75 votes

When is violent civil unrest defined as a civil war?

This is usually left for the historians to sort out. The key point at which something is a "war" is when potentially lethal unprovoked violence is not treated as a criminal matter, but as a ...
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72 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

Yes basically, even ignoring the Civil War etc., the Ohio Army National Guard shot and killed some students during the Kent State shootings in 1970. Twenty-eight National Guard soldiers fired ...
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42 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

The US Army was employed to evict the Bonus Army from their camps in Washington. In 1932 17,000 veterans and 26,000 others (largely family of the veterans) were camped in Washington D.C. to demand ...
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34 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

With such a broad definition of "US army", the answer is trivially true as shown by the FBI assassination of Fred Hampton. If we include military-like actions by the police, incidents like the bombing ...
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29 votes

When is violent civil unrest defined as a civil war?

The concept of 'civil war' has three necessary attributes: Intention: There must be an explicit effort to enact regime change, either by overthrowing the current state or by carving out a new, ...
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23 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

For the US army itself there are at least Federal troops took actions against railroad employees in the Pullman strike. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Strike#Federal_intervention Force ...
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  • 328
18 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

Has the US army ever fired against its own population? 1992 Los Angeles riots Day 5 – Sunday, May 3 Mayor Bradley assured the public that the crisis was, more or less, under control as areas became ...
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17 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

Going back further in time the New York Draft Riots of 1863 come to my mind, in which several thousand federal troops where used to suppress the riot. Im no expert on American History, but I wouldn't ...
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16 votes
Accepted

When is violent civil unrest defined as a civil war?

It was historically relatively easy to define an international war as there were two countries with clear command chains fighting out combat. While modern asymmetric conflicts convolute the issue, the ...
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12 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

No one has mentioned the Bonus Marchers from 1932. Wikipedia has a pretty good article here. Having 17,000 WWI veterans on the Mall was uncomfortable to the government. I've heard that some were ...
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6 votes

When is violent civil unrest defined as a civil war?

Organized groups striving for power I believe that the threshold of a civil war is crossed when there are multiple competing governments (or government-like organized groups) at the same time who all ...
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5 votes

Can the US Federal Government be considered to hold a State Monopoly on Violence?

Does the US Federal Government currently hold this monopoly? No, but only because, as a federation, the individual states also have the monopoly on violance within their jurisdiction. It could be ...
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  • 355
3 votes

Has any of the US federal armed forces acted violently against civil movements / protesters?

It was during World War II, but U.S. military police used tear gas and live ammunition against American citizens in an incident at the Manzanar internment camp in December 1942. After Hall's ...
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3 votes

Can the US Federal Government be considered to hold a State Monopoly on Violence?

The concept of the government having a monopoly on the legitimate use of force is one of the criteria that separates sovereign states from failed states. So that's a reason why this topic would be ...
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