CALHOUN, JOHN CALDWELL
\kˈalha͡ʊn], \kˈalhaʊn], \k_ˈa_l_h_aʊ_n]\
Definitions of CALHOUN, JOHN CALDWELL
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(March 18, 1782-March 31, 1850), Vice-President of the United States, was born near Abbeville in South Carolina. He graduated at Yale, studied law, and developed qualities of statesmanship at an early period. In 1811 he entered the House of Representatives as member from South Carolina, and became prominent at once as a leader of the younger element of the Democratic party; he advocated the war against Great Britain, and was foremost in the controversy over the United States Bank. He left the House for the War Department in 1817, and served throughout Monroe's administration. In 1824 he was elected Vice-President, and served from 1825 with Adams. Again elected in 1828, he continued in office, this office with Jackson, and between these two great Democratic leaders a bitter feeling of opposition soon arose. In the Nullification trouble which was now developing, Calhoun's abilities and views made him the leader on the side of his native State. He resigned his office in 1832, and immediately entered the U. S. Senate, where he was the champion of the "States Rights" men. His career in the Senate was interrupted for a short period, when in 1844-45 he was Secretary of State in Tyler's administration. During this time he concluded a treaty of annexation with Texas. Retiring from the Cabinet in 1845 he re-entered the Senate, resuming the leadership of the Southern Democrats. It was during this last term that his severe controversy with Benton occurred. Calhoun died at Washington while the compromise measures of 1850 were pending. In gifts of logic he is commonly said to have surpassed Clay and Webster, the two Senators with whose names his own is inseparably connected. His works were edited by Cralle, and there is a scholarly biography by Professor von Holst in the American Statesmen Series.
By John Franklin Jameson