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69 A.B.A. J. 482 (1983)
John C. Calhoun's Theory of the Concurrent Majority

handle is hein.journals/abaj69 and id is 482 raw text is: 3-

By Vukan Kuic
IN MARCH of 1982 a modest reception in
Washington hosted by senators from his
native state, a small-scale celebration at
the university built on what used to be
his land, and a few articles in the regional
press marked the 200th anniversary of
the birth of one of America's greatest,
albeit most controversial, philosopher-
statesmen, John Caldwell Calhoun.
In 1865, standing by his tombstone in
Charleston, South Carolina, a Yankee
soldier bitterly remarked: The whole
South is the grave of Calhoun. More
recently, however, this great Nullifier
and Secessionist, who once returned
Andrew Jackson's glare and toast of
Our Union-it must be preserved
with a calm, The Union. Next to our
liberties, most dear, has once again
been given credit for more than just his
passionate defense of a lost cause. While
Ralph Lerner has suggested that Cal-
houn's posthumously published Dis-
quisition on Government is an original
contribution to political science, Peter
Drucker, as well as Time, have found
the main doctrine of this short treatise,

Calhoun is remembered as
an apologist for slavery.
But the Supreme Court has
drawn on his political theory
to promote fairness in
voting in two recent cases.
482 American Bar Association Journal

John C. Calhoun's Theory
of the
Concurrent Majority

called the concurrent majority, to be
the key to American politics.
Indeed Calhoun's theory also has
been claimed as relevant to the Black
Revolution and has been upheld in
principle by the Supreme Court in two

recent voting cases. All these interpreta-
tions point to the intimate link between
political liberty and political union in
Calhoun's theory. But many people have
difficulty seeing this simply because of
who and what they think Calhoun was.

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