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John C. Calhoun

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• Andrew Jackson
American System
War Hawks
War of 1812
John Tyler
Compromise of 1850
John Quincy Adams


Definition: Vice-president of the U.S. under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. A native of South Carolina, he was originally a supporter of the American System, a plan to use the federal government to increase business. He later became a big supporter of states' rights. He served in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. As a Representative, he was a War Hawk, demanding war with Great Britain. (He got his wish when the War of 1812 began.) As vice-president, he wrote a document that became the basis for the argument for Nullification (going against the wishes of President Andrew Jackson). This split convinced Calhoun that he was better served in the Senate. He spoke out for slavery and states' rights time and again on the Senate floor. He was Secretary of State under President John Tyler and secured the annexation of Texas. He also opposed the Compromise of 1850 as a blow to states' rights.

Related Resources:
The 19th Century
Get a glimpse of what life was like in the exciting 1800s.

Elsewhere on the Web:
Encyclopedia Entry: John C. Calhoun
Learn all about the life of this famous American!

Short Biography of John C. Calhoun
This bio was written by students just like you.

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