European Civil War

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

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Went around la Carrière Wellington in Arras today & really enjoyed it but let out an 'Argh' at end of the 10 minute film when the commentary end with something like ''...some called it a European Civil War.''
    Kids told me to ''shush''.
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    According to the wiki "this article has many issues" ;) and "may present fringe theories without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream"


    Presumably by this stance of any war in Europe potentially being "a civil war" then any war in any part of the world would thereby be a "world war", classic :D I wonder which "world war" we are up to now then??!

    Just Googling to see when Europe was most unified:

    This page oddly seems to miss out Rome:

    But... The name Europe originally referred to only the south-eastern part of the continent

    So maybe any Balkan war - ??? Perhaps ???

    But "back then" Asia and Africa were also differently defined...


    And Herodotus:


    World View of Herodotus, from The Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography by Samuel Butler, Ernest Rhys, editor (Suffolk, 1907, repr. 1908)


    Seems to lack Ireland and Great Britain as being a part of Europe at all ;)
    papiermache likes this.
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The idea of wars between European states as a civil war goes back to the concept of Europe as the christian, civilized world, based on the Roman and then Holy Roman Empire whose citizens shared a common faith, heritage and laws. War between Christian states was "Civil War."
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY




    1. relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters.
      "civil aviation"
      synonyms: secular, non-religious, lay; More

    2. courteous and polite.
      "they were comparatively civil to their daughter"
      synonyms: polite, courteous, well mannered, well bred, gentlemanly, chivalrous,gallant, ladylike, gracious, respectful; More

      Def. Not WW2 then... "whose citizens shared a common faith, heritage and laws" :pipe:

      And my dictionary defines a "Civil War" as a war between the citizens of the same country. Even the EU can't claim to have made the whole of Europe one country quite yet ;)

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just read the term "European Civil War" at the start of Chapter 5 of A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War.(1996 edition)

    2020-09-21 09.15.51.jpg
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    You'd think after 20 years, people might have noticed the lack of dreaminess arising from the Russian revolution...
  7. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Hiram Maxim first worked with gas illumination, then electricity.
    In 1883 a friend told him, "Hang your electricity. If you want to make your fortune, invent something to help these fool Europeans kill each other more quickly!"
    And he excelled at this...
    canuck and smdarby like this.
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    European Civil War was the term used by US opponents of FDR's path to war from its former foreign policy of "splendid isolationism" during the inter war years.

    These "splendid isolationists" factions urged FDR not to get involved with a conflict far away in Europe which they described as a European Civil War.It proved to be a watershed of US foreign policy..."splendid isolationism" has not seen the light of day since the US entered the Second World War.

    As it was, FDR had to deal with the Third Reich support within the US opposing the entering the war in Europe. Charles Lindbergh was a leading admirer of Hitler.FDR countered the adverse influence he had in the US by "harnessing" his navigational talents for the good of the USAAF with an assignment in the Pacific theatre of operations.

    It would appear to Lindbergh that he was being recognised as an expert in air navigation, but in fact,it was flattery and all about negating any influence Lindbergh had in opposing FDR's emerging foreign policy.
  9. Station J

    Station J Member

    European Civil War is nonsense.

    It's long bothered me that the terms Revolution and Civil War are used inconsistently and often interchangeably.

    Complicating matters is that some conflicts are both. The Russian Revolution was an abrupt overthrow of the national government, but it was followed by a clear civil war with numerous factions jockeying for national or regional control. The American Revolution was a group of colonies attempting to leave the empire, but within those colonies there was a civil war being rebels and loyalists.

    The American Civil War was called a civil war at the time by Lincoln and others. In terms of a portion of the country attempting to leave it was a breakaway revolution. However, the question of whether a portion of a country with a representative government - not a colony - had the right to unilaterally secede, seizing all federal property within their borders in the process, was one that made it a kind of civil war. The success or failure of that idea would have far-reaching ramifications on the continued existence of the USA (and CSA for that matter).

    I prefer to sidestep the entire terminology issue and call it the War of Southern Secession.

    Anyone who sincerely calls it the War of Northern Aggression deserves to be shot.
    Chris C likes this.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    No surprise that Americans might consider the World Wars as a "European Civil War". We Europeans called the 1861-1865 keruffle the American Civil War - but to m,any Americans its the "War between States" or in some parts of South Carolina "The Greeeaate Misunderstainfing"
  11. idler

    idler GeneralList

    When they hear that, they're more likely to die laughing...
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  12. Station J

    Station J Member

    War Between The States is a common term, although one that sounds more like a free-for-all rather than a conflict with two clear sides.

    War of the Rebellion used to be a common term for it; not so much any.
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Being a US Southerner with copious numbers of relatives involved in the donnybrook on the losing side, I tend to use "Civil War" on occasion, but prefer other terms as it was not a civil war in that the Southern states did not want to overthrow the United States government, only leave it.

    I do not hear the term "War Between the States" in common conversations. It is found mainly in print and TV and in schools and the like.

    My preferred terms are (in no particular order):
    The War of Northern Aggression - after all, who invaded whom? (I guess Station J would have me shot)
    The Second American Revolution
    The Great Unpleasantries of 1861-1865
  14. Station J

    Station J Member

    There was a civil war in the seceded states, with Unionists who were unwilling to support the Confederate government and in some cases actively opposed it by joining the Union Army. Not to mention the slaves.

    Also, declaring unilateral secession in response to a free and fair election is functionally overthrowing the government.

    Had the Southern states negotiated secession through Congress it would have been a very different matter.

    Besides, the Southern states had no justifiable grounds for secession, and that's why I despise Confederate apologists and sympathizers. Secession was over the issue of slavery. Period. Tariffs were not the issue. The only "states' rights" under threat were slavery (and in any case states do not have rights). Slavery split the parties. Slavery caused the Kansas Civil War. Slavery is the black hole warping almost everything in the USA around it in 1860.

    The American colonies in 1776 at least had some legitimate grievances, no effective way to voice them, and their appeals for mediation fell on deaf ears.

    Invasions can be justified. Should the Iraqis refer to the 1991 Gulf War as the War of Western Aggression?

    I'm fine with Second American Revolution (or the Southern/Confederate Revolution, although I don't think anybody ever uses that term).

    "Great Unleasantries" or "Last Unpleasantness" or similiar terms (which were used by some in postbellum America) always struck me as at best a quirk of the Victorian Era's odd sensibilities. I despise the use of euphemism in politics and history.
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Well the North Americans have taken over this thread which is about Europe.

    4jonboy and Andsco like this.
  16. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    What was the European Civil War to US elements became WW2 to the US or to the British as the Second World War on the German invasion of Russia and then finally the Japanese strike against US and Western interests in the Pacific..

    Defined in a major documentary series as The World at War.
  18. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    It is certainly a ridiculous phrase - to suggest that the dozens of countries that made and continue to make up Europe are one and the same.

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