“The United States cannot have a civil war, it is homogenous.”
– Mario Martone
America’s Civil War was basically waged between two opposing groups of contiguous states: The United States of America and the Confederate States of America. In the course of the war, there were ‘border’ states between the two contiguous states; unaffiliated states; and states that seceded. California sided with the Union and provided it with gold and the ‘California Regiment’, as it was called, and which fought at Gettysburg. Of course there was no military action in California, a state which is a continent apart from what was the Confederated States of America. That fact refers to the rhetorical question in the title of this article and why I don’t think the United States can have a civil war.
Whereas the two Americas in the late eighteen hundreds consisted of contiguous states geographically, they were fundamentally divided politically. The southern states seceded as a separate nation, with its own president, army, and national flag. That cannot happen again because the United States now resembles a checker board, red and blue states, scattered from ocean to ocean and playing ‘musical chairs’ every four years.
Who would fight whom!
In the mid-1800s, California and the Confederate States of America could not engage in military conflict because they were too far apart geographically. Today, the 48 contiguous states cannot engage in military conflict because they are too close to each other.
The Civil War was defined by two issues; one economic, the other slavery. The two issues were related. But today the prospect of another civil war is based on a visceral political division between democrats and republicans both in government and throughout the United States. In addition, that division is exacerbated by a growing tendency towards socialism. (I address that issue in other articles and will continue to do that as long as I can.)
For now, what comes to mind is a prophetic warning, generally attributed to President Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is true, but the clear-cut territorial division between northern and southern states no longer exists. In its place, the division is politically eclectic from coast to coast and truly ”…one nation, indivisible…”
In 1860 there were two presidents, two armies, and two adversaries: “Yankees “ and “Rebels.” Of course, soldiers wear uniforms for instant recognition and usually in clearly defined areas. On the other hand, a civil war between democrats and republicans is unfeasible because whichever state it is, its republican and democratic citizens are broadly scattered throughout the state from block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood, precinct to precinct, county to county, and city to city.
If a civil war were possible, would a republican family on the first floor of a private home fight the family on the second floor? Would the occupants of two adjacent homes fight each other on the street? And what about people who dwell in apartment houses or work in sky scrapers! Do they fight each other in elevators, halls, and laundry rooms?
Absurd, isn’t it?