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John C. Calhoun Quotes


John Caldwell Calhoun was the seventh Vice President of the United States and a leading Southern politician from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century.
(1782 - 1850)

A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.
[Government]
 

Beware the wrath of a patient adversary.
[Patience]
 

By what causes has so inconsiderable a beginning, as that of the colonies of New England, under such formidable, and apparently almost insurmountable difficulties, resulted, in so brief a period, in such mighty consequences? They are to be found in the high moral and intellectual qualities of the pilgrims: their faith, piety, and confident trust in a superintending Providence; their stern virtues; their patriotic love of liberty and order; their devotion to learning; and their indomitable courage and perseverance. These are the causes which surmounted every obstacle, and which have led to such mighty results.
[Virtue]
 

In looking back, I see nothing to regret and little to correct.
[Regrets]
 

In the meantime, our policy is a masterly inactivity.
 

It is harder to preserve than to obtain liberty.
[Liberty]
 

Learn from your mistakes and build on your successes.
[Success]
 

The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.
[Tyranny]
 

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.
[Change]
 

The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority.
 

True consistency, that of the prudent and the wise, is to act in conformity with circumstances, and not to act always the same way under a change of circumstances.