Note: This entire post is a paraphrase of Calhoun’s work. Direct quotes have been marked as such. Summary Man is a social being and. A Disquisition on Government. By John C. Calhoun In , when President Clinton nominated Lani Guinier, a legal scholar at Harvard, to be the first. A Disquisition on Government [John C. Calhoun, H. Lee Cheek Jr.] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This volume provides the most.

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But the effect of this is to place them in antagonistic relations, in reference to jhn fiscal action of the government, and the entire course of policy therewith connected.

From no other can they come. Without this, it is as impossible to lay any solid foundation for the science of government, as it would be to lay one for that of astronomy, without a like understanding of that constitution or law of the material world, according to which the several bodies composing the solar system mutually act on each other, and by which they are kept in their respective spheres.

But, as the recipients constitute only a portion of the community, it follows, taking the two parts of the fiscal process together, that its action must be unequal between the payers of the taxes and the recipients of their proceeds.

It leads to others equally false and fatal, in reference to the best means of preserving and perpetuating them, when, from some fortunate combination of circumstances, they are correctly formed. He, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, has allotted to every class of animated beings its condition and appropriate functions; and has endowed each with feelings, instincts, capacities, and faculties, best adapted to its allotted condition.

But such a state is purely hypothetical. The case is different in governments of the concurrent majority. The powers necessary for this purpose will ever prove sufficient to aggrandize those who control it, at the expense of the rest of the community.

But to preserve society, it is necessary to guard the community against injustice, violence, and anarchy within, and against attacks from without.

Such must disqyisition the end of the government of the numerical majority; and such, in brief, the process through which it must pass, in the regular course of events, before it can reach it. The reasons assigned would not be applicable if the proceeds of the taxes were paid in tribute, or expended in foreign countries.

This demands the most f consideration; for of all the questions embraced in the science of government, it involves a principle, the most important, and the least understood; and when understood, the most difficult calhounn application in practice.

If no one interest be strong enough, of itself, to obtain it, a combination will be formed between those whose interests are most alike—each conceding something to the others, until a sufficient number is obtained to make a majority. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

It is only through an organism which vests each with a negative, in some one form or another, that those who have like interests in preventing the government from passing beyond its proper sphere, and encroaching on the rights and liberty of individuals, can cooperate peaceably and effectually in resisting the encroachments of power, and thereby preserve their rights and liberty.

The whole united must necessarily place under the control of government an amount of honors and emoluments, sufficient to excite profoundly the ambition of the aspiring and the cupidity of the avaricious; and to lead to the formation of hostile parties, and violent party conflicts and struggles to obtain the control of the government. In the presidential campaign ofhe decided to limit his obvious ambitions for the time being and settled into the vice-presidency under the administration of John Quincy Adams.


A disquisition on government

To effect this, it would be necessary to go one step further, and make the several departments the organs of the distinct interests or portions of the community; and to clothe each with a negative on the others. Both works reveal a seasoned politician disquisitio had been an active participant in the nineteenth century politics of nationalism, sectionalism, and secession. Each will naturally insist on taking the course he may think best — governent, from pride of opinion, will be unwilling to yield to others.

On the contrary, all absolute governments, of whatever form, concentrate power in one uncontrolled and irresponsible individual or body, whose will is regarded as the sense of the community.

When, then, the two parties, in governments of the numerical majority, resort to force, in their struggle for supremacy, he who commands the successful party will have the control of the government itself. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of neglect, John Caldwell Calhoun calls upon us to renew our inquiry into the founding principles of the American system of government.

Summary: A Disquisition On Government by John C. Calhoun | Craig W. Wright

It is, perhaps, the only form of popular government suited to a people, while they remain in such dizquisition condition. When that calhoum is completed, it will represent the single most comprehensive source of Calhoun scholarship, bringing together literally thousands of documents and writings of John Calhoun. There is another error, of a kindred character, whose influence contributes much to the same results: On what grounds could one argue that the states constitute organic units, while the federal government does not?

Constitution stands to government as government stands to society.

They would extend to the whole community. Many Southerners believed Calhoun’s warnings, contained in the Disquisition and in his many other writings and speeches, and read every political news story from the North as further evidence of the planned destruction of the southern way of life. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. That it will be so used, unless prevented, is, from the constitution of man, just as certain as that it can be used.

In order to have a just conception of their force, it must be taken into consideration, that the object to be won or lost appeals to the strongest passions of the human heart — avarice, ambition, and rivalry.

If the whole community had the same interests, so that the interests of each and every portion would be so affected by the action of the government, that the laws which oppressed or impoverished one portion, would necessarily oppress and impoverish all others — or the reverse — then the right of suffrage, of itself, would be all-sufficient to counteract the tendency of the government to oppression and abuse of its powers; and, of course, would form, of itself, a perfect constitutional government.

The reason is obvious. Personalities were at odds; political ambitions clashed. Absorbed by his subject, and earnest in his efforts to present the truth to others, as it appeared to himself, he regarded neither the arts nor the ornaments of meretricious elocution. Email required Address never made public. If man had been differently constituted in either particular—if, instead of being social in his nature, he had been created without sympathy for his kind, and independent of others for his safety and existence; or if, on the Edition: The two, combined, make constitutional government.


Both are, however, necessary to the existence and well-being of our race, and equally of Divine ordination. Constitutional governments, of whatever form, are, indeed, much more similar to each other, in their structure and character, than they are, respectively, to the absolute governments, even of their own class. The other — the concurrent majority — regards interests as well as numbers and takes the sense of each interest through its majority or appropriate organ.

Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun – Online Library of Liberty

Instead of a matter of necessity, it is one of the most difficult tasks imposed on man to form a constitution worthy of the name; while, to form a perfect one — d that would completely counteract the tendency of government to oppression and abuse, and hold it strictly to the great ends for which it is ordained — has thus far exceeded human wisdom, and possibly ever will.

I intentionally avoid the expression, selfish feelings, as applicable to the former; because, as commonly used, it implies an unusual excess of the individual over the social feelings, in the person to whom it is applied; and, consequently, something depraved and vicious.

For each, at the same moment, disquisitiion participating in all the conflicting visquisition of those around him, would, of course, forget himself and all that concerned him immediately, in his officious intermeddling with the affairs of all others; which, from his limited reason and faculties, he could neither properly understand nor manage. In this speech, which spanned two days, he argued that recourse to violence to compel obedience to the dictates of the federal government could never be constitutional or legitimate, even if undertaken to preserve the union.

Who will decide, and on what desiderata, which groups are significant enough to be given a veto or a negative power over the making or executing of the laws? The conflict between the two parties, in the government of the numerical majority, tends necessarily to settle down into a struggle disquisitlon the honors and emoluments of the government; and each, in order to obtain an object so ardently disquisiion, will, in the process of the struggle, resort to whatever measure may seem best calculated to effect this purpose.

Though acquainted with The Tyranny of the Majority only by hearsay, I suspect that whatever is valuable in the book derives, either entirely or in large part, from the writings of the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Senator John C.

Government must have the power to repel disquisitkon from abroad, and to repress violence and disorder within. Social conservative and New Age? This pessimistic speech was his final contribution Edition: Little more could be done, he heard Senator Mason say for him; compromise was no longer possible.

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