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A coup d'état (pronounced [ˌku.de.ˈta]), or just coup ([ˈku]) for short, is the removal of a head of state and/or head of government from power (overthrow). Unlike a revolution, which usually takes large numbers of people to take over, a coup can be done by a small number of people. Even one person can cause a coup who, Idi Amin for example, controls the country's army. Coups can also be done by other countries, such as the 1953 Iranian coup d'état. One well-known failed coup was the Beer Hall Putsch, where Adolf Hitler tried to take over the government of the state of Bavaria in Germany.
The term comes from French for "a (sudden) blow (or strike) to a state".