There were a number of issues that helped to heighten sectional tensions during this time.
The most important of these was the tariff and the issue of nullification that went with it. Southerners did not want tariffs while Northerners did. This was because Southerners relied more on imports while many Northerners wanted to block imports that would compete with their own manufactures. When the federal government imposed a high tariff, South Carolina tried to nullify the law. This led to sectional tensions.
A much less important issue was the issue of internal improvements. Southern states generally had less of these than the North did. Therefore, the South wanted the federal government to help pay for them while the North did not since they already had the improvements. This, too, helped cause sectional tensions.