By H. Lee Cheek Jr.
Even if John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) continues to be one of many significant figures in American political suggestion, a lot of his critics have attempted to discredit him as purely a Southern partisan whose rules have been out of date even in the course of his lifetime. In Calhoun and renowned Rule, H. Lee Cheek, Jr., makes an attempt to right such misconceptions through proposing Calhoun as an unique political philosopher who committed his lifestyles to the restoration of a "proper mode of well known rule." He argues that Calhoun had a coherent, systematic view of human nature and society and made a long-lasting contribution to the speculation of constitutionalism and democracy. Cheek means that Calhoun used to be no longer a political or philosophical aberration, yet an genuine exponent of yank constitutionalism. He contends that Calhoun's view of democracy varieties a part of a philosophy of humankind and politics that has relevance past the yankee event. even though his thought of renowned rule used to be unique, it used to be additionally regarding prior makes an attempt in the US and in other places to restrict the facility of the bulk and safeguard minority pursuits. in accordance with Cheek, Calhoun stood within the American political culture and tried to rearticulate a few of its important components. He explains Calhoun's suggestion of the concurrent majority and examines the way it has been offered via Calhoun's critics, in addition to his fans. because the first mixed overview of Calhoun's most vital treatises, The Disquisition and The Discourse, this paintings merges Calhoun's theoretical place along with his endeavors to revive the necessity for well known rule. It additionally compares Calhoun's principles with these of alternative nice political thinkers reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison--while explaining what's really distinctive approximately Calhoun's political inspiration. Calhoun's philosophy—his knowing of the necessity for moral and political restraint and for institutional potential for acquiring concurrence—is nonetheless suitable this day, particularly given the present becoming ethnic and cultural clash of the Western international. students of presidency, American heritage, and political suggestion, in addition to these attracted to knowing "popular rule" and its theoretical and useful impression on glossy American executive, will locate this groundbreaking paintings to be of significant price.
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Extra info for Calhoun and Popular Rule: The Political Theory of the Disquisition and Discourse
Calhoun and the American Political Tradition 27 To argue for a connection between the philosophical and the “real” was an effort to defend republican government as the best possible alternative to other types of political rule. 54 Without an approach consisting of a composite duality of emphases, the “ultimate tendency” of politics could not be discerned in its totality, and the eventual degeneration of the regime could follow. A guide to understanding Calhoun’s use of reason, as well as his devotion to the theoretical, is found in the application of his inherited worldview to the political crises he faced.
Richard Current, “John C. Calhoun, Philosopher of Reaction,” 223–34, and John C. Calhoun, 83. 22 Calhoun and Popular Rule In most of the great debates of his lifetime, covering a myriad of concerns from nulliﬁcation to slavery, Calhoun should be understood as a source of moderation amid seas of extremism. Current, among others, attempts to use slavery as a means of distracting students of Calhoun’s political thought from a more complete examination of his work and its continuing importance to American politics.
For prominent examples of the failure to assess the Discourse, see Harry V. Jaffa, Defenders of the Constitution; Original Intent, 47; and A New Birth of Freedom, 462–71. 48. Lerner, “Calhoun’s New Science,” 921. 49. “Speech on the Revenue Bill,” January 31, 1816, Papers, 1:319 (also see 1:386; 13:601; 14:71; 15:151, 482, 718); Papers, 11:254. Calhoun and the American Political Tradition 25 political life. We shall examine the criticism of Calhoun’s presumed bent towards abstraction ﬁrst, then proceed to offer an estimation of Calhoun’s reliance upon human reason in deﬁning the conceptual structure of his political theory.
Calhoun and Popular Rule: The Political Theory of the Disquisition and Discourse by H. Lee Cheek Jr.