Social causes of the civil war
Civil war refers to the active social conflict that results to actual fighting among the members of a community or a nation due to a number of factors that affect their important aspects of lives -Politically, socially, or economically. However, speaking of the civil war on a social concept there are numerous subset factors that instigate civil wars. These include social stratification, racial profiling and stereotyping social discrimination, and tribalism.
Broadly speaking, countries such as the United States where the population is diverse, incorporating the Blacks, the Whites, and the Hispanic, the most probable cause of social strife that could result to a civil war is the population diversity. Essentially, the American civil war that took place in the post-colonial era is deemed to have been caused by rapidly growing social differences between people from these races. Ideally, the economist has always centered the major cause of war as to be a strain in economic resources due to the scramble for resources that occurs when the population exceeds the optimum population size. However, sociologist such as C Wright. Mills argued that the major cause of social misunderstanding is the unequal distribution of power among the members of the society.
Additionally, there is a major problem of tribalism, especially in the developing nations in Africa. This is possibly due to the false illusion that people are radicalized with from childhood that implies their tribe is superior than that of other people. Ideally, communal societies in this areas have always been into fights with the capitalist” communities because of land issues where these herding communities usually get pasture and water for their cattle. Moreover today in most government offices nepotism has taken a high toll. In fact it was approximated that about 60 percent of workers in Nigerian government offices are comprised of closely related individuals a phenomenon that compromises quality work and service delivery to the citizen at the expense of qualified counterparts who do not that tall relative in the government.
But since Civil war best served the interests of African slaves in the South Civil war is mostly studied in the context of a war against slavery. The institution of slavery had already vanished from the North by 1787 but it was very much present in the South all through the revolutionary period. We need to see how this led to the war. For one the Constitution and in fact the entire concept of the Union was based on the lofty noble principles of freedom and liberty and that all men were created equal. The American revolutionaries had fought for independence propagating these noble values but they had failed to take into account the cause of the slaves in the South. While America and its Constitution were boasting of freedom for all it sent a conflicting message to the slaves. If all men were indeed equal did the founding father mean to say that slaves were not men like white Americans? This is a controversial question and upon closer study becomes the most important cause of slave uprising.
It is quite strange that even after the revolutionaries had fought for independence from the British they never really showed much concern for the slaves who had been demanding freedom for a long time. If American revolutionaries understood the importance of free will and independent decision-making how could they allow something so evil and cruel as the institution of slavery to exist? Therefore while the whole idea of all men being equal which served as the basis for the creation of our country was quite noble it appeared to be a hollow fake promise to the slaves who were suffering at the hands of their white masters in some of the 13 colonies.
Slavery was inconsistent with the ideals incorporated in the Constitution and yet it was allowed by the founding fathers because they wanted to preserve the Union at all costs. We must here understand that it is absolutely impossible for a country or any institution to operate with conflicting values. This became quite clear when the war broke out. It is important to know that slavery became the major cause as it was an old issue which was not being resolved by the American government even when it constantly propagated its stand on freedom and liberty for all.
While the revolutionaries wanted liberty for themselves they completely ignored the issue of independence for members of the black community. This is one reason why many historians maintain that revolutionaries were pro-slavery. This may be a harsh accusation against people who are remembered so fondly by American today but we must study the issue of slavery and its role in the Civil war keeping in view the history of slavery and American Union before the war actually broke out. This is because we are all aware of the fact that causes do not develop in a single day there is a long history behind them. Slavery as the primary cause also had a long complicated history where hatred for the whites reigned supreme. This hatred intensified after the Revolution of 1776 when America gained independence from the British. The mere fact that revolutionaries did not pay attention to the cause of the slaves was enough to spark intense animosity towards the whites and the Confederation. When Constitution was being framed the question of slavery did arise but heated debates and discussions only resulted in the preservation of this evil institution.
The definition of civil war
Civil war- a civil war is a politically or socially instigated war between the citizens of the same country within the geographical outline of the affected country. it is also known as intra-state war with an aim of controlling a particular region or to attain freedom or change a regime
therefore in light of the above the following are some of the social causes of civil war;
1. with a case study of Africa (example the sierra leone civil war between the years 1991 to 2002 ), the issue of land control has been one of the causes of civil war whereby fertile land or land known to have precious minerals has led to inter-community wars and clashes with the sole aim of control over that land.
2. with a case study of the north america continent (example the american civil war between the years 1861 to 1865) , slavery was a major cause of dis unity whereby most northern soldiers for example were indifferent on the issue of slavery while the confederates fought the war largely to protect a southern society of which slavery was an integral part therefore some of these indifference on the issue of slavery did contribute to the respective american civil war
3. the other social cause of civil war especially in Africa region is when government achieve power through undemocratic means thus instigating conflict a good example is the Kenyan year 2007-2008 post election violence.
4. when one particular ethnic group or a nation feels marginalized in terms of resource acquisition or sharing. this majorly has manifested in the african continent where marginalized ethnic communities in their plight for equality and representation has led to conflicts between the community and the government.
5.identity crisis where a particular ethnic group identifies itself with power and therefore views the other minor communities as lesser communities in terms of governance this creates a hostile and unstable political and social environment which is prone to any unpredictable civil conflict or wars.
6. when the government fails to deliver good governance or breaks its social contract with the people, citizens of that nation tend to rebel against that government leading to confrontation between the government and the people hence conflict.
7. various government policies like taxation policies, migration policies that are too stringent to the common citizen may provoke a nation wide protest that may lead to bloody conflict between the government and its citizens.
8. misuse of government resources and corruption of some elite government officials and who upon public outcry to resign do not resign also can cause the citizens becoming rebellious and unruly to the government thus causing bloody unrest’s which can trigger a civil conflict or civil war.
9. displacement of communities that are attached to its ancestral habitat by the government without any public participation may also result to conflict between the government and this particular community. displacement of a community by a government may be due to reasons such as the government bid to build infrastructures like roads and railway lines. therefore without public participation forceful displacement of a community may lead to conflict.