A staunchly-defended article of faith in Western political rhetoric is the belief that democratic governments do not engage in wars with one another. This belief has been promoted for the purpose of generating trust in the state. If political systems are democratically constituted, it is contended, the public need not fear government officials whose powers could be taken away by the same electoral process that put them in office. The American Civil War, wherein the democratically-established federal and confederate states warred with one another would seem to put this doctrine in doubt. As would a couple of 20th century skirmishes that pitted democratic states such as Great Britain and the United States and others against a democratic Germany.