Guide Works of John Caldwell Calhoun

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Jackson threatened military force to collect the duties in South Carolina, and in Calhoun in an unprecedented action resigned from the vice presidency and was elected by South Carolina to the Senate to defend its cause. Henry Clay brought forth a compromise, which Calhoun supported, to lower the tariff gradually over a decade; the crisis subsided for a time.

In the Senate in the s, Calhoun attacked the abolitionists, demanding that their publications be excluded from the mails, that their petitions not be received by Congress, and finally that a stop be put to agitation against slavery in the North as had been done in the South. By he was defending slavery as "a positive good" and had become an advocate for the suppression of open discussion and a free press. Calhoun's shift from a national to a sectional position had virtually destroyed his chances for the presidency, but he continued to aspire to that office.

He declared his candidacy in but withdrew to accept appointment as secretary of state for the last year of John Tyler's term. In his efforts for the annexation of Texas, Calhoun wrote a famous letter to the British minister in Washington, arguing that annexation was necessary to protect slavery in the United States and asserting against the position of the British government, which was urging the emancipation of slaves throughout the world that freed African Americans tended to be deaf, blind, and insane in far higher proportions than those in slavery.

The letter did not help his cause in Congress. The treaty of annexation which he negotiated with the Republic of Texas was rejected by the Senate, where it was impossible to muster the required two-thirds vote in its favor. Calhoun then supported the device, of doubtful constitutionality, of admitting Texas by a joint resolution of Congress. Calhoun returned to the Senate in , where he first opposed the war against Mexico and then the Wilmot Proviso, which would have prohibited slavery in all the territories acquired from Mexico by that war.

He denounced the Compromise of , which did not guarantee the right of Southerners to take their slaves into all territories of the Union. He did not live to see that compromise adopted, dying on March 31, His last words were, "The South! The poor South! The political theory Calhoun had developed from the time of the Nullification Crisis of he began to organize in a formal treatise in the middle s. His two works, Disquisition on Government and Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, were published posthumously.

Calhoun argued that government by mere numbers must inevitably result in despotism by the majority, a proposition supported by the men who drew up the Constitution.

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He also insisted that the Constitution should be based upon the "truth" of the inequality of man and on the principle that people are not equally entitled to liberty. Calhoun said the U. Constitution lacked the necessary restraints to prevent the majority from abusing the minority.

He proposed to give the minorities the minority he had in mind was the Southern slaveholders a veto power over Federal legislation and action by means of what he called the "concurrent majority.

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The 20th-century experience of the dangers of centralized governmental power has brought a renewed interest in Calhoun's proposals for the protection of minority rights. But although Calhoun's critical analysis was perceptive, his proposed solutions have not been regarded as serious contributions to the problem. Indeed, as critics have pointed out, although he spoke in general terms and categories, he was really interested only in defending the rights of a specific propertied minority—the slaveholding South.

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Calhoun's own A Disquisition on Government and A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, originally published in , are now available together in several editions. The Works of John C. Calhoun, edited by Richard K. Calhoun, edited by Robert L. Meriwether 4 vols. A representative collection of essays by Calhoun scholars is John L. A tall, spare individual, Calhoun was a gifted debater, an original thinker in political theory, and a person of broad learning who was especially well read in philosophy, history, and contemporary economic and social issues.

His public appearance as the so-called Cast Iron Man was belied by his personal warmth and affectionate nature in private life. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. All rights reserved. Start your free trial today. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

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Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Breckinridge was a politician who served as the 14th vice president of the United States and as a Confederate general during the Civil War A native of Kentucky, Breckinridge began his political career as a state representative before serving in the Taken prisoner after his plane was shot down, he suffered five and a half years of torture and confinement before his release in In , he began his long tenure as the U.

He assumed office after the death of President William Henry Harrison , who passed away from pneumonia after just a month in the White House. John Adams was a leader of the American Revolution, and served as the second U. The Massachusetts-born, Harvard-educated Adams began his career as a lawyer.

The Brion McClanahan Show Episode 39: John C. Calhoun

Intelligent, patriotic, opinionated and blunt, Adams became a critic of Great John Quincy Adams began his diplomatic career as the U. After serving in the Massachusetts State Senate and the U. Remarks of Mr. Calhoun of South Carolina on the bill to prevent the interference of certain federal officers in elections: delivered in the Senate of the United States February 22, by John C.

John C. Calhoun

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John C. Calhoun - Wikipedia

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Catalog Record: The works of John C. Calhoun | HathiTrust Digital Library

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