You are here: > Resources > John Caldwell Calhoun

John Caldwell Calhoun

Self Description

Third-Party Descriptions

August 2006: "John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was a prominent United States politician from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. He was the first vice-president born as a United States citizen.

Although he died a decade before the American Civil War broke out between the North and the South, Calhoun was the primary intellectual architect of what would become the short-lived Confederate States of America. Nicknamed the "cast-steel man" for his staunch determination to defend the causes in which he believed, Calhoun pushed the theory of nullification, an extreme states' rights view under which states could declare null and void any federal law they deemed to be unconstitutional. He was an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, which he defended as a "positive good" rather than as a necessary evil. His rhetorical defense of slavery was partially responsible for escalating Southern threats of secession in the face of mounting abolitionist sentiment in the North.

This legacy ties Calhoun to the South Carolina-led Southern rebellion against the federal government, but he spent his entire career working for that government in a variety of high offices in Washington, DC. Calhoun served as the seventh Vice President of the United States, first under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and then under Andrew Jackson (1829-1832), but resigned the Vice Presidency to enter the United States Senate, where he had more power. He also served in the United States House of Representatives (1810-1817) and was both Secretary of War (1817-1824) and Secretary of State (1844-1845)."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Department Organization Aug 28, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) State Department/Department of State (DOS) Organization Aug 28, 2006
Member of (past or present) US House of Representatives Organization Aug 28, 2006
Member of (past or present) US Senate Organization Aug 28, 2006
Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Sen. Henry Clay Person Aug 28, 2006
Opponent (past or present) President Andrew Jackson Person Aug 28, 2006
Subordinate of (past or present) Pres. James Monroe Person Aug 28, 2006
Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Sen. Daniel Webster Person Aug 28, 2006

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at: