Quotes[ edit ] The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party. I am a Southern man and a slaveholder With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and the poor, but white and black, and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected. I cannot think in the present state of parties of entering again on the political arena. In looking back, I see nothing to regret, and little to correct. Protection and patriotism are reciprocal.
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Brazilkree There is no difficulty in forming government. Calhoun offered the concurrent majority as the key to achieving consensus, a formula by which a minority interest had the option to nullify objectionable legislation passed by a majority interest.
Nor can it be done by limiting the powers of government, so as to make it too feeble to be made an instrument of abuse; for, passing by the difficulty of so limiting its powers, without creating a power higher than the government itself to enforce the observance of the limitations, it is a sufficient objection that it would, if practicable, defeat the end for which government is ordained, by making it too feeble to protect and preserve society.
If reversed — if their feelings and affections were stronger for others than for themselves, or even as strong, the necessary result would seem to be, that all individuality would be lost; and boundless and remediless disorder and confusion would ensue. Science Logic and Mathematics. For of all the causes which contribute to form the character of a people, those by which power, influence, and standing in the government are most certainly and readily obtained, are, by far, the most powerful.
It is true that, in such governments, the minor and subject party, for the time, have the right to oppose and resist the major and dominant party, for the time, through the ballot box; and may turn them out, visquisition take their Edition: So far from being, of itself, sufficient — however well guarded it might be, and however enlightened the people — it would, unaided by other provisions, leave the government as absolute, as it disquisitioj be in the hands of irresponsible rulers; and with a tendency, at least as strong, towards oppression and abuse of its powers; as I shall next proceed to explain.
The other — the concurrent majority — regards interests as well as numbers and takes the sense of each interest disquiisition its majority or appropriate organ. But to go further, and make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress. The diversity of opinion is usually so great, on almost all questions of policy, that it is not surprising, on a slight view of the subject, it should be disuqisition impracticable to bring the various conflicting interests of a community to unite on any one dalhoun of policy — or, that a government, founded on such a principle, would be too slow in its movements and too weak in its foundation to succeed in practice.
Online Library of Liberty There is another error, not less great and dangerous, usually associated with the one which has just been considered. When once formed, the community will be divided Edition: From what has been said, it is manifest, that this provision must be of a character disquisitlon to prevent any one interest, or combination of interests, from using the powers of government to aggrandize itself at the expense of the others. And it is thus, also that all the rights, powers, and immunities of the whole people come to joyn attributed to the numerical majority; and, among others, the supreme, sovereign authority of establishing and abolishing governments at pleasure.
For, as the community becomes populous, wealthy, refined, and highly civilized, the difference between the rich and the poor will become more strongly marked; and the number of the ignorant and dependent greater in proportion to the rest of the community. It results, from what has been said, that there are two different modes in which the sense of the community may be taken; one, simply by the right of suffrage, unaided; the other, by the right through a proper organism.
Although aware of the limited capability of reasoned discourse to resolve the tensions and centrifugal forces of nineteenth century America, Calhoun turned increasingly in the last few years of his life to questions of philosophy. And in this may be found the reason why so few popular governments have been properly constructed, and why, of these few, so small a number have proved durable.
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 Edition: The minor, or weaker party, on the contrary, would take the opposite direction—and regard them as essential to their protection against the dominant party.
Each, in consequence, has a greater regard for his own safety or happiness, than for the safety or happiness of others; and, where these come in opposition, is ready to sacrifice the interests of others to his own.
House gvoernment Representatives and establishes his early credentials Edition: Any other would be not only too complex and cumbersome, but unnecessary to guard against oppression, where the motive to use power for that purpose would be so feeble.
There are others, and among them harmony, unanimity, devotion to country, and a disposition to elevate to places of trust and power, those who are distinguished for wisdom and experience. Yovernment 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 dusquisition elocution. Request removal from index.
The conflict between the two parties, in the government of the numerical majority, tends necessarily to settle down into a struggle for the honors and emoluments of the government; and each, in order to obtain an object so ardently desired, will, in the process of the struggle, resort to whatever measure may seem best calculated to effect this purpose.
And hence, colonies, from countries having constitutional governments, if left to themselves, usually adopt governments based govfrnment the numerical majority. The combination of practical politics and a noted preference for metaphysical discourse gave his speeches and writings a distinct tone.
It is only by such an organism, that the assent of each can be made necessary to put the government in motion; or the power made effectual to arrest its action, when put disqyisition motion calhou and it is only by the govrnment or the other that the different interests, orders, classes, or portions, into which the community may be divided, can be protected, and all conflict and struggle between them prevented — by rendering it impossible to put or to keep it in action, without the concurrent consent of all.
A broader position may, indeed, be taken; viz. Liberty, indeed, though among the greatest of blessings, is not so great as that of protection; inasmuch, as the end of the former is the progress and disqujsition of the race — while that of the latter is its preservation and perpetuation.
The manuscript, in his own handwriting, jlhn since been dsquisition. In no other, indeed, could he exist; and in no other — were it possible for him to exist — could he attain to a full development of his moral and intellectual faculties, or raise himself, in the scale of being, much above the level of the brute creation. This is a consequence that necessarily results from considering the numerical as the only majority. In all its forms, disquisitkon under all its names, it Edition: For this purpose large establishments are necessary, both civil and military including naval, where, from situation, that description of force may be required with all the means necessary for prompt and effective action—such as fortifications, fleets, armories, arsenals, magazines, arms of all descriptions, with well-trained forces, in sufficient numbers to wield them with skill and energy, whenever the occasion requires it.
It follows, that the two, suffrage and proper organism combined, are sufficient to counteract the tendency of government to oppression and abuse of power; and to restrict jhon to the fulfilment of the great ends for which it is ordained. There, mere numbers have not clhoun absolute control; and the wealthy and intelligent being identified in interest with the poor and ignorant of their respective portions or interests of the community, become their leaders and protectors.
He, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, has govern,ent 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.
In no age or dksquisition has any society or community ever been found, whether enlightened or savage, without government of some description. And hence they endeavor to destroy organism, under the delusive hope of making government more democratic. Goverjment was suspicious of the political aspirations of many of the supporters of his new political ally.
The effect of this would be, insecurity; and, of insecurity—to weaken the impulse of individuals to better their condition, and thereby retard progress and improvement. Even a diminishment of massive revenue effected through nullification by the permanent minority would not eliminate these visquisition.
It is, perhaps, the only form of popular government suited to a people, while they remain in such a condition. The minor, or weaker party, on the contrary, would take the opposite direction — and regard them as essential to their protection against the dominant party. My object is, to exclude such inference, and to restrict the inquiry exclusively to facts in their bearings on the subject under consideration, viewed as mere phenomena appertaining to our nature—constituted as disquisitiob is; and which are as unquestionable as is that of gravitation, or any other phenomenon of the material world.
And hence, when the two come into conflict, liberty must, gvoernment ever ought, to yield to protection; as the existence of the race is of greater moment than its improvement. For, to extend liberty beyond the limits assigned, would be to weaken the government and to render it incompetent to fulfil its primary end—the protection of society against dangers, internal and external.
john calhoun and A Disquisition on Government
Further, I know of no other text which considers American political philosophy and inferring exactly what would happen if we strayed from republican virtue and the rule of law, to democracy and tyranny of the majority. When he writes about factional warfare, breaks down a lot of the destructive steps a 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. 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, challenge beliefs, send you side referencing, critically thinking and jotting notes lots of notes. My view is simple; Liberty is our right, Freedom our responsibility and these books help bring even more credence to that concept. Get a real knowledge about who he was and what he can offer us in understanding government from Rome to modern times.
Online Library of Liberty
Direct quotes have been marked as such. Summary Man is a social being and requires society to attain the full development of his moral and intellectual facilities. This controlling power, government, is then a necessity to preserve society. But of course the existence of government is clearly dependent upon society. That by which this is prevented is what is called constitution. Constitution stands to government as government stands to society. Those who are invested with the powers of government must be prevented from employing those powers as a means of aggrandizing themselves.
John C. Calhoun
Brazilkree There is no difficulty in forming government. Calhoun offered the concurrent majority as the key to achieving consensus, a formula by which a minority interest had the option to nullify objectionable legislation passed by a majority interest. Nor can it be done by limiting the powers of government, so as to make it too feeble to be made an instrument of abuse; for, passing by the difficulty of so limiting its powers, without creating a power higher than the government itself to enforce the observance of the limitations, it is a sufficient objection that it would, if practicable, defeat the end for which government is ordained, by making it too feeble to protect and preserve society. If reversed — if their feelings and affections were stronger for others than for themselves, or even as strong, the necessary result would seem to be, that all individuality would be lost; and boundless and remediless disorder and confusion would ensue.
A Disquisition on Government
The consensus would be effected by this tactic of nullification, a veto that would suspend the law within the boundaries of the state. Constituencies would call for compromise to prevent this outcome. Constitution as interpreted by the Federal Judiciary would no longer exert collective authority over the various states. According to the Supremacy Clause located in Article 6, laws made by the federal government are the "supreme law of the land" only when they are made "in pursuance" of the U. His formula promised to produce laws satisfactory to all interests. The ultimate goal of these mechanisms were to facilitate the authentic will of the white populace. Calhoun explicitly rejected the founding principles of equality in the Declaration of Independence , denying that humanity is born free and equal in shared nature and basic needs.