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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When something must be done — and when it can be done only by the united consent of all — the necessity of the case will force to a compromise — be the cause of that necessity what it may.

I next assume, also, as a fact not less incontestable, that, while man is Edition: For, the greater the govenrment and jihn, the greater the gain of the one and the loss of the other—and vice versa; and consequently, the more the policy of the government is calculated to increase taxes and disbursements, the more it will be favored by the one and opposed by the other. They are all but different names for the negative power. 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 disquiistion.

So deeply seated, indeed, is this tendency to jonn between the different interests or portions of the community, that it would result from the action of the government itself, even though it were possible to find disquidition community, where the people were all of the same pursuits, placed in the same condition of life, and in every respect, so situated, as to be without inequality of condition or diversity of interests.

To allow to liberty, in any case, a sphere of action more extended than this assigns, would lead to anarchy; and this, probably, in the end, to a contraction instead of an enlargement of its sphere.

There is another error, not less great and dangerous, usually associated with the one which has just been considered. Its effect, then, is, to cause the different interests, portions, or orders—as the case may be—to desist from attempting to adopt any measure calculated to promote the prosperity of one, or more, by sacrificing that of others; and thus to force them to unite in such measures only as would promote the prosperity diaquisition all, as the only means to prevent the suspension of the action of the government—and, caohoun, to avoid anarchy, the greatest of all evils.


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.

A Disquisition on Government by on Prezi

His formula promised to produce laws satisfactory to all interests. Nor can it be otherwise, unless what is collected from each individual in the shape of taxes, shall be returned to him, in that of disbursements; which would make the process nugatory and absurd. But of course the existence of government is clearly dependent upon society. When that project is completed, it disquisution represent the single most comprehensive source of Calhoun scholarship, bringing together literally thousands of documents and writings of John Calhoun.

And hence, the powers vested in them to prevent injustice and oppression on the part of others, will, if left unguarded, be by them converted into instruments to oppress the rest of the community.

Inwhen President Clinton joohn Lani Guinier, a legal scholar at Harvard, to be the first black woman to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, and again the following year when her book The Tyranny of the Majority was publishedshe was attacked by establishment conservative commentators such as George F.

In a more advanced stage, when communities had passed from the disquisirion to the civilized state, discipline, strategy, weapons of increased power, and money — as the means of meeting increased expense — became additional and important elements.

Its honors and emoluments, however great, can fall to the lot of but a few, compared to the entire number of the community, and the multitude who will seek to participate in them. And it is thus, also that all the rights, powers, and immunities of the whole people come to be attributed to the numerical majority; and, among others, the supreme, sovereign authority of establishing and abolishing governments at pleasure.

It is, indeed, the negative power which makes the constitution—and the positive which makes the government.

He calls for the governmen of the concurrent majority through the operation of the amendment process provided for in the U. Google Books no proxy Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.

This radical error, the consequence of confounding the valhoun, and of regarding the numerical as the only majority, has contributed more than any other cause, to prevent the formation of popular constitutional governments—and to destroy them even when they have been formed. Brooks entitled Correspondence Addressed to John C.


To show, then, that the government of the concurrent majority is better calculated to fulfill them than that of the numerical, it is only necessary to explain why the former is better suited to combine a higher degree of power and a wider scope of liberty than the latter.

Online Library of Liberty

The former of these I shall call the numerical, or absolute majority; and the latter, the concurrent, or constitutional majority. The combination of practical politics and a noted preference for metaphysical discourse gave his speeches and writings a distinct tone.

The other — the concurrent majority — regards interests as disquisihion as numbers and takes the sense of each interest through its majority or appropriate organ. His experience with Jackson, however, proved even less successful than his experience with John Quincy Adams had been.

A disquisition on government

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. I am pretty well satisfied with its execution. By giving to each interest, or portion, the power of self-protection, all strife and struggle between them for ascendancy is prevented; and thereby, not only every feeling calculated to weaken the attachment to the whole is suppressed, but the individual and social feelings are made to unite in one common devotion to country.

Calhoun was suspicious of the political aspirations of many of the supporters of his new political ally.

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

The adoption, by the one, of any measure, however ojhn, which might give it an advantage, would compel the other to follow its example. A decline in authority among the principal statesmen would follow, and, ultimately, the eclipse of the concurrent majority. Jacket and cover illustrations: The broader position on this is that all constitutional governments, whether of the one, few, or many, have a tendency to degenerate into their absolute forms. And among the civilized, the same causes have decided the question of superiority, where other circumstances are nearly equal, in favor of those whose governments have given the greatest impulse to development, progress, and improvement; that is, to those whose liberty is the largest and best secured.

The divisions over the tariff and protectionism were intractable.