According to Dictionary.com, a revolution is "an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed."
The French Revolution was a true revolution, since it sought to overthrow the existing form of government and establish another, but the so-called American Revolution was not a revolution, because the colonies sought to break away from a tyrannical king's rule and form their own country - not to overthrow
And while I'm talking about correct terms, I should mention that the American Civil War was not a civil war.
As you probably know, the Southern states seceded from the Union and created the Confederate States of America. The CSA was a separate entity, not part of the Union, so the term, "Civil War" isn't very accurate.
"The War Between the States" is a much more fitting term.
The main cause of the American Civil War (or "The War Between the States") was probably not what you think it is. It wasn't because of slavery, or even to preserve the Union.
Here it is: the Unitarian Conspiracy.
The Unitarian Church (which you may know as the Unitarian Universalist Church) believed (and I think they still believe) in the perfectibility of man; meaning, that people aren't inherently sinful and can be truly good just by being taught and trying hard. Their method for accomplishing "social perfection" was to get the federal government to control all of society, including things like mandatory public education and basically, government enforcement of their morality.
However, one thing stood in their way: the South. After the Scottish Reformation, many Reformed Scottish preachers emigrated to the Southern states to escape persecution or for other reasons.
Their influence in the South was a "thorn in the side" to the Unitarians, who had a strong hold in the North, and the Unitarians knew something had to be done to crush the South so they could have their way in the country. They devised a plan that utilized a man named John Brown, whom you've likely heard about.
I can't remember exactly what John Brown did, but he may have been one of the men who fired on Fort Sumter (I'll have to brush up on the details). Anyway, the intent was to get the North to invade the South and "break the back" of the South. The excuse was, "We need to preserve the Union at all costs!" even though states had the right to secede at the time. As you can see, the South lost, and now the federal government has become and is becoming increasingly totalitarian as a result.
Other things were quite interesting as well, such as hearing how the missionaries from the Island of Iota traveled all over the world (around 600 A.D., I think), and may have been some of the first Europeans to discover America (many centuries before Columbus and others did).
[to be continued]
"revolution." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Mar. 2010.