1782-1850. U.S politician from the state of South Carolina. After serving in the state legislature, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and, with Henry Clay, was a major force in convincing the House to declare war on England, thus officially starting the War of 1812. Later he became Secretary of War under President James Monroe and was Vice President under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He resigned as Jackson's Vice President in 1832 because he disagreed with Jackson on the protective tariffs that led to the nullification crisis when South Carolina put Calhoun's pro-states' rights views into action by threatening to nullify the tariffs.

Calhoun was elected to the Senate after resigning as Vice President, and later was Secretary of State under John Tyler before returning to the Senate. He remained a leading force in politics, and in 1957, more than a hundred years after his death, the U.S. Senators of the time named him as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators in the country's history.