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[79] he married a distant cousin of social standing and with some means, and thus the young man was connected with the social aristocracy and the slave-owning interests of the state. These simple facts stand out prominently in any effort to understand him in his development, because he became the learned and devoted advocate of the slave interests and defended, with his logic and his power in debate, the economical and social regime of the South. In 1811 he entered Congress, and was at once one of the leaders among the new young men, who were out of patience with the dallying methods of the older Jeffersonian politicians. For some years he was an ardent nationalist; possibly it is too much to say that he committed himself by votes or speeches to an interpretation of the Constitution radically opposed to state sovereignty; but in these earlier days we find in his spirit no traces of sectionalism or of any narrow particularism. In the latter part of the decade between 1820 and 1830, overcome by the unrest in his state and moved, it would seem, by its economic difficulties, he succumbed to the pressure of his surroundings and became the leader in formulating doctrines which South Carolina put forth to the world to defend itself against the tariff—shrewdly reasoned and highly elaborated doctrines of state sovereignty, the basis of nullification and secession.

Though other Southern states were at first by no means in agreement with South Carolina, when she presented to the world the theories which Calhoun so neatly phrased and so ably defended, he came to be, as the days went by, the leader of his section as well as the idol of his state. Sometimes he was a leader so far in advance that Southern people scarcely knew that they were slowly following his footsteps. More and more the South was identified with slavery; and more and more the people took their cue from Calhoun. He did not pose as a friend of disruption, and probably was a sincere friend of the Union; but the Union, he insisted with increasing fervour, must be a Union respecting the rights of the states, a Union which would hold together only if its government respected the varying conditions and the different interests of states and, indeed, of sections. He thus became the chief defender of two things or two ideas, slavery and particularism, to which the developing character of the nineteenth

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