The Second American Civil War

Published:November 28, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

If all fifty states simultaneously seceded and declared war on each other, who would win? That question was recently posed on the crowd-sourcing website Quora, and one particularly long response—submitted by the marine, Iraq War veteran, and Texas native Jon Davis—offers up some good (well, kinda good) news for Virginia.

In no-nonsense prose, Davis delivers what he calls “the accounts of the Second American Civil War, also known as the Wars of Reunification and the American Warring States Period.” This is highly fictionalized and highly entertaining—what the blogger Jason Kottke describes as “sort of a mix between World War Z (oral histories) and the post on Reddit being turned into a movie (realistic seeming discussion of military action).”

So what happens to Virginia?

Home to defense contractors, manufacturing, military installations, and a large-ish population, the Old Dominion is in a comparatively good position. The state immediately reclaims West Virginia and then marches on the largely empty capital of Washington, D.C. There,  Virginia’s leaders preside over the election of a new president of the Restored United States, who declares at his inauguration: “We are Americans. We are VIRGINIANS!”

All of which has a déjà vu feel to it. During the First American Civil War, white Confederate Virginians gobbled up abandoned federal installations, such as the one at Harpers Ferry—doing so even before the state had seceded!—while white Unionist Virginians established the Restored government of Virginia, arguing the state had not, could not, legally secede. Interesting how in Davis’s future, issues of race, ethnicity, even the kind of political and cultural polarization we’re all so familiar with, are little in evidence, except when reading between the lines. All that matters is one’s state … a function, of course, of the terms established by the question.

Anyway, regional alliances begin to form, with land and resources coming and going according to the results of various battles until …

Well, things go a bit dark. But I’ll let you read that part for yourself.

PS: This fits nicely with the show-in-progress on End Times by our radio friends at BackStory.

PPS: After the jump, and via BackStory, a page from the New York Post, July 19, 1995, speculating on a crisis similar to Davis’s, but with lots more ethnic and racial angst thrown in. What happens to Virginia in this version? Here’s a taste: “Radical professors are purged from the universities; leftist clerics are banished from the churches and the pews begin to full up once again. Lawyers are put to work digging potatoes …”

IMAGE: Apocalypse, Washington DC, United States (