Calvin Coolidge Says, April 16, 1931

Date: April 16, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

The power and right of the people to choose their own form of government has just been exemplified in Spain. Almost as automatically as a prime minister resigns on the adverse vote of a parliament, the King of Spain has abdicated because an election showed that the people wanted a republic.

It took a great deal of moral courage and a great deal of patriotism for a royal family peaceably to surrender the throne and voluntarily to relinquish an inherited privilege to be the head of the government. Such a conception of the kingly office is decidedly modern. No doubt civil war for the present has-been averted. If it comes later the King will not be directly responsible for it.

Republics do not come into being ready made. When the holiday celebration is over, the people will find that self-government of itself does not solve economic problems. It will be fortunate if the people do not turn on their new public officers as they turned on the King. Meantime nearly everyone will admire the King for his self-sacrifice in obeying the popular mandate and will hope that the Spanish people may be given leadership and wisdom commensurate with their grave situation.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Frank Harder who prepared this document for digital publication.

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