John Caldwell Calhoun

John Caldwell Calhoun
困难 2540

约翰·卡德威尔·卡尔霍恩,曾任参议员、战争部长、国务卿等职。他是奴隶制的支持者,经常发表强烈措辞反对北方干涉南方事务的言论,还主张州有权利废止联邦立法。历史学家对卡尔霍恩的评价褒贬不一,但更多的历史学家则将他视为美国历史上最伟大的政治家之一。

John Caldwell Calhoun


 


John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was the seventh Vice President of the United States and a leading Southern politician from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun, a brilliant orator and writer, began his political career as a nationalist and proponent of protective tariffs; later, he was a proponent of free trade, states' rights, limited government, and nullification. Calhoun built his reputation as a political theorist by his redefinition of republicanism to include approval of slavery and minority rights. His redefinition was widely accepted in the south and rejected in the north at the time. his defense of slavery became defunct, but his concept of concurrent majority, whereby a minority has the right to object to or perhaps even veto hostile legislation directed against it, has been incorporated into the American value system.


 


A representative leader of the Irish in South Carolina, he served as vice president under John Quincy Adams and under Andrew Jackson, was the first vice president to have been born after the American Revolution, and was the first vice president to resign from office. Calhoun briefly served in the South Carolina legislature. There he wrote legislation making South Carolina the first state to adopt universal suffrage for white men. As a "War Hawk" he agitated in congress for the war of 1812, and as secretary of war under President James Monroe he reorganized and modernized the war department, building powerful permanent bureaucracies that ran the department, as opposed to patronage appointees.


 


Although Calhoun died nearly 10 years before the start of the American Civil War, he was an inspiration to the secessionists of 1860–61. Nicknamed the "cast-iron man" for his determination to defend the causes in which he believed Calhoun supported states "rights and nullification, under which states could declare null and void federal laws which they deemed to be unconstitutional. He was an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, which he famously 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.


 


Calhoun was one of the "Great triumvirates" or the "Immortal Trio" of statesmen, along with his congressional colleagues Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Calhoun served in the house of representatives (1810–1817) and the United States Senate (1832–1843; 1845–1850). He was appointed secretary of war (1817–1824) under James Monroe and secretary of state (1844–1845) under John Tyler. In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy named Calhoun (along with Clay and Webster) as one of the five greatest senators in U.S. history.


 


War Hawk


 


Although he had little charisma or charm, Calhoun was a brilliant orator and strong organizer, and after his election to congress in 1810 he immediately became a leader of the "War Hawks," along with speaker Henry Clay and South Carolina congressmen William Lowndes and Langdon Cheves. They disregarded European complexities in the wars between napoleon and Britain, and brushed aside the vehement objections of new Englanders; they demanded war against Britain to preserve American honor and republican values. Clay made Calhoun the acting chairman of the powerful committee on foreign affairs. On June 3, 1812, Calhoun's committee called for a declaration of war in ringing phrases. The episode spread Calhoun's fame nationwide. War—the war of 1812—was declared but it went very badly for the poorly organized Americans, whose ports were immediately blockaded by the British royal navy. Several attempted invasions of Canada were fiascos, but the U.S. did seize control of western Canada and broke the power of hostile Indians in battles in Canada and Alabama.


 


Calhoun labored to raise troops, to provide funds, to speed logistics, to improve the currency, and to regulate commerce to aid the war effort. Disasters on the battlefield made him double his legislative efforts to overcome the obstructionism of John Randolph of Roanoke and Daniel Webster and other opponents of the war. With napoleon apparently gone, and the British invasion of New York defeated, peace was achieved on Christmas, 1814. Before that news reached New Orleans, a massive British invasion force was utterly defeated at the battle of New Orleans, which made a national hero out of General Andrew Jackson. The mismanagement of the army during the war distressed Calhoun and he resolved to strengthen the war department so it would never fail again.


 


Nationalist


 


After the war, Calhoun and Clay sponsored a bonus bill for public works. with the goal of building a strong nation that could fight future wars, Calhoun aggressively pushed for high protective tariffs (to build up industry), a national bank, internal improvements (such as canals and ports), and many other nationalist policies he later repudiated.


 


Calhoun expressed his nationalism in advising Monroe to approve the Missouri Compromise, which most other southern politicians saw as a distinctly bad deal. Calhoun believed that continued agitation on the slavery issue threatened the union, so he wanted the Missouri dispute to be concluded.


 


John Quincy Adams concluded in 1821 that: "Calhoun is a man of fair and candid mind, of honorable principles, of clear and quick understanding, of cool self-possession, of enlarged philosophical views, and of ardent patriotism. he is above all sectional and factious prejudices more than any other statesman of this union with whom I have ever acted." historian Charles Wiltse agrees, noting, "though he is known today primarily for his sectionalism, Calhoun was the last of the great political leaders of his time to take a sectional position—later than Daniel Webster, later than Henry Clay, later than Adams himself."


 


An observer commented that Calhoun was "the most elegant speaker that sits in the house... his gestures are easy and graceful, his manner forcible, and language elegant; but above all, he confines himself closely to the subject, which he always understands, and enlightens everyone within hearing; having said all that a statesman should say, he is done." His talent for public speaking required systematic self-discipline and practice. a later critic noted the sharp contrast between his hesitant conversations and his fluent speaking styles, adding that Calhoun "had so carefully cultivated his naturally poor voice as to make his utterance clear, full, and distinct in speaking and while not at all musical it yet fell pleasantly on the ear."


 


Secretary of war: 1817–25


 


In 1817, President James Monroe appointed Calhoun secretary of war, where he served until 1825. Calhoun continued his role as a leading nationalist during the "era of good feeling". He proposed an elaborate program of national reforms to the infrastructure that would speed economic modernization. his first priority was an effective navy, including steam frigates, and in the second place a standing army of adequate size; and as further preparation for emergency "great permanent roads," "a certain encouragement" to manufactures, and a system of internal taxation which would not be subject like customs duties to collapse by a war-time shrinkage of maritime trade. He spoke for a national bank, for internal improvements (such as harbors, canals and river navigation) and a protective tariff that would help the industrial northeast and, especially, pay for the expensive new infrastructure. The word "nation" was often on his lips, and his conscious aim was to enhance national unity which he identified with national power.


 


After the war ended in 1815 the "Old Republicans" in Congress, with their Jeffersonian ideology for economy in the federal government, sought at every turn to reduce the operations and finances of the war department. In 1817, the deplorable state of the war department led four men to turn down requests to fill the secretary of war position before Calhoun finally accepted the task. Political Rivalry, namely, Calhoun's political ambitions as well as those of William H. Crawford, the secretary of the treasury, over the pursuit of the 1824 presidency also complicated Calhoun's tenure as war secretary.


 


Calhoun proposed an expansible army similar to that of France under napoleon, whereby a basic cadre of 6,000 officers and men could be expanded into 11,000 without adding additional officers or companies. Congress wanted an army of adequate size in case American interests in Florida or the west led to war with Britain or Spain. However the nation was satisfied by the diplomacy that produced the convention of 1818 with Britain and the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 with Spain, the need for a large army disappeared, and Calhoun could not prevent cutbacks in 1821.


 


As secretary, Calhoun had responsibility for management of Indian affairs. A reform-minded modernizer, he attempted to institute centralization and efficiency in the Indian department, but congress either failed to respond to his reforms or responded with hostility. Calhoun's frustration with congressional inaction, political rivalries, and ideological differences that dominated the late early republic spurred him to unilaterally create the bureau of Indian affairs in 1824. He supervised the negotiation and ratification of 38 treaties with Indian tribes.


 


Slavery issues


 


Calhoun led the pro-slavery faction in the Senate in the 1830s and 1840s, opposing both abolitionism and attempts to limit the expansion of slavery into the western territories. He was a major advocate of the 1850 fugitive slave law, which required the co-operation of local law enforcement officials in Free states to return escaped slaves.


 


Whereas other southern politicians had excused slavery as a necessary evil, in a famous February 1837 speech on the Senate floor, Calhoun asserted that slavery was a "positive good." he rooted this claim on two grounds—white supremacy and paternalism. All societies, Calhoun claimed, are ruled by an elite group which enjoys the fruits of the labor of a less-privileged group.


 


In that speech, he stated: "I may say with truth that in few countries so much is left to the share of the laborer and so little exacted from him, or where there is more kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmities of age. compare his condition with the tenants of the poor houses in the more civilized portions of Europe—look at the sick, and the old and infirm slave, on one hand, in the midst of his family and friends, under the kind superintending care of his master and mistress, and compare it with the forlorn and wretched condition of the pauper in the poorhouse."


 


After a one-year service as secretary of state, (April 1, 1844 – March 10, 1845) Calhoun returned to the Senate in 1845. He participated in the epic political struggle over the expansion of slavery in the western states. Regions were divided as to whether slavery should be allowed in the formerly imperial Spanish and Mexican lands. The debate over this issue culminated in the compromise of 1850.


 


Legacy


 


During the Civil War, the confederate government honored Calhoun on a one-cent postage stamp, which was printed but never officially released.


 


Calhoun was honored by Minneapolis, naming one of its chain of lakes, Lake Calhoun, after him.


 


Calhoun was also honored by his alma mater, Yale University, which named one of its undergraduate residence halls "Calhoun College" and erected a statue of Calhoun in Harkness Tower, a prominent campus landmark.


 


Clemson university campus, South Carolina, occupies the site of Calhoun's fort hill plantation, which he bequeathed to his wife and daughter. They sold it and its 50 slaves to a relative, for which they received $15,000 for the 1,100 acres (450 ha) and $29,000 for the slaves. (They were valued at about 600 USD apiece.) When that owner died, Thomas Green Clemson foreclosed the mortgage. He later bequeathed the property to the state for use as an agricultural college to be named after him.


 


A wide range of places, streets and schools were named after Calhoun, as may be seen on the above list. The "Immortal Trio" was memorialized with streets in Uptown New Orleans. Calhoun landing, on the Santee-Cooper River in Santee, South Carolina, was named after him. The Calhoun monument was erected in Charleston, South Carolina. The USS John C. Calhoun was a fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarine, in commission from 1963 to 1994.


 


In 1957, United States senators honored Calhoun as one of the "five greatest senators of all time."


 

  • 字数:2076个
  • 易读度:困难
  • 来源: 2016-08-05