America's Civil War

JUST CAUSES

The Civil War, which cost roughly 750,000 lives, including more than 200,000 battlefield deaths, remains America’s deadliest conflict and is considered history’s first “total war.” In The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War (Harvard, 2018), Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Fred C. Frey professor of Southern Studies at Louisiana State University, argues that it could have been much worse, if both sides had not aspired to fight a just war.

1 Where did the Just War doctrine come from and what does it mean?

European historians would say it starts with theologians such as St. Augustine trying to reconcile war with Christian ethics. Seventeenth-century Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius argued that

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