Leaders In The States' Rights Debate

1688 words - 7 pages

John C. Calhoun, also known as the " cast-iron man." Born in California on March 18, 1782, I am sure could never imagine in his life that he would become seventh vice president of the United States of America as well as secretary of war and state. I mean he studied law under Tapping Reeve at Litchfield Conn. Then in 1808, he officially began his public career in South Carolina where he then lived until his death in 1850. Being born in the frontier was not a bad thing, at least not for Mr.Calhoun. In 1811 he married his cousin, Floride Calhoun and from that he acquired a large plantation. In the same year he also began working as chairman of the house of committee on foreign affairs. He was one of the " leading warhawks " and encouraged the war of 1812. His act as chairman ended in 1817. But that did not stop him from remaining a nationalist after the war. He was also an efficient secretary of war from 1817 to 1825, under president Monroe.Also in 1825 John Calhoun became the vice president for John Quincy Adams .
In december of 1832, he quit the vice presidency after he was elected to the senate, where he defended his states rights principles in debates with Daniel Webster, who I will talk about later. John Calhoun supported states rights and nullification, this means that states could declare null and void federal laws that they viewed as unconstitutional. Calhoun was a very outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, he defended that it was a "positive good" in place of a "necessary evil" .
Daniel Webster was born in the same year as his friend John Calhoun, in 1782.January 18. He was born in New Hampshire but lived in Massachusetts for most of his life. He graduated from Dartmouth College where he studied law in 1801. He practiced law at Boscawen and Portmouth, New Hampshire. Then he moved toward politics. From 1813 to 1817 he sat in the U.S House of Representatives where he opposed James Madison's administration. Webster did not join with members of the Hatford convention. He gained fame as a lawyer before he returned to the House of Representatives. Once he was in congress again, Webster began to gain repute as one of the greatest orators of his time. His smartest speeches in the House of Representatives were matched by his public addresses.Such as the plymouth address in 1820, the bunker hill oration in 1825, and the speech about the tragic deaths of both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1826. He also had a rather extreme advocate of states rights at the beginning of his 40 years in public life.He hinted at nullification as well. Daniel webster knew John Calhoun from a previous states rights debate, they did not agree over the division of power between the states and the federal government. Webster gained fame for his championship of a strong federal government, he also was secretary of state and earned a reputation as one of the greatest of all time to hold the office. He was well known for the negotiation of the...

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