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The Jackson Era

The Jackson Era

John C. Calhoun in The Jackson Era

John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) was the vice-president of the United States under both John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1832). Born in South Carolina, he attended Yale and practiced law before winning a seat in the South Carolina state legislature in 1808. He served in the United States Congress from 1811 to 1817 and as Secretary of War under President James Monroe from 1817 to 1825. In the presidential election of 1832, Jackson replaced Calhoun with Martin Van Buren as his vice-presidential running mate. Calhoun subsequently served in the United States Senate (1832-1843 and 1845-1850), and as Secretary of State for President John Tyler. Calhoun was one of the most prominent American statesmen of the first half of the nineteenth century.

While Calhoun was a critical part of the coalition that secured Jackson's election in 1828, serious differences between Jackson and Calhoun quickly forced a break between the president and vice-president. The Calhouns' role in the Eaton affair, the revelation that Calhoun had encouraged President Monroe to punish Jackson for his conduct as commander of the American forces during the Seminole War of 1818, and Calhoun's support of nullification during the crisis prompted by the 1828 tariff led Jackson to replace Calhoun with Martin Van Buren on the Democratic ticket in 1832.

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