Why has America never suffered a coup d'etat?

Jun 2015
Coups happen when the system fails. Or is perceived to fail. The USA hasn't since its Constitution laid down 200 year ago still works. It's also a matter of culture. The us military don't serve the president but the country. Maybe African and Asian countries have coups since they are post colonial creations and there is no real cultural bond yet.
Likes: Futurist


Ad Honoris
May 2014
For a coup you need political instability, a corrupt or morally outraged army, outside factions who can bank roll it, popular will....
non of these have ever existed in sufficient amounts.

This, and also, I strongly doubt that any country in the world actually had or has the capacity to stage a military coup in the U.S. Indeed, it would probably be beyond the abilities of even a powerful country such as China or the Soviet Union/Russia given the deep patriotism towards the U.S. which exists in the U.S. military.


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Also need a good supply of weapons - oops hang on a minute
Yes, we sure do have a lot of guns--though one would think that rednecks with guns would be inclined to oppose rather than support a military coup. After all, the purpose of having so many guns is to protect Americans against government tyranny.
Jul 2016
The simple reason is that American politics have never gotten so screwed up that various politicians and senior military officers have seriously considered overthrowing the Executive Branch and starting a civil war. If that changes, then it will happen. Nothing unique about the United States, still just people (meaning mostly idiots and jerks), and no republic lasts forever.

The famous USMC general Smedley Butler said he was approached by a faction of conservative businessmen and politicians to lead a coup against FDR in 1933, but that was a farce, biggest nonsense . Butler was a well known and loud and proud Leftist, asking him to lead a coup against FDR is like hiring a known pervert to babysit your kids. Butler would have been the very last person on the list of potential coup leaders to approach, especially since Butler hadn't held an important command in the military for quite some time. Meanwhile, guess who is running the US Army at the same time as its Chief of Staff? None other than the Douglas MacArthur, a well known devout hard right who HATED FDR and the Left. So if a businessman/congressman attempted to recruit a well respected and powerful senior military officer to lead a coup to overthrow a leftist president, it sure as heck wouldn't have been Butler being chosen. lol
Jul 2009
That was politics, Mike. Both sides got the most important things they wanted. Frankly, the result of the 1876 election, and the Compromise of 1877 was classically political. In many ways it was cover for returning control of the South to the influences that had controlled it before the Civil War.

The South got back its semi-feudal cultural control; the North got rid of the South's issues for 100 years so the United States could expand, industrialize and get rich. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 pretty much removed military involvement in domestic affairs. Actually, 1876-1878 may be the antithesis of a coup. Politics triumphed and military influence was kept out of the possible mix.
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Oct 2014
We rule ourselves with elections every 2 and 4 years (depending on the office). We have a constitution that puts the people first, but all of us under God (guaranteeing no despot assumes to be greater than any one of us). The amount of freedom and equal status as citizens we have and share is what prevents hostility and provides for unlimited prosperity. Only those who refuse to accept the rule of law or with patience for the next election whines about our government. We are also a federal republic which means that the central government has limited power and that the states and local governments have greater roles here than in other nations.
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
Uprisings, revolts, civil wars, rebellion etc. -> check

coup d'etat -> not yet, why?

What makes them so resilient to this?

And being blamed for numerous coups around the world, why hasn't the world staged one for America as revenge?

How do you know there hasn't been one?

My thoughts go to the Kennedy assassinations. From the outside looking in. Of course, if you don't happen to be seriously paranoid and have most of your marbles, you may choose to go with Occam's razor . IE the simplest explanation is often the right one.

Remember that when dealing with Government and Government administration, that which on first glance seems to be sinister and malicious plots and persecution, can usually be explained by incompetence and indifference :).

Australia has actually had what amounted to a coup d'etat, in 1975. That event is now referred to as' The Constitutional crisis ' and 'The Dismissal'. The Liberal opposition party, led by Malcolm Fraser, conspired with the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, ( the queen's representative and legal head of state) to prorogue (dismiss) parliament and install the Liberals as 'caretaker government'.

The Governor General, as the queen's representative, absolutely had, and still has the constitutional power to dismiss both houses of parliament. That is exactly what he did.

The method: At that time the opposition had the majority in the Senate. Although it had been established as custom, since federation not to, the opposition simply refused the government's supply bill. Government could not govern.GG steps in and dismissed the government.

Strictly speaking, a coup entails illegal activity, so technically the dismissal of 1975 was perfectly legal. However, to many Aussies,(including me) it should not have been possible legally.

Newspaper article below, plus wiki entry for more detail.

The Dismissal of the Whitlam Government – November 11th, 1975

1975 Australian constitutional crisis - Wikipedia

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