When one studies the Civil War, the most significant event in US History, being commemorated on its 150th Anniversary this year, it makes one realize that the issues being fought then are still being fought today!
Not only is there still sectionalism and regionalism between North and South.
There is still a racial problem, with the South being the area having the most trouble accepting a black President, and therefore, perpetuating the “Birther” Myth, which claims that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
It is also being fought in the sense that there seems to be no political center in America in recent years, similar to what the situation was before the Civil War.
It is also compared as to the growing influence of evangelical Christianity, which tends to be rigid and unwilling to make any concessions with what they consider the battle between evil and good, and with Biblical language which demonizes the opposition with self righteousness and the sense that compromise is unnecessary and wrong.
It is still part of America today also due to the debate over federal power as compared to the states, and the constant threat of states rights and secession being brandished.
Also, there is the constant debate over the powers of the President to promote his world view, whether Abraham Lincoln then or Barack Obama today.
The parties in control may have switched, with the Republicans replacing the Democrats in the South, but in so many ways, the present party division geographically resembles the North-South split of Lincoln’s time.
The need to escape the same trap of tensions and disagreements in the present and the future is imperative, so we must learn from the Civil War so as to advance the American experiment in freedom and democracy.
This is even more essential because of the major world role now being played by the United States, compared to the insular republic of the mid 19th century.