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 In fact, arbitrary power and force have proved themselves failures as agencies in establishing or maintaining the true principles of American government. The actual re-establishment of the Union, with all the blessings we enjoy under it, has come through a reaction against the policy of force and despotism. The wave of arbitrary power, with the public and private corruption that always attend it, swept on for many dreary years after the war, until it began to lap against the foundations of the independence of the Northern States. They then found that to hold the South in subjection to governments imposed upon it by Federal bayonets would endanger their own liberties, and the advancing wave broke upon the good sense and patriotism of the Northen people. Then began the work of restoring the Union by means of justice, good-will, conciliation, and fraternal kindness, and they have done their work well. But the great mass of the Southern people believed, and still believe, that the same agencies would have done the same blessed work in 1861, before a dark river of blood and tears was made to flow between the people of the North and South.
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