Date: August 25, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge lays out his thinking as to when a revolution is acceptable and when it is not.
The reports of a revolution making headway in Peru are disquieting and discouraging.
Revolutions have long been the curse of some sections south of the Rio Grande. They indicate at their best that the orderly and lawful method of conducting changes in the form or the officers of the government affected have broken down that there is no remedy for alleged abuses except an appeal to force. At their worst they are an attempt to seize a government that is doing as well as it can under all the circumstances surrounding it for the purpose of getting it getting the power and spoils of office.
Too often these outbreaks are accompanied by a confiscation of private property and much suffering by innocent persons. If a revolution meant a cleaning up of a bad situation and the substitution of a stable, permanent and free government it would have some merit. But when it means only a loss of life and property in order to substitute a new regime that is no better than the old, it accomplishes no constructive purpose. That is the reason our people regard revolutions with so much suspicion. They do not consider them as productive of genuine reform.
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 Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.