Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Passed by Congress on May 19th 1828 the Tariff of 1828 was labeled the Tariff of Abominations by southerners.

Following the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars, European blockades led English manufacturers to sell goods in America for price much less then American manufactures could sell for. So the United State passed a series of protective tariffs. Southern states felt the tariffs were unconstitutional, but the new Western and New England states favored them. A majority of New England Congressmen saw national benefits in the 1828 Tariff, as it would strengthen the countries manufacturing industry. This National benefit was stuck to even after the Democrats added in high import duties on raw wool which was essential to the New England textile industry.

Although he knew it would hurt him politically, President John Quincy Adams signed the 1828 Tariff. [The 1828 Presidential election was a land slide for Andrew Jackson.] Finding a reduced market for their goods, the British reduced the amount of cotton bought from the United States, which hurt the southern growers. John C Calhoun then the Vice-President strongly opposed the tariff and urged South Carolina to nullify the act. In November 1832 the state held a convention which overwhelmingly passed an ordinance declaring the tariff unenforceable in South Carolina. President Andrew Jackson threatened to send Federal troops into South Carolina to regain control.

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