But the deeper contradiction of interests was that which opposed two different productive systems: wage labor and slavery . Farmers and workers opposed slavery because it worsened their living conditions.
history war secession american
The advanced sectors of the bourgeoisie also opposed it because the low standard of living of the southern slave population and its almost null consumption of products retarded the agricultural and industrial development of the country with the consequent threat of falling behind the capitalist states European
The southern slaveowners reaped enormous profits from the export of cotton, whose demand was constantly increasing thanks to the development of the textile industry in Europe, and they had obtained from the government the control of the lands of the southwest and the enactment of harsh repressive laws against the runaway slaves .
The republican party, founded in 1854, defended the limitation and subsequent abolition of slavery and the free colonization of the lands of the West. When in 1860 the republican candidate Abraham Lincoln , farmer of humble origin, was elected president , the southern states separated from the federal State and constituted the Confederation .
Abraham Lincoln story
President Abraham Lincoln
In 1861 hostilities between north and south began; During the American Civil War (1861-1865) , Lincoln enacted the Homesiecid Act of 1862 , which allowed the free occupation of parcels on the state lands of the West and the abolition of slavery (1863).
The victory of the North in 1865 , which brought with it the abolition of the slavery of the totality of the American territory, supposed a partial liberation of the black population; excluded from the Homesiecid Act and thus unable to own their own land, they continued to depend economically on their former owners, whose lands were forced to work as laborers or sharecroppers.
After the so-called “period of reconstruction” (1865-1874), the reorganization of the former slavers and the emergence of secret societies (Ku-Klux-Klan, 1866) managed to restore the “white supremacy” through terror and deprived the population of civil rights through segregationist laws.