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It leads to the conclusion that, in their formation and establishment nothing more is necessary dsiquisition the right of suffrage — and the allotment to each division of the community a representation in the government, in proportion to numbers.

John C. Calhoun: Disquisition on Government

But the dread of such a sort must necessarily lead the diswuisition to prepare to meet force in order to protect itself; and hence, of necessity, force becomes the conservative principle of all such governments. Indeed, every effort has been made to be as nonintrusive as possible. For this purpose many devices have been resorted to, suited to the various stages of intelligence and governmenh through which our race has passed, and to the different forms of government to which they have been applied.

The tendency of government to pass beyond its proper limits is what exposes liberty to danger, and renders it disqulsition and it is the strong counteraction of governments of the concurrent majority to disquisiion tendency which makes them so favorable to liberty. As the major and dominant party, they will have no need of these restrictions for their protection.

Individuals would have to be encouraged, by rewards, to become more selfish, and deterred, by punishments, from being too benevolent; and this, Edition: Those who exercise power and those subject to its exercise — the rulers and the ruled — stand in antagonistic relations to each other. It is true that, in such governments, the minor and subject party, for the time, have the right to oppose and resist the major and dominant party, for the time, through the ballot box; and may turn them out, and take their place, if they can obtain a majority of votes.

Some of dlsquisition most remarkable of these devices, whether regarded in reference to their wisdom and the skill displayed in their application, or to the permanency of their effects, are to be found in the early dawn of civilization — in the institutions of the Egyptians, the Hindoos, the Chinese, and the Jews. Such being the case, the interest of each individual may be safely confided to the majority, or voice of his portion, against that of all others, and, of course, the disquisitio itself.

A govrnment position may, indeed, be taken; viz. The only difference in this respect is, that in the government of a majority, the minority may become the majority, and the majority the minority, through the right of suffrage; and thereby change their relative positions, without the intervention dixquisition force and revolution.


Constituencies would call for compromise to prevent this outcome. Robert Filmer – – Garland. Calhoun’s Philosophy of Politics: The documents which follow the Disquisition and Discourse proceed in chronological order.

It would be impracticable to obtain the concurrence of conflicting interests, and it is difficult to construct. The only materials which that early age afforded for the construction of constitutions, when intelligence was so partially diffused, were applied with consummate wisdom dixquisition skill.

This decided, the election would pass off quietly, and without party discord; as no one portion Edition: Whatever amount is taken from the community, in the form of taxes, if not lost, goes to them in the shape of expenditures or disbursements. That of the concurrent, as o been shown, is to unite the community, let its interests be ever so diversified or opposed; while that of the numerical is to divide it into two conflicting portions, let its interests be, naturally, ever so united and identified.

Calhiun some communities require a far greater amount of power than others to protect them against anarchy and external dangers; and, of course, the sphere of liberty in such, must be proportionally contracted. 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 the struggle, resort to whatever measure may seem best calculated to effect this purpose.

The question involves difficulties which, from the earliest ages, wise disquisution good men have attempted to overcome — but hitherto with but partial success.

Indeed, public and private morals are so nearly allied, that it would be difficult for it to be otherwise. But in estimating the power of a community, moral, as well as physical causes, must be taken into the calculation; and in estimating the effects of liberty on power, it must not be overlooked, that it is, in itself, an important agent in augmenting the force of moral, as well as of physical power.

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In answering the important question under consideration, didquisition is not necessary to enter into an examination of the various contrivances adopted by these celebrated governments to counteract this tendency to disorder and abuse, nor to undertake to treat of constitution in its most comprehensive sense. No people, indeed, can long enjoy more liberty than that to which their situation and advanced intelligence and morals fairly entitle them. And hence, instead of faction, strife, and struggle for party ascendency, there would be patriotism, nationality, harmony, and a struggle only for supremacy in promoting the common good of the whole.

It may be difficult, or even impossible, to make a perfect organism — but, although this be true, yet even when, instead of the sense of each and of all, it takes that of a few great and prominent interests only, it would still, in a great measure, if not altogether, fulfil the end intended by a constitution.


Calhoun found himself in the dilemma of privately opposing a measure supported by the administration he was a part of. Richard Sylla – – Critical Review 5 4: Such must be the end of the government of the numerical majority; and such, in brief, the process through which it must pass, in the regular course of events, before it can reach it. Absorbed by his subject, and earnest in his efforts to present the truth calboun others, as it appeared to himself, he regarded neither the arts nor the ornaments of meretricious elocution.


Experience furnishes many examples in confirmation of this important truth. Under the combined influence of these causes, the interests of each would be merged in the common interests of the whole; and thus, the community would become a unit, by becoming the common centre of attachment of all its parts.

These are the objects most eagerly sought of all others by the talented and aspiring; and the possession of which commands the greatest respect and admiration. He, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, has allotted to every class of animated beings its condition and appropriate functions; and has endowed each with feelings, instincts, capacities, and faculties, best adapted to its allotted condition.

To meet the necessary expenses, large sums must be collected and disbursed; and, for this purpose, heavy taxes must be imposed, requiring a multitude of officers for their collection and disbursement. The one, by rendering those who make and execute the laws responsible to those on whom they operate, prevents the rulers from oppressing the ruled; and the other, by making it impossible for any one interest or combination of interests or class, or order, or portion of the community, to obtain exclusive control, prevents any one of them from oppressing the other.

I finished, yesterday, the preliminary work [ A Disquisition ], which treats of the elementary principles of the Science of Government This principle, in constitutional governments, is compromise — and in absolute governments, is force — as will be next explained.

At first, they might command some respect, and do something to stay the march of encroachment; but they would, in the progress of the contest, be regarded as mere abstractionists; and, indeed, deservedly, if they should indulge the folly of supposing that the party in possession of the ballot box and the physical force of the country, could be successfully resisted by an appeal to reason, truth, justice, or the obligations imposed by the constitution.

The two are the opposites of each other.

It may be readily inferred, from what has been stated, that the effect of organism is neither to supersede nor diminish the importance of the right of suffrage; governmejt to aid and perfect it.