What was Jackson's response to the nullification crisis?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Nullification Crisis developed in 1832 and was a result of South Carolina's opposition to the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832, which raised taxes on imported goods in an effort to promote domestic industry after the War of 1812. South Carolina and many other southern states relied on imported goods and opposed the tariffs, particularly the Tariff of 1828, which they referred to as "the Tariff of Abominations."

Many southerners expected that when Jackson became president in 1828 he would lower the tariffs. Instead he signed the Tariff of 1832 into law, and South Carolina reacted by declaring the tariffs null and void. The policy of nullification meant that states felt that they could declare federal laws null and not follow them. Vice president John C. Calhoun, who was from South Carolina and who supported nullification, supported his state's attempt to resist paying the tariff. However, Jackson, then president, supported the "Force Bill" passed by Congress, which allowed the collection of the tariff by force if necessary. The bill also included a compromise on the tariff, which made it more palatable to South Carolinians. In the end, South Carolina backed down, and Jackson defended the power of the federal government over the states. 

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