On How Liberty Advances

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President Coolidge at the United States Naval Academy, June 3, 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

“When a people have begun to respect the rights of each other and maintain common standards of action, they have advanced to a position where they do not constantly require the all-protecting power of force and can begin to take over the making of their own laws and the determination of their own government. Finding that they are secure in the possession of life and property, they can begin the establishment of their liberty. Gradually this policy develops until the last vestige of monarchy disappears and the people become entirely free and self-governing…Freedom in religion and in expression, popular education, increasing production and more equitable distribution, a larger independence of the mind and of the body, the works of charity and humanity, a broader culture, all mark a material and spiritual advance which follows in the progress of this development” — President Calvin Coolidge, addressing the graduating class of 1925, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, June 3, 1925

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