Who is
John C.
Calhoun?

The Man:
His Life
and Biography

The Philosophy:
His Political views
and their effects
on America

The Legend:
The Legacy of
one of America's
greatest Senators


John C. Calhoun, a native of South Carolina, was arguably one of the greatest statesmen in America's history. Senator, Vice-President, member of the House of Representatives, and Presidential Candidate, Calhoun contributed to the political stance of America during the 18th and 19th centuries, affecting the nation in ways that still remain today. His strong stances on States rights, nullification, property rights, and slavery shaped the nation up to and throughout the Civil War.

Not only a great politician, Calhoun fought for what he thought was right, arguing his philosophy on "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" from every platform he could. He strengthened and strongly influenced the theory of nullification, an issue that could only be settled by the Civil War. Up to his death, he was a champion of the Union, fighting to keep it unified, yet unwilling to compromise his own interpretation of the Constitution.


"He was a man of undoubted genius and commanding talent. He had that indispensable basis of high character - unspotted integrity and unimpeachable honor."
-Daniel Webster, speaking of Calhoun