This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc. All rights reserved. All inquiries should be addressed to Liberty Fund, Inc. Oil on canvas by Rembrandt Peale. Calhoun, June 18, William M. Much time and energy has been devoted to the rise of American constitutionalism and the nature of the American Union in the eighteenth century.

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? John Caldwell Calhoun was America's leading political theorist of his day who served as the seventh elected Vice President of the United States , the sixteenth United States Secretary of State , the tenth United States Secretary of War , as a senator from South Carolina , as a Member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina's 6th district , and as a Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Abbeville District He was the foremost promoter of states' rights, limited government, nullification the right of states to overrule federal laws and free trade.

He argued that slavery was a "positive good" in that it uplifted and protected the black population. He was also an ardent proponent of minority rights, and by this he meant the white population in the Southern States. The Disquisition on Government comprises Calhoun's definitive and fully elaborated ideas on government. It presents his arguments that 1 a numerical majority in any government will typically impose a despotism over a minority unless some way is devised to secure the assent of all classes, sections, and interests and 2 that innate human depravity would debase government in a democracy.

To protect minority rights against majority rule, he called for a "concurrent majority" whereby the minority could sometimes block offensive proposals that a State felt infringed on their sovereign power. Calhoun asserted that Southern whites, outnumbered in the United States by voters of the more densely populated Northern states, were one such minority deserving special protection in the legislature. Read more Read less. Amazon International Store International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.

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The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases. Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. In over 40 years of studying our heritage and the science of government and reading quotes and pieces from this and his book on our supreme law I finally decided it was time to study both.

This edition allows me to take full advantage of the note features and flash card features the Kindle reader allows. More important than the format is the book's content written by what I now realize was one of the most brilliant writers and speakers on the topic.

It may be I needed the years of building convicions prior to reading these in-depth but I will say to any reading this, don't wait. When he writes about factional warfare, breaks down a lot of the destructive steps a society can take to go from liberty to tyranny it was like reading a chapter of our modern day world He writes in a style that is easy to understand, will cause pauses for reflection, side referencing, and notes lots of notes.

I've moved right from this to his Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, making my time with John Calhoun even more valuable in help secure my convictions about government. My view is simple; Liberty is our right, Freedom our responsibility and these books help bring even more credence to that concept. Don't judge the content by the perceptions modern people have about John Calhoun.

If you believe he is no more than a rebellious soul bent on some outdated, predjudice driven desire to stand upon state's rights and even what that means then wait to read these. Get a real knowledge about who he was and what he can offer us in understanding government from Rome to modern times. I read this for a college Pol. Calhoun was a Southern Senator who advocated for slavery.

His biggest argument was that minority views should be allowed to have a voice in government. Illogically, the only minority voice he cared a bout was rich white plantation owners While Calhoun fails to establish the necessity of his system and often appears to merely be justifying the institutions of the south, it does, by the end, appear to be a consistent system and a genuine attempt to construct a better form of government.

Historically interesting , sufficiently stimulating, and, in some sections, absolutely evocative. John Calhoun was endowed with great ability to understand the Constitution of the United States. This was written during the time the Nullification Crisis was happening around While it is written from the perspective of a southern slave holder, it neverthless is a great discourse on the Constitition. Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand what the American republic was intended to be, but no longer is.

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A Disquisition on Government

A Disquisition on Government is a political treatise written by U. Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and published posthumously in Written in response to what Calhoun saw as the growing subjugation of the Southern United States by the more populous North, especially in terms of Northern promotion of tariff legislation and opposition to slavery , the page Disquisition promotes the idea of a concurrent majority in order to protect what he perceived to be the South's interests.


Disquisition on Government

To perfect society, it is necessary to develop the faculties, intellectual and moral, with which man is endowed. But the main spring to their development, and, through this, to progress, improvement and civilization, with all their blessings, is the desire of individuals to better their condition. For this purpose, liberty and security are indispensable. Liberty leaves each free to pursue the course he may deem best to promote his interest and happiness, as far as it may be compatible with the primary end for which government is ordained;—while security gives assurance to each, that he shall not be deprived of the fruits of his exertions to better his condition. These combined, give to this desire the strongest impulse of which it is susceptible. For, to extend liberty beyond the limits assigned, would be to weaken the government and to render it incompetent to fulfill its primary end,—the protection of society against dangers, internal and external.


Online Library of Liberty

MP3 Audio Sample play pause Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Synopsis Reviews Awards Media Short Synopsis Written between and , A Disquisition on Government addresses such issues as states' rights and slavery and articulates the doctrine of the concurrent majority, today a central tenet of American political thought. Full Synopsis Written between and , John C. Calhoun's A Disquisition on Government addresses such diverse issues as states' rights and nullification, slavery, and the growth of the federal judicial power. Articulating Calhoun's perspective on government as seen from the point of view of a permanent minority the South , A Disquisition on Government relies on the doctrine of a concurrent majority.

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