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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Online Library of Liberty

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Nor would it be less a bounty to the portion of the community which received back in disbursements more than it paid in taxes, because received as salaries for official services; or payments to persons employed in executing ogvernment works required by the government; or furnishing it with its various supplies; or any other description of public employment — instead of being bestowed gratuitously.

Both, ultimately, rest on necessity; for force, by which those of the numerical majority are upheld, is only acquiesced in from necessity; a necessity not more imperious, however, than that which compels the different portions, in governments of the concurrent majority, to acquiesce in compromise. Necessity will force it on all communities in some one form or another.

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. It follows, also, that government has its origin in this twofold constitution of his nature; the sympathetic or social feelings constituting the remote—and the individual or direct, the proximate cause.

The minor and subject party would become the major and dominant party, with the same absolute authority and tendency to abuse power; and the major and dominant party would become the minor and subject party, with the same right to resist through the ballot box; and, if successful, again to change relations, with like effect. This consequence disquisitoon unavoidable.


The manuscript, in his own handwriting, has since been published.

He had played an instrumental role in forging the alliance of Westerners, Southerners, and anti-Adams forces in the Northeast to elect the new president. Boucher and Robert P. On the contrary, the government of the concurrent majority, where the organism is perfect, excludes the possibility of oppression, by giving to each interest, or portion, or order—where there are established classes—the means of protecting itself, by its negative, against all measures calculated to advance the peculiar interests of others at its expense.

The residuum belongs to liberty. Or, to express it more fully—How can those who are invested with the powers of government be prevented from employing them, as the means of aggrandizing themselves, instead of using them to protect and preserve society?

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.

In brief, every individual of every interest might trust, with confidence, its majority or appropriate organ, against that of every other interest. It would, besides, be remediless — for government would be impossible; or, if it could by possibility exist, its object would be reversed.

There is another error, of a kindred character, whose influence contributes much to the same results: For, without a constitution — something to counteract the strong tendency of government to disorder and abuse, and to give stability to political institutions — there can be little progress or permanent improvement.

For, if power be necessary to secure to liberty the fruits of its exertions, liberty, in turn, repays power with interest, by increased population, wealth, and other advantages, which progress and improvement bestow on the community.

A Disquisition on Government by on Prezi

His education in New England provided the intellectual seeds for his subsequent development of a theory of nullification and secession. House of Representatives in It disqjisition assumed, in coming to this conclusion, that the disbursements are made within the community.


Another obstacle, calohun to be overcome, opposes the formation of popular constitutional governments. InCalhoun scholarship was renewed when J. You are commenting using your WordPress. The concurrent majority, on the other hand, tends to unite the most opposite and conflicting interests, and to blend the whole in one common attachment to the country.

The Roman developed more fully the love of country and the feelings of nationality. The result was such as might be expected. Calhoun resigned his office as vice-president in December and took a seat as a senator from South Carolina, which he held until And hence, the numerical, unmixed with the concurrent majority, necessarily forms, in all cases, absolute government.

These, when the occasion requires it, will, without compulsion, and from their very nature, unite and put forth the entire force of the community in the most efficient manner, without hazard to its institutions or its liberty.

A Disquisition on Government (1849)

In considering this, I assume, as an incontestable fact, that man is so constituted as to be a social being. Some are physical — such as open and exposed frontiers, surrounded by powerful and hostile neighbors. With the increase of this difference, the tendency to conflict between them will become stronger; and, as the poor and dependent become more numerous in proportion, there will be, in governments of the numerical majority, no want of leaders among the wealthy and ambitious, to excite and direct them in their efforts to obtain the control.

This decided, the election would pass off quietly, and without party discord; as no one portion Edition: From this there results another distinction, which, although secondary in its character, very strongly marks the difference between these forms of government.