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Served as senator from South Carolina 1832-1845 as a Democratic Republican and Nullifier, then again 1845-1850 as a Democrat Many senators are colorful figures, but John C. Calhoun goes way beyond that. To say that he is controversial is a massive understatement and his inclusion in this list undoubtedly has to do with a compromise in the modern Senate since he is still revered in the South. Long before John Nance Gardner said that the Vice Presidency wasn't worth a pitcher of warm piss, John Calhoun demonstrated this by running for the Senate (and getting elected) while a sitting Vice President. Calhoun's odd move came because he and President Andrew Jackson didn't see eye to eye on a couple of issues. For example, he strongly believed in nullification, the idea that a state could declare void any federal law it didn't like, something Jackson abhored. In this case, South Carolina didn't like a federal tariff on imported manufacturered goods, which protected Northern factories from cheaper European goods, but simply raised prices in the factoryless South. When South Carolina refused to collect the tariff, Jackson sent in the navy to do it for them. Calhoun also gave a famous speech on the Senate floor in Feb. 1837 entitled Slavery a Positive Good. Suffice it to say, in his long career in the House, Senate, and cabinet, he was a staunch defender of states rights and slavery. To a large extent, his legacy is the Civil War.

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Q: Who was the senator of South Carolina during the Civil War?
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