Nullification Crisis

November 26, 1832

The States Fight the Tarriff

In 1828, Andrew Jackson passed the Tarriff of 1828, which raised the tarriff to almost 50%, way over the allowed amount in the Constitution. This tarrif especially affected Southern states, as it affected the rates that they bought their raw materials. Additionally, Europe had drawn back some of their investments in America, affecting Southern states more so than the North. This tarriff was overwhelmingly hated by the South, renaming the tax the "Tarriff of Abominations." Led by John C. Calhoun, South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Nullification, declaring that the tarriff would not be enforced within state borders. Jackson saw this as a major threat to the preservation of the Union and threatened to send troops to South Carolina to enforce the tarriff with the passing of the Force Bill. Eventually, war was avoided when the Tarriff of 1832 was passed, lowering the tarriff enough to make South Carolina back down.
The central idea that the state governments could legally defy the federal government is central to the motivation of the the Civil War.