National Divorce 3.0

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Does the turmoil of the 1860s present a fair comparison with current events?

(History.Net) It has become commonplace that current political and cultural fissures rival those at any other point in U.S. history. The Civil War is frequently offered as a comparative example to highlight contemporary disagreements. A New York Times piece from December 2021, titled “We’re Edging Closer to Civil War,” reflected this phenomenon in sketching an ominous national mood. Whether stemming from genuine ignorance about American history or from a cynical attempt to abet partisan political agendas, such claims and comparisons distort both mid-19th-century and 21st-century disruptions and, by extension, threats to the stability of the nation. In fact, as the United States enters the third decade of the 21st century, it is not witnessing an almost unprecedented breakdown of national civility. Public acrimony of the past decade pales in comparison to that of the period that included systemic political failure climaxing in secession, a cataclysmic military conflict, and wrenching postwar aftershocks that lingered for more than a decade.
A few examples will illustrate the profound difference between the Civil War era and the recent past. Prominent actors increasingly use awards ceremonies as a platform to express unhappiness with political leaders. On April 14, 1865, a member of the most celebrated family of thespians in the United States expressed his unhappiness with Abraham Lincoln by shooting him in the back of the head… Read the rest at History.Net