The Nullification Crisis

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The Nullification Crisis

The Nullification Crisis

The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis that took place in South Carolina because of a rebel movement called the "Nullies" against the Tarrifs of 1828 and 1832.

Time Line


From Adams to Jackson

In 1828 Jackson was elected without needing the tariff. It was still pending in congress and was approved only after his election.

The "Nullies" (supporters of nullification of the tariff of 1828) sustained that states held nullification rights (so they could nullify federal laws).

Calhoun convinced President Jackson to reform the tariff of 1828 and the President convinced congress to approve the tariff of 1832 which was lower than the previous one.

South Caroliners were still not satisfied and they threatened to leave the union if the tariffs were not reduced.

In 1824 John Quincy Adams won the elections and Jackson's supporters were mad about his success.


South Carolina Rebels


Jackson enforces the tariff


The Compromise Tariff

Jackson's supporters wanted him to win in the elections of 1828 so they tried to set a tarrif.

The proposal presented in congress wanted to raise tariffs on goods like wool and textiles.

Election of 1824

During Jackson's presidency the tariff caused rebellion and ended up being called 'The Tariff of Abominations'

The South Carolina Legislature pushed forward a pamphlet titled 'The South Carolina Exposition' which stated that the tariff of 1828 was unjust and unconstitional. The author of 'The South Carolina Exposition' was John C. Calhoun. The Vice President of the United States.

John C. Calhoun

One of the major supporters of the nullification cause was Calhoun since he was originally from South Carolina. But this created a distance between him and President Jackson. The conflict between Jackson and Calhoun became obvious in 1830 when Calhoun sustained a proposal for a road in Kentucky that went from Maysville to Lexington but Jackson voted against the project.

President Jackson was so angry with the Nullies that he sent his army to South Carolina. After his re-election he gave an important speech with the nullification proclamation in which he said he was read to use the army to enforce the tariff.

The Maysville Road

In order to be able to use the army against South Carolina, President Jackson asked congress to approve a "Force Bill" that was also called the "Bloody Bill". To defend South Carolina, Calhoun asked his old friend Henry Clay to suggest a comprimise. Clay drafted an act by which tariffs would be reduced by ten percent over an eight year period.

Based on Clay's proposal, the compromise tariff was passed in 1833 by congress. The tariffs were not as low as South Carolina would have hoped but still better than the previous ones, so they were appeased.


Tariff Scale

The issues of Nullification and Secession will eventually lead to the Civil War.


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