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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


In Daniel Webster's view, the survival of the Union required not only an orator who could defend the Constitution as he did against Robert Hayne, but one who could embody the spirit of the constitution in deliberative performance. Webster uses his performance in debate not only to assail his opponent, defend New England, and expound on the Constitution, but further to demonstrate with his own oratory the abiding value of decorum, prudence, and eloquence in the national life. Webster becomes the ideal of deliberative performance as he contrasts his own conduct in debate with that of his Southern opponent. Webster’s speech is inspired by the need to manage preservation of the Union not only with a Constitutional theory, but also with a paradigm of public action.



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