Civil War

 

 

A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. Some civil wars are categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict. An insurgency, whether successful or not, is likely to be classified as a civil war by some historians if, and only if, organized armies fight conventional battles. Other historians state the criterion for a civil war is that there must be prolonged violence between organized factions or defined regions of a country (conventionally fought or not).

Ultimately the distinction between a "civil war" and a "revolution" or any other name may be arbitrary, and is determined by usage. However the distinction between a "civil war" and "revolution" can be recognizable. The successful civil war of the 1640s in England which led to the (temporary) overthrow of the monarchy represented by Charles I became known as the English Civil War, however it has also been described, by Marxists and some historians, as the English Revolution.

In the United States of America, the successful insurgency of the 1770s in British colonies in America, which featured organized armies fighting battles, came to be known as the American Revolution. The unsuccessful insurgency of the 1860s by southern U.S. states against the federal government backed by Northern states, which also featured organized armies fighting battles, came to be known as the American Civil War. While hostilities were still ongoing, most Confederates preferred to call the conflict the Second American Revolution or something very similar, and had the Confederacy triumphed the war would likely have come to be known as a Revolution and/or a War of Independence. In the United States, and in American-dominated sources, the term 'the civil war' usually means the American Civil War, with other civil wars noted or inferred from context.

A civil war is "a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies". Everyday usage of the term does not entail a clear threshold for how much violence is necessary to qualify a conflict as a civil war, as opposed to terrorism or low-level political strife. Scholars use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. Their second criterion is that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side. Other social scientists consider this casualty number rather low and prefer for instance a definition of an average of 1,000 people killed per year.

A civil war is "a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies". Everyday usage of the term does not entail a clear threshold for how much violence is necessary to qualify a conflict as a civil war, as opposed to terrorism or low-level political strife. Scholars use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. Their second criterion is that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side. Other social scientists consider this casualty number rather low and prefer for instance a definition of an average of 1,000 people killed per year.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Civil war".

 

 

 

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