The US Civil War: the Second American Revolution

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The American Revolution of the late 18th century was followed by an even greater, and bloodier, revolution in the 1860s. Usually presented as the American Civil War, it was in reality a revolutionary conflict between the historically progressive industrial capitalism of the North, and the plantation and slave-owning counterrevolution of the South. This clash resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and was followed by the smouldering revolution and counterrevolution of Reconstruction.

The legacy of the Civil War is still felt to this day, particularly in the former slave states. But throughout the entire country, the impact of slavery can be seen in the institutional racism that continues to plague American society. What is needed today is a third revolution that will break with the root source of oppression and exploitation – the capitalist system – and lead to the establishment of socialism in the USA.

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