Could there be another US civil war?

So I was watching the movie Gettysburg over the weekend and it started me thinking about the history and causes leading up to the war. Which then got me thinking - could something similar happen again in the US?

To simplify, there was a feeling of north vs. south, of states rights vs. federal interests, slave owning vs. abolitionist, etc. While those pressues don’t exist today (for the most part), there are feelings of religious vs. not, republican vs. democrat, individual rights vs. government regulation, etc.

Some of the militia groups around the country seem somewhat predisposed to making a move like this, although I don’t they are typically big enough or “control” enough territory to actually secede from the US.


If there was, it would be a terrorism, guerilla conflict.

The separate states can’t muster enough regional loyalty to do this.

I certainly remember hearing some separatist talk from “blue state” denizens after the last election. I doubt such talk would ever come to anything, though.

Certainly there can be communal violence, even apporaching the level of war, it is close to impossible to see a replay of The Civil War.

Political differences are not so regionally distinct. That is to say, Republican and Democrats might want to resort to fisticuffs and do it with grenades and guns, but it seems impossible any faction (political, religious or racial) could ever cleanse a large geographical area of the Other Guys.

With this single change, a replay of our national suicide attempt becomes impossible.

Still, humans being stiff-necked as we are I am sure we would find a way to make each other really miserable.

Prior to the Civil War, most Americans thought themselves as citizens of their state primarily and of the US only a distant second. This has now been reversed and we’ll never see another Civil War. Personally, I’d rather see my state secede and join Canada but it would never happen, nor do I see any collection of states decide that their common interests are suppressed by the federal government to the extent needed to go to war.

Take a look at this map. The more red a county is the more Republican; the more blue the more Democratic.

Do you see any easy way to divide it into two factions along liberal/conservative lines? :slight_smile:

WAG only, but I would figure that anarchy would easier to support than a new (or continued) Civil War.

Anarchy for the USA
It’s coming sometime and maybe
I marry a gay or decide not to pray.
The Republican dream is a god-based scheme
'Cause I wanna be anarchy,
It’s in the city

A civil war? No.

Gradual balkanization of the United States on geographic lines is, I suppose, a possibility. Should the federal government lose it’s focus over a long period of time (say 20+ years) and lose efficacy I could see several countries emerging from the US.

As a member of the “red” line of thought these days rather than a blue, I cannot see any issue that would cause me or my comrades (red… comrades… get it?) to take up arms against those of you whom are consdiered blue. I didn’t like Kerry or Gore or Clinton, but cripes, they really aren’t that different than either Bush.

For those of you who think there could be a red vs. blue war, what issues would spark it? Gay marraige? Tax breaks? Abortion laws? gimme a break. :rolleyes:

Let’s put it this way: For there to be a civiil war, we must have an issue so fundamental that erases the normal American aversion to breaking the Constitution and destroys the fabric of society so sufficiently that we are willing to kill over it.

I really don’t see that any time soon.

Veerhoven movies?

No need for a war, the blue states were voluntarily depopulated when everybody moved to Canada to escape the Bush theocracy. Then again, the red states already threw off the oppressive yoke of Clinton’s communism in a violent insurrection.

Oh wait, neither happened. The closest most people got was posting to blogs. Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth people in the US are still pretty well off. It’ll take alot more than (for example) not recognising gay marriage and/or banning military look-alike rifles to get people to take arms against their neighbors. I think abortion is the single most divisive issue we have today and the level of outrage pales compared to that of slavery and it’s contemporaries.

That’s kind of what I thought as well. The regional differences and allegiances were much stronger in the 1800s then they are today. I’ve lived my whole life on the east coast, but I don’t feel a strong desire to rise up against the south west or anything like that.

I think the only potential way it could even remotely happen would be if a large enough separatist movement took political power in a more remote, less urbanized state (Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota?) and then essentially seceeded. However, I think that somewhere along the road to that the FBI and other federal agencies would stomp them down.

And what would be on the “rebel” flag in this case? The crossed legs of Elizabeth Berkley?

Designated hitter.

Sure, but we’d need a Berlin airlift.

As the self appointed defender of Iowa, trust me, noone around here has enough gumption to consider seceding. Plus this place isn’t that remote and there is nowhere to really hide that a nearby town isn’t a few miles away. I could see fringe elements in the North East or Upstate New York, or Michigan staking claim to land before they would around here.

I don’t think your classic region-based civil war is impossible. The political spectrum dosn’t neatly align itself with where people live anymore. However, if enough things happen to piss enough people off – and it would take a LOT – you could see rebellions sprouting up here and there.

But, seriously, it would require something so oppressive (at least to a significant number of people) that it would make the Patriot Act look like the Everyone Gets Free Ice Cream On Thursdays Act.

:smack: I meant to say possible.

Another civil war in the U.S. is a very very very very VERY unlikely prospect, fortunately. There is no issue that so divides the populace (slice 'em demographically however you will) that a substantial minority would be willing to take up arms against Uncle Sam. Also, with modern communications and law enforcement, the Feds would probably be aware of any such nascent movement (if violent) in plenty of time to prevent it from reaching critical mass. The political process is also much more open and suffrage much more widespread than it was in the years before the Civil War, so that any sufficiently-pissed-off large-ish group will sooner or later find a candidate or a party willing to address its concerns.

There will probably always be Timothy McVeigh/survivalist types/antigovernment wackos who can do a lot of damage, in any one place and time, but I can’t see the good ol’ U.S. of A. ever facing national dissolution again due to internal unrest.