Weird History

17 Times Another American Civil War Almost Started

List Rules
Armed standoffs and conflicts between US citizens and the government.

When American citizens engage in armed battles with either each other or the federal government, the potential for bloodshed is enormous. From the early 2016 militia standoff at a wildlife range in Oregon all the way back to the earliest days of the United States, people who fought the government took on everyone from corrupt local politicians to heavy-handed law enforcement. Sometimes, they just shot at people they were beefing with.

As a result, open rebellions have taken place over a dozen times, with federal officers often firing on anti-federalist Americans - who have no qualms about shooting back. The US Constitution itself was spurred by incidents where citizens took arms against the nascent US, and anti-federalism is alive and well in 2016. Sometimes, government standoffs end with everyone just packing up and leaving. Others, they end in violence and tragedy.

Here are the times that anti-government violence threatened to explode in civil war - including one time when it actually did.