A revolution is a change which is either sudden, profound, or both. Evolution refers to more gradual or transitional changes.
Revolutions can include national revolutions and regime-changes such as the French Revolution, American Revolution and Russian Revolution, as well as societal shifts in practices or attitudes, such as the Industrial Revolution or the sexual revolution.
 National revolutions
Revolutions usually refer to the overthrow and replacement of a government. This can occur violently (like most of the ones we usually talk about) or non-violently (like the many "color" revolutions in the early 21st century.) Revolutions are usually swift. When they aren't, they're usually referred to as civil wars. (The exception is when colonies try to throw off their colonial masters; those are still called revolutions, even when the fighting goes on for decades.)
The French (1789 – 1799) and Russian (1917) revolutions are the most noteworthy, although there was a minor altercation on the eastern coast of North America (1775 – 1783) which has some claim to notoriety.
A counterrevolution occurs whenever someone tries to undo the revolution. It is an odd thing, though, when powers that have been in place for fifty years call people fighting against them "counterrevolutionaries". At that point, you'd think they'd be regular revolutionaries again.
 Economic revolutions
A revolution can also refer to when social and economic dynamics are fundamentally transformed. For example, the Industrial Revolution led to mass production and urbanization, the Green Revolution spread advanced agricultural techniques to the developing world, and the Information Revolution placed much of human knowledge at the fingertips of every well-off Western man, woman, and child on Earth.
 Scientific revolutions
- See main article: Scientific revolution
Also known as "paradigm shifts", scientific revolutions are periods when our understanding of the world around us is radically altered or improved. Some examples include:
- The Copernican revolution - displacing geocentric theories in astronomy
- Newton's physics
- Darwin's biology
- Freud's psychology
- Einstein's relativity
- Quantum mechanics
- ↑ This refers to the "orange revolution" (Ukraine 2004), the "rose revolution" (Georgia 2003), the "blue revolution" (Kuwait 2005), and the "purple revolution" (Iraq 2005). Belarus had a "denim revolution" and Burma a "saffron revolution" (but that didn't get very far). Of course, the "rose" revolution may have been about the flower, as there was a "tulip revolution" in Kyrgyzstan (2005) (also called "pink revolution") - and a "cedar revolution" in Lebanon. If we say that denim is indigo, then we pretty much have an entire rainbow of revolutions.