|Table of Contents|
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Biographies of Key Historical Figures
Overview: Nullification Crisis
Nullification started when South
Carolina refused to obey federal laws. A major person that was known during this
crisis was John C. Calhoun. He was constantly arguing that a
state should be able to nullify a federal law, if it was
considered unconstitutional. On the other hand, Andrew Jackson
thought otherwise. He believed that states shouldn't be able to
take away federal laws. Before this crisis Calhoun and Jackson
were friends, but while this was happening they both became
Vocabulary and Identifications
1) States' rights- the theory that states may nullify federal laws.
2) Nullify- to declare that a certain law will not be enforced.
3) Secede- to break away from the U.S.
4) Tariffs- taxes on imports.
5) Sovereignty- the
power to control their affairs.
A Letter from Andrew Jackson to Martin Van
of Important People
C. Calhoun 1782-1850
Calhoun had graduated from Yale College
and after that he studied law. Calhoun was a leader of
the War Hawks, which is a group of young nationalists who
believed that the quarrel over American ships between
Britain and America could only be settled by war. In 1817
Calhoun was elected vice president under John Quincy
Adams. In 1829 when Andrew Jackson became president,
Calhoun became vice president again. In 1828 Congress
passed a tariff, tax on imported goods, that Southern
planters didn't like. To protest this tariff, Calhoun
wrote the South Carolina Exposition. It
said that if the federal government overstepped its power
in passing laws, the people could refuse to pay attention
to it. This theory by Calhoun became known as
nullification. Calhoun resigned from the position of vice
president in 1832, because he wanted to be in the senate,
he thought he could help his country more, if he was in
the senate. He spent the rest of his life as a senator.
Doctrine of Nullification
Andrew Jackson, our president
during the nullification crisis, was surrounded by many
problems. It all began when a group got the idea of
nullification. So, Jackson, Calhoun, and the group
got together in the white house for dinner, but the idea
of nullification didn't work. The election of 1832
was an anti-climax. The nominees were Henry Clay
from National Republicans and Andrew Jackson from the
Democratic Republicans. Jackson got elected by beating
Clay 31 electoral votes. During this election
Calhoun resigned and elected himself as senator of South
Carolina. Also a resistance group had formed in
South Carolina during 1832. They told Jackson that
if the government forces them to pay the tariff, they
will secede and make their own government. South
Carolina tried to fight the Union so, Jackson
countered the South Carolina Ordinance with a
proclamation. Then, in Congress Calhoun gave a
speech but, Daniel Webster challenged him and won.
Andrew Jackson issued a call for action so, he sent a
Force Bill to stop the rebellion in South Carolina, but
they passed the Compromise Tariff instead. On March
15, his birthday, the South Carolina Ordinance repealed
and celebrated four days in Philadelphia.
1. What is nullification?
2. What did Calhoun think of nullification?
3. What did Jackson think of nullification?
4. What was a main issue during this crisis?
5. When was the election?
6. When did Jackson's term end?
7. In what year did the nullification crisis start?
8. What did Calhoun do after he resigned from vice presidency?
9. What was the resistance group from South Carolina?
10. Calhoun wrote __________________________________.
1. Nullification is to declare a certain law that will not be enforced.
2. He liked the idea of nullification.
3. He disliked nullification.
4. The Tariff of 1828 (Tariff of Abominations).
8. He got elected himself as senator from SC.
9. South Carolina Ordinance.
10. The South Carolina Exposition.
Student authors: Helen W. & Maria M.
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