The North American War Secession (1865-1865) was one of the most traumatic episodes from the short History of the United States of America. It supposed a crash between two different perspectives about the State´s territorial organization, the opinion of the Founding Fathers on the slavery and the way to understand the own democracy.
The Slavery ran a different lucky in the United States, since the North expressly banned that, or at least it was observed as a social reality which would disappeared. The South maintained it due to the white superiority presumption and an economic oligopoly which understood slavery as a legitimate institution. That debate took place in a legal framework where the slavery regulation was understood as a State field, and not a Federal one.
Those fights between two opposite conceptions and the multiple socio-legislative battles led to a civil war, in a framework of opposite economic interests. The South States decided to proclaim the independence and organized them as a confederation, pressured by a Parliament which was against slavery. These States strongly believed that was better to strengthen the power and autonomy of the States, instead the federal power. However, the tools used were away from a democratic process and supported by the population.
Abraham Lincoln, who achieved the presidency once the war had started, emerged before that extremely situation and passivity of the unionists. Lincoln, who was lawyer and politician, had suffered a lot of punches during his life: from electoral and politic defeats to the loss of his son. His arrive to the Federal Government meant an electric shock which allowed the Union to react against the independence challenge. Lincoln knew the historical importance of the war which was taking place, since the survival of the Union meant the survival of the democracy. Moreover, behind that conflict there was a moral dilemma: the slavery debate.
The President defended the men had been created as equals by God, and for that reason the slavery was condemned to disappear in the South progressively. Given that, there was not necessity to adopt legislative measures in order to eradicate it at one time. His thought obliged him to adopt measures during the war which seemed to be too soft by the radical Republicans and inacceptable for the Democrats who supported the Federal cause. His thought can be expressed as follows: “If I could save the Union without liberate any slave, I would do, and if I could save it liberating all of them I would do, and if I could save it liberating some of them and let some behind, I also would do”.
Although the war did not started well for the unionist due to the inexperience of its army and the irresolute generals who commanded it, Lincoln never gave up. Next to the presidential determination, the Union owns the industry and amount superiority. After several defeats the course of the war changed for the Union, at the same time that the possibilities of rebel international recognition were falling. The disintegration and the inexistence of a strong central power were the keys of the rebel final defeat. During the war, the Lincoln´s moral dilemma was solved for the slaves: it was effectively proclaimed the slaves emancipation in the whole national territory, including the secessionist states.
Although in the practice it had not a relevant repercussion and Lincoln had to face crossfire from two extreme positions, the President made a decision according to his faith. The decision was made according to the fundamental conviction regarding the radical equality of all men recognized by the Constitution, and which roots were in the biblical scriptures and the Christianity faith. Lincoln was strongly convinced he was complied with the Creator desires.
Ended the war and having survived the United States, against what was expected and the revenge claims, Lincoln led a peaceful policy regarding the losers. He believed that the best way to maintain the Union and cure wounds go through reincorporating the rebels to the national life, without rancor and revenge. That purpose came true by death penalty commutations, pardons, the joining of south soldiers to the US army and the strict limitation of confiscations. However, the total national reconciliation and social integration of black people were delayed until the twentieth century as consequence of the President murder.
Disappeared the major icon of national reconciliation and moderation from the slavery ending, the radical Republicans get the control of legislative and executive powers, approving acts in order to punish the rebels and using the black vote for biased purposes. As consequence of that radicalism, it beginning a system based on the favoritism and corruption, which conducted to a legal response by the south Democrats where the black people was situated in a lower juridical and social position. In addition, it took place violent acts from some radical groups. The death of Lincoln and his policy delayed almost a century what could have been achieved in a few decades.
From this chapter of the North American History we can learn universal teachings: the necessity to strongly defend the Democracy, avoiding that minorities subvert or blackmail it and setting before their particular interest from the rest of the Nation. It is also necessary to being strong before who pretend destroy what has cost effort and sacrifice. Before who attack the democratic building, its defenders should emerge firmly. Moreover, it should recognized scopes which are above the play of parliamentary majorities and the convenience of a reconciliation policy. It is necessary to achieve a Nation where everyone can be inside, fixing wounds and looking at the future.
In conclusion, despite the non-religious character of the State, it would not be harmful that politicians leaders trust in a high being who knows the destine of men and nations, just as Lincoln did. And coherently, they worked for the poorest and the downtrodden, defending the equality of opportunities. Essentially, Spain is where these ideas need to be put in practice.