Calhoun, having defended the bad and lost causes of state rights and slavery, deserves to rest forever in the dustbin of history. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A Disquisition on Government by John C. Required reading for any Southerner or American interested in the question of good government. Go here to buy. Disquisition was written as Mr. This theory would allow minority factions within a constitutional federal government negative, or veto, power over federal government actions, simply by securing a majority within the respective faction.
Calhoun presents this as an alternative to the numerical majority, which would allow government action with a simple majority of citizens or representatives of the entire political body.
The first thing that jumps out is Mr. He points out its tendency to slide from a constitutional government to an absolute one, based on the incentive for the majority to consolidate power by removing the restrictions on itself, as well as concentrating power into a diminishing number of hands in order to wield power more efficiently.
Any quick perusal of US history will vindicate Mr. Minority factions, like the South, were trampled as the numerical majority wielded the federal government to frightening effect, even prosecuting a horrendous war in order to maintain control over its vassal.
The South was, in effect, made a colony to the majority, exploited and abused while the North grew fat and happy. Clearly the negative powers entrusted to the checks and balance system of the Constitution were not sufficient to preserve minority interests, and early Southern leaders were misguided to hitch their respective states to it.
What if the theory of concurrent majority had been adopted? It is an open question. Certainly it would have retarded the onslaught of Progressivism which ground the South up. Would it have enabled the antebellum US government to function? I think not in the long term. But it is an interesting thought experiment.
Calhoun does outline several historical examples of the concurrent majority theory, namely 17th Century Poland and the Iroquois Confederacy of North America. I do not allow! This ideal of unanimous assent for any law has been rightly criticised Mr.
Calhoun acknowledges its role in the eventual deterioration of the Polish Commonwealth, but also points out that the rule was in place and worked for nearly years, covering the zenith of Polish power.
Perhaps the strongest example for the working power of the concurrent majority is the trial-by-jury system practiced everywhere in the West, in which twelve unrelated citizens are forced to come to a unanimous decision in order for anything at all to be accomplished.
Calhoun notes that, when practiced by reasonably intelligent and moral common citizens, this encourages sober analysis and reflection and nearly always results in a just rendering.
Does this idea translate to today?
I think, if the United States were to revert to a concurrent majority system tomorrow, it is doubtful that it would do much good. For one, the mainstream that is to say, white US no longer consists of very distinct societies with reasonable autonomy, as it did in Mr.
Regions and states today are barrelling towards the cultural homogeneity dictated by the Progressivism infection, which has its claws, to some extent, in every state. That said, the racial thedes which exist under the mainstream social layer are of such foreign and alien character to the prevailing white society that no constitutional government would have much hope in aligning the various interests under one roof.
I think the best bet for the concurrent majority model to see the light of day in North America, if at all, would be post-US breakup, in a reasonably culturally homogenous region consisting of maybe polities.
Coincidentally, a near-future independent South would fit this hypothetical bill. While I tend to endorse Mr. Do we need a constitutional or absolute government?
I think this question is impossible to answer, until we know what the political, moral, intellectual landscape post-USG may look like.The one is the power of acting and the other the power of preventing or arresting action.
The two, combined, make constitutional government." Calhoun expected priceless benefits from his doctrine, if realized constitutionally. About Clyde Wilson.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. Ronald Reagan summary: Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States.
He was born in Illinois in He attended Eureka College on an athletic scholarship, and received a job as a sports announcer for a radio station in Iowa. While the Disquisition of Government, is seen as a great work in American politics, his views, political theory and ideology are off base to certain segments of the American population, and his thoughts would help to maintain slavery.
Bibliography: Calhoun, John C. A Disquisition on Government. Calhoun, John C. The Papers of John C. Calhoun. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin [*]Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee.
J.D. Yale Law School, ; B.A. University of Tennessee, I would like to thank Brannon Denning and Brooks Smith, who contributed excellent research assistance.