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[213] Bunker Hill, and Adams-Jefferson commemorative orations, the Reply to Hayne, and the Seventh of March speeches in the Senate. Though he exhibited in his private life something of the prodigal recklessness of the pioneer, his mental operations were conservative, constructive. His lifelong antagonist Calhoun declared that “The United States are not a nation.” Webster, in opposition to this theory of a confederation of states, devoted his superb talents to the demonstration of the thesis that the United Statesis,” not “are.” Thus he came to be known as the typical expounder of the Constitution. When he reached, in 1850, the turning-point of his career, his countrymen knew by heart his personal and political history, the New Hampshire boyhood and education, the rise to mastery at the New England bar, the service in the House of Representatives and the Senate and as Secretary of State. His speeches were already in the schoolbooks, and for twenty years boys had been declaiming his arguments against nullification. He had helped to teach America to think and to feel. Indeed it was through his oratory that many of his fellowcitizens had gained their highest conception of the beauty, the potency, and the dignity of human

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