Civil War


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Civil War: Spanish Civil War

Civil War

Civil war exists when two or more opposing parties within a country resort to arms to settle a conflict or when a substantial portion of the population takes up arms against the legitimate government of a country. Within International Law distinctions are drawn between minor conflicts like riots, where order is restored promptly, and full-scale insurrections finding opposing parties in political as well as military control over different areas. When an internal conflict reaches sufficient proportions that the interests of other countries are affected, outside states may recognize a state of insurgency. A recognition of insurgency, whether formal or de facto, indicates that the recognizing state regards the insurgents as proper contestants for legitimate power. Although the precise status of insurgents under international law is not well-defined, recognized insurgents traditionally gain the protection afforded soldiers under international rules of law pertaining to war. A state may also decide to recognize the contending group as a belligerent, a status that invokes more well-defined rights and responsibilities. Once recognized as a belligerent party, that party obtains the rights of a belligerent party in a public war, or war between opposing states. The belligerents stand on a par with the parent state in the conduct and settlement of the conflict. In addition, states recognizing the insurgents as belligerents must assume the duties of neutrality toward the conflict.

Cross-references

U.S. Civil War; War.

References in periodicals archive ?
The linkage of the 1983 Islamization of law and resumption of civil war meant that no progress toward a negotiated peace was possible during the period of democracy 1985-89.
Critique: A consistently compelling read from beginning to end, "Friends of the Wigwam: A Civil War Story" is a deftly written work of fiction that is quite accurately factual in background details.
A partnership of the state's Department of Veterans' Services, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, the program provides matching grants of up to 50 percent of a project's total cost, but not exceeding $5,000, to preserve existing Civil War memorials, monuments, and other sites.
Methodists, Politics and the Coming of the Civil War.
The Essential Curriculum is owned by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, "a formal entity for studying and sharing knowledge" (as described by its mission statement) about the Civil War with "both academic and public audiences.
The National Park Service provides an overview, stories, timelines, information on African Americans soldiers, a searchable index of soldiers and sailors, teacher resources, and information on events surrounding the 150-year anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015).
Additionally the work includes a useful wartime chronology which interlaces important events from women's history with major civil war events and a selected documentary section containing 23 entries replete with summary introductory overviews for each primary source document.
BEIRUT: In spite of ceaselessly escalating tensions and widespread fears of civil war in Lebanon, domestic and regional factors will likely contain the recent outbreak of street violence and prevent it from erupting into anything like the 1975-90 conflict, analysts told The Daily Star on Tuesday.
How would [advocates of withdrawal] respond to the eruption of full-blown civil war in Iraq and the massive ethnic cleansing it would produce?
The term Civil War is a politically correct title referring to what Congress in the 1920s officially classified as the "War Between the States.
IN THE CURRENT EXHIBIT "NEW YORK DIVIDED: SLAVERY AND THE Civil War," at the New-York Historical Society (November 2006-September 2007), the curators explore the state's "seemingly contradictory role as both a major center of the nation's abolitionist movement and a virtual 'Capital of the South,' with important commercial and political ties to Southern slavery.
Do you need to learn more about the Civil War for a history class?