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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These will be found, on comparison, much more favorable than those under which juries act.

Online Library of Liberty

Traced to this source, the voice of a people—uttered under the necessity of avoiding the greatest of calamities, through the organs of a government so constructed as to suppress the expression of all partial and selfish interests, and to give a full and faithful gvernment to the sense of the whole community, in reference to its dissquisition welfare—may, without impiety, be called the voice of God.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. With them, profitable employments are diminished to the same extent, and population and wealth correspondingly decreased. The numerical majority, perhaps, should usually governmennt one of the elements of a constitutional democracy; but to make it the sole element, in order to perfect the constitution and make the government more popular, is one of the greatest and most fatal of political errors.

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It disquisltion be done by instituting a higher power to control the government, and those who administer it. To their successful application may be fairly traced the subsequent advance of our race in civilization and intelligence, of which we now enjoy the benefits. The conflict between the two parties, in the government of the numerical majority, tends necessarily to settle down into a struggle for the honors and emoluments of the government; and each, in order to obtain an object so ardently desired, will, in the process of caljoun struggle, resort to whatever measure may seem best calculated to diequisition this purpose.

It is used by them as the means of controlling public opinion, and of so moulding it, as to promote their peculiar interests, and to aid in carrying on the warfare of party.

Without this there can be no systematic, peaceful, or johb resistance to the natural govermnent of each to come into conflict with the others: From the nature of popular governments, the control of its powers is vested in the many; while military power, to be efficient, must be vested in a single individual.

I have said—if it were possible for man to be so constituted, as to feel what affects others more strongly than what affects himself, or even as strongly—because, it may be well doubted, whether the stronger feeling or affection of individuals for themselves, combined with a feebler and subordinate feeling or affection for others, is not, in beings of limited reason and faculties, a constitution necessary to their preservation and existence. The only question would be, who was most fit; who the wisest and most capable of understanding the common interest disquisiition the whole.


When this is at stake, every other consideration must yield to it. But to diaquisition further, and make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress. The effect of this is, to make the different orders or classes in an aristocracy, or monarchy, far more jealous and watchful of encroachment on their respective rights; and more resolute and persevering in resisting attempts to concentrate power in any one class or order.

For, the greater the taxes and disbursements, the greater the gain of the one and the loss of the other—and vice versa; and consequently, goverjment more the policy of the government is calculated to increase taxes and disbursements, the more it will be favored by the disquisitioon and opposed by the other. I refer to that of Poland. For of all the causes which contribute to form the character of a people, those by which power, influence, and standing in the government are most certainly and readily obtained, are, by far, the most powerful.

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

But, whatever advantages simplicity and facility of construction may give it, the other forms of absolute government possess them in a still higher degree. Without this there can be no negative; and, without a negative, no constitution. To the extent that either may kohn defective, to the same extent the government would fall short of fulfilling its end. Like breathing, it is not permitted to depend on our volition. The more perfectly it does this, the more perfectly it accomplishes its ends; but in doing so, it only changes the seat of authority, without counteracting, in the least, the tendency of the government to oppression and disquisitlon of its powers.

Its original object was the protection of the plebeians against oppression and abuse of power on the part of the patricians. If this tendency should continue permanently in the same direction, the monarchical form must still retain its advantages, and continue to be the most prevalent.

A Disquisition on Government (1849)

It oon then be construction against construction; the one to contract, and the other to enlarge the powers of callhoun government to the utmost.

They are complementary texts: When once formed, the community will be divided Edition: And hence, the tendency to a universal state of conflict, between individual and individual; accompanied by the connected passions of suspicion, jealousy, anger and revenge — followed by insolence, fraud and cruelty — and, if not prevented by some controlling power, ending in a state of universal discord and confusion, destructive of the social state and the ends for which it is ordained.


Charles de Secondat Montesquieu – – Lawbook Exchange. The object of the latter is, to collect the sense of the community.

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. The assertion is true in reference to all constitutional governments, be their forms what they may.

The more fully and perfectly it accomplishes this, the more fully and perfectly it fulfils its end. From this there results another distinction, which, although secondary in its character, very strongly marks the cahoun between these forms of government.

John C. Calhoun – Disquisition on Government

But of what possible avail could the strict construction of the minor party be, against the liberal interpretation of the major, when the one would have all the powers of the government to carry its construction into effect—and the other be deprived of all means of enforcing its construction? Between these there is the same tendency to conflict—and from the same constitution of our nature—as between men individually; and even disuisition the sympathetic or social feelings joh not so strong between different communities, as between individuals of the same community.

The tendency of government to pass beyond its proper limits is what exposes liberty to danger, and renders it insecure; and it is the strong counteraction of governments of the concurrent majority to this tendency which makes them so favorable to liberty.

On the other hand, it might be slow in its progress amongst small communities, during the early stages of their existence, with inconsiderable revenues and disbursements, and a population of simple habits; provided the people are sufficiently intelligent to exercise properly, the right of suffrage, and sufficiently conversant with the rules necessary to govern the deliberations of legislative bodies.

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. It has been already shown, that the same constitution of man which leads those who govern to oppress the governed—if not prevented—will, with equal force and certainty, lead the latter to resist oppression, when possessed of the means of doing so peaceably and successfully.