Tariffs and Nullification
South Carolina vs. the Union
The Tariff of 1828 was a tax on imports that separated the country into supporters and opposers. New Englanders were supporters, but the Southerners/Westerners, specifically South Carolina, were incredibly opposed. President Jackson was also against the tariff, and his plan was to raise the rate of the tariff, removing the possibility that it would pass. However, it did. South Carolina threatened to nullify the tariff, and even though Congress passed a subsequent Tariff in 1832, removing the worst parts of the tariff 4 years earlier, South Carolina still voted to nullify the tariffs by the Ordinance of Nullification. Jackson threatened to enter South Carolina and overthrow its leaders, and based on his past, the threat wasn't shallow. Congress passed the Force Bill, which permitted Jackson to use force in collecting the tariff from South Carolina. Great Compromiser Henry Clay proposed a reduced tariff that passed in Congress. South Carolina repealed their nullification law, and the reduced tariff was collected. This sequence of events was an early controversy that divided the nation, a prelude to the Civil War.
The conflict between South Carolina and the federal government damaged the Union. It first threw out the possibility of a civil war.