Difference Between Civil War and World War

Civil War vs World War

Basically, the difference between civil war and world war is the boundary within which the war takes place. That is, if we define civil war and world war in simpler terms, we can say that civil war is a war within a country, in between two states, or two ethnicities or so. In contrast, world war is a conflict between several nations. Civil wars do not go beyond the territory of the particular country but, in world wars, any part of the world may be affected. When we look at the world history, there have been many civil wars in different countries but there were only two world wars. In this article, we are going to look at the terms, civil war and world war, in detail and thereby we are going to make clear the difference between them.

What is Civil War?

Civil war, as mentioned above, is a conflict that arises within a country’s territory. Civil wars may occur due to various reasons. Ethnic problems, economical gaps, religious conflicts, political upheavals, etc. There can be many more reasons. If we refer to the world history, we can find many examples for civil wars from different countries. A civil war may start with a small fight and it can spread over the country within few days. However, a civil war has lots of negative effects towards its country in many ways. The economic structure, political structure, social structure, and personal relationships may have bad impacts because of civil wars. Parties that are involved in civil wars can get the assistance from other international nations. It is said that when a country is having a civil war, it is beneficial for the other countries that produce weapons and armaments. Civil wars sometimes lead to the deaths of thousands of people and many valuable properties. However, these are very common throughout the world and, even today, there are civil wars going on in several nations.

Difference Between Civil War and World War

Battle from American Civil War

What is World War?

When we come to world war, there were two major world wars in the history. They are the First World War and the Second World War. The First World War is also known as the Great War. World wars are the conflicts among different nations and these wars may spread to the different parts of the globe. Many countries may involve in these wars. For example, the Great War was centered in Europe and it caused the death of millions of people and brought many changes in the political arena and paved the way to many revolutions. The world wars occur mainly over the power and economic issues. However, after the great damage of the Second World War, the countries all over the world got together and established the United Nations (UN) in order to prevent the future wars.

Civil War vs World

Scene from World War I

What is the difference between Civil War and World War?

When we look at both situations, we see some similarities as well as differences. Both civil wars and world wars pave the way to structural changes and they cause destruction to humans as well as properties. Both these may occur due to a disagreement over certain things and they might end up causing lots of damages.

• When we think of the differences, we see that civil wars occur within a particular country’s territory whereas world wars may have no boundaries.

• Civil wars are still seen in some countries around the world, but the general hope is that there will not be any world wars in future.


Images Courtesy: A Civil War battle fought in Florida and British Guns during World War 1 via Wikicommons (Public Domain)