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James H. Read: John Calhoun & Concurrent Majority | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with political scientist James H. Read to discuss his essay on John C. Calhoun in BRI's new digital history textbook, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Dr. Read tells the provocative story of how Calhoun’s political philosophy broke with the Founders’ view of majority rule in a republic. Calhoun developed the idea of a “concurrent majority” to protect “states’ rights” before the Civil War. What is the proper role of majority rule and consent in a republican form of government? What is the nature of the relationship between the federal and state governments according to the principle of federalism?