Social Causes Of The Civil War Essay Examples

Published: 2018-03-15 12:05:30
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Harvey Mudd College
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Causes of the civil war

Civil war is driven partly by current situations that result in the formation of small or large sized violence in a country. The origins of civilian conflicts may be attributed to social, economic and political aspects. This paper will examine the social causes of the civil (Acharya et al.,  2016).

Even though there are many causes of war and violence in various countries, social causes are seen to take a significant portion besides political and economic aspects. For instance, in the case of America, many scholars have associated Civil War with slavery. In the USA slavery was identified as the most contradicting and the earliest problem that caused division between the South and North America (Acharya et al.,  2016). It is recorded that, slaves were used to generating wealth for their masters and this further increased the divide between the rich and the poor thus resulting in resistance.

Further, another social cause of Civil War is the aspect of States rights. These rights are a battle between the National and the particular state governments in civil wars.  During a crisis, most of the fighting party tends to take a side that usually is opposing the other party, and without a solution, conflict may arise (Acharya et al., 2016). In the case study of the USA,  in the civil war period, the fight was between those who focused on the slavery institution and those who wanted the national government to control or end slavery in specific states. The two sides, in this case, drew a large gap between the South and the North corridors in America, therefore increasing the already developing divide in the country.

More so, taking the case of America, another social cause of civil war is evident. Hereditary and succession issues are perpetrated by politicians to fill their interest causes division among people. When a particular class of the wealthy and status quo in a country provide civilians with the notion of hereditary governance and social status, more division is caused (Acharya et al., 2016). In most situations, those who feel oppressed and ignore or neglected tend to form a revolutionary movement that turns out to be violent groups leading to war. These resistance groups fight in the name of changing tyrant regime or succession administrations with the perception that a particular group is being neglected. Other social issues such as religious beliefs can be attributed to civil war especially in the Middle East countries where groups are formed in the idea of just cause.

In conclusion, many studies have been conducted to identify significant causes of civil war in various countries. However, these causes are relative depending on the prevailing circumstance and the nature of the crisis in a country. For instance, in the USA, the paper has identified slavery as the primary cause of the Civil war experienced in the country. When a particular group of people suffers threat or loss of their social status to another group, for example, the rich and the poor, civil war emerges.


Acharya, A., Blackwell, M., & Sen, M. (2016). The political legacy of American slavery. The Journal of Politics, 78(3), 621-641.

Causes of the civil war

As a result of certain social differences, civil wars may erupt, which makes a country lack stability and peace. Civil wars can be caused by political factors, social factors, economic factors among others. This work looks into the social factors that breed the civil wars. Many civil wars have erupted especially in the developing nations. The social causes of civil wars include religion differences, tribal ethnicity, racial identity among others.

Differences in religion are widely related to civil wars. In many countries, the citizens who belong to various religions will come against each other, fight against each other which may even lead to deaths (Haynes, 2007). The civil wars may erupt as a result of the feeling of religious superiority or inferiority. A good example is the the civil war that normally takes place in countries such as Somalia in Africa, where the Christians and the Muslims turn against each other. When people perceive their religion being superior than other available religions, this is likely to lead to wars since the people from the different groups will be fighting to protect their communities as well as their religion.

Tribal ethnicity is another cause of civil wars especially in developing countries. In Kenya, for example, there were civil wars as a result of the tribal differences, which left many people displaced and others killed (Bratton & Kimenyi, 2008). The different tribes were fighting against each other and as a result, political instability continued for quite a long period. A person from a certain tribe may perceive another person from another tribe as a permanent enemy and as a result, all that the two people can do is fight against each other. Tribal ethnicity may not come to an end since it is passed on fro one generation to another.

Besides, racial identity may also be a cause of civil wars. People with different racial identities will rise against those that they feel are from different races. Using Sudan as an example, civil wars originate when the people from the major races perceive those from the minority races negatively to a point of mistreating them (Haynes, 2007). As a result of these racial differences, therefore, citizens may fight the fellow citizens that are from different racial backgrounds and this is likely to deny a nation the peaceful status that it is ought to have. 

In conclusion, it is evident that civil wars can be as a result of different social factors including religion differences, tribal ethnicity as well as racial identity. These civil wars deny the affected nation peace and may lead to deaths, displacement of people as well as political instability in the long run. Civil wars affect any economy negatively and efforts should be taken to avoid the differences that are likely to lead to these wars.


Bratton, M., & Kimenyi, M. S. (2008). Voting in Kenya: Putting Ethnicity in Perspective. Economic Working Papers.

Haynes, J. (2007). Religion, ethnicity and civil war in Africa: The cases of Uganda and Sudan. The Commonwealth Journal  of International Affairs .


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