John C. Calhoun

John Caldwell Calhoun (; March 18, 1782March 31, 1850) was an American statesman and political theorist who served as the seventh vice president of the United States from 1825 to 1832. Born in South Carolina, he adamantly defended American slavery and sought to protect the interests of white Southerners. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer and proponent of a strong federal government and protective tariffs. In the late 1820s, his views changed radically, and he became a leading proponent of states' rights, limited government, nullification, and opposition to high tariffs. Calhoun saw Northern acceptance of those policies as a condition of the South's remaining in the Union. His beliefs heavily influenced the South's secession from the Union in 1860 and 1861. He was the first of two vice presidents to resign from the position, the second being Spiro Agnew, who resigned in 1973.

Calhoun began his political career with election to the House of Representatives in 1810. As a prominent leader of the war hawk faction, he strongly supported the War of 1812. Calhoun served as Secretary of War under President James Monroe and, in that position, reorganized and modernized the War Department. He was a candidate for the presidency in the 1824 election. After failing to gain support, Calhoun agreed to be a candidate for vice president. The Electoral College elected him vice president by an overwhelming majority. He served under John Quincy Adams and continued under Andrew Jackson, who defeated Adams in the election of 1828, making Calhoun the most recent U.S. vice president to serve under two different presidents.

He had a difficult relationship with Jackson, primarily because of the Nullification Crisis and the Petticoat affair. In contrast with his previous nationalist sentiments, Calhoun vigorously supported South Carolina's right to nullify federal tariff legislation that he believed unfairly favored the North, which put him into conflict with Unionists such as Jackson. In 1832, with only a few months remaining in his second term, Calhoun resigned as vice president and was elected to the Senate. He sought the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency in 1844 but lost to surprise nominee James K. Polk, who won the general election. Calhoun served as Secretary of State under President John Tyler from 1844 to 1845, and in that role supported the annexation of Texas as a means to extend the Slave Power and helped to settle the Oregon boundary dispute with Britain. Calhoun returned to the Senate, where he opposed the Mexican–American War, the Wilmot Proviso and the Compromise of 1850 before he died of tuberculosis in 1850. He often served as a virtual independent who variously aligned as needed, with Democrats and Whigs.

Later in life, Calhoun became known as the "cast-iron man" for his rigid defense of white Southern beliefs and practices. His concept of republicanism emphasized proslavery thought and minority states' rights as embodied by the South. He owned dozens of slaves in Fort Hill, South Carolina, and asserted that slavery, rather than being a "necessary evil", was a "positive good" that benefited both slaves and enslavers. To protect minority rights against majority rule, he called for a concurrent majority by which the minority could block some proposals that it felt infringed on their liberties. To that end, Calhoun supported states' rights, and nullification, through which states could declare null and void federal laws that they viewed as unconstitutional. He was one of the "Great Triumvirate" or the "Immortal Trio" of congressional leaders, along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Provided by Wikipedia

by Calhoun, John Caldwell
Published 1879
Impr. de la "Gaceta Oficial"

by Calhoun, John Caldwell
Project Gutenberg

by Hamilton, James
Published 1832
Printed by A.E. Miller
Other Authors: ...Calhoun, John Caldwell...

by Webster, Daniel
Published 1862
Woodfall and Kinder
Other Authors: ...Calhoun, John Caldwell...

by Lowndes
Published 1843
D. Appleton
Other Authors: ...Calhoun, John Caldwell...