Rebellions of America's Past and Present
Civil War, 1861
The rebellion was put down by force at great cost.
The 18th amendment, being unenforceable, was repealed.
Digital File Sharing, 1999
Outcome to be determined...
During the Civil War, the legitimacy for the use of force to put down the rebellion was
rooted in the democratic principle of self-governance. Ultimately, the passage of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery
expressed a new recognition of fundamental human rights. Generations later during prohibition,
the government applied the use of force in vain. Again basing their action on the principle of self-governance,
Americans gave up on an impractical approach and overturned the 18th amendment. As with
any other rebellion of any scale, legitimacy for any use of force against copyright infringement or violation of any other
law must ultimately be rooted in basic human rights and the principle of self-governance. Unfortunately, as we examine
next with "gerrymandering," the systems that we use for self governance aren't quite yet perfect...