Quotes by John C. Calhoun (Statesman/American).

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The day that the balance between the two sections of the country - the slaveholding States and the non-slaveholding States - is destroyed is a day that will not be far removed from political revolution, anarchy, civil war, and widespread disaster.
• John C. Calhoun
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Every dollar of tax imposed on our exchanges in the shape of duties impairs, to that extent, our capacity to meet the severe competition to which we are exposed; and nothing but a system of high protective duties, long continued, can prevent us from meeting it successfully. It is that which we have to fear.
• John C. Calhoun
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We ought not to forget that the government, through all its departments, judicial as well as others, is administered by delegated and responsible agents; and that the power which really controls, ultimately, all the movements, is not in the agents, but those who elect or appoint them.
• John C. Calhoun
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I want no presidency; I want to do my duty. No denunciations here, or out of this House, can deflect me a single inch from going directly at what I aim, and that is, the good of the country. I have always acted upon it, and I will always act upon it.
• John C. Calhoun
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I am a planter - a cotton planter. I am a Southern man and a slaveholder - a kind and a merciful one, I trust - and none the worse for being a slaveholder.
• John C. Calhoun
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War may make us great, but let it never be forgotten that peace only can make us both great and free.
• John C. Calhoun
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What we want, above all things on earth in our public men, is independence. It is one great defect in the character of the public men of America that there is that real want of independence; and, in this respect, a most marked contrast exists between public men in this country and in Great Britain.
• John C. Calhoun
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When the period arrives - come when it may - that this government will be compelled to resort to internal taxes for its support in time of peace, it will mark one of the most difficult and dangerous stages through which it is destined to pass.
• John C. Calhoun
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Measures of policy are necessarily controlled by circumstances; and, consequently, what may be wise and expedient under certain circumstances might be eminently unwise and impolitic under different circumstances. To persist in acting in the same way under circumstances essentially different would be folly and obstinacy, and not consistency.
• John C. Calhoun
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I will not attempt to show that it would be a great evil to increase the patronage of the Executive. It is already enormously great, as every man of every party must acknowledge, if he would candidly express his sentiments.
• John C. Calhoun
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It is a remarkable fact in the political history of man that there is scarcely an instance of a free constitutional government which has been the work exclusively of foresight and wisdom. They have all been the result of a fortunate combination of circumstances.
• John C. Calhoun
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So long as the Oregon question is left open, Mexico will calculate the chances of a rupture between us and Great Britain, in the event of which she would be prepared to make common cause against us. But when an end is put to any such hope, she will speedily settle her difference with us.
• John C. Calhoun
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I hold it to be the most monstrous proposition ever uttered within the Senate that conquering a country like Mexico, the President can constitute himself a despotic ruler without the slightest limitation on his power. If all this be true, war is indeed dangerous!
• John C. Calhoun
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If not met promptly and decidedly, the two portions of the Union will gradually become thoroughly alienated, when no alternative will be left to us, as the weaker of the two, but to sever all political ties or sink down into abject submission.
• John C. Calhoun
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The two great agents of the physical world have become subject to the will of man and have been made subservient to his wants and enjoyments; I allude to steam and electricity, under whatever name the latter may be called.
• John C. Calhoun
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Without thinking or reflecting, we plunge into war, contract heavy debts, increase vastly the patronage of the Executive, and indulge in every species of extravagance, without thinking that we expose our liberty to hazard. It is a great and fatal mistake.
• John C. Calhoun
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When we contend, let us contend for all our rights - the doubtful and the certain, the unimportant and essential. It is as easy to contend, or even more so, for the whole as for a part. At the termination of the contest, secure all that our wisdom and valour and the fortune of war will permit.
• John C. Calhoun
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It is harder to preserve than to obtain liberty.
• John C. Calhoun
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We make a great mistake in supposing all people are capable of self-government.
• John C. Calhoun
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Learn from your mistakes and build on your successes.
• John C. Calhoun
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I am, on principle, opposed to war and in favor of peace because I regard peace as a positive good and war as a positive evil.
• John C. Calhoun
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A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.
• John C. Calhoun
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Our government is deeply disordered; its credit is impaired; its debt increasing; its expenditures extravagant and wasteful; its disbursements without efficient accountability; and its taxes (for duties are but taxes) enormous, unequal, and oppressive to the great producing classes of the country.
• John C. Calhoun
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What people can excel our Northern and New England brethren in skill, invention, activity, energy, perseverance, and enterprise?
• John C. Calhoun
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Peace is, indeed, our policy. A kind Providence has cast our lot on a portion of the globe sufficiently vast to satisfy the most grasping ambition, and abounding in resources beyond all others, which only require to be fully developed to make us the greatest and most prosperous people on earth.
• John C. Calhoun

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