Nullification Crisis - Wikipedia
John Caldwell Calhoun was an American statesman and political theorist from South Carolina, He served under John Quincy Adams and continued under Andrew Jackson, who defeated Adams in the election of Calhoun had a difficult relationship with Jackson primarily due to the Nullification Crisis and the. General Andrew Jackson defeated President John Quincy Adams, after a with his own vice president, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. Andrew Jackson became president of the United States in March of developed between himself and Vice President John C. Calhoun.
The purpose of the taxes was to protect American industries. South Carolina, like other Southern states, had almost no industry. It was an agricultural area. Import taxes would only raise the price of products the South imported. South Carolina refused to pay the tax. Calhoun wrote a long statement defending South Carolina's action. In the statement, he developed what was called the Doctrine of Nullification. The doctrine declared that the power of the federal government was not supreme.
Calhoun argued that, instead, supreme power belonged to the states. He said states did not surrender this power when they approved the Constitution.
In any dispute between the states and the federal government, he said, the states should decide what is right. Portrait of John C. Calhoun at Age 40 Calhoun argued that if the federal government passed a law that any state thought was not constitutional, or against its interests, that state could temporarily suspend the law. The other states of the union, Calhoun said, would then be asked to decide the question of the law's constitutionality.
If two-thirds of the states approved the law, the complaining state would have to accept it, or leave the union. If less than two-thirds of the states approved it, then the law would be rejected. None of the states would have to obey it. It would be nullified — cancelled. Senator Hayne spoke first. He said that there was no greater evil than giving more power to the federal government.
Andrew Jackson Proclaims Federal Power over States' Rights
The major point of his speech could be put into a few words: Senator Webster said Hayne had spoken foolishly. Liberty and union could not be separated, Webster said. It was liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable. No one really knew how President Andrew Jackson felt about nullification.
John C. Calhoun - Wikipedia
He made no public statement during the debate. Leaders in South Carolina developed a plan to get the president's support. They decided to hold a big dinner honoring the memory of Thomas Jefferson. Jackson agreed to attend the dinner. The speeches were carefully planned. They began by praising the democratic ideas of Jefferson. Next they discussed South Carolina's opposition to the import tax.
Andrew Jackson Finally, the speeches were finished. It was time for toasts. President Jackson made the first one. He stood up, raised his glass, and looked straight at Vice President John C. He waited for the cheering to stop. He had not expected Jackson's opposition to nullification. His hand shook, and he spilled some of the wine from his glass. Calhoun was called on to make the next toast.
Most of those at dinner left with him. And the people were with him — opposed to nullification. But the idea was not dead among some people in South Carolina. The nullifiers held a majority of seats in the state's legislature at that time.
They called a special convention. Within five days, convention delegates approved a declaration of nullification. They said citizens of South Carolina need not pay the federal import taxes.
The nullifiers also declared that if the federal government tried to use force against South Carolina, then the state would withdraw from the union and form its own independent government. Jackson was a nationalist. He was a great believer in the federal union. He was a flag-waving patriot.
As Jackson saw it, nullification was the beginning of the end of the United States as a nation. He says Jackson believed in a limited federal government.
Early life[ edit ] Coat of Arms of John C. Patrick's father, also named Patrick Calhoun, had joined the Scotch-Irish immigration movement from County Donegal to southwestern Pennsylvania. After the death of the elder Patrick inthe family moved to southwestern Virginia. He was known as an Indian fighter and an ambitious surveyor, farmer, planter and politician, being a member of the South Carolina Legislature.
As a Presbyterian, he stood opposed to the Anglican elite based in Charleston. He was a Patriot in the American Revolutionand opposed ratification of the federal Constitution on grounds of states' rights and personal liberties.
24e. Jackson vs. Clay and Calhoun
Calhoun would eventually adopt his father's states' rights beliefs. He continued his studies privately. When his father died, his brothers were away starting business careers and so the year old Calhoun took over management of the family farm and five other farms. For four years he simultaneously kept up his reading and his hunting and fishing. The family decided he should continue his education, and so he resumed studies at the Academy after it reopened.
For the first time in his life, Calhoun encountered serious, advanced, well-organized intellectual dialogue that could shape his mind. Yale was dominated by President Timothy Dwighta Federalist who became his mentor. Dwight's brilliance entranced and sometimes repelled Calhoun. Biographer John Niven says: Calhoun admired Dwight's extemporaneous sermons, his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge, and his awesome mastery of the classics, of the tenets of Calvinismand of metaphysics.
No one, he thought, could explicate the language of John Locke with such clarity. Dwight could not shake Calhoun's commitment to republicanism. He graduated as valedictorian in He was admitted to the South Carolina bar in Dwight, Reeve, and Gould could not convince the young patriot from South Carolina as to the desirability of secession, but they left no doubts in his mind as to its legality.
Colhouna leader of Charleston high society. The couple had 10 children over 18 years: Three of them, Floride Pure, Jane, and Elizabeth, died in infancy. He was raised Calvinist but was attracted to Southern varieties of Unitarianism of the sort that attracted Jefferson. Southern Unitarianism was generally less organized than the variety popular in New England.
He was generally not outspoken about his religious beliefs. After his marriage, Calhoun and his wife attended the Episcopal Church, of which she was a member. Brushing aside the vehement objections of both anti-war New Englanders and arch-conservative Jeffersonians led by John Randolph of Roanokethey demanded war against Britain to preserve American honor and republican values, which had been violated by the British refusal to recognize American shipping rights. Drawing on the linguistic tradition of the Declaration of Independence, Calhoun's committee called for a declaration of war in ringing phrases, denouncing Britain's "lust for power", "unbounded tyranny", and "mad ambition".
The opening phase involved multiple disasters for American arms, as well as a financial crisis when the Treasury could barely pay the bills. The conflict caused economic hardship for the Americans, as the Royal Navy blockaded the ports and cut off imports, exports and the coastal trade. Several attempted invasions of Canada were fiascos, but the U. These Indians had, in many cases, cooperated with the British or Spanish in opposing American interests. One colleague hailed him as "the young Hercules who carried the war on his shoulders.
It called for a return to the borders of with no gains or losses. Before the treaty reached the Senate for ratification, and even before news of its signing reached New Orleans, a massive British invasion force was utterly defeated in January at the Battle of New Orleansmaking a national hero of General Andrew Jackson.
Americans celebrated what they called a "second war of independence" against Britain. This led to the beginning of the " Era of Good Feelings ", an era marked by the formal demise of the Federalist Party and increased nationalism. In he called for building an effective navy, including steam frigates, as well as a standing army of adequate size.
The British blockade of the coast had underscored the necessity of rapid means of internal transportation; Calhoun proposed a system of "great permanent roads". The blockade had cut off the import of manufactured items, so he emphasized the need to encourage more domestic manufacture, fully realizing that industry was based in the Northeast.
The dependence of the old financial system on import duties was devastated when the blockade cut off imports. Calhoun called for a system of internal taxation that would not collapse from a war-time shrinkage of maritime trade, as the tariffs had done. The expiration of the charter of the First Bank of the United States had also distressed the Treasury, so to reinvigorate and modernize the economy Calhoun called for a new national bank.
Through his proposals, Calhoun emphasized a national footing and downplayed sectionalism and states rights. Phillips says that at this stage of Calhoun's career, "The word nation was often on his lips, and his conviction was to enhance national unity which he identified with national power.
His gestures are easy and graceful, his manner forcible, and language elegant; but above all, he confines himself closely to the subject, which he always understands, and enlightens everyone within hearing. A later critic noted the sharp contrast between his hesitant conversations and his fluent speaking styles, adding that Calhoun "had so carefully cultivated his naturally poor voice as to make his utterance clear, full, and distinct in speaking and while not at all musical it yet fell pleasantly on the ear".
He was often seen as harsh and aggressive with other representatives. Historian Russell Kirk says, "That zeal which flared like Greek fire in Randolph burned in Calhoun, too; but it was contained in the Cast-iron Man as in a furnace, and Calhoun's passion glowed out only through his eyes. No man was more stately, more reserved. He is above all sectional and factious prejudices more than any other statesman of this Union with whom I have ever acted.
Calhoun took office on December 8 and served until He proposed an elaborate program of national reforms to the infrastructure that he believed would speed economic modernization. His first priority was an effective navy, including steam frigates, and in the second place a standing army of adequate size—and as further preparation for emergency, "great permanent roads", "a certain encouragement" to manufactures, and a system of internal taxation that would not collapse from a war-time shrinkage of maritime trade, like customs duties.
Calhoun's political rivalry with William H. Crawfordthe Secretary of the Treasury, over the pursuit of the presidency in the election complicated Calhoun's tenure as War Secretary. The general lack of military action following the war meant that a large army, such as that preferred by Calhoun, was no longer considered necessary. The "Radicals", a group of strong states' rights supporters who mostly favored Crawford for president in the coming election, were inherently suspicious of large armies.
Some allegedly also wanted to hinder Calhoun's own presidential aspirations for that election. Calhoun, though concerned, offered little protest. Later, to provide the army with a more organized command structure, which had been severely lacking during the War ofhe appointed Major General Jacob Brown to a position that would later become known as " Commanding General of the United States Army ". He promoted a plan, adopted by Monroe into preserve the sovereignty of eastern Indians by relocating them to western reservations they could control without interference from state governments.
Calhoun's frustration with congressional inaction, political rivalries, and ideological differences spurred him to create the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Thomas McKenney was appointed as the first head of the bureau.
Four other men also sought the presidency: Crawford, and Henry Clay. Calhoun failed to win the endorsement of the South Carolina legislature, and his supporters in Pennsylvania decided to abandon his candidacy in favor of Jackson's, and instead supported him for vice president.
Other states soon followed, and Calhoun therefore allowed himself to become a candidate for vice president rather than president.
He won votes out of electoral votes, while five other men received the remaining votes. After Clay, the Speaker of the House, was appointed Secretary of State by Adams, Jackson's supporters denounced what they considered a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Clay to give Adams the presidency in exchange for Clay receiving the office of Secretary of State, the holder of which had traditionally become the next president. Calhoun also expressed some concerns, which caused friction between him and Adams.
Calhoun became disillusioned with Adams' high tariff policies and increased centralization of government through a network of "internal improvements", which he now saw as a threat to the rights of the states. Calhoun wrote to Jackson on June 4,informing him that he would support Jackson's second campaign for the presidency in