Secession, the EU, and Lessons from the U.S. Civil War: Why Didn't the U.S. Civil War Go On and On?

Richard J. Sweeney

Research output: Working paperResearch

42 Downloads (Pure)


The post-Civil War reconciliation between the North and the South is a very rare eventin the history of civil wars. The South was thoroughly beaten. Top generals, particularly Robert E.Lee, saw further fighting as `useless effusion of blood.' There was no call by top Confederateleaders for continuing the fight with the type of bushwacking that occurred in Missouri andKansas. Reconstruction is often thought of as harsh, but compared to the standards of historyConfederates were by and large treated well after the Civil War. Within a decade or so of the endof the Civil War, conservative white elites had established political, economic and socialdominance in the South. They had lost their `slave property' and the `government of our own.'They could never get back slavery, and a government of their own was not worth fighting for.There was little reason for the kind of persistent low-level guerilla warfare that often occurs aftercivil wars, or the organization of a succession of rebellions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Number of pages63
ISBN (Electronic)x656312660
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Cite this