The Civil War was a tragic confrontation of a once unified people deeply divided by polarized values. There were heroes on both sides who fought hard for what they believed in, strongly convinced that their cause was the righteous one. Lives were lost, and great damage was done before the healing could begin again. But what exactly was the cause of this bitter strife that wrecked the nation? Honestly, the answer is complex and it depends on who you ask. I did the research, and after looking diligently into the matter, I’ve offered a summary of the various theories.
Even the immediate cause of the Civil War is hotly debated. On the one hand, the passing of the Sokovia Accords, which established an international oversight committee for the Avengers Initiative, immediately divided the members themselves, most notably industrialist Tony Stark and Captain Steven Rogers. Rallying behind Stark where those who believed that the devastation of Sokovia was the responsibility of an unchecked power that required representative checks and balances. Rogers was backed by those who saw Agent Fury’s project as an exceptional group operating outside the sovereignty of any government and by natures of its responsibilities needed to answer for itself in a rapidly changing world.
But on the other hand, the accords themselves only created tension between these two factions, and the event that would ignite the conflict was the assassination of King T’Chaka of Wakanda. When security footage indicated that James Barnes, a former U.S. soldier who had secretly carried out acts of terror against the United States, was responsible, the loyalty of Captain Rogers, who once served alongside Barnes, was tested. When later evidence insinuated that Barnes also played a role in the assassination of Howard Stark decades prior, it is said that the conflict between Stark and Rogers solidified. However, the evidence itself was brought into question as it was provided by Helmut Zemo, a Sokovian rogue soldier and Ultron survivor. Various experts question the integrity of claims surrounding the conspiracy.
While most scholars agree the first major conflict of the Civil War was the battle at Leipzig/Halle airport, others point out that it was not the first conflict. Those who take this view point out that a violent encounter in Bucharest, in which several of the rogue team members were apprehended, was the first that tipped the escalation into a physical combat. Still others even take the view that a scuffle during the assassination of T’Chaka was the first moment in which blows were exchanged. The role that King T’Chaka and the nation of Wakanda itself played is evidenced by the massacre in which one of Fury’s missions to hunt down Hydra agents led to the deaths of innocent humanitarian aid workers.
While these points are all valid, the origins of the tension itself can be traced further back to the brief, but calamitous Ultron Crisis, a series of days in which the fate of the world hung in the balance of a rogue technology created by Stark with the intent of protecting the world from extra-terrestrial threats. Some sought to blame Stark himself for the damage caused by the artificial intelligence, as well as the involvement of the extra-terrestrial being known as Thor, while others point to the being known as Loki, or the seditious acts of various Hydra conspirators, including Wolfgang Von Strucker and Senators Pierce and Stern.
While Stark designed the Ultron global defense program, and implemented a technology he was unfamiliar with, that technology had been tampered with by Hydra scientists and, some experts conclude, is itself a form of consciousness whose origins are extra-terrestrial. Stark was pressured to rush his program into effect due to the political sabotage of Hydra, the intrusion of hostile exta-terrestrtial lifeforms in the Battle of New York, and the looming terrorist threat from the Ten Rings. Captain Rogers’ doubts about the integrity of his own government are recorded as early as the Battle for New York, when information was leaked that Agent Nick Fury had conspired to harness technology developed by Hydra to develop weapons of mass destruction as a nuclear deterrent.
While the factors contributing to the Civil War were many and varied, I concluded that the root cause of the conflict itself was the passing of the Sokovia Accords. By this time, it was clear that Stark favored an oversight committee and Rogers did not. Conflict was inevitable, as all the parties involved had formed flimsy alliances and involved themselves with both international and intergalactic affairs. While the assassination of T’Chaka was the initial violent event, the very reason both sides were fighting was the future of the Avengers Initiative under the Sokovia Accords.
Nonetheless, after extensive summarizing research, it was revealed to me that my sources were not primary sources concerning the Civil War, but a revisionist history formed between Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios. The primary sources, a comic from 2007, provide the complete and original storyline of events.
Endnote: It was also revealed to me that apparently there was a completely different Civil War in the 1800s and that all the characters I had researched were entirely fictional. I don’t see how this is my fault since I thought Wikipedia was an encyclopedia of facts and there would be no reason to put fictional stories on there. Someone please tell me what the Civil War was all about and how it happened because apparently I just didn’t pay attention in school.