The Suddenly Newsworthy John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun has been in the news lately–to wit because of Yale University’s (Calhoun is an alumnus of Yale) decision to rename its residential college named after Calhoun. Normally, I would say that Calhoun was one of the most odious politicians ever to walk the American stage. However, now that November 8, 2016, has come and gone, I might need to revise my estimation of him, painful though it may be, upward–though by displacement rather than a rise in regard. In any case, because it is Black History Month, I am somewhat loathe to post this Intellectual Devotional reading on Calhoun along with this reading comprehension worksheet to accompany it for reasons that are obvious to you if you are familiar with him, or will quickly become so as you look into his egregious political career. It wouldn’t be unfair, owing to his adherence to the Constitutional theory of nullification, and his participation in the Nullification Crisis, which was one of this country’s first step down to road to the Civil War, to call him a key proponent of the issues that drove that conflict.

Have I mentioned that Calhoun was from South Carolina and represented that state in the federal legislature? It is no coincidence that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. Would you be surprised to hear that he was an ardent racist who played no small role in perpetuating slavery?

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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