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John Calhoun was born in Abbeville, South Carolina, on 18th March, 1782. Educated at Yale College and the Litchfield Law School, he was admitted to the bar but after his marriage to the rich heiress, Floride Bonneau, he concentrated on politics.
Calhoun was elected to South Carolina's state legislature in 1808 and three years later entered the House of Representatives. As chairman of the foreign relations committee, he introduced the declaration of war against Britain in 1812. During this period he emerged as one of the leaders of the Republican Party.
In 1817 Calhoun was appointed secretary of war, a post he held for eight years. In 1824 Calhoun was elected vice president under John Quincy Adams. Four years later he held the same post under Andrew Jackson but resigned over Jackson's unwillingness to allow South Carolina to nullify the protective tariff introduced in 1828.
In the summer of 1831 Calhoun advocated his belief in nullification. In his Address to the people of South Carolinahe argued that each state was sovereign and the United States Constitution was a compact among sovereign states. Therefore, according to Calhoun, any one state, not the Supreme Court, could declare an act of Congress unconstitutional.
Calhoun upheld the right of people to own slaves and presented the South's point of view in Senate debates on this issue. In 1844, as secretary of war, he signed a treaty annexing Texas. However, in 1846 strenuously opposed the Mexican War.
In 1848 Zachary Taylor of the Whig Party was elected president. The great issue before the nation was the problem of slavery in the land taken from Mexico. New Mexico and California were being ruled by military governors but Taylor favoured them becoming part of the United States. This became more complicated after the people of California and New Mexico approved constitutions prohibiting slavery. Calhoun led the pro-slavery faction in Congress that opposed the admission of California and New Mexico as free states. John Calhoun died on 31st March, 1850.
How can the Union be saved? There is but one way by which it can with any certainty; and that is, by a full and final settlement, on the principle of justice of all the questions at issue between the two sections. But can this be done? Yes, easily; not by the weaker party, for it can of itself do nothing - not even protect itself - but by the stronger. The North has only to will it to accomplish it - to do justice by conceding to the South an equal right in the acquired territory, and to do her duty by causing the stipulations relative to fugitive slaves to be faithfully fulfilled and to cease the agitation of the slave question.
John C. Calhoun And The Slippery Slope Of Erasing History
Is this really about reconciliation? And if so, where is this road going to take us?
The battle is officially joined in Charleston, South Carolina as recent efforts to remove a long-standing monument to the late U.S. vice president John C. Calhoun have gained traction following of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day.
Also unleashed? A broader debate over the extent (and efficacy) of societal sanitization in the name of revisionist history and … ostensibly … racial reconciliation.
First, though, Calhoun: Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg – who previously opposed removing the Calhoun monument – is now leading the charge to take it down.
Erected on June 27, 1896, this 115-foot monument features Calhoun standing with his cloak draped over his shoulders – a scroll clutched in his left hand as he overlooks the street that bears his name.
Calhoun is widely regarded as the Palmetto State’s most prominent historical statesman. In addition to serving as vice president from 1825-1832, he earned a place in the national history books for his advocacy on behalf of nullification – the doctrine that states could refuse to enforce acts of the federal government they deemed unconstitutional.
Calhoun was also an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, once arguing “there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other.”
That’s true … although we fail to see how this economic principle aligns with the most fundamental deprivation of human liberty.
“That we as Charlestonians must reckon with Mr. Calhoun’s towering and deeply troubling legacy is a given,” Tecklenburg said in a statement earlier this week. “That we must allow his memorial to continue to divide our city while we do that reckoning, however, is not a given.”
Not only is Tecklenburg calling for the Calhoun monument to be removed, he says a 2000 state law forbidding such historical sanitization does not apply to his city – which was besieged by violent rioting following Floyd’s death (rioting Tecklenburg has been accused of enabling).
Tecklenburg’s about-face on the Calhoun statue makes his city ground zero for a potential legal challenge to the so-called “Heritage Act,” which was part of a bipartisan, biracial movement to remove the Confederate flag off of the dome of the S.C. State House to a position on the north lawn of the state capitol twenty years ago.
Per the terms of the Heritage Act, “any monument, marker, memorial, school, or street erected or named in honor of the Confederacy or the civil rights movement located on any municipal, county, or state property shall not be removed, changed, or renamed without the enactment of a joint resolution by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the General Assembly.”
This law was amended in the spring of 2015 to remove the flag from the State House grounds following the tragic, racially motivated “Holy City Massacre” in Charleston, S.C. – but legislative leaders made it clear at the time that they would abide no further historical sanitization.
Readers will recall our news outlet was the first media entity in the entire state to call for the flag to come down – however we have opposed the removal of the Calhoun statue and other attempts to rewrite history on the grounds that they do little (clearly) to promote racial harmony.
In the aftermath of Floyd’s killing, the intensity of this debate has escalated.
Earlier this week, S.C. House minority leader Todd Rutherford called on state agencies and government subdivisions to ignore the law and remove “racist” monuments and other designations regardless.
“What I am asking them to do is have guts, have courage – and do it anyway, and encourage anyone who doesn’t like it to sue them,” Rutherford said.
That is exactly what Tecklenburg intends to do …
Not only that, Charleston city council is currently in the midst of identifying other statutes, memorials and designations it believes are in need of purging.
Do we support these efforts? Again … no. Certainly not without conducting a thorough assessment of the legality of such acts (and the constitutionality of the Heritage Act, which itself is up for debate).
More importantly, we believe these legal questions ought to be addressed as part of a much larger discussion of the reconciliatory value of such purges – to say nothing of the slippery slope such decisions could set us upon.
Previous efforts by South Carolina municipalities, state agencies and other government subdivisions to remove symbols of the Confederacy have been unsuccessful due to the Heritage Act – including efforts to remove Calhoun’s legacy from Clemson University by renaming the school’s signature building, Tillman Hall.
That latter structure is named after Benjamin Tillman, an outspoken white supremacist and lynch law advocate who was indicted (but never tried) for his role in the 1876 Hamburg Massacre. In that incident, at least six black freedmen were murdered by a racist mob. Three others were shot and seriously wounded.
Not only was “Pitchfork Ben” never prosecuted for his role in the Hamburg Massacre, he referred to it as one of many “stirring events” that rallied support for his 1890 gubernatorial campaign. Tillman won that race, which ushered in South Carolina’s “Jim Crow” era and the infamous Constitution of 1895 – a document which continues to hold our state back on multiple levels.
In addition to adorning Clemson’s most famous building, a statue of Tillman (above) is also located on the northwest corner of the S.C. State House grounds in Columbia, S.C.
As for Calhoun, his name is emblazoned on much more than just a monument (and a street) in Charleston. Within the main lobby of the S.C. State House is a life-sized statue of Calhoun – and the capital city also features a street bearing his name (as do a dozen other cities in the Palmetto State).
In fact, an entire county is named after Calhoun … as is the town of Calhoun Falls, S.C.
Are all of these designations to be stripped as well?
Is Calhoun’s grave at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Charleston to be dug up, as well?
Seriously … where does it stop?
Will we need to rename the city of Columbia? After all, it bears the name of Christopher Columbus – whose statues are being yanked down all across America right now (here and here) owing to his status as the first known explorer to enslave native North Americans in the late fifteenth century.
In 1495, Columbus is reported to have captured 1,500 Arawak men, women and children on the island of Hispaniola – all of whom he sent back to Spain as slaves. An estimated 500 of the Arawak people died on the journey.
“Columbus not only sent the first slaves across the Atlantic, he probably sent more slaves – about five thousand – than any other individual,” historian James Loewen noted in his 1996 book Lies My Teacher Told Me.
So again … are we going to rename Columbia?
What about Charleston? The city – originally christened Charles Towne – bears the name of Charles II of England, under whose regal auspices the Royal African Company was first incorporated in 1660. Over the next seventy years, this company transported an estimated 212,000 African slaves to North America – of whom 44,000 perished during their journey. Slaves belonging to this company were branded with the initials “RAC” on their chests and sold to wealthy landowners in North America – creating vast wealth in both the old and new worlds.
According to historian William Pettigrew, the company founded by Charles II and his brother – James II of England – “shipped more enslaved African women, men and children to the Americas than any other single institution during the entire period of the transatlantic slave trade.”
Specifically, the company “provided a reliable supply of enslaved Africans to the mainland American colonies, thus playing a critical part in entrenching African slavery as the colonies’ preferred solution to the American problem of labor supply,” according to a synopsis of one of Pettrigrew’s books on the subject.
So … are we renaming Charleston, too?
What about Greenville, S.C.? The most populous municipality in the South Carolina Upstate – like many other cities and towns across the nation – is named after major general Nathanael Greene, who earned a reputation during the Revolutionary War as the most reliable commander serving under future first president George Washington.
For his exploits in the war, Greene was awarded with landed estates across the south – many of which used slaves as laborers.
So … are we also renaming Greenville?
Which reminds us, Washington was also a slaveowner …
Does that mean we are renaming our nation’s capital? Or the state bearing his name? Or taking him off the $1.00 bill?
And what about Italian merchant and explorer Amerigo Vespucci, whose name adorns both our nation and our continent. Vespucci not only owned slaves, but like Columbus he raided indigenous settlements in Hispaniola during his voyages and took hundreds of native Americans to Spain as in bondage.
Are we renaming our entire country? Our continent?
Also, in light of some of the distinctly less-than-flattering aspects of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. that have been unearthed in recent years, what are we to do with the thousands of monuments and designations that have been erected in his honor?
Obviously the media declined to cover any of these shocking allegations against King, but while praising King’s legacy of racial justice we believe it is important to ask … is there is true “equality” when it comes to #MeToo revisionist history?
Certainly there is no political equality in the present tense …
Seriously, though … where does all of this stop?
Most importantly, though … what does any of this ultimately accomplish in terms of bringing the people of our badly divided nation together?
Is this really an exercise in reconciliation? Or is it more about fomenting division? And unfairly castigating people for the sins of previous centuries?
Again, in the aftermath of the Floyd killing – and the righteous anger it has engendered – everything ought to be on the table for discussion. And as noted at the outset of this piece there needs to be an acknowledgement that the rage fueling this sanitization movement is justified. Our point is simply that in discussing the Calhoun monument in Charleston (and the Heritage Act in South Carolina) there is a bigger picture to consider.
And a precedent of which to be leery …
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30c. Three Senatorial Giants: Clay, Calhoun and Webster
Henry Clay of Kentucky, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and Daniel Webster of Massachusetts dominated national politics from the end of the War of 1812 until their deaths in the early 1850s. Although none would ever be President, the collective impact they created in Congress was far greater than any President of the era, with the exception of Andrew Jackson. There was one issue that loomed over the nation throughout their time in power &mdash slavery. They were continuously successful in keeping peace in America by forging a series of compromises. The next generation's leaders were not.
The Gold Rush led to the rapid settlement of California which resulted in its imminent admission as the 31st state. Southerners recognized that there were few slaves in California because Mexico had prohibited slavery. Immediate admission would surely mean California would be the 16th free state, giving the non-slave-holding states an edge in the Senate. Already holding the House of Representatives, the free states could then dominate legislation.
Texas was claiming land that was part of New Mexico. As a slave state, any expansion of the boundaries of Texas would be opening new land to slavery. northerners were opposed. The north was also appalled at the ongoing practice of slavery in the nation's capital &mdash a practice the south was not willing to let go. The lines were drawn as the three Senatorial giants took the stage for the last critical time.
Henry Clay had brokered compromises before. When the Congress was divided in 1820 over the issue of slavery in the Louisiana Territory, Clay set forth the Missouri Compromise . When South Carolina nullified the tariff in 1832, Clay saved the day with the Compromise Tariff of 1833 . After 30 years in Congress and three unsuccessful attempts at the Presidency, Clay wanted badly to make good with yet another nation-saving deal. He put forth a set of eight proposals that he hoped would pass muster with his colleagues.
John Calhoun once said of Henry Clay (shown above), "I don't like Clay. He is a bad man, an imposter, a creator of wicked schemes. I wouldn't speak to him, but, by God, I love him!"
John C. Calhoun took to the floor next. Although sick and dying with consumption, he sat sternly in the Senate chamber, as his speech was read. The compromises would betray the south, he claimed. Northerners would have to agree to federal protection of slavery for the south to feel comfortable remaining in the Union. His words foreshadowed the very doom to the Union that would come within the decade.
Daniel Webster spoke three days after Calhoun's speech. With the nation's fate in the balance, he pleaded with northerners to accept southern demands, for the sake of Union. Withdrawing his former support for the Wilmot Proviso, he hoped to persuade enough of his colleagues to move closer to Clay's proposals. Although there was no immediate deal, his words echoed in the minds of the Congressmen as they debated into that hot summer.
By 1852, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster had all passed away. They left a rich legacy behind them. Clay of the West, Calhoun of the South, and Webster of the North loved and served their country greatly. The generation that followed produced no leader that could unite the country without the force of arms.
Southern Charm: A Closer Look at Kathryn's Slave-Owning Ancestor
Find out the history behind John C. Calhoun, a former vice president and proponent of slavery, an ancestor of Kathryn Dennis from Southern Charm.
During Thursday night's episode of Southern Charm, the cast tackled the Black Live Matter movement by calling for the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue. New cast member, Leva Bonaparte, wanted to do her part in making Charleston a more accepting place by calling for the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue, who just happens to be an ancestor to Kathryn Dennis. Calhoun was a huge proponent of slavery and to have his memory leering over Charleston was not needed.
So who exactly is John C. Calhoun? According to Britannica, he was an American political leader who was a congressman and the seventh vice president of the United States. Calhoun was a young congressman from South Carolina, who later became a senator there, steered the United States into a war with Great Britain, and established the Second Bank of the United States, according to History. He is known for being a proponent of slavery and fought to keep the institution as a symbol of the Old South. He was elected the vice president in 1824 under John Quincy Adams and was re-elected in 1828 under Andrew Jackson.
According to The Sun, Calhoun owned several slaves in his time and believed minority rights did not extend to enslaved black people. He even made a speech on the Senate floor admitting he thought slavery was not a "necessary evil" but instead a "positive good" for everyone. Of course, he and anyone who supported this way of thinking were completely wrong. Even on his death dead, Calhoun fought to keep the institution of slavery and did not back down on his beliefs. The removal of his statue in Marion Square in Charleston should have been done years ago.
During the recent episode, Leva supported the efforts to get Calhoun's statue removed from Marion Square in Charleston. According to PEOPLE, she invited Danni to the park but did not extend the invite to Kathryn as she was already in a scandal after being accused of racism. Kathryn sent out a tweet using a monkey emoji when talking to a Black radio show host, Tamika Gadsden. She tried to defend herself by saying Gadsden was "bashing" her friend for throwing a Trump party and Kathryn was just defending her.
While Leva understood why Kathryn could not be there, she was still disappointed by her absence. Leva believed it would have been a testament to her character if she stood up and said, "I am related to John C. Calhoun, what he did was not okay, and I'm sorry." Keeping watching Southern Charm every week to see how the cast tackles racism in the show, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
What are some example John C. Calhoun APUSH questions?
1. During the South Carolina Exposition, John C. Calhoun argued for what?
A. States’ rights
B. Decreased tariffs
C. Peace between the states
D. Abolishing slavery
Answer: A. John C. Calhoun believed that the states should have the power to declare a law null and void if it was unconstitutional. He felt that each state should be able to decide this instead of the federal government.
2. The Nullification Crisis came about because of:
A. the annexation of Texas during the Mexican-American War.
B. tariffs that hurt the economy and angered Southerners.
C. the Louisiana Purchase negotiated by James Monroe.
D. the legislation passed by the Great Triumvirate during the 19th century. B
Answer: B. The Nullification Crisis came about because of the Tariff of 1828. The tariffs negatively impacted Americans in the South, especially South Carolina. Because of this, South Carolina felt that the law was unconstitutional and should be null and void in their state.
3. What did Congress do to appease South Carolina over the Tariff of 1828?
A. Congress passed the Ordinance of Nullification.
B. They allowed South Carolina to secede from the Union.
C. Congress decided to send military forces to keep the peace.
D. They passed another tariff to reduce the first one.
Answer: D. To appease South Carolina over the Tariff of 1828, Congress decided to pass the Tariff of 1832. Although this reduced the amount that people would pay, it did not stop protests.
How did you do on the practice questions? As you continue to prepare for the exam by reviewing historical figures, consider creating John C. Calhoun APUSH facts with flashcards. This can help you remember which historical figure made what contribution to American history. Happy studying!
John Calhoun - History
John C. Calhoun loved his country. But he also loved his home state of South Carolina, and he supported its institution of slavery. He believed in states' rightsthat if a state didn't believe a federal law was constitutional, it didn't have to obey it.
In the decades leading up to the Civil War, people had strong feelings about slaveryon both sides. Calhoun defended slavery and states rights as a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice-president.
Calhoun was born in 1782 on a small cotton farm. Growing up, he saw how wealthy slave-holding plantation owners became. Calhoun received his early education at home, graduated from Yale, and earned a law degree by 1807. He married his wealthy cousin, Floride Bonneau.
Some people called Calhoun a war hawk because he encouraged the nation to go to war against England in 1812. He became vice-president of the United States under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. But he never became president, and this disappointed him.
After Congress imposed a big tax in 1828, Calhoun become a champion of states' rights. Because his belief in states' rights led to a constitutional crisis, he resigned as vice president. He returned to the Senate, where he created a gag rule that prevented discussions of slavery. He pushed for the annexation of Texas so that the area would be open to slavery, and he argued passionately that slaveholders could take their enslaved people into free states and still own them. This debate over states' rights and slavery would eventually lead to the Civil War.
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Legacy of John C. Calhoun
Certainly the American Civil War was too vast an event to be the responsibility of any one man, but it can be argued that Calhoun contributed as much to its coming as did abolitionist crusader William Lloyd Garrison and Pres. Abraham Lincoln. The man himself was an enigma. A staunch nationalist during the first half of his public life, one who told the son of Alexander Hamilton in 1823 that his father’s attempt to create a strong federal government “as developed by the measures of Washington’s administration is the only true policy for this country,” in the latter part of his career Calhoun became an unwavering champion of states’ rights. Yet he said shortly before his death, “If I am judged by my acts, I trust I shall be found as firm a friend of the Union as any man in it.…If I shall have any place in the memory of posterity it will be in consequence of my deep attachment to it.”
After Calhoun’s death, his protégé, James H. Hammond, said that
pre-eminent as he was intellectually above all the men of this age as I believe, he was so wanting in judgment in the managing of men, was so unyielding and unpersuasive, that he never could consolidate sufficient power to accomplish anything great, of himself and [in] due season…and the jealousy of him—his towering genius and uncompromising temper, has had much effect in preventing the South from uniting to resist [evil].
Calhoun’s two books on government, published posthumously, and his many cogent speeches in Congress have gained him a reputation as one of the country’s foremost original political theorists. He has been credited with preceding Karl Marx in advancing an economic interpretation of history, yet most of his basic ideas, particularly that of nullification, were acquired from James Madison, who was 30 years his senior. Although Calhoun is remembered as the defender of minorities, he had no use for any minority—certainly not labourers or abolitionists—except the Southern one. His solution to the problem of the preservation of the Union was to give the South everything it demanded. He was truly devoted both to the Union and to the South, and death took him before he had to choose between them. But with rare insight, in 1850 he told a friend that the Union was doomed to dissolution: “I fix its probable occurrence within twelve years or three Presidential terms.”
In his thinking Calhoun worked backward, as if from the answer at the end of a mathematics primer. With his objective in mind, he chose a seemingly innocuous premise and then proceeded with hard logic to the desired conclusion. The historian William P. Trent said in the 1890s that he “started with the conclusion he wanted and reasoned back to the premises. Calhoun led thought rather than men, and lacking imagination, he led thought badly.”
Calhoun’s life was a tragedy in both the Greek and the Shakespearean senses. The gods thirsted after him, but he helped them along. Almost his last words were “The South! The poor South!” The poet Walt Whitman heard a Union soldier say shortly after the surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox Court House that the true monuments to Calhoun were the wasted farms and the gaunt chimneys scattered over the South.
Calhoun began his national political career when he was elected to the Twelfth Congress as the representative from the Sixth Congressional District of South Carolina. In these early years Calhoun quickly gained a reputation for favoring aggressive national action. Along with Henry Clay and other politicians dubbed the “War Hawks,” Calhoun helped convince President James Madison to declare war on Britain, sparking the War of 1812. Calhoun would serve in Congress from 1811 to 1817. Among his career highlights during this period were arguing in favor of increasing government power through consolidation of the banking system and increasing the federal government’s ability to levy taxes.
In 1817 Calhoun left the House of Representatives to serve as secretary of war in James Monroe’s cabinet. In this post, which he held until 1825, Calhoun continued to advocate nationalist legislation. He strengthened national defense by centralizing the military administration in Washington and increasing funding for military infrastructure and troop necessities. Calhoun made a brief run for the presidency in 1824, before accepting the post of vice president under John Quincy Adams. He served as vice president to John Quincy Adams in 1824 and again under Andrew Jackson in 1828, making him the only person in U.S. history to serve as vice president for two different administrations.
Calhoun’s two tenures as vice president marked a turning point in his career. The Tariff of 1828 (called the Tariff of Abominations) called for a tax on British goods imported into the United States. This tariff benefited northern manufacturing interests at the expense of southern raw material exporters. The South Carolina legislature passed a nullification bill in retaliation, revoking the federal tariff. The U.S. government passed the Force Bill in return, which authorized the use of the military to enforce federal tariffs. This standoff, called the Nullification Crisis, marked the turning point in Calhoun’s political thinking. Calhoun changed his political ideology from pro-federal government to pro-states rights, and sided with the state of South Carolina.
Calhoun resigned as vice president in 1832 to return to the Senate. He would take one other cabinet post in his lifetime, as secretary of state in John Tyler’s cabinet from 1844 to 1845—but it was as a senator (1832–1843, and 1845–1850) that he made his most indelible mark on the American political landscape.
John C. Calhoun’s Theory of Nullification
A threat of secession that galvanized the country and helped to set the stage for the coming Civil War.
In 1828 Congress passed a new tariff that dramatically increased the rates on raw goods. The “tariff of abominations,” as it was labeled in the South, provoked an outcry demanding the repeal of the new rates. One of the most powerful responses to the congressional action was penned by John C Calhoun of South Carolina. When he wrote his Southern Exposition Calhoun was serving as the Vice-President of the country but had little affection for Andrew Jackson the President.
Ordinance of Nullification
In his anonymous Exposition Calhoun laid out an argument for action to be taken by the state. He argued that the Union was a compact between sates. The states had the power to nullify a federal law that exceeded powers given to Congress in the constitution. The law could then be declared null and void in that state. Congress could repeal the law or could pass a constitutional amendment giving it the powers in question. If the amendment passed the state could accept the law or secede from the Union. The state legislature adopted the Ordinance of Nullification in 1833 and declared both tariffs null and void. In the text of the ordinance they also made clear “that we are determined to maintain this, our ordinance and Declaration, at every hazard…”
There was little new in the arguments presented by Calhoun. The same concepts of nullification, states rights, and secession were presented to the nation for the first time in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1789. In both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson put forth much the same argument Calhoun drafted but there was little action taken at the time. In the case of South Carolina nullification of laws were declared and secession was a very real possibility.
Arguments Against South Carolina
The Ordinance was a dangerous declaration in response Daniel Webster of Massachusetts argued that the Union was not a compact but rather a contract between the states entered into when the constitution was ratified. It could not be cast aside when one wished. The Supreme Court, he held, was the arbiter of such issues not the states which had been the case since Marbury v Madison (1803).
A much stronger reply was from Andrew Jackson himself. Jackson was intent on preserving the Union and putting an end to the crisis. In his Proclamation on Nullification he argued that the Union was perpetual, there was no right to secession, adding that “disunion by armed force is treason.” Aware of the burden that the tariffs carried in the southern states he also urged Congress to act in reducing the rates. At the same time he was granted the power to collect the revenue in South Carolina by force if necessary when congress passed the Force Act in 1833.
The nation teetered on the brink of war but with the swift action of Congress and the reduction of rates South Carolina repealed its Ordinance of Nullification. There was a temporary restoration of peaceful interaction between the states but under the surface there burbled the tension that erupted into the Civil War. The question of perpetual Union and the right of secession would be decided in those dark days of the 1860s.