America In the Early 19th Century

Topic: Nullification Crisis

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


Overview: Nullification Crisis

What is Nullification?

In 1828, Congress passed a tariff.  The New England manufacturers had a great  plan for the tariff.  Now New England could raise prices to sell out imported products (stuff from a different country).  Then the southern planters didn't want to pay extra for manufactured goods.  So Vice President Calhoun stepped in and said, “We don't have to pay.”  So everything went wrong.  Then two years later, on April 13, 1830, the Southerners held a dinner for states’ rights.  At the dinner, a series of toasts were made. One of the toasts were made by Jackson.  He stood up and said for his toast, “Our union must be preserved next to our liberty.”  Then Congress lowered the prices of manufacturers’ goods but the Southerners refused it.  So in 1833, Jackson got Congress to pay the Force Bill.  The Force Bill gave power to the government to use the army and the navy if needed to enforce federal law.  A compromise tariff was passed and accepted by South Carolina, the state that threatened to secede. Then the nullification crisis ended.

Vocabulary and Identifications

Nullification The action of a state trying to prevent the enforcement of a federal law within its territory.

Secede To break away from the United States.

Tariff A tax placed on products because they go from one nation to another.

States' Rights All the rights and powers which the Constitution neither grants to the Federal government nor denies to the state governments.

Tariff Of 1828 Raised the tax rates so high that states without industry, particularly the southern states complained.

Important Maps: The South of the Jackson Era

Biographies of Important People
Thomas Jefferson

He was Vice President during the Federalist period. He secretly helped draft the Resolutions of 1798 for the Kentucky Resolutions claimed the right of the states to nullify acts of the Federal Constitution that was believed to be unconstitutional. They were especially remembered during the Civil War. Their advocacy of States' Rights principles, but their central purpose - as Jefferson said -was the defense of personal liberty and individual freedom.


1. What year did Congress pass the tariff?

A.    1320     B.    1827     C.    1925     D.    1828

2. Why Did New England Raise Prices?

A. Just Felt like it B. Because Congress passed a tariff. C.  Did not like the  colonist. D.    Needed money really bad.

3.What Does Tariff mean?

A.     a tax B.    a law     C.     a constitution     D.    a Congress

4.    What does secede mean?

A.    break away B.take control eat food D. to get married

5. What does Nullification mean?

A.     An action     B.     being nice     C     having fun

6.What does States' Rights mean?

A.    rights to a state     B.     a law     C.     a Constitution

7. Who was John Calhoun

A.    a governor     B.     Mr. Roger's     C.     Vice president     D.     president






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

Student authors:
Samantha P. Sarah R.

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