Quest: Lessons for Spain and Catalonia
Posted October 25, 2017 2:55 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Quest's Profitable Moment
I recently visited President Abraham Lincoln's cottage on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. It was here that Lincoln wrote the early drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in 1863, several years into the American Civil War. It was here where he plotted the Union's military and diplomatic moves.
As I walked through the cottage, my inbox was flooding with emails about the deteriorating situation in Spain, where Catalonia is asserting its right to independence.
Spain's prime minister is promising direct rule over Catalonia and has declared its government to be in "systematic rebellion and disobedience." Rebellion is the same word used by Lincoln in 1863 to describe the 11 southern states that seceded from the U.S. over slavery.
The ensuing Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides. It was a war Lincoln described as "one of the most terrible."
I don't want to stretch the analogy too far. What struck me at Lincoln's cottage was the language being used in the 19th Century conflict in America and today's dispute in Europe.
It is naïve to believe bloodshed over secession can't happen in the modern European Union world. There already has been violence during the recent referendum. At each twist and turn of this dispute, the rhetoric has become more heated and the anger levels have risen.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility for the Catalonia dispute to degenerate into fighting and loss of life. It may not be on the same scale of the American Civil War, but it could wind up destroying the bonds of the European Union.
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