What Would A 21st Century U.S. Civil War Look Like?

The U.S. Civil War was an ugly time in American history. The death toll of that war and the animosity which epitomized the war in many peoples’ minds have left a lasting impact on American culture and society. In fact, the Civil War was so ugly that, I think it is safe to say, no person who has studied the details of the war would want another one.

Still, many people seem to have this idea on their minds, whether we are talking about white supremacists or antifa protesters. I suspect that both of these groups have idealized ideas about what that kind of war would be like, so let’s think about what a 21st Century U.S. Civil War would be like.

Notably different this time around would be who is fighting who. In the Civil War, the fight was between large regions of the country (North versus South), but that’s less likely to be the case this time around. E.M. Cadwaladr has this to say (hat tip to here for the source):

The lines of demarcation now are only somewhat regional, and tend to correspond to differences between urban and rural populations, as well as differences of race and class. A second American Civil War would be much more similar to the Spanish Civil War, with the leftists dominating the cities and conservatives controlling the countryside. Conflicts of this nature, with enemies mixed geographically, are a formula for spontaneous mass bloodletting. India-Pakistan during the 1947 partition comes to mind as another modern example. Given an absence of legitimate government and the friction of proximity, ordinary people can be moved to settle grievances by killing one another without the need for governments to egg them on.

If you doubt that this type of urban/rural split is happening, simply look at a county-by-county voting map for the last several Presidential elections. Even in “blue” states (states in which the overall vote went for the Democratic candidate), the concentration of blue counties was nearly always in urban areas. In other words, rural counties of blue states still went red (Republican).

Cadwaladr also points out that our society is a much more economically interdependent society than during the time period of the U.S. Civil War. At the time of the Civil War, people often owned and operated small farms. Even if their primary occupation was not as a farmer, it was very common for people to grow their own food and raise their own livestock. That’s not the case now. Relatively speaking, very few people produce their own food, especially in urban areas, and people are, thus, dependent on transportation and supply chains which would be disrupted by a modern civil war. In other words, people would not be able to get food and other necessary items. What would this failure of the food system cause people to do? It’s likely to cause an increase in violence in many areas (almost certainly in urban areas).

Frankly, when it comes down to it, a modern civil war could end up being a war of attrition as to who can outlast the other (assuming that the urban areas can secure food supplies). If urban areas cannot secure food, then a siege on urban areas would, in effect, happen because the rural areas would be able to more easily transition back to a self-sufficient life.

So, our recommendation is, if you are the least bit concerned about the possibility of another civil war, that you make sure that your skills in growing food and raising livestock are sharp and already being used and that you consider moving moving to a rural area if you currently live in an urban area. Because, if a civil war happens again, it will be better to be prepared than sorry.


  • Rodney Steward

    According to Nostradamus, we would have 2 civil wars, and both would be very bloody!! And if changes are not made that’s what it’ll take to keep our country! SAD!

  • mathis1689

    Hoping for the best while being prepared for the worst is always a sound strategy. The only problem with it is that these days people don’t know how to think any more. And if the liberals get their way, the next generation will turn out to be nothing more than mindless idiots who let the government do their thinking for them.

  • Thomas Fort

    The next civil war could include missiles being being launched by both sides like in the Iran Iraq war columbine attacks 911 attacks even bio terror and even nuclear terror and we need to avoid it. We have technology that was not available during the war for Southern Independence which was started over states rights not slavery

  • Thomas Fort

    It could happen if Obama bin Laden got a third term

    • Init4thecache

      Or, perhaps if Trump is taken down by a non-military judicial “coup” by the shadow gov’t.

  • Thomas Fort

    The breakup of the American empire will result in a very catastrophic war

  • Mary

    I think the next civil war will revolve around nuclear holocaust. We’d then see the multicultural society split up and revolve back into a war of the races. Different races would become tribal just to survive. In the end, the races who hunt and fish would survive and those who rely on government sustenance would perish. Political correction would fly straight out the window and people would be forced to choose a side.

    • Init4thecache

      Those who currently rely on the govt. will roam the rural areas, raiding and killing for what they want.

      • sandraleesmith46

        Maybe briefly; but fuel will become a problem too; it won’t be being refined and brought to gas stations any longer either, so they’ll be on foot and most aren’t prepared for long treks, from urban centers. They’re generally accustomed to having everything within a few blocks radius.

      • Mary

        And they’ll be taken down by strong alpha males.

  • Carolyn

    Communists on the left and their media traitors are pushing the American people too far. It gets to a point where there is no more debate. It’s close now. If the left takes down the President, it will come quickly. Once people realize that the legal and peaceful way is rewarded with violence and treason, they will take the only other option available, war.

    • Jean Marie

      by ballot or by bullet restoration is coming Americans have been pushed past the point of no return now..
      we tried to do it all nice & legally by electing a new POTUS ..however if they kill him like they did JFK or frame him in some kangaroo court all bets are off

      • truthwanted

        My opinion EXACTLY. There’s only one thing I don’t like about exterminating these damn traitors: ANY COST TO US. They’re not worth a penny, let alone what else they would cost. But if we don’t get rid of them, they’ll continue with what they cost.

  • LOL

    One thing author didn’t mention
    Now I have already moved out of this city and bought a farm. But what will happen is that many of those who start to starve will try to beg from those like me and when not successful will then attempt to pillage. So they will need to be shot regardless what “side” they are on.

    So the next item on the list will be ammo. As much as you can afford.

    • Jean Marie

      antibiotics i get sick alot..i better learn to make natural medicines or id die

  • sandraleesmith46

    War of any kind is ugly and vicious and bloody and dirty and smelly! it’s not something to be desired. However, that said; it would appear that the situation is pushing to that regardless, with the violent hate coming from the left. People will only be pushed so far before something snaps and many Americans appear to be very near that snapping point now, in America!

  • Whippit

    A civil war here will have elements of ethnic cleansing similar to Serbia/Kosovo, and regional Affinity State establishment similar to what’s happening now in The Ukraine.
    Hutu vs.Tutsi may be replicated with American Africans vs. imported Blacks from Somalia, The Sudan, Haiti and Jamaica.
    Hispanics vs. American Africans will also be…interesting.
    The wild card in this will be local, state and Federal police forces and the Federal military., including National Guard..that are NOT immune from the larger tensions and conflicts within the overall State of Disunion.

    • Junior Sampals

      All civil wars have elements of ethnic cleansing, In fact the working definition of CIVIL WAR IS “SEE HOW MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, & COUNTRYMEN THAT YOU CAN KILL OR EXILE TODAY! In fact the American Revolution was a Civil War of unparalleled brutality and blood lust. As many as 1/3 of the civilian population in the 13 Colonies were either killed, or forced to flee, mostly to Candida, Jamaica, the Caribbean, or back to their homeland. In a time before gasoline, kerosene, and Diesel fuel was known, some of the great men who you and I venerate and who helped pen the Constitution, first wrote and published instructions on the most effective methods to burn a political opponent to death in public so as to send a message and make as big a psychological impact on the survivors as possissiable.

      • Whippit

        The problem being…?

  • Rap Scallion

    The stage is set, there just needs to be a trigger, the leftists who rely on their government will not be there as in dissolved and disbanded, all of the food and fuel need to exist will be in the hands of the right that is self sufficient and does not need any feral, or state govt, just local rules and the protection of the local malitia groups!

  • Junior Sampals

    I have a long and sad family history concerning the First American Civil War. I would not wish any part of that experience on my worst enemy. The Phoenix program of the VietNam era being revised and revamped is only the first installment of the horrific blood bath awaiting the outbreak of a second American Civil War. N. B. Forrest said, “War means fighting and fighting means killing” Then there is W. T. Sherman’s strategy of “Eating Out the Enemy. This will likely prove to be a war winning strategy for the urban forces who need only to provided their forces with salt and coffee.

    • Dennis Latham

      Salt and coffee? Right.

      • Junior Sampals

        Yes Dennis, salt & coffee were the only two provisions issued to the Union Army when Sherman was on the march and often when his army was in bivouac. All the other provisions the GAR needed they were told to “forage freely” (that means “STEAL) from the local population. Preppers who refuse to acknowledge this simple fact are about the dumbest SOBs on the face of the Earth. To better illustrate what I mean, each Corp under Sherman carried several complete copies of the 1860 census so that they could better determine if the civilians were hiding food and/or livestock from the Union Army or if there were any military aged men absent which suggested that your sons were in the Confederate Army. The absence of sons of military age usually resulted in your home and farm buildings being burned and the rest of your family being “Transported Beyond the Lines” except that you had to provide human foot transportation yourself while you humped everything you still owned on your back.

        Now I return you to Gen. N B Forrest and remind you that “War means fighting and that fighting means killing!”

        • Dennis Latham

          That’s all fine and dandy if you think a Civil War now will be fought with organized armies. Not going to happen. When I was in Vietnam if we had had to forage we would have starved. Every place isn’t stockpiled with food. When we went into an enemy village we burned the entire place. We relied on C-rations. Coffee and salt don’t mean nothing today and didn’t mean much to us in Vietnam. We had C-rat coffee, horrible, and little salt packs, but we didn’t have time to make camp and slaughter livestock. Any light at night drew fire, even a lit cigarette. Most people don’t have much food piled up, even in the country. This isn’t 150 years ago. People are now dependent on stores. People in cities will die by the thousands for lack of food. Most don’t have weapons. In the country if you stockpile, you may have a better chance. An America without a government would mean death to millions who can’t defend themselves, Any war would be fought in small family units defending what they have. Who would supply and organize a large army of anarchists or without a government who would supply any army? Maybe foreign governments and they couldn’t win on the ground.

          • Junior Sampals

            That might be fine and dandy if you were fighting a symmetrical and not an asymmetrical war but it shows that you haven’t done your homework because ALL CIVIL WARS are asymmetrical in nature and that the winning strategy always revolves around terror or terrorism.

            The current War in Afghanistan had its beginnings with the Greeks and Alexander the Great. When he invaded the Afghan leaders met with Alexander told him that the Afghans had no hope of defeating the Greek army but that the Afghans poverty was their greatest strength and that Afghanistan’s poverty would in the end defeat the Greeks because every Greek victory was in reality a Pyrrhic victory, not worth its cost in blood or treasure.

          • Dennis Latham

            Name another country in modern history that had a successful Civil War besides the U.S., and didn’t slide right back into another Civil War because Socialistic terrorism doesn’t work for long. I don’t need to do homework. The random killing of leaders and people and stealing their stuff is not going to solve anything, and would change any society without a strong central government into a tribal warfare state, like the Middle East and Afghanistan. We aren’t there to win a war. We are there to protect the drug trade. That’s all that is there. There will always be war there. The average American would fall apart in a domestic war. I don’t think there will ever be another Civil War in America. No one has the heart for it. We are modern and talk crap, but to actually have to survive under such circumstance would stress many people to the point of suicide. We have a much better chance of getting hit with an EMP that would end the central government for months or years. Then it becomes a racial, tribal war of survival. Fighting a serious war over politics or race or even religion isn’t going to happen.

          • Junior Sampals

            The term that you used, “A successful Civil War” is the ultimate oxymoron. Outside of a few unnamed wars mentioned in the Bible I can’t think of but perhaps one successful war in all of history. None of these fracus were “CIVIL” Wars. The term you used “Socialistic Terrorism” is a construct of a weak mind. There is no such thing. Terrorism is Terrorism and it doesn’t matter if it is Capitalist Terrorism, Socialist Terrorism, Monarchist Terrorism, Republican Party Terrorism, Democratic Party, Fabian Terrorism, Tribal Terrorism, State Sponsored Terrorism, or what. Terrorism is terrorism and unless one Army or the other can plant their boots firmly on the necks of their enemy, kill them without limit or remorse, and rape the mothers, wives, and daughters of the vanquished non-stop, then you are only looking at a piddling little raid, and not a full on war. I wish for my species sake that the foregoing were not true but if wishes were horses then papers could ride.

          • Dennis Latham

            Then your entire concept of an organized Civil War is wrong. You just said so, Socialistic terrorism was used by the Cubans in Africa and Che and Castro, and Polpot in Cambodia and the Communists everywhere today…and is being used in Venezuela and other countries that are always one step away from an uprising. Then, we didn’t have an American Civil War, just acts of terrorism? We seem to have gotten off the subject matter. All I said is there will be no organized war between urban and rural factions to meet an end result. Who would finance and supply them? Just family units or small groups of friends trying to survive and protect what they have. Once the supply lines go down everywhere, then the real test begins. Out of this vast country, how many people can work with explosives or even know how to operate a weapon? Not many against the overall population. Basing survival on the days of the Civil War won’t work, so coffee and salt, although important, will not guarantee survival if there is nothing to forage. A breakdown of the government, which is a real possibility at some point, would mean the end of America as we all know it. We would have 50 states on our own and a severe breakdown of law and order. Once that goes, I feel sorry for people who can’t protect what they have.

  • Dennis Latham

    The left has been trying to lead black people to extermination for a long time. Ever since the left started the Klan and somehow managed to convince black people the right did it. It was a Democrat organization. A Civil War would kill millions, from starvation, murder, lack of fuel and medicine, robbery, hospital care, and disease. There probably wouldn’t be much organized fighting and things will become more tribal. I do believe that many Democrats who work will switch parties since the tax cuts. Walmart is giving its workers a big raise and more benefits (according to the NYT). Why would anyone who works want to vote for Democrats who tell them getting more money on their checks is bad for them and then raise their taxes. I really believe the anarchy move is going to fade…and wait until all federal Aid to colleges who preach anti-government sentiment is cut off. If I lived in California, I would leave. Unless you are filthy rich in California, life is going to get worse and worse. The plagues haven’t even hit yet. Ha.

  • MrBillyD

    There’s all this talk about another Civil War, but what is the reality? I remember last autumn, the Leftist Organization Antifa announced that they were going to begin an “Insurrection” on November 4th. Many thousands would gather in maybe a hundred different cities all over the Country. That’s when the fighting would begin. What actually happened was that the Leaders showed up, but very few others did. There was no insurrection.
    What this shows is that all this talk about a second Civil War is nothing more than talk. If members of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or any other Leftist organization did start shooting; the Police, or National Guard would shoot back. Then the Leftists would drop their weapons, run off in all directions and hide. Then all their supporters in the Government would be voted out of office in a landslide. Their supporters in the Media would continue losing their positions over allegations of sexual harassment.
    Instead of destroying their own Country, the Leftist will just destroy themselves.

    • Whippit

      National Clean Up Time will not come from the Left.
      When The Tipping Point occurs and (((Nation Wrecker))) Commie scumbaggery is no longer tolerable, the Khazars, their stooges and their sub-human minions will become targets that will then, in very short order, become rat food.
      I can hardly wait.
      Tick Tock, Scum.
      Tick Tock
      It’s coming, and you will not enjoy it.

  • Joecolt

    If it ever should come Liberal Media will have Caused it, They Are Fanning the Flames Daily. I guess they Don’t Realize or even look at Social Media Posts because they will be the First to go. Rightfully so. No Pun intended. Between them and the Hollywood Sexcapades I Can’t get a lock on the Net yet which one will have the Highest Bounty. I’m Betting on Liberal Media.

  • William Beattie

    Reading the posts below is interesting, especially those commenting on what war would be like. One can tell that most, if not all comments of this nature are based on previous wars, wars about which they read, or speculation without experience. The first question I would ask is “how much real combat have YOU personally experienced?”. Although similar in some respects, as is said in the Army: , “It depends on the situation and terrain”. As each is different, so is the battle. Insurgencies are born of a small group(s) against a larger, organized, and trained enemy. Human nature being as it is, reactions of certain groups is just speculation. Groups can be divided into three types, those who will join the fight, those who will support the fight (support a side), and those who are either ambivalent or just don’t care.


    ATTENTION: THAT WAS NOT A CIVIL WAR!!! NO ONE WAS TRYING TO OVERTHROW THE USA GOVT. AND REPLACE IT.!! THAT was a War of Northern Aggression. The South had NO choice, but to defend themselves!!! With the invention of the Cotton Gin, Cotton suddenly became a World wide, overnight sensation. The South couldn’t grow if fast enough, it was a virtual auction, selling to the highest bidder. The Plantation owners were making money by the boat loads. The US Govt stepped in and tried to force the South to sell ALL their Cotton to them, at rock bottom prices. HELL no! Free Country, we can sell to whom we want, right? WRONG! The US GoVt( read that Pres Lincoln) sent military ships (Hello, Posse Comitatus?!?) and blocked ALL Southern ports and prevented Cotton from leaving. AND THEN TRIED TO FORCIBLY TAKE THE COTTON!!!! So the South decided to break off from the US and become their own Country- The Confederate States of America.