Calhoun first served as Vice President (1825–29) under John Quincy Adams. Throughout Adams's administration he opposed the President and aligned himself with the supporters of Andrew Jackson. An able constitutional lawyer, he made an imposing figure skillfully presiding over the Senate. When the Jacksonians finally triumphed in 1828, Calhoun was again elected Vice President.
It was widely assumed that he would succeed Jackson in office, but relations between the two men soon cooled. Calhoun, prodded by his wife and his supporters, offended the President in the Eaton affair (see O'Neill, Margaret). Jackson finally became furious when he discovered that years before Calhoun had privately denounced Jackson's conduct in Florida while publicly giving the impression that he had supported the general. Primarily, however, Jackson and Calhoun had come to disagree on the nature of the Union.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.