History teaches hard lessons. The conflicts between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers paved the way for the American Civil War (1861-65) despite Great Leadership and it could have all been avoided if Abraham Lincoln's words, as stated below, were given the weight they deserved:

Let us inquire, what Douglas really invented, when he introduced, and drove through Congress, the Nebraska bill. He called it ""Popular Sovereignty." What does popular sovereignty mean? Strictly and literally it means the sovereignty of the people over their own affairs-in other words, the right of the people of every nation and community to govern themselves. Did Mr. Douglas invent this? Not quite. The idea of Popular Sovereignty was floating about the world several ages before the author of the Nebraska bill saw daylight-indeed before Columbus set foot on the American continent. In the year 1776 it took tangible form in the noble words you are all familiar with: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; That they are endowed by their Creator with certain, inalienable rights; That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed." Was not this the origin of Popular Sovereignty as applied to the American people? Here we are told that Governments are instituted among men to secure certain rights, and that they derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Abraham Lincoln was a master of questions asked and answered, and his words, as follows, are as timeless and as relevant as they were on the day they were spoken:

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlemments, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against the resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the weeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who arises.


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