European Civil War

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by Owen, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Many years ago whilst reading an article about the 1914-18 war I remember the author using the term, 'European Civil War' to describe that war.
    I think the author may have been American so I can see why he'd view it as a 'European' war to start with but it was far from a Civil War in the sense I understand it.
    For some reason that that term has come back to mind & I had a quick Google & found this bit on wiki.
    European Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Has anyone any views on the use of 'European Civil War' which I think is quite ridiculous .
  2. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    To my mind the term 'European Civil War' to describe the conflict of 1914-18 is, to put it mildly, a total nonsense.

    It was Niall Ferguson in The War of the World who described that war so succinctly when he stated that what was a Pan-European clash of rival empires only became a world war when the biggest empire of them all got involved, Britain.
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    2014-18 maybe...
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    2014-18 maybe...
    I was just thinking maybe 2020+.
    Does that make me one of the optimists?

    To my mind the term 'European Civil War' to describe the conflict of 1914-18 is, to put it mildly, a total nonsense.
    You mean 'bollocks' don't you?
    I agree.

    Owen likes this.
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Don't get me started on the term "civil war' and how it is misapplied to unpleasantries of 1861-65. The nation that consisted of the former southern United States were not trying to control the government of the United States, rather, they were defending sovereign territory. I believe the term the (mostly) Northern historians were groping for was "revolutionary", not "civil."

    But, as this thread concerns a mostly European war a few years later, I'll move on and say that I agree with you, Owen.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think it was the Americans who used the term "the European Civil War".It was used to describe the conflicts on the European mainland which involved Great Britain.Not used during their entry to the Great War,it was used by those who sought to maintain the US "splendid isolationism" from Europe which emerged as US foreign policy during the interwar years.

    Pre Second World War, a case in other words of we want no part of what is happening in Europe.It was the central issue with those groups who tended to be anti British.

    Charles Lindberch and religious groups which some might describe as right wing,were such opponents of the US entering the Second World War and despite FDR proclaiming that "he would keeps our boys out" of the second conflict with Germany,he overcame the opposition as events progressed to bring the US in the side of Great Britain.

    (Charles Lindbergh was posted to the Pacific to assist the USAAF in long route navigation etc the national also kept him away from commenting on the European situation just as FDR required.)
  7. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The biggest benefit of victory is getting to write the history. I'm always amazed when I'm in the south at how passionate and 'fresh' the subject of the civil war is with many people. Much resentment, even today.

    I agree with Owen as well. Calling WW1 a European Civil War is a very thinly disguised attempt to promote an agenda.
  8. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    What's so civil about war::)

  9. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    We are asking the nations of Europe between whom rivers of blood have flowed to forget the feuds of a thousand years.
    Winston Churchill --------------Civil Wars! European union.
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I see this vacuous functionary is claiming WW1 & WW2 were 'European Civil Wars' in light of the recent peculiar Peace Prize award:

    "A recognition for the work of generations"
    Comments by President Van Rompuy
    following the announcement of the 2012 obel Peace Prize

    we had two world wars, that in fact were European civil
    wars. We put an end to this, and with the European Union wars of that kind cannot happen again anymore.

    That's the grim, lax, bad sort of revisionism right there, to my eye.
    (Even putting aside the rose-tinted certainty about there never being another war on that scale.)

    Europe was just one big happy country, even then - Including both the Tsars and the Soviet Union, the US, All of these? (and doubtless more) :

    • Aden Protectorate (former South Yemen)
    • Albania
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Belgium
    • Bolivia
    • Brazil
    • British Malaya (today's Malaysia and Singapore)
    • British Raj (today's India, Bangladesh, Burma and Pakistan)
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • China
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • Cyprus
    • Czechoslovakia
    • Denmark
    • Dominican Republic
    • Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia and New Guinea)
    • Ecuador
    • El Salvador
    • French Indochina (today's Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam)
    • French Guiana
    • Greece
    • Guatemala
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Honduras
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Mexico
    • Mongolia
    • The Netherlands
    • Newfoundland
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua
    • Norway
    • Palestine
    • Panama
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Soviet Union
    • Syria
    • Trucial States (today's United Arab Emirates)
    • Turkey
    • The United States
    • Uruguay
    • Venezuela
    • Yugoslavia
    (The above grabbed from Wiki)

    All Europeans then... apparently.
    They can say the core events began on the European continent, but beyond that. Hmm.

    This pseudo-intellectual balls in the cause of other agendas is going to catch on. I find it quite irritating.
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The awarding of the Nobel prizes is always completely subjective but in this case it's obviously 100% politically influenced. The smugness and mutual back-slapping that I've been hearing from Brussels today is nauseating.

    I've heard that many Greeks aren't too chuffed.
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I suppose if one looks at the relationships between the Royal Families and Nobility of Europe in 1914 there is an element of familial strife present.
  13. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Wars of that kind can't happen again? Don't be silly, of course they can. Ask Tsar Putin. Paper agreements mean nothing when people or governments are angry enough or drunk on ideology. In that respect, the EU is not one whit better than the League of Nations.

    No, 1914-45 wasn't a civil war. I've seen the term German wars (as in Napoleonic wars) used. I think that covers it much better.
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I suppose if one looks at the relationships between the Royal Families and Nobility of Europe in 1914 there is an element of familial strife present.
    That seems to be a basis for those that support the concept, but it appears to be completely ignorant of the events of 1848, the English Civil War etc.
    The Monarchies were still partially powerful, and widely interconnected, but they were largely figureheads. It's taking one detail and overlaying it rather thickly over 100 other factors which lead to war, out of all proportion to that detail's worth.

    And by the Second War, it's a complete irrelevance - Stalin may have been called a Red monarch on many occasions, but he, Adolf, Mussolini, Roosevelt and others were hardly Saxe-Coburgs or Hanoverians.
  15. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Below is a quote from May 2013 Military History magazine editorial by Dr Neil Faulker.

    "The Second World War was never a single conflict. What began as a European civil war evolved... so when Churchill spoke of the 'end of the beginning', he was expressing a very British view. Alamein was indeed the end of the long 'beginning' before the might of Russia and american began to tell.'

    Other than obvious.... factual issues surrounding the above, I wondered what people's thoughts were on the (personally) nonsensical description of a 'European civil war' often advocated by some American scholars, but rarely, as in this case a British lecturer at Bristol.
  16. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I cannot possibly see it as a European civil war. I would think that WWI would come closer to meeting the criteria, at least in its origins.
  17. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    This might help.. a longer quote.
    "The Second World War was never a single conflict. What began as a European civil war evolved, at the end of its first year, into a confrontation between the British Empire, supreme at sea, and the Nazis, dominant on land. In the middle of 1941, it changed again, as Eastern Europe was engulfed by a titanic and primeval struggle between Teuton and Slav.And only at the end of that year did it go global, when Japan launched an offensive in the Far East that immediately brought the USA into the war.
    By the time it ended, the Second World War had become a struggle for global domination between two emergent superpowers – the US and the USSR. Many of its later acts – the ‘Big Three’ conferences at Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam; the race to Berlin; the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – turned out to be the opening moves of a new ‘Cold War’.
    So when Churchill spoke of ‘the end of the beginning’, he was expressing a very British view. Alamein was indeed the end of the long ‘beginning’ before the might of Russia and America began to tell. Once it did, victory was virtually certain – but so too was the eclipse of the British Empire. Alamein, in a sense, was the last hurrah of the greatest of the old European empires.
    But Britain’s war was important in other ways. A people’s war, it could be won only by mass mobilisation and collective action. Because of this, victory meant not just the destruction of Fascism, but also a new contract between state and people based on economic intervention and social reform."
  18. idler

    idler GeneralList

    European Civil War? I thought that was only just starting?

    Local Normandy tourist boards have a better grasp of history than Brussels.
  19. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    An academic wanting to be noticed. He'd be better off if someone handed him a banjo instead of a pen.
  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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