“While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came” –Abraham Lincoln
Tension, when is it strong enough to break a bond apart? New conflicts between pro-Russian Ukrainians and the Ukrainian government have arisen in Ukraine. We can look closer into this ongoing conflict in Ukraine by also looking into the past at the American Civil War in the 1860’s.
A Turn After The Revolution
America’s revolution was a fight for freedom from tyranny and for the rights offered in a democracy. Ukraine’s revolution also fought the oppression of a dictator and sought to establish democratic rights.
In America, the rights were solidified in the U.S. Constitution while Ukraine is still in the process of constructing the rights that the Ukrainian people have protested for.
America’s civil war came 85 years after the revolution was won while Ukraine only had its revolution nearly five months ago. Ukraine hasn’t been able to focus on instituting firm and clear democratic rights in the nation because it has been faced with constant tension. In order for it to be the Ukraine that its people protested for, it must achieve peace and order in the nation.
To Save The Union
President Abraham Lincoln when giving his second inaugural address said, “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.” His word’s still ring true to this day. Ukraine and Russia both declared that they wished to evade war. They did, and now Crimea is in the hands of Putin.
The acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, has begun military operations against the armed pro-Russia gunmen who have take over government buildings in eastern Ukraine. Like Lincoln, Turchynov is attempting to save the union of Ukraine instead of letting parts of Ukraine leave the nation and fall into Russia’s control.
The American Civil War was seen as a fight against slavery. This deterred foreign involvement in America because European powers did not want to appear to be pro-slavery.
Ukraine does not have this humanitarian call to battle that the U.S. did. Ukraine’s battle is largely not against itself, but against its neighbor. Russian intervention will not allow Ukraine to settle its own interior conflict and be a stable nation once again. Russia’s interference will only weaken the nation of Ukraine without strengthening the pro-West side or the pro-Russia side.
Ukraine Must Be United
Abraham Lincoln wanted peace. He cared for the South and sympathized with the Southern people. They offered to secede the union peacefully, but Lincoln did not see it in the power or right of the president to allow the union to be divided and the nation split.
The government of Ukraine cannot continue to let Eastern regions of Ukraine secede. Although much of the population of Eastern Ukraine may desire secession, it is not in the power of the Ukrainian president to allow the nation to peacefully dissolve.
Do you think Lincoln was right in his argument against peaceful secession? Is peace more important than unity? Look comments below to express your opinion.