One controversy of the period was the Bank of the United States. Andrew Jackson did not renew its charter because he feared that money would be concentrated into the hands of a few Northeastern elitists. His non-renewal made his base in the South and West quite happy, but it destabilized the banking system and led to the Panic of 1837.
Another controversy was tariff law. South Carolina threatened secession over what it called the Tariff of Abominations. This was especially problematic since the vice president of the United States at the time was John C. Calhoun, a prominent South Carolinian. Jackson threatened to use force to keep South Carolina in the Union and enforce the tariff, and the threat of civil war dissolved.
Culturally, the North and South were becoming distinctively different. The North was becoming a haven for new investment and immigration. The North was also more egalitarian, though it had its share of wealthy people. The South had a small collection of wealthy landowners and a lot of poverty. These sectional tensions boiled over during presidential elections, as voters felt pressured to vote for the "favorite son" of a particular region even if they did not entirely endorse the candidate's platform.