I’ll take “Slightly Anachronistic Phrases” for $400, Alex

Well, it’s official.  “War Between the States” is a legitimate name for the Civil War, at least as far as the judges on Jeopardy! are concerned.

I don’t really care what people call it, but the term “War Between the States” wasn’t all that common during the war itself.  It didn’t really come into common use among Southerners until after the whole thing was over.  If “Civil War” was good enough for Davis, Lee, and Forrest, you’d think it would be good enough for the UDC.

In some European countries, the common name is “War of Secession” (Guerra de Secesión, as the Spanish put it).  Maybe we should start using it here in America; I think everybody could agree that “War of Secession” is pretty accurate.

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1 Comment

Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

One response to “I’ll take “Slightly Anachronistic Phrases” for $400, Alex

  1. Yup. It’s definitely post-war term. There are wartime uses of the phrase (e.g., “contemplates the possibility of a war between the states”), but not really as a proper name for the conflict.

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