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A Disquisition on Government, and Selections from the Discourse
A Disquisition on Government and Selections from the Discourse Author:John C. Calhoun, C. Gordon Post (Editor) John Caldwell Calhoun [1782-1850] in April, 1845, informed a friend that he had commenced "an enquiry into the elements of political science, preliminary to a treatise on the Constitution of the U. States; but I know not whether I shall ever have time to finish it." Calhoun lived to complete the preliminary enquiry, "A Disquisition on Government... more »," and the treatise, "A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States," but he did not live to see either work in print.
The chief problem to which Calhoun gave his attention in both the "Disquisition" and the "Discourse" was how best to safeguard the interests and way of life of a minority against the will of democratic majorities.
The "Disquistion," particularly, reveals Calhoun as a courageous and original thinker, as a keen observer and student of history, and possessed of insights beyond the ken of most of his contemporaries. Leaving aside the issue of slavery, Calhoun's thought displays a universality which will forever assure him a high position in the history of American political thought.
The "Disquisition" was originally published in 1853, and issued in paperback in The American Heritage Series by the Liberal Arts Press of Bobbs-Merrill Company in 1953.« less