Portrait of John C. Calhoun

Led by U.S. Vice-President John C. Calhoun, a special Convention of the People of South Carolina adopted the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, on November 24, 1832, declaring that the Tariff of 1828 and the Tariff of 1832 were unconstitutional and that the citizens of South Carolina considered them to “be held utterly null and void.” The document sparked a confrontation between the federal government and the State of South Carolina known as the Nullification Crisis. [Wikimedia Commons]

Nullification Crisis Facts

1832-1833

Key facts about the Nullification Crisis of 1832 -1833.

Advertisements

Date:

  • 1832-1833

Location:

  • South Carolina

Notable Participants:

  • U.S. President Andrew Jackson, U. S. Vice-President John C. Calhoun and U.S. Senator Robert Hayne, South Carolina Governor James Hamilton, Jr., U.S. Senator Henry Clay

Significance:

  • On October 25, 1832, the South Carolina legislature enacted a measure authorizing a statewide convention to consider a response to the enactment of the Tariff of 1832.
  • The Convention of the People of South Carolina convened in Columbia on November 19, 1832.
  • On November 24, 1832, by a vote of 136 to 26, delegates to the Convention of the People of South Carolina endorsed a proclamation entitled An ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities.
  • The official title of the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification is “An ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities.”
  • William Harper drafted the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification.
  • The South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification stated that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority to lay duties for the purpose of raising revenue by instead imposing duties “intended for the protection of domestic manufactures and . . . classes and individuals . . . . “
  • The South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification stated that “the people of the State of South Carolina . . . do declare and ordain” that the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 “are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State.”
  • The South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification stated that “we, the people of South Carolina . . . do further declare that we will not submit to the application of force on the part of the federal government, to reduce this State to obedience, but that we will consider the passage, by Congress, of any act authorizing the employment of a military or naval force against the State of South Carolina . . . as inconsistent with the longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union; and that the people of this State will henceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political connection with the people of the other States; and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate government.”
  • The Convention of the People of South Carolina adjourned on November 24, 1832 and distributed copies of the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification to President Andrew Jackson and the governor of each state in the Union.
  • On December 20, 1832 the South Carolina Legislature passed An Act to carry into effect in part, an Ordinance to Nullify certain Acts of the Congress of the United States.
  • On December 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson responded to the on South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification by issuing A Proclamation Regarding Nullification.
  • In his Proclamation Regarding Nullification President Andrew Jackson made clear his determination “to execute the laws (and) to preserve the Union by all constitutional means,” including “recourse to force; and . . . the shedding of a brother’s blood” if necessary.
  • In response to the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, President Andrew Jackson sent military reinforcements to the federal fortifications in Charleston Harbor.
  • On March 2, 1833, in response to the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, the U.S. Congress enacted An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports, commonly known as the Force Act.
  • The Force Act, the legislation authorized “the president to use armed forces to protect customs officers and to prevent the unauthorized removal of untaxed vessels and cargo” in violation of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832.
  • On March 2, 1833, the U.S. Congress enacted the compromise Tariff of 1833 that authorized the gradual reduction of many of the protective duties imposed by the tariffs of 1828 and 1832.
  • On March 11, 1833, the Convention of the People of South Carolina re-convened in Columbia.
  • On March 15, delegates to the Convention of the People of South Carolina voted 153-4 to rescind the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification because Congress had enacted the compromise Tariff of 1833.
  • On March 18, 1833, delegates to the Convention of the People of South Carolina approved an ordinance nullifying the Force Act by a vote of 132-19.
Advertisements

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Nullification Crisis Facts
  • Coverage 1832-1833
  • Author
  • Keywords Nullification Crisis, John C. Calhoun, South Carolina
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date December 5, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 17, 2021