AskDefine | Define purged

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  1. past of purge

Extensive Definition

In history and political science, to purge is to remove people considered by the group in power to be "undesirable" from a government, political party, a profession, or from community or society as a whole, often by violent means. Restoration of people from a purge is known as rehabilitation.

Historical use of the term

The earliest use of the term itself was the English Civil War's Pride's Purge. In 1648, the moderate members of the English Long Parliament were purged by the army. Parliament would suffer subsequent purges under the Commonwealth including the purge of the entire House of Lords. Counter-revolutionaries such as royalists were purged as well as more radical revolutionaries such as the Levellers. After the Restoration, obstinate republicans were purged while some fled to New England.
The term "purge" is often associated with the Stalinist and Maoist regimes. Those who were purged (among them artists, scientists, teachers, people in the military, but also many long-time communists who dared to disagree with the party leadership) were sent to labor camps or executed. The most notorious of CPSU purges was the Great Purge initiated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s. Deng Xiaoping was known for the distinction of returning to power multiple times after surviving multiple purges.
After France's liberation by the Allies in 1944, purges were processed by the Free French and mostly the French Resistance against former collaborationnists, the so called vichystes. The legal term was known as épuration légale ("legal purge"). Similar processes in other countries and on other occasions were denazification and decommunization.

Purge in fiction

purged in Czech: Čistka
purged in German: Säuberung
purged in Spanish: Purga (política)
purged in French: Épuration (politique)
purged in Japanese: 公職追放
purged in Polish: Czystka
purged in Portuguese: Expurgo
purged in Slovenian: Čistka

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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