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Research Essay about Civil War

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So how do you define a Civil War and what criteria do you have to fit to say that your country is at what? The most seen academic definition has two key criteria. ‘’The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side’’.

Civil wars evidently involve countless types of conflict. The conflict actually only happens between residents of the same country, which is why the name Civil War was given. Many analysts differentiate between civil wars in which rebels try to take over and rule the current government. Conflicts that started due to wanting to gain full control of the leading government can sometimes involve rebels originating from inside the heart of the state apparatus, for example, coups which are carried out by the military (Military coup) like that of the Turkish coup d’etat, which in fact was a mostly filed attempt on 15 July 2016. The coup in Turkey was against state institutions, which included the government along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The coup which was conducted by only a fraction of the Turkish military names themselves the Peace at Home Council. The aim was an attempt to seize control of several recognized places in Turkey such as Ankara and the capital Istanbul. Even though they attempted to seize control of these places they failed to take control of other forces who were loyal to the country and helped to defeat them.

These challenges don’t only stem from the inside of the political formation but also from the outside too. Experts differentiate between cultural wars in which the rebels and persons who are in control of the government have detached ethnic identities and innovative wars in which rebels attempt to achieve a huge key social revolution. Colonial wars are occasionally singled down to a kind distinct from civil conflicts on a state’s core ground. Nevertheless, with these variances a given civil war will frequently combine numerous factors. An example of these factors would be that the insurgencies might be equally culturally and ideologically built and the insurgents’ intentions can alternate over a period of time from secession for a limited territory area to then governing the entire state. Civil wars are normally not as severe as national battles. If you were to measure and create a death toll from the direct battles, the vast majority of logged deaths in battle since the cold war actually comes from civil wars. Civil wars tend to be more recurrent and last a much longer time than a national/world war would. Civil war can also have a considerable indirect influence on an individual’s well-being outside of the actual loss of life statistics. Over the passing years, it has been found by numerous different academic studies that the different countries who are competing in civil wars will in fact suffer hugely from a distinct downfall in gross domestic product and they won’t ever be able to recover to enable them to get to their previous economic growth level. conflict disrupts trade and investments badly and the trade in that state may even end up coming to a complete halt. this will then leave great social legacies in jobless former soldiers and displaced persons which is then hard to turn around. The negative penalties of civil war are not only felt by countries that actually experience and play a role in them: bordering countries will also end up suffering the undesirable economic effects which then may mean they are then more disposed to the chance of being involved in a civil war and violence in the upcoming future.

There is not a large amount of information and statistics prior to 1945 when it comes to that of civil wars, even though there are a lot of historic accounts of civil wars that did happen before the year of 1945. Since 1945 there have been reasonably few national wars that have happened. Civil wars have been a common occurrence around the globe. If there was to be an interstate war, this would usually last over a short time span, whereas civil wars would tend to and still do tend to last for a substantial amount of time, and are then not as likely to be settled by a formal agreement, unlike a world war. Even if a civil war was to be settled, it wouldn’t be long before the war broke out again due to the government not meeting demands or following what was promised in order for the war to be ended originally. Experts have ‘’regarded the outbreak of new civil conflicts immediately following the Cold War as evidence that the world would be more turbulent and violent after a long period of stability based on the strategy of nuclear deterrence adopted by the United States and the Soviet Union’’. However, at the end Cold War, the total number of new civil wars starting did actually decrease in comparative terms due to the initial peak close after the Cold War ended.

The majority of past and present civil wars happen within moderately inferior and less wealthy societies. Scientist in American Politics Ted Gurr ensured that he highlighted in his writing, inequality and how rebellion from many groups was the last resort after being unsatisfied for so long with the current and ever-lasting economic status, which was also relative to their aspirations. Latin American countries civil wars were a lot of the time interpreted inside a framework that would focus on economic grievances which would arise from the unequal distribution of land or upper-income discrimination. The empirical indication however which links individual income inequality to civil conflict is very mixed. Subsequent political-economic studies of civil war tended to discharge the role of grievances. Some of the individuals who researched the topic contended that criticisms are in fact universal and that the biggest importance is to concentrate on the difference in the prospects for violence. Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler argued that ‘’low overall income makes it easier to mobilize insurgencies since potential recruits have less to lose in foregone income from normal economic activities’’. James Fearon and Davis Laitin, American political scientists appealed that ‘’civil war is primarily a problem of weak states and that weakness is largely determined by economic development’.’’ Researchers had then also linked mobilization to the role of individual incentives. The chance that insurgencies can grow from conflict, for example, through stealing or being able to gain control of valued natural possessions. The said link between the existence of valued natural resources and a higher risk of civil war was also supported by empirical studies. The many civil wars that take place in African countries are examples that are usually taken as evidence to support these perspectives.

Another cause of civil war can because of political deprivation. A lack of political rights or colonial subordination can be an example of political deprivation and these factors can resort in an excuse for citizens resorting to violence. Certain conflicts which occurred after 1945 happened due to groups trying to achieve their freedom in areas that were under colonial rule.

The Indochina wars between 1946 and 1975 and the Algerian War of Independence war between 1954 and 1962 were wars that helped to start movements in other countries due to the wars showcasing exactly how influential colonial powers could be overpowered, due to continued violent movements. The Soviet Union and Ethiopia and many other ethically distinct groups that are within empire states had similar struggles when it come to national liberation. However, there is very little evidence to back up claims that cultural diversity itself makes a country more of a target of civil war than other countries that don’t.

The American Civil War was a war that overwhelmingly formed the way in which we know and perceive America today. Fought amongst the Northern and the Southern states from 1861-1865, it is said by many that the war does in fact stand to be one of the greatest misinterpreted events in American past to date. The president of the United States at the time was Abraham Lincoln. The American civil war began because of the inflexible differences between the unrestricted and slave states over the state government to forbid slavery in the terrains that had not yet become states.

Marx and Engels branded the actions in the run-up to the American civil war momentous. In January 1861 Marx sent a letter to Engels after the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln, but before the actual day of his inauguration, saying, “In my opinion, the biggest things that are happening in the world today are on the one hand the movement of the slaves in America started by the death of John Brown, and on the other the movement of the serfs in Russia.” During the war, Engels chose to specialize in the tactic of the military, of the Lincoln administration, and the Confederate Jefferson Davis rebel government. Along with Marx, he produced many perceptive articles for the New York Tribune on many political and military issues. Karl Marx however, had a more comprehensive look when it come to conflict, from the financial expansion of the country to the activities of the political and military leaders. The war did bring out a resolution for the Americans. The questions which were brought forward to be resolved through the civil war were ones that were left unsettled by the revolution. These were whether the United States was to be a dissolvable alliance of independent states or an undividable nation with an independent national leadership; and also, whether this country, which was born of a statement that all men were shaped equal rights to freedom would last to exist as the biggest slaveholding state in the biosphere.

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The Bangladesh War of Independence also known as the Bangladesh Liberation War refers to the armed war between West Pakistan (which is now known as only ‘Pakistan’) and Eastern Pakistan (which is now Bangladesh). This Civil war started in 1971 and lasted for about nine months. The main and most important outcome for Bangladesh was that it gained its independence from Pakistan and become its own country. Eastern Pakistan had the largest population compared to all of the other provinces, however, it had much less political power compared to that of West Pakistan. Over time this caused the population of East Population to rebel. The leader at the time Sheik Mujibur, who was in control of the Awami League in the East of Pakistan had to demand both more political and financial power. From this, the country finally went to war for independence.

Pakistan was the first contemporary state in the world to be founded solely on the basis of religion. The partition due to religion happened in 1947 when Pakistan separated from India due to the ‘two-nation’ thesis that both Hindus and Muslims could not live together in agreement due to the differences in the religions. ‘’ Both East and West Pakistan remained united because of their religion, Islam. West Pakistan had 97% Muslims and East Pakistanis had 85% Muslims. However, there were several significant reasons that caused the East Pakistani people to fight for their independence’’. (Alburuj Razzaq Rahman ) It was June 13th, 1971 when an article was released in the UK’s Sunday Times which truly exposed the extent of the brutality of Pakistan’s suppression of the Bangladeshi uprising. ‘’Abdul Bari had run out of luck. Like thousands of other people in East Bengal, he had made the mistake - the fatal mistake - of running within sight of a Pakistani patrol. He was 24 years old, a slight man surrounded by soldiers. He was trembling because he was about to be shot’’. The article was written by Anthony Mascarenhas, who was a Pakistani reporter who printed his articles in the UK’S Sunday Times. For the first time in history, Andrew managed to expose the scale and force of brutality that Pakistan’s army would use to suppress its breakaway from the eastern province in 1971. It can’t be said for certain the exact number of people who were killed during the civil war but the number is certainly very huge, especially compared to civil wars in other counties. Some independent researchers have claimed to think that the number of deaths ranged between 300,000 and 500,000, however, the Bangladesh government has put the figure forward at an astonishing three million. One of the most notorious war crimes committed by Pakistan’s army was when soldiers stormed Dhaka University, lined all the students up along with their professors, and executed them. Bangladesh is now able to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its separation from Pakistan after Pakistan’s failed strategy. Due to Mascarenhas’ report on the brutality of the Pakistan military and government, it is believed and no doubt that the article played a significant role in turning the world opinion on Pakistan, ending the war, whilst also reassuring India to play a pivotal role. Since Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan, they haven’t had the best relationship with each other, even though it has been many years since the separation.

There are also several Civil Wars that are taking place right now, in many different countries. When we think of Civil War it should just be remembered as something that happened tens of years ago. The three conflicts that I am going to briefly discuss now are conflicts that have caused at the minimum of 10,000 deaths which have been caused by direct violence so far this year or throughout the last calendar year.

The Civil War in Afghanistan which first started in 2001 is one of those ongoing conflicts that has claimed an estimated more than 38,000 Afghanistan, and around 58,600 Afghan soldiers, this being since the war began in 2001 (Realtime Data, 2018).

The Taliban had control of the majority of the country since 1996 and during that period they allowed al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization) to set up training camps around the country and recruit terrorists and commit acts of terror. Al-Qaeda was responsible for the nearly 3,000 deaths of innocent people killed in the 9/11 twin towers terrorist attacks. In November 2001, they were defeated by the British and American Military, along with many fighters from an Afghan group known as the Northern Alliance. After the Twin Towers attack, George W. Bush who was America's President at the time chose to launch the first of many missiles over to Afghanistan in October 200. The goal in mind was to destroy both al-Qaeda and the Taliban in order to save the country from any more terrorists. Unfortunately, after 17 years the Taliban is now stronger than they ever have been and continue to fight for the control of the Afghan government, with the a-Qaeda which once became extinct now reappearing.

Another conflict that I personally would not have thought of as a Civil War is the Mexican Drug War, 2006. The Mexican drug war is a war that claims thousands of lives every year, due to many parts of Mexico actually being controlled by some of the most notorious drug lords. El Chapo, being the most famous drug cartel of all time is currently on trial in the US.

It is said that Mexican drug cartels can earn between at least $19 billion and $29 billion each year purely from drug sales within the US only. A 2018 Congressional research study claimed, ‘’many sources indicate, that about 150,000 international homicides since 2006 were organized crime-related’’ (Congressional research study, 2018).

With tens of Civil Wars still happening around the world right now, all with different reasons behind them, why aren’t countries like Britain or America trying to help stop them? The end of the Cold War did bring a small reduction to the Civil Wars around the world, although wars cease to come to a halt in countries such as Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc.

A Professor of International Politics, Monica Duffy says that what the history of the world and the Civil War tells us is that there are two ways which are the most effective way to end Civil wars and they’re Military victory and negotiated settlement. “The international community has a strong proclivity towards negotiated settlements, so you want the parties to both lay down their arms and negotiate an end to the civil war where each of them feels as if they have a part to play in the configuration of the new state. That is the absolute preference that the international community has, and it pushes for that. We are pushing for that today in Syria, Afghanistan.' (Monica Duffy, 2016).

Toff contends that remaining soldiers from the country going through conflict come together with the American military to represent the nation's wider interests and close down the Civil Wars. To me this is probably unrealistic as the county in conflict may not stick to the negotiations agreed on, which will in the long run develop a bitter relationship between themselves and the US who helped them to end the war.

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Research Essay about Civil War. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
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