A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 14: “Jacksonian Democracy at Flood Tide”
~ 1830 – 1840 ~
“Nullies” in South Carolina
South Carolinians, still scornful toward the
Tariff of 1828
, attempted to garner the necessary
two-thirds majority to nullify it in the S.C. legislature, but determined Unionists blocked them.
In response to the anger at the “Tariff of Abominations,” Congress passed the
Tariff of 1832
which did away with the worst parts of the Tariff of 1828, such as lowering the tariff down to
35%, a reduction of 10%, but many southerners still hated it.
In the elections of 1832, the
came out with a two-thirds majority over the
met in the state legislature, and declared the Tariff of 1832 to be void within S.C. boundaries.
They also threatened with secession against the Union, causing a huge problem.
issued a ringing proclamation against S.C., to which governor
Hayne issued a counter-proclamation, and civil war loomed dangerously.
To compromise and prevent Jackson from crushing S.C. and becoming more
popular, the president’s rival,
, proposed a compromise bill that would
gradually reduce the Tariff of 1832 by about 10% over a period of eight years, so
that by 1842 the rates would be down to 20% to 25%.
Tariff of 1833
narrowly squeezed through Congress.
However, to save face, Congress also passed the
the “Bloody Bill”) that authorized the president to use the army
and navy, if necessary, to collect tariffs.
No other states had supported South Carolina’s stance of possible secession, though Georgia
and Virginia toyed with the idea.
Finally, S.C. repealed the nullification ordinance.
A Victory for Both Union and Nullification
The Unionists felt that they had won, since Jackson had appeased the South Carolinians and
avoided civil war and an armed clash.
The Nullists felt that they had won too, since they had succeeded in lowering the tariff without
losing principle; the people of Charleston, the “Cradle of Secession,” threw a gala for its
volunteer troops, though they now ominously considered secession more than nullification.
Generations later, many people felt that if S.C. had been crushed, there would have been no
Civil War, since it would not have been so brazen and arrogant and haughty.
The Bank as a Political Football
Jackson and his followers distrusted monopolistic banking and oversized businesses.
He was especially wary of the
Bank of the United States
In 1832, Henry Clay, in a strategy to bring Jackson’s popularity down so that he could defeat
him for presidency, rammed a bill for the rechartering of the BUS—four years early.