The Con-Federal Constitution of the United States
Cover of volume 39
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The Con-Federal Constitution of the United States: A Review of John C. Calhoun and the Confederation Thesis. (2010). The Political Science Reviewer, 39, 41-86.


In contrast to mainstream opinion existing this side of 1865, John C. Calhoun of the antebellum period argued that the Constitution of 1789 did not create a new national political system; rather, it merely founded a different organization of the confederation among the thirteen states, which had originally confederated with one another under the Articles of Confederation. Although this author deems Calhoun’s views on slavery and race to be morally wrong, Calhoun’s profound articulation of constitutional thought is sufficiently important to merit the following detailed analysis of his work in relation to the confederation thesis. Speaking of the states both in the past and during his mid-nineteenth-century present, Calhoun concisely summarizes his view that the United States has remained a confederation: "They, then, are now united, and have been, throughout, simply as confederated States."" This article will both explicate and evaluate Calhoun’s work and the confederation thesis.
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