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ster, Clay, Benton, Hayne, Randolph, Grundy, Hunter, and Cass, for his great companions. Edward Everett said: "Calhoun, Clay, Webster! I name them in alphabetical order. What other precedence can be assigned them? Clay the great leader, Webster the great orator, Calhoun the great thinker."
As a boy he must often have heard his father say, "That government is the best which allows the largest amount of individual liberty compatible with social order."
His most famous political act is his advocacy of Nullification, an explanation and defence of which are found in the extract below. He was a devoted adherent of the Union. (See under Jefferson Davis.)
His life seems to have been entirely political; but he was very fond of his home where there was always a cheerful happy household. This home, "Fort Hill," was in the lovely upland region of South Carolina in Oconee County. It became the property of his daughter, Mrs. Thomas G. Clemson, and Mr. Clemson left it at his death to the State, which has now established there an Agricultural and Mechanical College.
Mr. Calhoun died in Washington City, and was buried in St. Philip's Churchyard, Charleston, his grave being marked by a monument. His preeminence in South Carolina during his life has not ceased with his death. His picture is found everywhere and his memory is still living throughout the entire country. See Life, by Jenkins, and by Von Holst. See under Stephens.
Speeches and State Papers (6 vols.) edited by Richard K. Crallé,
Calhoun has been called the philosopher of statesmen, and his style accords with this description. "His eloquence
was part of his intellectual character. It was plain, strong, terse, condensed, concise; sometimes impassioned, stiil always severe. Rejecting ornament, not often seeking far for illustration, his power consisted in the plainness of his propositions, in the closeness of his logic, and in the earnestness and energy of his manner."-Daniel Webster.
WAR AND PEACE.
War can make us great; but let it never be forgotten that peace only can make us both great and free.
SYSTEM OF OUR GOVERNMENT.
(Speech on State Rights and Union, 1834.)
I know of no system, ancient or modern, to be compared with it; and can compare it to nothing but that sublime and beautiful system of which our globe constitutes a part, and to which it bears, in many particulars, so striking a resemblance.
DEFENCE OF NULLIFICATION.
(From a Speech against the Force Bill, after the State of South Carolina had passed the Ordinance of Nullification, 1833.)
A deep constitutional question lies at the bottom of the controversy. The real question at issue is, Has the government a right to impose burdens on the capital and industry of one portion of the country, not with a view to revenue, but to benefit another? and I must be permitted to say that after a long and deep agitation of this controversy, it is with surprise that I perceive so strong a disposition to misrepresent its real character. To correct the impression which those misrepresentations are calculated to make, I will dwell on the point under consideration a few moments longer.
The Federal Government has, by an express provision of the Constitution, the right to lay duties on imports. The state never denied or resisted this right, nor even thought of
so doing. The government has, however, not been contented with exercising this power as she had a right to do, but has gone a step beyond it, by laying imposts, not for revenue, but for protection. This the state considers as an unconstitutional exercise of power, highly injurious and oppressive to her and the other staple states, and has accordingly, met it with the most determined resistance. I do not intend to enter, at this time, into the argument as to the unconstitutionality of the protective system. It is not necessary. It is sufficient that the power is nowhere granted; and that, from the journals of the Convention which formed the Constitution, it would seem that it was refused. In support of the journals, I might cite the statement of Luther Martin, which has already been referred to, to show that the Convention, so far from conferring the power on the Federal Government, left to the state the right to impose duties on imports, with the express view of enabling the several states to protect their own manufactures. Notwithstanding this, Congress has assumed, without any warrant from the Constitution, the right of exercising this most important power, and has so exercised it as to impose a ruinous burden on the labor and capital of the state of South Carolina, by which her resources are exhausted, the enjoyments of her citizens curtailed, the means of education contracted, and all her interests essentially and injuriously affected.
We have been sneeringly told that she is a small state; that her population does not exceed half a million of souls; and that more than one half are not of the European race. The facts are so. I know she never can be a great state, and that the only distinction to which she can aspire must be based on the moral and intellectual acquirements of her sons. To the development of these much of her attention has been directed; but this restrictive system, which has so unjustly
exacted the proceeds of her labor, to be bestowed on other sections, has so impaired the resources of the state, that, if not speedily arrested, it will dry up the means of education, and with it deprive her of the only source through which she can aspire to distinction.
The people of the state believe that the Union is a union of states, and not of individuals; that it was formed by the states, and that the citizens of the several states were bound to it through the acts of their several states; that each state ratified the Constitution for itself; and that it was only by such ratification of a state that any obligation was imposed upon the citizens; thus believing, it is the opinion of the people of Carolina, that it belongs to the state which has imposed the obligation to declare, in the last resort, the extent of this obligation, so far as her citizens are concerned; and this upon the plain principles which exist in all analogous cases of compact between sovereign bodies. On this principle, the people of the state, acting in their sovereign capacity in convention, precisely as they adopted their own and the federal Constitution, have declared by the ordinance, that the acts of Congress which imposed duties under the authority to lay imposts, are acts, not for revenue, as intended by the Constitution, but for protection, and therefore null and void.
[Mr. Calhoun's biographer, Mr. Jenkins, adds, "Nullification, it has been said, was 'a little hurricane while it lasted;' but it cooled the air, and 'left a beneficial effect on the almosphere.' Its influence was decidedly healthful."]
THE WISE choice.
This country is now in a situation similar to that which one of the most beautiful writers of antiquity ascribes to Hercules in his youth. He represents the hero as retiring