The Civil War was both a shockingly bloody affair and a turning point in US History, but the severity of the war seems to be lost on many in the present. Over the past ten years or more, one can frequently hear calls for secession from certain states or regions while others throw around the idea of a political event "leading to another civil war." Many argue that such talk is dangerous and that it lacks the historical knowledge of how serious, potentially deadly, and nation-wrecking such an event could be.What could cause some states or regions to seriously consider leaving the United States? What would the impact be of a break-up of the United States? Would a version of such event be positive in anyway? Or could it be? What could actually cause a new civil war in the US, and what issues could create a national fracture?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The one thing upon which most Americans seem to be in perfect agreement is that the nation has truly never been more divided than it is now. Any cause for a civil war would certainly depend upon what side of the political spectrum you fall. For the sake of being perfectly objective, this response will attempt to take neither side and answer only what causes would lead to state's succession. However, those reasons will be quite different based on whether the succeeding state were predominantly democrat or republican.

In the case of a red state succeeding from the United States, the cause would most likely be the usurpation of what they consider to be constitutional rights. One of the most common issues that draws out threats of succession is the issue of gun control. In the past decade, the United States has seen attacks from domestic terrorists with the use of combat rifles in numbers that are unheard of in any other part of the civilized world.

This has been met with overwhelming demands of more rigid gun control from the most minimum of background requirements to all-out bans, similar to those maintained by the United Kingdom. Red states tend to see this as a blatant violation of the second amendment, and they show animosity toward the idea of a government disarming its people. In fairness, this has been a historical ill-omen in many parts of the world.

In the case of a blue state succeeding from the United States, a probable cause would be impatience with the slow-going social reform that they consider to be integral to a modern society. Liberals and leftists are primarily concerned with the healthcare system in the United States, which they consider to be largely inferior and even predatory toward sick persons of a lower class.

In this regard, rampant capitalism is also a concern, as they maintain that lobbyists and corporate welfare render a government impotent, and that titans of industry become the de facto power in a country with this type of free market. In fairness, it is quite surprising to learn that Amazon, a company that made $11.2 billion in profits in 2018, paid absolutely $0 in taxes and is reported to have employees that are living on government welfare. The lack of security for workers and wealth disparity are great concerns to the left, as they maintain that a government that has the resources to take care of its people but does not is no true government but is rather a tyrannical institution.

If a war were to occur within the United States, the cost would be the lives of innocent people throughout the entire country. We are not a nation that has known war on the home-front in nearly a century, and the bloody conflict would likely break us as a people forever.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial