Chapter 11

Chapter 11: The Jacksonian Impulse

Research Topics

The Nullification Crisis


What perspectives and arguments developed regarding the theory of nullification?

The relationship between the federal government and the states always has been a concern for Americans. In the 1820s and 1830s some Americans maintained that states had the right to nullify, or reject, federal laws. The nullification argument pitted the rights of states against the power of the federal government. This debate led to a showdown between the White House and one southern state. In 1832 South Carolina announced it would not enforce the Tariff of 1832. President Andrew Jackson threatened to use the military to bring the state into compliance. Isolated from the other states, South Carolina backed down. The next assertion of states'-rights would be that of the right to secede from the Union, a position that sparked the Civil War.


Choose from the following titles:

  1. John C. Calhoun's South Carolina Protest (December, 19, 1828)
  2. Daniel Webster on Liberty and Union (January, 26, 1830)
  3. South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification (1832)
  4. President Jackson's Nullification Proclamation (1832)
  5. The Nullifier's Reply to the President (1832)
  6. John C. Calhoun
  7. Daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson in 1845
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