yi later crowned himself, starting Joseon Dynasty.

1398: Prince Yi Bangwon of Joseon leads a coup that murdered Prime Minister Jeong Dojeon and two other princes.

1455: Prince Suyang of Joseon leads a coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Hwangbo In and Kim Jong Seo, whom were killed during the coup.

1506: A coup d'?tat in Joseon overthrew Prince Yeonsan and places King Jungjong on throne.

1623: A coup d'?tat in Joseon overthrew Prince Gwanghae and places King Injong on throne.

1605: The Gunpowder Plot was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Catholics to kill King James I of England by blowing up the Houses of Parliament led by Guy Fawkes.

1648: Pride's Purge-MPs who wished to continue political negotiations with Charles I were ejected from the House of Commons. Those remaining-known as the Rump-went on to agree that the king should be put on trial for his life.

1688: Glorious Revolution-the Catholic James II was deposed by a faction favorable to William of Orange. The opponents of the change became known as Jacobites from Jacobus, the Latin for James.

1772: Coup by Gustavus III, in order to strengthen royal power in the Swedish Constitution of 1772

1799: Coup de 18 Brumaire by Napol?on Bonaparte.

1808: Rum Rebellion in New South Wales deposes Governor William Bligh.

1823: One year after Brazilian Independence, Emperor Pedro I of Brazil dissolves the Constitutional Assembly, to decree a Constitution in the following year.

1829: Anastasio Bustamante overthrows and murders Vicente Guerrero in Mexico.

1832: Mexican president Anastasio Bustamante deposed for the first time by Antonio L?pez de Santa Anna, replaced by Melchor M?zquiz.

1839: Mexican president Anastasio Bustamante deposed for the second time by Antonio L?pez de Santa Anna

1840: Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, with fifteen years, is enthroned, although the law stipulated that he shouldn't be king before eighteen.

1851: the president of France, Louis-Napol?on Bonaparte dissolves the Assembly and becomes the sole ruler of the country. In the following year, he would restore the Empire by referendum.

1854: Following the Plan of Ayutla, Benito Juarez deposes Santa Anna and installs Juan ?lvarez as President of Mexico.

1864: Troops of French Emperor Napoleon III install Habsburg pretender Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico.

1867: By compulsion of Satcho Alliance, Tokugawa shogunate returned political power to Emperor Meiji.

1874: Arsenio Mart?nez Campos overthrows the First Spanish Republic and installs Alfonso XII as king.

1876: In Mexico, Porfirio D?az overthrows President Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada

1889: a military coup led by Mal. Deodoro da Fonseca deposes the Brazilian Emperor, Peter II, proclaims the Republic and installs a provisional government.

1891: The President of Brazil, Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca is overthrown.

1893: With the aid of U.S. Marines, U.S. Department of State Minister to the Kingdom of Hawaii, John L. Stevens backs businessmen of native and foreign nationality in a coup that deposes Queen Lili'uokalani.

1899: Cipriano Castro's army overthrows the government of Ignacio Andrade in Venezuela.

1908: Juan Vicente G?mez declares himself president of Venezuela after Cipriano Castro leaves for Europe to receive medical treatment.

1910: A republican coup d'?tat deposes King Manuel II of Portugal and establishes the Portuguese First Republic.

1913: During La decena tragica,General Victoriano Huerta overthows and murders the president of Mexico, Francisco Madero.

1919: Istv?n Friedrich overthrows the social democratic government of Hungary.

1920: In the Plan of Agua Prieta, General Alvaro Obregon, backed by labor unions and Zapatistas, ousts Mexican President Venustiano Carranza.

1920: The Kapp Putsch, a failed attempt to overthrow Germany's Weimar Republic by the Freikorps Ehrhardt.

1923: Miguel Primo de Rivera installs a dictatorship in Spain without overthrowing the king.

1923: The Beer Hall Putsch, a failed coup attempt by Adolf Hitler in Germany.

1923: In Bulgaria, the military-backed 9 June coup d'?tat overthrows the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union of Aleksandar Stamboliyski, installing one headed by Aleksandar Tsankov.

1924: Chilean President Arturo Alessandri resigns and flees after the army, led by Luis Altamirano, heads a coup.

1924: Unsuccessful pro-Communist coup in Estonia.

1925: General Carlos Ib??ez del Campo and Colonel Marmaduque Grove depose the military ruler of Chile, Luis Altamirano. They later allow former president Arturo Alessandri to return to Chile.

1926: May Coup of J?zef Pilsudski in Poland.

1926: 28th May military coup of Gomes da Costa in Portugal.

1930: Argentine President Hip?lito Irigoyen ousted by General Jose F. Uriburu.

1930: Get?lio Vargas takes power in Brazil, in a bloodless coup.

1930: Rafael Le?nidas Trujillo takes from Horacio V?squez, in the Dominican Republic after a devastating hurricane.

1930: Military coup in Argentina. Jos? F?lix Uriburu overthrew Hip?lito Yrigoyen.

1932: The M?nts?l? Rebellion, failed coup attempt by the Lapua Movement in Finland.

1932: The May 15th Incident, a military coup in Japan.

1932: The Siamese coup d'?tat of 1932 marks the bloodless transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in what is now called Thailand.

1932: The Chilean military heads a coup, which deposes President Juan Esteban Montero and creates the Socialist Republic of Chile. After twelve days, other army officers head a counter-coup and end the Socialist Republic. The new provisional president, Abraham Oyanedel, restores democracy.

1933: General Butler led the Bonus Army and came forward to the U.S. Congress in 1933 to report that a failed coup had been plotted by wealthy industrialists seeking to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This scandal is known as the Business Plot.

1933: The President of Uruguay, Gabriel Terra dissolves Parliament and heads a coup.

1933: Fulgencio Batista of Cuba ousts Carlos Manuel de C?spedes in the "Sergeants' Revolt".

1934: Coup of Karlis Ulmanis in Latvia.

1934: Coup of Konstantin P?ts in Estonia.

1934: 19 May coup d'?tat in Bulgaria.

1935: Coup of Ioannis Metaxas in Greece.

1935: In an internal coup in Mexico, President Lazaro Cardenas deports and exiles ex-President Plutarco Elias Calles, effectively ending Calles' control over the Mexican government.

1936: Xi'an Incident, General Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by his deputy Zhang Xueliang, who demanded that Chiang stop fighting the Chinese Communists and instead agree to a united resistance against the Japanese. Madame Chiang and her brother T.V. Soong's subsequent negotiation with Zhang ensured the Generalissimo's release.

1936: Part of the army seizes control of parts of Spain commencing the Spanish Civil War. Later General Francisco Franco assumes control of the country.

1936: The February 26th Incident, a failed coup attempt in Japan by junior military officers that did succeed in installing a militarist government.

1937: Brazilian president Get?lio Vargas, governing democratically until then, launches a self-coup and becomes the Dictator of Brazilian Estado Novo.

1938: Vargas forces snuff out the attempted Integralista coup in Brazil. Vargas and guards shoot it out with insurgents at the Guanabara Palace.

1940: Soviet organized coups in Baltic States

1940: Juan Andreu Almazan attempts a coup to prevent the inauguration of Mexican president elect Manuel Avila Camacho.

1942: French resistance coup in Algiers, by which 400 Civil French patriots neutralized Vichyst XIXth Army Corps in Algiers during 15 hours, arrested vichyst generals (Juin, Darlan, etc.), and so allowed the immediate success of Operation Torch.

1943: Military coup in Argentina. Arturo Rawson overthrew Ram?n Castillo. Juan Per?n was part of this coup d'etat, and became so popular that he was democratically elected in 1946.

1944: The July 20 Plot, a failed attempt to overthrow Hitler in Nazi Germany, led by Claus von Stauffenberg.

1944: The 9 September coup d'?tat in Bulgaria.

1945: Get?lio Vargas's government in Brasil ends in a coup led by General Mour?o, one of his former supporters.

1945: Isa?as Medina Angarita is overthrown in a coup and R?mulo Betancourt is appointed to lead a civilian-military junta in Venezuela.

1947: Coup in Thailand.

1948: Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.

1948: Coup overthrows the democratically elected government of R?mulo Gallegos in Venezuela. A military junta is installed with Carlos Delgado Chalbaud as its leader.

1951: Left-Wing military coup attempt in Pakistan

1952: Military coup in Egypt overthrows the monarchy.

1952: Fulgencio Batista leads successful and bloodless coup to topple democratically elected government of Cuba.

1953: Anglo-American coup in Iran, codenamed Operation Ajax.

1954: Jacobo Arbenz Guzm?n is ousted by a coup d'?tat organized by the US CIA Operation PBSUCCESS in Guatemala.

1954: Military coup in Paraguay.

1954: Military Coup in Yanaon (French Colony in India) led by Dadala Raphael Ramanayya, overthrown French rule in Yanaon.

1955: A counter-coup in Brazil led by Marshal Lott overtrhown the two-days-long legal government of Carlos Luz and prevents a coup against the elected president Juscelino Kubitschek.

1955: Military coup overthrows Argentine President Juan Per?n

1957: quasi-self-coup leads to the coexistence of two governments in San Marino for a month (so-called "Fatti di Rovereta").

1958: Military coup in Pakistan. Army Chief and Defence Minister Gen. Ayub Khan overthrows the government of Iskander Mirza and becomes President after a winning a rigged referendum.

1958: Civic/Military coup in Venezuela, overthrowing Marcos Perez Jimenez.

1958: Military coup in Iraq overthrows the monarchy.

1958: Military coup in France. General Jacques Massu takes over Algiers and treatens to invade Paris unless Charles de Gaulle becomes head of state.

1959: Air Force military hijack a civil airplane and attempt a coup against Juscelino Kubitschek, in Brazil

1960: Military coup in Turkey.

1960: Military coup in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1961: The coup d'?tat of 16 May in South Korea led by Park Chung Hee. Overthrew Second Republic of South Korea and established the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction.

1962: Failed Military backed and Catholic action led Coup in Sri Lanka then Ceylon.

1963: Failed military coup attempt in Turkey.

1963: Military coup in South Vietnam, overthrowing Ngo Dinh Diem.

1963: Military coup in Ecuador.

1963: Military coup in Syria.

1963: Coup in Iraq backed by the CIA, followed by a counter-coup.

1964: Military coup in Brazil led by General Castelo Branco installs the Brazilian military dictatorship.

1964: Military coup in South Vietnam, overthrowing Duong Van Minh.

1965: Military coup in Algeria Defense minister Col. Houari Boumedienne takes over .

1965: Military coup in Indonesia.

1965: Military coup in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1966: Military coup in Ghana.

1966: Military coup in Nigeria leading to end of first republic. Major-General J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi becomes Head of State.

1966: Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of the Abu Dhabi was deposed in a bloodless coup, being replaced by his brother Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan.

1966: Military coup in Argentina. Juan Carlos Ongan?a overthrew Arturo Illia.

1967: Military coup in Greece. See Greek military junta of 1967-1974.

1967: Attempted military coup ("Guitar-boy") in Ghana

1967: Military coup in Nigeria. Yakubu Gowon comes to power.

1968: Coup in Panama by Omar Torrijos.

1968: Coup in Iraq backed by the CIA establishes rule of the Ba'ath Party.

1969: Colonel Qadhafi overthrows monarchy in Libya.

1969: Military coup in Somalia.

1969: Pedro Aleixo, the legal vice-president of Brasil, is replaced by a Military Junta after Artur da Costa e Silva leaves the office due to a stroke.

1970: Military coup in Pakistan, Army Chief Gen. Yahya Khan forces President Field Marshal Ayub Khan (who himself came to power in a coup) to hand over power to him.

1970: Coup in Syria, led by Hafez al-Assad

1970: Coup in Bolivia, soon followed by a leftist countercoup.

1970: Coup in Cambodia, led by Prime Minister General Lon Nol. See Cambodian coup of 1970.

1970: Coup in Oman, Qaboos bin Said ousts his father Said bin Taimur to become Sultan.

1971: Military coup in Turkey (Coup by Memorandum).

1971: Military coup in Uganda led by Idi Amin.

1973: A military coup in Chile deposes president Salvador Allende, who dies during the coup, and installs the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. See Chilean coup of 1973.

1973: The President of Uruguay dissolves Parliament and heads a coup.

1974: Military coup in Portugal (Carnation Revolution).

1974: Military coup in Cyprus sponsored by Greek colonels overthrows Makarios and triggers invasion by Turkey.

1975: Military coup in Ethiopia by the communist junta led by General Aman Andom and Megistu Hailemariam.

1975: Military coup in Bangladesh overthrows & kills Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

1975: Military coup in Nigeria overthrows Yakubu Gowon. Murtala Ramat Mohammed comes to power.

1975: Military coup in Chad overthrows and kills President Fran?ois Tombalbaye.

1976: Military coup in Ecuador.

1976: Military coup in Thailand.

1976: Failed coup attempt in Nigeria. Murtala Ramat Mohammed killed but Olusegun Obasanjo escapes assassination and becomes head of state.

1976: Military coup in Argentina leads to the Proceso de Reorganizaci?n Nacional.

1977: Military coup in Pakistan. Army Chief Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq overthrows the civilian government and hangs Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1979 after a sham trial.

1978: Communist coup in Afghanistan.

1979: The Coup d'?tat of December Twelfth in South Korea. Chun Doo-hwan established presidentship.

1979: On 4th June, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, Maj. Boakye Danquah and others lead a military uprising that removes the government of Gen. FWK Akuffo from power after an earlier unsuccessful attempt in May. Image:Jerryrawlings.jpg

1980: 'Cocaine Coup' in Bolivia of Luis Garc?a Meza Tejada.

1980: Military coup in Turkey.

1980: Military coup in Liberia.

1980: Military coup in Guinea Bissau.

1980: Successful coup in Suriname by military officers led by D?si Bouterse that resulted in military rule until 1988.

1981: Failed coup in Spain led by Antonio Tejero.

1981: 31st December Flt. lt. Jerry John Rawlings stages a second successful military coup in Ghana overthrowing Dr. Hilla Limann's constitutional government.

1981: Failed coup in Seychelles led by Mike Hoare.

1981: Successful military coup in Poland led by Wojciech Jaruzelski.

1982: Failed coup in Kenya by some members of the Kenya Air Force.

1983: Military palace coup in Nigeria. Second republic president Shagari overthrown; Muhammadu Buhari takes power.

1984: Cameroonian Palace Guard Revolt

1984: Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya raise to power in Mauritania after a coup that overthrow the president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla.

1985: Military coup in Uganda led by Bazilio Olara-Okello and Tito Okello.

1985: Military coup in Nigeria. Ibrahim Babangida replaces Muhammadu Buhari.

1987: Failed coup attempt, known as the August 1987 Coup, in the Philippines led by Col. Gregorio Honasan.

1987: Bloodless military coup in Fiji led by Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka overthrowing the government of Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra and also deposing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. After temporarily handing power to a council of ministers, Rabuka later that year seized control of the country again and declared it a republic.

1989: Another failed coup attempt in the Philippines, by Col. Gregorio Honasan. This coup is sometimes called the December 1989 coup.

1990: Failed coup attempt in Trinidad & Tobago led by Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr (July 27th)

1990: Failed coup attempt in Nigeria led by Col. Gideon Orkar.

1991: Failed coup attempt (the so-called August Putsch) in the Soviet Union.

1991: 1991-1994 Haiti U.S. backs armed group FRAPH which oust democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a military coup d'?tat in September, 1991 he is replaced with a military junta led by Raoul C?dras until U.S. President Clinton orders Aristide's return to resume his mandate as president

1991: Military coup in Thailand. Results in infamous incident Black May.

1992: Military coup in Algeria cancels elections and forces President to resign.

1992: Alberto Fujimori launches a self-coup in Peru.

1992: Hugo Ch?vez Fr?as, current President of Venezuela, attempts a coup against then president Carlos Andres Perez and surrenders upon the realization of defeat.

1993: Russian President Boris Yeltsin successfully launches a self-coup, illegally dissolving the Russian parliament.

1997: Military coup in Turkey, called 'post-modern coup' (February 28), overthrows the coalition government.

1999: Military coup in Pakistan. Army refuses to obey Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government. General Pervez Musharraf becomes dictator (with the title "Chief Executive") and exiles Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia.

1999: Military coup in C?te d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

2000: Unsuccessful coup in Fiji, under George Speight.

2000: A coup in Ecuador with strong support from indigenous groups and led by Lucio Guti?rrez overthrows president Jamil Mahuad.

2002: Coup attempt against President Hugo Ch?vez in Venezuela, Pedro Carmona is briefly installed as dictator until disposed by popular revolt within 48 hours, reinstalling the elected government regained control of the country.

2002: Military coup in Central African Republic.

2003: Attempted coup in Mauritania.

2003: Military coup in S?o Tom? and Pr?ncipe.

2003: Military coup in Guinea-Bissau.

2003: Failed mutiny and coup attempt in the Philippines led by right-wing junior officers known as the Magdalo Group.

2004: Attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

2004: Failed coup d'?tat in Chad against President Idriss D?by.

2004: Second attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo (June).

2004: Attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea.

2004: Coup in Haiti against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

2005: Coup in Togo legalized by parliamentary vote but unrecognized by international community.

2005: King Gyanendra of Nepal overthrows the government, making him the head of government. The government is reestablished April 24, 2006 after a massive democracy movement.

2005: Ecuadorian President Lucio Guti?rrez is ousted after street protests and Alfredo Palacio takes his office.

2005: A military coup in Mauritania overthrows President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. A new government is set up by a group of military officers headed by Ely Ould Mohamed Vall. The group formed the Military Council for Justice and Democracy to act as the governing council of the country.

2006: The Armed Forces of the Philippines allegedly attempted a military coup in the Philippines targeting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which lead to a state of emergency in the country.

2006: The United Front for Democratic Change allegedly attemptes to instigate a military coup in Chad to overthrow President Idriss D?by.

2006: The Royal Thai Army orchestrates a coup in Thailand that overthrows Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he is out of the country.

2006: The Malagasy Popular Armed Forces allegedly attempt a military coup in Madagascar against President Marc Ravalomanana.

2006: The military of Fiji overthrows President Josefa Iloilo and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase in a bloodless coup.

2006: The military of C?te d'Ivoire claims to foil a coup attempt targeting President Laurent Gbagbo.

2007: Plans of an alleged coup attempt by General Vang Pao and others in the United States to overthrow the Laotian government is foiled.

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