Stir, rouse, arouse, awaken, waken, rally can all mean to cause to shift from quiescence or torpor into activity.
Stir , often followed by up , usually presupposes excitement to activity by something which disturbs or agitates and so brings to the surface or into outward expression what is latent or dormant.
Sometimes the word suggests the evoking of rebellion or revolt. More often it implies the evocation of profound, agitating, but usually agreeable, emotion.
Rouse , arouse , awaken , waken all presuppose a state of rest or repose, often that of sleep.
Rouse derives its implications from its application to the starting of game from coverts or lairs by the cries of hunters or by beating of bushes and often suggests incitement to activity by startling, frightening, or upsetting. In addition it commonly implies intense or vigorous activity and often ensuing commotion or turbulence.
Arouse , though frequently used interchangeably with rouse , tends to be weaker in its implications and often means little more than to start into activity and conveys no hint of what follows; thus, a noise in the night arouses a sleeping soldier if he merely wakes up into consciousness of it, but it rouses him when he also makes determined efforts to trace its source or hastily arms himself; a fear may be aroused and immediately dispelled; passions are roused when they are so stirred up that they exert a compelling influence.
Awaken and waken , like arouse , frequently imply an ending of sleep; in extended use they are employed chiefly in reference to mental or spiritual powers or faculties which need only the proper stimulation to be called forth into activity or to be elicited.
Rally (see also RIDICULE ) presupposes a diffusion of forces or a lack of concentration that promotes lethargy or inaction; it therefore implies a gathering together that stirs up or rouses.