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JOHN C. CALHOUN.

obligations to observe it, and leaves them at liberty to renounce it entirely, or to take such other measures, not inconsistent with justice, as they may deem expedient for the security of their rights. This doctrine was sustained by Mr. CALHOUN as the shield of State rights, and essential to the protection of the minority interests of the community, and the liberty and union of the States. The right assumed was not that of resistance on the part of the State in cases of unconstitutional and extreme oppression, but it clothed the States with the power of annulling in the exercise of their own constitutional power the acts of the General Government.

The principles set forth in the resolutions of Mr. CALHOUN met with a feeble support out of the State in which they were acted upon. The judgment of our ablest publicists was adverse to them, as were the opinions of most of the legislatures of different States expressed on the proceedings of the South Carolina Convention. The great mass of public opinion was with the General Government, and the State of Virginia alone interposed her good offices for the suspension of the enforcement of the nullifying ordinance.

These discouraging appearances had no effect in checking the zeal or weakening the purpose of Mr. CALHOUN. He had from his official positions been for nearly fifteen years withdrawn from all public debate, but on taking his seat in the Senate be was at once found ready for all its exigencies. With an enlarged experience, great maturity of intellectual powers, a practical observation of the workings of our Government in all its tendencies, and the high reputation which his public labors had secured to him, he appeared before the people of the United States confident of being able to vindicate his doctrines, to impress in all who heard him the conviction of their truth, and establish them as a part of the fundamental law of the land. Mr. CALHOUN advocated the doctrine of Nullification as a peaceable remedy against grievances. It was not new; it was considered as resting in high authority, but had never been before acted upon, and its application was attempted for the first time. He thought that our federative system in extreme cases authorized this intermediate remedy between oppression and resistance; that instead of being a measure of revolution

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