Analysis of The Disquisition of Government by John Calhoun Essay

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Analysis of The Disquisition of Government by John Calhoun

The Disquisition of Government by John Calhoun was written as a document to primarily defend the ideologies of the South. It was a work of that elaborated on John Calhoun’s Political Theory, which mentions the idea of a “concurrent majority”, which is that a concurrent majority on an issue is one composed of an agreement of the most important minority interests in a society. He believed that a constitution having a majority behind it would protect people against the numerical majority. Calhoun tries to show in the Disquisition of Government, that a majority rule by equal and competent individuals counterbalances a minority rule for a society that has a balance of liberty,
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There are no natural rights; liberty is a reward and, inevitably, based upon the slavery of others (Eibling 315-319). The Disquisition on Government, rejects the Federalist Papers (#1) assumption that institutions can be a product of reflection and reason; #10's theory of the compound republic; #22's doctrine of the numerical majority; and #51's separation of power (Eibling 315-319) . According to Calhoun, numerical majorities were as selfish and greedy as individual men when it came to trampling on minority interests--thus, his solution: the concurrent majority. (Eibling 315-319, Jameson vi-vii).

Calhoun begins his argument by going to into the nature of man and the origin of government. Much of his argument has much of enlightened, Roman-Aristotle like tone. Calhoun goes into a new concept of how man and government interrelates with one another. Calhoun says that, “man is so constituted as to be a social being … his inclinations and wants, physical and moral, irresistibly of his moral and intellectual faculties or raise himself, in the state of being, much above the level of brute creation” (Calhoun 270). Calhoun basically asserts that man is above all things on earth. According to Calhoun, since man has the ability to think, reason and roam the earth, man rules supreme in nature. Calhoun builds up this portion of his argument by noting that man needs

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