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JOHN CALHOUN John Caldwell Calhoun was born in 1782 in South Carolina Calhoun was born near Abbeville District South Carolina and was an honors graduate at Yale College in 1804 He practiced law in Abbeville District until his election to the South Carolina legislature in 1808 He was a major American political figure before the Civil War Calhoun played an important part in national affairs for 40 years He was Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832 and he ran for President several times but never won He also served as a member of the US House of Representatives and of the Senate and as secretary of war and secretary of state Calhoun is best known for his doctrine of states rights in which he claimed that each US state had a right to reject national laws He wanted to use the doctrine to protect slavery and other Southern interests without requiring the Southern States to withdraw from the Union Later however the doctrine helped bring on the Civil War 1861-1865 Calhoun entered national politics as a member of the House of Representatives from 1811 to 1817 He was a fiery nationalist and together with other young congressmen he was called a War Hawk for advocating the War of 1812 He actively supported the governments postwar program which included a protective tariff a national bank and an enlarged army and navy He improved the armys organization while secretary of war from 1817 to 1825 Calhoun was the vice presidential running mate of both Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams in 1824 He won by a landslide but the vote for President was uncertain The House of Representatives picked Adams In 1828 Jackson again opposed Adams for President and Calhoun served as Jacksons vice presidential running mate Jackson and Calhoun won the election But after Jackson became President the two men quarreled especially over Calhouns support of nullification Calhoun felt
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