A third of Americans believe a second civil war may be coming.

Rasmussen Report: 40% of Republicans and 28% of Democrats believe America will likely see a second civil war.

A recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that roughly a third of Americans believe a civil war is likely to happen in the U.S.

Whether that figure is overinflated or under reported, the fact is this: Millions of Americans see the increased tensions and division between the Left and Right potentially escalating into a warfare.

But what would a modern day civil war in America look like? And which side, if any, would “win” the war?

The last (and only) civil war that took place in the America was more than a century and a half ago. It began on April 12, 1861 and lasted almost exactly four years.

In a nutshell, the battle was between north and south; Union vs Confederate.

On the northern side, you had the United States of America led by president Abraham Lincoln, who was a very much anti-slavery.

“If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that `all men are created equal,’ and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another?”  Lincoln is quoted as saying in Peoria, Illinois, in 1854.

Lincoln served as U.S. President from March 4, 1861 up until his assassination on April 15, 1865.  

On the southern side, you had the Confederate States led by Jefferson Davis, a pro-slavery Democrat who was seen as a “champion of a slave society.”

Davis served as president of the Confederate States from 1861, until around the time when the war ended in May 1865.

What led to the creation of the Confederate States in the first place, was the Republican Party’s ambitious plans to prevent the expansion of slavery, which the Democrat south opposed because slavery was deemed instrumental to their economy.  

As the Republican Party was trying to prevent slavery from expanding, Southern Democrats were promoting its expansion into the West, and threatened secession if Lincoln won the November 06, 1860 presidential election.   
After Lincoln won the election to become the United States of America’s 16th president, Southern Democrats followed through on their threat of seceding.

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, all slave-owning states whose economy heavily relied on black slaves, formed the Confederate States of America.

On February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis, who had previously served as Senator in the State of Mississippi and as U.S. Secretary of War in the 1850’s, was inaugurated as the Confederate States of America’s first – and only – president in its short lived history.

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as president. 

A month later, Confederates demanded the surrender of the Fort Sumter garrison, a strategically placed military coastal sea fort that was built to guard the Charleston Harbour in South Carolina.

South Carolina militia on the Confederate side exchanged gunfire with Union garrison for more than a day.

Outnumbered and outgunned, the garrison ended up surrendering – an event that ultimately sparked the American Civil war.   

The American Civil War was bloody and brutal. Some 620,000 military men died in the battle (about 360,000 from the North and 258,000 from the South), which is a greater than WW1 and WW2 combined.

Soldiers were not the only ones that died during the civil war. Tens of thousands of civilians and slaves also died during the four-year span.

In the end, the North won the war after Confederate armies surrendered in April of 1865 at the Appomattox Court House and Bennett Place, located in Durham, North Carolina.

Today’s political environment in America is just as ripe for armed conflict as it was back in the 1850s. There are many parallels between then and now, such as issues over treatment of black Americans, but mostly ideological differences between the Left and Right.

The chances of another civil war in America are very slim at this point. Something extremely drastic must take place in order for that to happen in the U.S. The assassination of a popular political leader could certainly spark a civil war, as an example.

So to answer the question: What would a civil war in America look like?

Perhaps even bloodier and more brutal than the first one.

And who would win?

The side that has the most guns and knows how to use them.

The bigger question is —  and one that no one has an answer to —  on who’s side will the U.S. military be on? 

Hopefully, the idea of a new American civil war will remain a mere hypothetical for discussion purposes only and never turn into a reality.