Portrait of Henry Clay.

With the nation teetering on the brink of civil war, Senators Henry Clay (pictured here) and John C. Calhoun hurriedly brokered a compromise measure to diffuse the situation. Their negotiations produced a new tariff proposal entitled An Act to modify the act of the fourteenth July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and all other acts imposing duties on imports. Congress designed the new tariff, more commonly known as the Tariff of 1833, to reduce protectionist duties gradually until 1842. [Library of Congress]

Tariff of 1833 Facts

March 2, 1833

Key facts about the Tariff of 1833.

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  • With the nation teetering on the brink of civil war, Senators Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun hurriedly brokered a compromise measure known as the Tariff of 1833 to diffuse the situation.
  • The formal name of the Tariff of 1833 is “An Act to modify the act of the fourteenth July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and all other acts imposing duties on imports.”
  • The Tariff of 1833 was designed to gradually reduce protectionist duties until 1842, at which time all duties would be reduced to a uniform level in line with the Tariff of 1816.
  • The compromise Tariff of 1833 provided Southerners the tariff relief they sought, while giving domestic manufacturers nine years to adjust to reduced government protection when competing with foreign rivals.
  • On February 25, 1833, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Tariff of 1833 by a vote of 119-85, as a substitute for a tariff bill already under consideration in that body.
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, southern representatives backed the Tariff of 1833 by a nearly unanimous vote of 55-1.
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, western representatives strongly supported Tariff of 1833 by a margin of 30-9.
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, northern representatives solidly opposed the Tariff of 1833 by a margin of 34-75.
  • On March 1, 1833 the U.S. Senate approved the Tariff of 1833 by a vote of 29-16.
  • In the U.S. Senate, all twelve southern senators supported the Tariff of 1833.
  • In the U.S. Senate, western senators approved the Tariff of 1833 by a slim margin of 6-5.
  • In the U.S. Senate, northern senators were indecisive about the Tariff of 1833, splitting their vote 11-11.
  • President Andrew Jackson signed the Tariff of 1833 into law on March 2, the same day he signed the Force Act.
  • After the enactment of the Tariff of 1833 and the Force Act, the Convention of the People of South Carolina voted 153-4 to rescind the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification.
  • The Tariff of 1833 remained in effect until shortly after the Whig Party gained control of the federal government in 1841.
  • In 1842, the Whig-controlled U.S. Congress enacted a new tariff often referred to as the Black Tariff of 1842.
  • The Tariff of 1842 basically negated the steep reduction in duties that Southerners were promised in the Tariff of 1833, only months after they were implemented.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Tariff of 1833 Facts
  • Coverage March 2, 1833
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date March 7, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 17, 2021