Most histories of the American Civil War describe it as a domestic event. Instead, this lecture situates the conflict in the context of the other civil and national wars that happened at nearly the same time. By comparing and contrasting the American experience with the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Polish Insurrection of 1863, and the Taiping Rebellion, we see the Civil War in a new light. Rather than being a unique or exceptional American event, we can see what Confederates shared with other rebels around the globe. This new framing also helps us see the commonalities between the US and the British, Russian, and Chinese empires, all large and ambitious states willing to use violence to maintain their authority.