Explain how Andrew Jackson handled the states' rights issue.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For Andrew Jackson, the issue of states rights came out largely in the context of the "Tariff of Abominations" and the nullification controversy that followed.  In general, Jackson stood firm on the principle that the federal government should be supreme.  However, he also tried to give in a little bit on the issues that bothered the states' rights advocates.

On the one hand, Jackson said that the Union was the most important thing and argued that the idea of secession was tantamount to treason.  He also got Congress to pass the Force Bill, allowing him to use military force if necessary.  At the same time, however, Jackson worked to get the tariff reduced so as to try to reduce the amount of anger being felt by the secessionists in South Carolina.  In this way, Jackson handled this issue with both an aggressive defense of the national government and a conciliatory reduction of the tariff.


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