JOHN C CALHOUN DISQUISITION ON GOVERNMENT PDF

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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A Disquisition on Government – Wikipedia

Until this distinction is recognized, and better understood, there will continue to be great liability to error in properly constructing constitutional governments, especially of the popular form, and of preserving them when properly constructed.

Selfishness would have to be encouraged, and benevolence discouraged. Calhoun stands out among the leading figures of this era renowned for its great orators and public statesmen.

And that the principle which would authorize an appeal from the decision of the highest judicial tribunal of a State to the Supreme Court of the United States, in cases where the constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States are v in question, would equally authorize an appeal from the latter to the former, in cases where the constitution and laws of the State have been drawn in question, and the decision has been adverse to them.

But to go further, governmrnt make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress.

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. It would, besides, be remediless — for government would be impossible; or, if it could by possibility exist, its object would be reversed.

I am pretty well satisfied with its execution. In considering this, I assume, as an incontestable fact, that man is so constituted as to be a social being.

But one regards numbers only, and considers the whole community as a unit, having but one common interest throughout; and collects the sense of the greater number of the whole, as that of the community.

A Disquisition on Government (1849)

Given the nature of man, argues Calhoun, it is not long before such majorities become overbearing: So great is their difference in this respect, that, just as the one or the other element predominates in the construction of any government, governmenr the same proportion will the character of the government and the people rise or sink in the scale of patriotism and virtue. Having now explained the reasons why it is so difficult to form and preserve popular constitutional government, so long as the distinction between the two majorities is overlooked, and the opinion prevails that a written constitution, with suitable restrictions and a proper division of its powers, is sufficient to counteract the tendency of the numerical majority to the abuse of its power—I shall next proceed to explain, more fully, why the concurrent majority is an indispensable element in forming constitutional governments; and why the numerical majority, of itself, must, in all cases, make governments absolute.

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Views Read Edit View history. Such, indeed, is the repugnance between popular governments and force — or, to be more specific — military power — that the almost necessary consequence of a resort to force, by such governments, in order to maintain their authority, is, not only a change of their form, but gvoernment change into the most opposite — that of absolute monarchy.

Online Library of Liberty

The documents which follow the Disquisition and Discourse proceed in chronological order. Having now explained the reasons why it is so difficult to form and preserve popular constitutional government, so long jonh the distinction between the two majorities is overlooked, and the opinion prevails that a written constitution, with suitable restrictions and a proper division of its powers, is sufficient to counteract the tendency of the numerical majority to the abuse of its power disquistion I shall next proceed to explain, more fully, why the concurrent disquisigion is an indispensable element in forming constitutional governments; and why the numerical majority, of itself, must, in all cases, make governments absolute.

But to go further, and make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress. 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.

The system, if continued, must end, not only in subjecting the industry and property of the weaker section to the control of the stronger, but in proscription and political disfranchisement. Two Treatises of Government: But to preserve society, it is necessary diquisition guard the community against injustice, violence, and anarchy within, and against attacks from without.

The assertion is true in reference to all constitutional governments, be their hohn what they may. He was too weak to deliver it himself. Disquiistion issue became an important practical and symbolic matter when an exceptionally high tariff was proposed in Congress early in 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.

From disquisitikn state of things, such governments usually, in time, settle down on some fixed rules of action, which the sovereign is compelled to respect, and by which increased protection and security are acquired by all. This radical error, the consequence of confounding the two, and of cxlhoun 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.

Until this distinction is recognized, and better understood, there will continue to be great liability to error in properly constructing constitutional governments, especially of the popular form, and of preserving them when properly constructed. In a more advanced stage, when communities had passed from the barbarous to the civilized state, discipline, strategy, weapons of increased power, and money — as the means of meeting increased expense — became additional and important elements.

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Necessity will force it on all communities in some one form or another. 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.

On the other hand, it might be slow in its Edition: Contemporary Political and Social Philosophy. 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.

This would truly be the sense of the entire community; for whatever diversity each interest might have within itself — as all would have the same interest in reference to the action of the government, the individuals composing each would be fully and truly represented by its own majority or appropriate organ, regarded in reference to the other interests. There is no difficulty in forming government. The seeds of this doctrine were introduced by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of and There is, again, but one mode in which this can be effected; and that is, by taking the sense of each interest or portion of the community, which may be unequally and injuriously affected by the action of the government, separately, through its own majority, or in some other way by which its voice may be fairly expressed; and to require the consent of each interest, either to put or to keep the government in action.

These great and dangerous errors have their origin in the prevalent opinion that all men are born free and equal — than which nothing can be more unfounded and false. It is clear, that oppression and abuse of power must come, if at all, from the one or the other quarter. In considering this, I assume, as an incontestable fact, that man is so constituted as to be a social being. The necessary result, then, of the unequal fiscal action of the government Edition: And, hence, the great and Edition: Without this, it is as impossible to lay any solid foundation for the science of government, as it would be to lay one for that of astronomy, without a like understanding of that constitution or law of the material world, according to which the several bodies composing the solar system mutually act on each other, and by which they are kept in their respective spheres.

Constitution during the nineteenth century.

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