The term coup d’etat entered common use in the early nineteenth century, but the notion of regime change by force has been around since the beginning of civilisation. Coups in the classical world were often supported by citizens if the coup leader promised to defend their city or their state. Mancur Olson described the problem as one of ‘roving bandits’ versus ‘stationary bandits’. Non-legitimate transfers of power take place through one of three means: coup d’etat, rebellion or civil war, or invasion and conquest by another state. Weak and complacent governments invite coups, and all that is needed is a combination of an ambitious leader and a group of followers who share the leader’s ideology and are strong enough to place him or her in power. Inheritance gave people time to size up the new leader and determine whether or not they would follow him or her. Again, the failure of Richard Cromwell to succeed his father comes to mind.