A House Divided

Thomas Voils, Opinion Writer

Due to the protests of anti-Trump activists after the election of President Elect Donald Trump, people have began to say that this is the most divided that America has ever been. When I hear that statement, I think back to the history lessons I’ve learned since starting history classes in first grade. I think back to two examples in particular.

All the way back in 1776, America signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, and although 12 of the 13 colonies voted for the movement of independence, a lot of citizens were concerned that there would be major repercussions and didn’t want to separate from the world’s superpower at the time. It was a daunting thought, to stand against the most powerful nation in the world, and many people didn’t want to, and they were called loyalists.

America was divided and people were scared, but once the Second Continental Congress made their decision, people stood together and we won the Revolutionary War. We stood divided in the face of one of the biggest threats our nation has ever faced, and in our time of adversity we pulled through. Our country was split and scared, and I don’t think anybody could compare the division of Americans and Loyalists living in the same country to Trump supporters and Hillary supporters. Because back then, there was a whole lot more at stake. Loyalists would move back to Britain and Americans would be staying in a brand new country.

The other time that comes to mind is an event that you have probably heard about before, The Civil War. I don’t understand how people can know about such an event in our history and still say that this is the most we have been divided.

America literally split into two countries: the North and the South.

We were divided by region and slavery, and it became the bloodiest war in American history. More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other war since the creation of the United States. America went to war with itself, and although the North won, nobody celebrated victory in the end. Families turned against families, brothers against brothers. 620,000 American lives were lost in the Civil War, which is almost the same amount as all American lives lost in all foreign wars we have ever fought combined.

Skirmishes have broken out between a few people in America because of this election, but the election of Abraham Lincoln caused much more of a division in our country.

I think an important thing for everyone to remember is this; we will get through this.

Things could always be worse, and we have to come together and move forward as a unified nation or else we will never be able to get through it. So far, the only bad things that have happened to our nation because of this election are due to the actions of individuals within our country.

As the great president, Abraham Lincoln, said all those years ago, while the country was falling apart, and as the title of this article states, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

And although this current division we are going through isn’t a matter of slavery or abolishment, it is still hard for many people. But I believe it’s still a struggle that America can get through easier than the Civil War Era and the Revolution. The important thing is that we stay unified as a country, because the most power we can ever attain as people is together.