The Nullification Crisis Essay
The Nullification Crisis was a conflict that took place between the state of South Carolina and the federal government from 1832 to 1833. This political dispute took place during the presidency of Andrew Jackson and the vice presidency of John C. Calhoun. The cause of this conflict was a result of the infuriated southern states due to tariffs that were sought to be unconstitutional. [Add sentence or 2] The first action that triggered conflict was when the tariff of 1828 was placed. This tariff applied a tax on manufactured goods that would be imported. The southern states, especially South Carolina was set off by this tariff, including South Carolinian and Vice President John C Calhoun. As a result of the tariff of 1828, John C. Calhoun wrote the “The South Carolina Exposition and Protest.” “The South Carolina Exposition and Protest” was an essay explaining the South’s discontent with the Tariff of 1828. Calhoun thought that the tariff was unconstitutional and argued that the states rally together and nullify the tariff. “Jackson publicly broadcast his opposition to nullification in the administration’s newspaper, the Washington Globe… shortly after its birth, the newspaper accused John C Calhoun of driving ‘the people of South Carolina, and the whole South, into a league of revolt’” (Latner 20).
At this time, no states were in agreement with Calhoun at this time. [Add 2 sentences] Due to the outrage caused by the Tariff of 1828, the Tariff of 1832 was created. “… the 1832 tariff was hailed as a ‘bill of compromise’ between contesting parties. It had achieved the apparently impossible” (Ratcliffe 14). This new tariff was an adjustment to the tariff of 1828. It was put into effect to appease the dispute between the state by reducing tariffs. “… whatever hope Jackson had that tariff reform would pacify the nullifiers faded in the face of continued resistance” (Latner 31). Despite this modification, the southern states, especially South Carolina became very averse to the tariff due to the fact that the higher priced goods were still causing economies to suffer. [3 sentences] With the help of John C. Calhoun and his nullification theory, the state of South Carolina decided to seek to nullification. The first step in this process was for the state to hold a state convention. At this convention, the Ordinance of Nullification was created. The ordinance of nullification declared they had the right to nullify the 1828 and 1832 tariffs. In addition to the attempt to nullify, the state of South Carolina threatened to secede from the United States, if the federal government tried to use force to collect the tariff dues from the state. “… as word reached Washington of South Carolina’s convention and Nullification Ordinance, Jackson increasingly measured the value of reform in the pacification of southern moderates and their isolation from the South Carolina infection. The Globe urged Congress to offer new concessions in order to ‘disarm the Nullifiers, By taking the Tariff weapon out of their hands, and derive them of the means of practicing further on the credulity of the people of the south…’” (Latner 31) [Add 2 sentences] In response, Andrew Jackson made his proclamation against nullification known. “Andrew Jackson’s contempt for nullification is well known. ‘this abominable doctrine… strikes at the root of our Government and the social compact, and reduces everything to anarchy…’” (Latner 20).
In his proclamation, Jackson stated that states do not have the right to nullify a federal law that they believe is unconstitutional. “… Jackson’s Nullification Proclamation of December 10 possessed considerable vigor and spirit. The origins of the document are obscure, but Jackson likely turned for help in composing it to those aides who most supported a strong assertion of federal authority” (Latner 32). [Add 3 sentences] In contrast with Andrew Jackson proclamation, Governor John Haynes came out with a counter proclamation. This proclamation claimed that if a state is being oppressed by the law, they can deem it unconstitutional. He countered Jackson’s response to sending troops to South Carolina by continuing to nullify the federal tariffs due to the South’s anger about these taxes. [Add 4 sentences] After both proclamations, Jackson decided that something needed to be done. “By early December 1832, the president had involved a strategy to deal with the growing crisis. Intent upon avoiding a clash of arms, he determined to overawe South Carolina with the specter of tens of thousands of armed troops opposed within and without her borders” (Latner 32).
Jackson proposed that Congress to pass the Force Bill. The Force Bill was a bill that allowed the president to have the power to use military forces to collect tariff dues. This was implemented as a result of South Carolina’s revolt from paying for the tariffs. [Add 3 sentences] With South Carolina still angry about the tariffs, The state decided to rejoined their convention regarding that the nullification ordinance had been dismissed. At this time, They called for a repeal on their nullification of the tariffs that were placed to protect Northern industries to try to have the power to nullify those tariffs. [Add 4 sentences] As a final attempt to resolve this conflict, Henry Clay created Clay’s Compromise. “ while he objected to many of the details, he thought that, as a spirit of mutual compromise should prevail, no difficulty would arise in settling differences” (Houston 125) The compromise was invoked in order to seek a resolution for the conflict of the protective tariffs between the states. It claimed that tariff taxes would be removed by ten percent each year. South Carolina was still upset that they could not nullify these tariffs. The compromise also included California entering the Union as a free state, the fugitive slave act was amended, the slave trade in D.C. was abolished, and a territorial government was created in Utah. [Add 2 sentences]
Through Andrew Jackson’s presidency, the Nullification crisis really had an effect on him. “ Nullification certainly contributed to the dramatic shift in Jackson’s tariff policy during his first term” (Latner 30) [Sentence]. Jackson struggled to keep up his good reputation through this crisis. “The nullification crisis hurt Jackson politically, or it helped create an uneasy but nonetheless real alliance between his two most powerful enemies: Clay and Calhoun” (Ellis 182). His vice president, Calhoun .
Additionally, John C. Calhoun also faced effects due to the Nullification crisis. One of the people that affected him the most was Andrew Jackson. Throughout Calhoun’s vice presidency, Jackson and him did not get along. Due to the fact that Calhoun was strongly for nullification surely did not help.