What issue was argued in the Webster-Hayne debate?

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The issue that was argued in the debate between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne was the issue of nullification. The issue that led to this debate was the protective tariff of 1828. South Carolina believed the tariff was too high. This tariff hurt South Carolina and other southern states. This led to a very interesting debate in the U.S. Senate between these two men.

Robert Hayne believed states should be able to nullify laws if those laws helped one state or region at the expense of another state or region. Robert Hayne believed the tariff was very helpful for the North. However, it hurt the South. Therefore, Hayne believed a state like South Carolina, which was being hurt by the tariff, should be able to nullify or reject the tariff. This position represented the idea of states’ rights. It put the state governments in front of the federal government.

Daniel Webster took the opposite view. He believed the constitution made it very clear that the federal laws take priority over the state laws. He said there would be chaos if states could pick and choose what laws they were going to support. He believed it was natural that some laws might be more beneficial to a state or region than they would be in another state or region. However, as one country, we must do what is best for the whole country. He believed the interests of the country came before the interests of a state or a region.

These men had a very different view regarding the issue of nullification. Their debate in the U.S. Senate is one of the most famous ones that took place in the U.S. Senate.

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