5 Civil War’s Worse Than the U.S. Civil War

  • July 30, 2010
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The Sengoku Period, Japan, 1467-1573

The Sengoku period, also known as the ‘Period of Warring States’ stretched for over 100 years. The U.S. Civil War lasted roughly four. While the U.S. Civil War had two clearly defined sides, the Sengoku period consisted of over 5 separate warring sides led by Daimyo, or regional governors. Imagine if the U.S. Civil War was fought by the separate factions of Florida, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, plus a couple others. Then add thousands of Samurai warriors, assassinations, and, of course, cherry blossoms.


This guy isn’t even important.

The conflict started after the collapse of the Shogun, or ruler of Japan, and the destruction of the capital, Kyoto. That’s right: after their capital was destroyed, the Japanese decided they should do some more fighting. This collapse was partly due to the spread of wealth by trade and currency to individual provinces of Japan and due to the Daimyo being opportunistic, power-hungry, jerks. Then, just as the situation seemed close to resolution, the would-be unifier, Oda Nobunaga, was assassinated by one of his generals. In their typical response for the period, the Japanese used this as an opportunity to keep fighting.


Rwandan Civil War, 1990-1994

If there is actually a heart of darkness in Africa, then it is probably in Rwanda. The civil war in Rwanda, fought by the president of the nation, Juvenal Habyarimana and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) lasted till 1994, when president Habyarimana’s plane was shot down. The war itself was characterized by border clashes between government troops, the RPF, and the associated rebel forces of the RPF. Unlike the other civil wars, the Rwandan civil war is not an event that was bracketed by clear political, or even national boundaries. It more closely resembles the conflict in Yugoslavia. However, Rwanda exemplifies the depths of human depravity and insanity even more than the vicious conflict in the Balkans.


Refugees: The least gruesome picture I could find

Like most of the world’s terrors, the trouble in Rwanda can be traced back to the Belgians. As the imperial rulers of the small nation, the Belgians placed the Tutsi minority in power, over the Hutu majority. Who are the Hutu’s and Tutsi’s? No, they aren’t teams from “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” they’re the two main ethnic groups in Rwanda. Of course, the Hutu’s didn’t like being relegated to a lower tier of existence in Rwanda. Out of some messed up sense of justice, but more likely because they were bored that day, the Belgians decided to switch their favoritism by inciting the Hutu’s to rebel.

Realizing that they had just defecated on a hornet’s nest, the Belgians got out of Rwanda and promptly forgot about it like any responsible Western nation would. Over time, the Hutu government exiled millions of descendents from the old Tutsi aristocracy. Uganda, who harbored these refugees, decided that they didn’t really want a few million people hanging-out in their country any more. Following a food shortage, the situation in Rwanda was ready to boil over.

After a few years of guerilla fighting, the president of Rwanda was killed, which inspired his cadre of generals and underlings to eliminate the leading class of Tutsi’s. But they didn’t stop there. They sent out elite divisions of soldiers to ethnically cleanse entire villages. To get the full picture of insanity, you must consider that the differences between Hutu and Tutsi were as arbitrary as nose width, and ear size. Yes, you read that right and no, this wasn’t 1940’s Germany. After the RPF captured the city of Kigali, the government forces went into disarray, and the genocide largely ended, but the deaths did not.

Millions of Hutu refugees perished because of diseases like malaria, cholera and dysentery. Finally, the conflict in Rwanda infected neighboring areas in Zaire, and destabilized the entire region of Africa. In only three months, nearly a million people were killed during the genocide. The nightmare ended and the world had seen it’s bloodiest conflict since WW2.


Machetes: crude and efficient

Know of some other conflicts that dwarfed the war between north and south? Let's hear about them in the comments below. Written by Zachary Alan Wrigh – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources
Image sources:

  • - Chinese Civil War, 1927-1936, 1946-1950: http://www.atomicskate.com/wp-content/uploads/Image/china/Chinese%20Propaganda%20Poster.jpg
  • - Yugoslav Wars, 1991-1995: http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/bosnia/pic1.jpg
  • - The Russian Civil War, 1917-1921: http://cityonahillstanhope.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/money_2.jpg http://www.bibi.org/box/2005/abril/Russian_cilvil_war_posters.jpg
  • - The Sengoku Period, Japan, 1467-1573: http://eu.cyberdusk.pl/AsiaEurope/quiz/Samurai.jpg
  • - Rwandan Civil War, 1990-1994: http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/gallery/090402/GAL-09Apr02-1820/media/PHO-09Apr02-156645.jpg http://iconicphotos.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/machete-rwanda.jpg