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John C. Calhoun 1782- 1850 - Research Paper Example

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John C. Calhoun 1782- 1850 Introduction In 1843 the Honorable John C. Calhoun made his last major bid for the presidency of the United States. His slogan was not exactly a catchy one, but stressed what he pronounced to be the important priorities of his politics…
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John C. Calhoun 1782- 1850
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Download file to see previous pages The Political Life of John Calhoun and his Pro-Slavery Stance John Caldwell Calhoun was in American politics for 40 years. Wilson, in the introduction to Coit (1977, page vii, ) tells reader how ,together with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay , he made up the Great Triumvirate which was such a strong force in American politics for his whole career. Henry Clay was seen by President Andrew Jackson as being politically untrustworthy. He thought of him as being opportunistic and over - ambitious , even self-serving. Jackson would beat Clay to the presidency 1832. Jackson also established a political rivalry with a second member of the Triumvirate, his chosen Vice-President, John C. Calhoun, and eventually leading to the vice-president’s resignation. His antagonism to Calhoun was not based upon purely political rivalry. According to ‘The Age of Jackson , ( 2013) Jackson's animosity feelings were exacerbated by the Mrs. Calhoun's treatment socially of the wife of John Eaton, Secretary of War in Jackson’s cabinet.. As well as being a leading politician Calhoun was also very much part of the life of the southern American states, a society which was at that time based economically and socially upon slavery. Rehuse ( 2002) describes slavery as defining “ Southern social, political, and cultural life.” Calhoun’s ideas on the topic of slavery had two main aspects . Firstly he felt that the political rights of the minority southern states required special protection within the federal union. The second part of his argument, a topic on which he frequently expounded his views, was the now highly controversial argument that presented slavery as being an institution that benefited everyone involved – both black and white. He seem s to have honestly believed that black people were better off as slaves in America than when living free in Africa. Although he was never elected as President his career as a politician distinguished Calhoun as a revered statesman in his day. On the other hand some saw him as its greatest villain (Wilson in Coit, 1977, page viii). Born in Virginia as the third son in his family, he was raised in South Carolina, as the son of a farmer and Indian fighter, his father having emigrated from Ireland. Calhoun was brought up as a Calvinist, which suited his tendency to have a rather bleak view of mankind (Ulbrich, 2013). He felt that life was a continuous fight against evil forces ( Coit, 1977, page 2,) He would later become a Unitarian and a graduate of Yale University. After training as a lawyer, he was admitted to the bar in 1808. He worked for a short time as both lawyer and as a farmer, and he was elected as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1808 ( University of Virginia, 2013). Calhoun had grown up during a time of great expansion in the cotton trade, an industry based upon slave labor. He was elected to Congress, and served both in the House and Senate. He was a supporter of President James Madison's attempts to declare war on Britain in 1812, having advocated this as early as 1807 ( Bio True Story, 2013) . He also served as a member of the cabinet, under President James Monroe. He served as secretary of war from 1817 to 1825, covering the whole time that Monroe held the presidency. It was a task he seems to have carried out with great success, Rehuse ( 2002) quotes a federal officer as having said of him ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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