Notes on John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government, () But “this [ social] state cannot exist without government”, and “In no age or country has any . A Disquisition on Government [John C. Calhoun, H. Lee Cheek Jr.] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This volume provides the most. A DISQUISITION ON GOVERNMENT. In order to have a clear and just conception of the nature and object of government, it is indispensable to understand.

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

They are complementary texts: It is, then, manifest, taking the whole process together, that taxes must be, in effect, bounties to that portion of the community which receives more in disbursements than disqiusition pays in taxes; while, to the other which pays in taxes more than it receives in disbursements, they are taxes in oon — burthens, instead of bounties. Calhoun stands out among the leading figures of this era renowned for its great orators and public statesmen.

But this does not impeach the truth of the principles on which it rests.

To perfect society, it is necessary to develop the faculties, disquosition and moral, with which man is endowed. It is much more difficult to terminate the struggles between conflicting interests, by compromise, in absolute popular governments, than in an aristocracy or monarchy. Questions like these, and many others raised by Calhoun in his Disquisition and Discourse, represent a legacy of continuing relevance in the ongoing debate in American constitutional thought.

A Disquisition on Government – Wikipedia

Government must be able to repel assaults from abroad, as well as to repress violence and disorders within. Added to this uncertainty was the momentous question of defining the nature of the American Union, a seemingly unresolved conundrum exacerbated gogernment repeated congressional failures Edition: Create a free website or blog at WordPress. The remaining five speeches in this volume focus on those issues and concerns that came to dominate the conversation between the North and the South in the critical years from to To come within this description, a question must assume a legal form, for forensic litigation and judicial decision.

It is, accordingly, found that in the violent strifes between parties for the high and glittering prize of governmental honors and emoluments—falsehood, injustice, fraud, artifice, slander, and breach of faith, are freely resorted to, as legitimate weapons—followed by all their corrupting and debasing influences.


They have, for the most part, grown out of the struggles between conflicting interests, which, from some fortunate turn, have ended in a compromise, iohn which both parties have been admitted, in some one way or another, to have a separate and distinct voice in the government.

I shall begin with the former. This terminated in his overthrow; and the transfer of the crown to a collateral branch of the family, accompanied by a declaration of rights, which defined the powers of the several estates of the realm; and, gpvernment, perfected and established the constitution.

But in doing this, it leaves, necessarily, all beyond it open and free to individual exertions; and thus caloun and secures the sphere of liberty to the greatest extent which the condition of the community will admit, as has been explained. The deep impression they make, whenever they occur, is the strongest proof that they are regarded as exceptions to Edition: 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 calhonu certainly and readily obtained, are, by far, the most powerful.

A written constitution certainly has many and considerable advantages; but it is a great mistake to suppose, that the mere insertion of provisions to restrict and limit the powers of the government, without investing those for whose protection they are inserted with the means of enforcing their observance, will be sufficient to prevent the major and dominant party from abusing its powers.

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

When this is at stake, every other consideration must yield to it. These great and dangerous errors have their origin in the prevalent opinion that all men are born free and equal — than which nothing cahoun be more unfounded and false. The former of these I shall call the numerical, or absolute majority; and the disqujsition, the concurrent, or constitutional majority.

What I propose is far more limited—to explain on what principles government must be formed, in order to resist, by its disqjisition interior structure—or, to use a single term, organism —the tendency to abuse of power.


A Disquisition on Government (1849)

But such is not the case. Either of them, without the other, would leave it comparatively feeble. Nothing, indeed, can be more favorable to the success of truth and justice, than this predisposing influence caused by the necessity of being unanimous. The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition, which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce disquisktion.

The effect of this is, to make the governmenr orders or classes in an aristocracy, or monarchy, far more jealous and watchful of encroachment on their respective calhuon and more resolute and persevering in resisting attempts to concentrate power in any one class or order.

When this right is properly guarded, and the people sufficiently enlightened to understand their own rights and the interests of the community, and duly to appreciate the motives and conduct of those appointed to make and execute the laws, it is all-sufficient to give to those who elect, effective control over those they have elected. By thus assigning to each its appropriate gpvernment, all conflicts between them cease; and each is made to co-operate with and assist the other, in fulfilling the great ends for which government is ordained.

The necessary consequence of taking the sense of the community by the concurrent majority is, as has been explained, to give to each interest or calhounn of the community a negative on the others.

But it cannot be necessary, after what has been stated, to enter into any further explanation or argument in order to establish the superiority of governments of the concurrent majority over the numerical, in developing the great elements of moral power. 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.