Nullification Crisis

nullificationNullification ConventionNullification Crisis of 1832nullification movementNegro Seamen ActNullifierscrisisdoctrine of nullificationnullification controversynullification doctrine
The Nullification Crisis was a United States sectional political crisis in 1832–33, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, which involved a confrontation between the state of South Carolina and the federal government.wikipedia
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Andrew Jackson

JacksonJacksonianPresident Andrew Jackson
The Nullification Crisis was a United States sectional political crisis in 1832–33, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, which involved a confrontation between the state of South Carolina and the federal government.
The crisis was defused when the tariff was amended, and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede.

John C. Calhoun

John CalhounJohn Caldwell CalhounCalhoun
In Washington, an open split on the issue occurred between Jackson and Vice President John C. Calhoun, a native South Carolinian and the most effective proponent of the constitutional theory of state nullification, the legal theory that if a state believed a federal law unconstitutional, it could declare the law null and void in the state.
Calhoun had a difficult relationship with Jackson primarily due to the Nullification Crisis and the Petticoat affair.

Tariff of Abominations

Tariff of 1828Tariffs of 18281828
It ensued after South Carolina declared that the federal Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within the sovereign boundaries of the state. The controversial and highly protective Tariff of 1828 was enacted into law during the presidency of John Quincy Adams.
The reaction in the South, particularly in South Carolina, led to the Nullification Crisis.

Tariff of 1832

18321832 tariffsother protectionist measures
It ensued after South Carolina declared that the federal Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within the sovereign boundaries of the state.
South Carolinian opposition to this tariff and its predecessor, the Tariff of Abominations, caused the Nullification Crisis.

Force Bill

threatened
However, on March 1, 1833, Congress passed both the Force Bill—authorizing the President to use military forces against South Carolina—and a new negotiated tariff, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which was satisfactory to South Carolina.
The United States Force Bill, formally titled "An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports", (1833), refers to legislation enacted by the 22nd U.S. Congress on March 2, 1833, during the Nullification Crisis.

Tariff of 1833

Compromise TariffCompromise Tariff of 18331833 compromise tariff
However, on March 1, 1833, Congress passed both the Force Bill—authorizing the President to use military forces against South Carolina—and a new negotiated tariff, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which was satisfactory to South Carolina.
55, ), enacted on March 2, 1833, was proposed by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun as a resolution to the Nullification Crisis.

Report of 1800

reportReport on the Resolutions of 1798
He was chairman of a committee of the Virginia Legislature, which issued a book-length Report on the Resolutions of 1798, published in 1800 after they had been decried by several states.
The arguments made in the Resolutions and the Report were later used frequently during the nullification crisis of 1832, when South Carolina declared federal tariffs to be unconstitutional and void within the state.

Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

Kentucky ResolutionsVirginia and Kentucky ResolutionsVirginia Resolutions
Later in the decade the Alien and Sedition Acts led to the states' rights position being articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.
In the years leading up to the Nullification Crisis, the resolutions divided Jeffersonian democrats, with states' rights proponents such as John C. Calhoun supporting the Principles of '98 and President Andrew Jackson opposing them.

States' rights

states rightsstate's rightsstate sovereignty
Later in the decade the Alien and Sedition Acts led to the states' rights position being articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. The tariff rates were reduced and stayed low to the satisfaction of the South, but the states' rights doctrine of nullification remained controversial.
This action initiated the Nullification Crisis.

Secession in the United States

secessionsecessionistsecede
The Kentucky Resolutions, written by Thomas Jefferson, contained the following, which has often been cited as a justification for both nullification and secession:
In the public debate over the Nullification Crisis the separate issue of secession was also discussed.

Henry Clay

ClayHenry Clay, Sr.Clay, Henry
Sponsored by Henry Clay, this tariff provided a general level of protection at 35% ad valorem (compared to 25% with the 1816 act) and hiked duties on iron, woolens, cotton, hemp, and wool and cotton bagging.
After the 1832 election, Clay helped bring an end to the Nullification Crisis by leading passage of the Tariff of 1833.

Nullification (U.S. Constitution)

nullificationnullifynullified
The Nullification Crisis was a United States sectional political crisis in 1832–33, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, which involved a confrontation between the state of South Carolina and the federal government. In Washington, an open split on the issue occurred between Jackson and Vice President John C. Calhoun, a native South Carolinian and the most effective proponent of the constitutional theory of state nullification, the legal theory that if a state believed a federal law unconstitutional, it could declare the law null and void in the state.
During the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s, Madison denounced as unconstitutional the concept of nullification of federal law by a state.

South Carolina

SCState of South CarolinaS.C.
The Nullification Crisis was a United States sectional political crisis in 1832–33, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, which involved a confrontation between the state of South Carolina and the federal government.
In 1832, the Ordinance of Nullification declared federal tariff laws unconstitutional and not to be enforced in the state, leading to the Nullification Crisis.

Daniel Webster

WebsterDan'l WebsterAmerican politician of the same name
Daniel Webster of Massachusetts led the New England opposition to this tariff.
Webster supported Jackson's defiant response to the Nullification Crisis, but broke with the president due to disagreements over the Second Bank of the United States.

Ordinance of Nullification

nullificationNullification Ordinance
The reductions were too little for South Carolina, however, and on November 24, 1832, a state convention adopted the Ordinance of Nullification, which declared that the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and unenforceable in South Carolina after February 1, 1833.
It began the Nullification Crisis.

Charleston, South Carolina

CharlestonCharleston, SCCharles Town
South Carolina passed a Negro Seamen Act, which required that all black foreign seamen be imprisoned while their ships were docked in Charleston.
The only major antebellum American city to have a majority-enslaved population, Charleston was controlled by an oligarchy of white planters and merchants who successfully forced the federal government to revise its 1828 and 1832 tariffs during the Nullification Crisis and launched the Civil War in 1861 by seizing the Arsenal, Castle Pinckney, and Fort Sumter from their federal garrisons.

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel R. PoinsettJoel PoinsettPoinsett
The western part of the state and a faction in Charleston, led by Joel Poinsett, would remain loyal to the Union.
He was the first U.S. agent in South America, a member of the South Carolina legislature and the United States House of Representatives, the first United States Minister to Mexico, a Unionist leader in South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis, Secretary of War under Martin Van Buren, and a co-founder of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science and the Useful Arts (a predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution).

John Quincy Adams

AdamsJohn QuincyJohn Q. Adams
The controversial and highly protective Tariff of 1828 was enacted into law during the presidency of John Quincy Adams.
As chairman of the committee charged with writing tariff laws, Adams became an important player in the Nullification Crisis, which stemmed largely from Southern objections to the high rates imposed by the Tariff of 1828.

James Hamilton Jr.

James Hamilton, Jr.James Hamilton
Rhett's rhetoric about revolution and war was too radical in the summer of 1828 but, with the election of Jackson assured, James Hamilton Jr. on October 28 in the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterborough "launched the formal nullification campaign."
As governor, he led the state during the Nullification Crisis of 1832, at the peak of his power.

Robert Rhett

Robert Barnwell RhettR. Barnwell RhettRobert B. Rhett
In the summer of 1828, Robert Barnwell Rhett, soon to be considered the most radical of the South Carolinians, entered the fray over the tariff.
At the end of the Nullification Crisis in 1833, he told the South Carolina Nullification Convention:

William Drayton

Drayton
State leaders such as Calhoun, Hayne, Smith, and William Drayton were all able to remain publicly non-committal or opposed to nullification for the next couple of years.
Following the Nullification Crisis, as a unionist Drayton decided to move his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1833.

Martin Van Buren

Van BurenPresident Martin Van BurenPresident Van Buren
The Tariff of 1828 was largely the work of Martin Van Buren (although Silas Wright Jr. of New York prepared the main provisions) and was partly a political ploy to elect Andrew Jackson President.
During the Nullification Crisis, Van Buren counseled Jackson to pursue a policy of conciliation with South Carolina leaders.

James Madison

MadisonPresident MadisonPresident James Madison
The Virginia Resolutions, written by James Madison, hold a similar argument:
During Jackson's presidency, Madison publicly disavowed the Nullification movement and argued that no state had the right to secede.

Alien and Sedition Acts

Sedition ActSedition Act of 1798Alien Enemies Act
Later in the decade the Alien and Sedition Acts led to the states' rights position being articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

Panic of 1819

18191819 to 1821, which was one of the most severe1819–20
However in 1819, the nation suffered its first financial panic and the 1820s turned out to be a decade of political turmoil that again led to fierce debates over competing views of the exact nature of American federalism.
However, when the "Tariff of Abominations" was implemented in 1828, regional discontent led to the outbreak of the Nullification Crisis.