Friday, February 12, 2021

No Successful Appeal

Our popular Government has often been called an experiment.  Two points in it our people have already settled -- the successful establishing and the successful administering of it.  One still remains -- its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it.  It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets, and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves at succeeding elections.  Such will be a great lesson of peace, teaching men that what they can not take by an election neither can they take it by a war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.

-- Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809 - 15 April 1865), 16th President of the United States, Address to Congress (4 July 1861)

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