How does the American Civil War impact our lives today? How does the American Civil War impact our lives today?
The primary impact of the war is the lingering sectional differences between North and South that have survived even those born in the years after the war. There is still a tendency in the Southern states to look upon the war with some degree of nostalgia, as if it represented a golden time of years long gone by (an incorrect assumption, incidentally.) A presumed replica of the Confederate Flag is frequently displayed, which is ostensibly as a representation of heritage, but in too many cases is a symbol of segregation and racial bigotry. Few people realize or even care that the flag flown as the flag of the Confederacy was in fact the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.
In the North, there is sadly an intolerance and condescending attitude for all things Southern. People of the South are often depicted as slow, inefficient, and uneducated. A common phrase heard by Southerners from those of Northern areas is criticism beginning with the phrase "you people down here."
In both instances, these are attitudes which have been passed down from one generation to the next. There remains a distrust in the South and condescension in the North, even though people on either side do not fully understand or appreciate the history behind those attitudes. Hopefully, with the passage of time, these attitudes will remain. Until that time, these attitudes remain a painful legacy of the War.