Etymology of Revolutions
The word revolution is ambiguous, since it designates a modification while being a return to an initial state.
This idea comes from astronomy.
Thus from the beginning of the XIIIth century Revolution meant: “periodic return of a star to a point of its orbit”
Definition in the field of the ideas of Revolutions
This idea of return to an initial state disappears little by little when we venture into more theoretical fields.
The word Revolutions marks then only an“upheaval, a deep transformation“. It is thus about the history of ideas:
“Evolution of opinions, currents of thought, sciences; discoveries, inventions leading to an upheaval, a deep transformation of the social, moral, economic order, in a relatively short time”
Definition with political and historical connotations
Finally, in an always theoretical way, the return to an initial state seems not to exist any more, and on the contrary it is a question in politics or in history of speaking about a regime which differs completely from its initial state.
“Sudden overthrow of the political regime of a nation, of the government of a state, by a popular movement, most often without respect for legal forms and leading to a profound transformation of institutions, society and sometimes the fundamental values of civilization”