Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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What are some similarities and differences between the American Civil War and World War II?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The other answers cover many of the similarities and differences between the wars very well. One chief similarity I would emphasize, however, is that both wars were fundamentally about clashes of opposing ideologies. This is a contrast to other American wars, such as the French and Indian War or World War I, which were primarily about land acquisition and power politics, fought between nations that adhered to similar worldviews.

The Civil War, in contrast, arose out of a dispute about the proper way to organize society: should it be organized according to strict racial and gender hierarchies that included the ownership of one group by another, or should slavery and excessive hierarchy be outlawed in favor of a more equal opportunity society? These two ideological visions became so incompatible that the Southern ruling class felt it had to break away from the United States to preserve its way of life. The result was the defeat of the South and the abolition of slavery, but also the...

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