America In the Early 19th Century


Table of Contents
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Important Maps
Biographies of Key Historical Figures


Overview:     Nullification is a constitutional theory that gives an individual state the right to declare null and avoid any law passed by the United States Congress. The two major characters in the nullification crisis are John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson. They are enemies fighting for the opposite thing.  Calhoun was elected vice-president in 1824 and then joined the senate in 1832.  Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828. Congress passed the Tariff of 1828. South Carolina didn't like this law. It was Calhoun the supporter of the state rights and seeking a solution to the problem of protecting the minority against the majority who wrote the Carolina Exposition. This said that if government overstepped it's power in passing a law the people could refuse to obey it (or nullify). South Carolina didn't obey this law. They started talking about seceding, but Andrew Jackson threatened to send military force against them and hang Calhoun.  Jackson was worried that nullification would destroy the Union.

This happened in 1832. Then Henry Clay arranged a compromise that lowered South Carolina's tariff.  This was settled and proved to work. Nullification Crisis was not solved, because Congress just changed the law to keep South Carolina happy and they didn't deal with issue if the states could nullify or not.

By: Brittany L.

Vocabulary and Identifications

1) Andrew Jackson- the president during the time period of 1829-1837

2) "Tariff of Abominations" -a tariff created in that said that New England could raise prices and still outsell imported products.

3) secede-to break away

4) sovereignty- the power to control affairs

5) spoils system- a practice where workers are picked for jobs by loyalty to the president's political party. By: Angela L.

Important Maps

Insert your maps in the table below  with a caption or explanation.
nullification cartoon

Biographies of Important People
Person 1
 John C. Calhoun was elected as vice-president under John Quincy Adams in 1824, four years before the Tariff of 1828 and ideas of nullification started.  This tariff caused problems with South Carolina because they didn’t like the tariff.  In 1832 Calhoun wrote the Carolina Exposition.  In this essay it said that if a state did not agree with a law made by congress .  Calhoun believed in state rights and thought that would make a better government.  The same year he wrote the exposition he entered the senate after being threatened by Andrew Jackson to be hanged for siding with South Carolina. Calhoun thought he could represent his state better in the senate. He and the South Carolina had won the argument about the tariff and Henry Clay made a compromise to satisfy them, but this did not solve the issue of nullification.
Person 2
 Andrew Jackson became president in 1828.  The same year as the Tariff of 1828 came out. Jackson disliked Calhoun even though he was the vice-president. Andrew thought that nullification would destroy the Union.  He said he would send military forces into South Carolina if kept talking about seceding if it didn’t stop and threatened to hang Calhoun.  Clay made a compromise South Carolina happy. I  think Jackson was happy that there wouldn’t be any seceding from the Union, yet, and there was no nullifying.

Written and Typed By: Brittany L.


Multiple Choice directions: circle the correct answer.

1. Who was the president from 1829-1837?

A. Ulysses S. Grant   B. John Quincy Adams
C. Martin Van Buren  D. Andrew Jackson

2. John C. Calhoun held what position during the nullification crisis?

A. congressman    B. vice president
C. treasurer     D. farmer

3. Jackson and Calhoun’s political views on states' rights were-

A. similar      B. unclear
C. opposite     D. not stated

4. Who proposed the compromise tariff of 1833?

A. Henry Clay          B. Daniel Webster
C. John C. Calhoun   D. Andrew Jackson

5. What does nullification do?

A. lets the pres. overrule  
B. lets people refuse to enforce a law  votes if thought unconstitutional.
C. re-elects the president   
D. it makes a better gov.

Match the answers: match the words to the correct answer

6. “Tarrif of Abominations” 
7. sovereignty
8. secede
9. spoils system
10.South Carolina
A. to break away
B. the first state to leave the Union
C. the practice of political supporters of the pres. with jobs. 
D. document that said  New England could raise prices of products and still outsell England.
E. the power to control affairs.





The New book of Knowledge By: Stuart Rochester
Volume 10, pg. 7
Volume 3, pg. 336 and 17

The Internet


1. D
2. B
3. C
4. A
5. B
6. D
7. E
8. A
9. C
10. B

This page is part of a web project developed by Mr. Cassutto's 7th grade US History class at Sterling Middle School

Student authors:

Brittany L.
Dominic D.
Emily R.
Angela L.

Check OutTo Project Main Page


George Cassutto's Cyberlearning World

     [Lesson Plan of the Day]     [Cassutto Memorial]    [About the Author]    [Search]    [Civics Lesson Plans]