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Encyclopedia > John Caldwell Calhoun
John C. Calhoun

John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782March 31, 1850), was a prominent United States politician in the first half of the 19th century. His staunch determination earned him the nickname the "cast-iron man". Calhoun served South Carolina in the United States Senate and also in the House of Representatives, and as Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and the seventh Vice President. His party affiliation was Democratic-Republican.


John Calhoun attended Yale in 1802. In 1810 he was elected to Congress, and allied with the war hawks, including Henry Clay, agitating for what became the War of 1812. After the war, he proposed a Bonus Bill for public works. In 1817 he was appointed Secretary of War under James Monroe.


After the odd election of 1824, Calhoun became Vice President under John Quincy Adams. He soon broke with Adams and the National Republicans, who seemed to favor northern interests. He developed his theory of nullification that states (or minorities) could nullify federal legislation, based on the fact that individual states had ratified the Constitution. The nullification crisis of South Carolina almost degenerated into violence, but coercion by US Navy warships in Charleston averted a secession.

He also became Andrew Jackson's running mate in the election of 1828, and again was Vice President. Jackson opposed the idea of nullification and said in a famous toast, "Our federal Union—it must and shall be preserved." In Calhoun's toast, he replied, "Our Union; next to our liberties most dear." A rift soon developed between Calhoun and Jackson, exacerbated by the Eaton Affair.


On December 28, 1832 he became the first Vice President to resign from office, having accepted election to the United States Senate from his native South Carolina. The Force Bill was proposed by Congress prohibiting states from nullifying federal laws. The Compromise of 1833 settled the matter for a number of years.


Calhoun tried to gag abolitionist press in the U.S. South, which became federal law in 1841 as the 21st Rule. In 1844 he was reappointed Secretary of State by John Tyler. Calhoun returned to the Senate in 1848 and died in 1850 in Washington, DC. He was buried in St. Phillips Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1957, United States Senators honored Calhoun as one of the "five greatest senators of all time".


He penned Disquisition on Government and Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States.


Calhoun's son-in-law was Thomas Green Clemson, another prominent South Carolinian who became the founder of Clemson University. Today, the campus rests upon the Fort Hill estate that Calhoun once called home.


See also

External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
John C. Calhoun
  • University of Virginia: John C. Calhoun (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/CALHOUN/2Ahed.html) - Timeline, quotes, & contemporaries
  • Other images: [1] (http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/fi/000000b2.htm), [2] (http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/fi/000000b3.htm), [3] (http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/fi/000000b1.htm)


Preceded by:
Joseph Calhoun
U.S. Congressman for the 6th District of South Carolina
1811-1817
Succeeded by:
Eldred Simkins
Preceded by:
William H. Crawford
United States Secretary of War
1817-1825
Succeeded by:
James Barbour
Preceded by:
Daniel D Tompkins
Republican Party Vice Presidential candidate
1824 (won)
Succeeded by:
(none)
Preceded by:
Daniel D Tompkins
Vice President of the United States
1825-1832
Succeeded by:
Martin Van Buren
Preceded by:
(none)
Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate
1828 (won)
Succeeded by:
Martin Van Buren
Preceded by:
Robert Y. Hayne
U.S. Senator from South Carolina
1832-1843
Succeeded by:
Daniel E. Huger
Preceded by:
Abel P. Upshur
United States Secretary of State
1844-1845
Succeeded by:
James Buchanan
Preceded by:
Daniel E. Huger
U.S. Senator from South Carolina
1845-1850
Succeeded by:
Franklin H. Elmore





  Results from FactBites:
 
John C. Calhoun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (911 words)
Calhoun led the pro-slavery faction in the senate in the 1830s and 1840s, opposing both abolitionism, and attempts to limit the expansion of slavery into the western territories.
Calhoun returned to the Senate in 1848, participating in the epic Senate struggle the produced the Compromise of 1850 despite his deteriorating health.
John Caldwell Calhoun died on March 31, 1850 of tuberculosis in Washington, DC, at the age of 68, and was buried in St. Phillips Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina.
Calhoun, John Caldwell. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (818 words)
Calhoun, prodded by his wife and his supporters, offended the President in the Eaton affair (see O’Neill, Margaret).
As the preeminent spokesman for the South, Calhoun tried to reconcile the preservation of the Union with the fact that under the Union the South’s dominant agricultural economy was being neglected and even injured for the benefit of the ever-increasing commercial and industrial power of the North.
In rejecting the Wilmot Proviso, Calhoun set forth the theory that all territories were held in common by the states and that the federal government merely served as a trustee of the lands.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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