Problematic... it's a matter of definition. By strict denotation, a "civil war" is a war between cities... but in the old Roman sense, the civis (maybe should be civitas? Not as up on my Latin as I'd like to be) was something more than what we'd call a city-- more like the Greek polis, a city-state. In that sense, "Civil War" and "War Between the States" mean exactly the same thing.Interesting topic huh?
Especially because the conflict itself wasn't a "civil war" anyway.
It was a conflict of secession. Conflict between bloody Republicans and the elite Southern slave-holding class.Problematic... it's a matter of definition. By strict denotation, a "civil war" is a war between cities... but in the old Roman sense, the civis was something more than what we'd call a city-- more like the Greek polis, a city-state. In that sense, "Civil War" and "War Between the States" mean exactly the same thing.
Maybe... but I think we'd be exchanging one set of problems for another. The main issue is that peoples' thoughts don't evolve in a precisely logical and orderly way, either.The real problem here is that the English language, as spoken and written, doesn't always evolve in a precisely logical and orderly way. Maybe we should chuck it all and go for Esperanto.
The thing is, it was Confederates who saw it as a war for independence. The other side saw it as a war to preserve the Union. African Americans saw it as a war to gain freedom and equality. If you say it was a"War for Independence" then you are describing the war in terms of language that reflect the CSA view of the war, but which do not reflect how others saw it.As I've said before, I think it's a poor choice of name, though I suppose we're stuck with it. A civil war like the Roman or English is a war between factions within a country for control of the entire country. "War for Independence" would be perfectly accurate, or "War of Independence" if it had succeeded.
IMO "American Revolution" is also the wrong term for our war of independence.
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