Short of secession, nullification is the most extreme position of the states' rights philosophy. It is based upon the belief that the Union was a voluntary joining of sovereign states and that those states had the right to nullify, or invalidate, within their boundaries any unconstitutional actions of the federal government. This view is an extension of Jefferson's belief in the supremacy of individual and states' rights over federal governmental powers.

The nullification concept was first raised by the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798-99 in reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts. In 1809-10 nullification was briefly revived by New England states which opposed a national embargo (Non-Intercourse Act).

The concept returned in Southern reactions to the Tariff of 1828, the Tariff of 1832 and the accompanying contest involving John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson.

In 1861 South Carolina and other Southern states attempted the ultimate in nullification in the Secession Crisis.

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Ordinance of Nullification
Ordinance of Nullification The People of South CarolinaNovember 24 1832 Whereas the Congress of the United States, by various acts, purporting to be acts laying duties and imposts on foreign imports, but, in reality, intended for the protection ...

The nullification crisis of 1832
... 1830, firmly resisted this attempt; and, as a theory, the whole doctrine of nullification was overthrown by Mr. Webster in his speech of the 26th of January, 1830. But public sentiment had gone too far in South Carolina to be checked; party ... ...

Chapter 11 Digital History Center - America: A Narrative History, Brief 6th Edition
Georgia 1832 Black Hawk War 1832 South Carolina ordinance of nullification 1832 Nullification Proclamation 1832 Reelection of Andrew Jackson 1833 Force Bill and Compromise Tariff 1835–1838 Cherokee Treaty and the “Trail of Tears" 1836 ... ...


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