This week in history: John C. Calhoun and the Nullification Crisis | Deseret News
Jackson vs. Calhoun--Part 2. Nullification and Resignation. The disagreements President Andrew Jackson had with Vice President John C. Calhoun in the. The Nullification Crisis was a United States sectional political crisis in –33, during the . More broadly, the war reinforced feelings of national identity and connection. As expected, Jackson and his running mate John Calhoun carried the entire South with overwhelming numbers in all the states but Louisiana where . The relationship between Jackson and Calhoun got off to a bad start when shortly after the inaugural in , Calhoun's wife, Flordie, refused to entertain or .
For four years he simultaneously kept up his reading and his hunting and fishing. The family decided he should continue his education, and so he resumed studies at the Academy after it reopened.
For the first time in his life, Calhoun encountered serious, advanced, well-organized intellectual dialogue that could shape his mind. Yale was dominated by President Timothy Dwighta Federalist who became his mentor.
Dwight's brilliance entranced and sometimes repelled Calhoun. Biographer John Niven says: Calhoun admired Dwight's extemporaneous sermons, his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge, and his awesome mastery of the classics, of the tenets of Calvinismand of metaphysics.
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No one, he thought, could explicate the language of John Locke with such clarity. Dwight could not shake Calhoun's commitment to republicanism. He graduated as valedictorian in He was admitted to the South Carolina bar in Dwight, Reeve, and Gould could not convince the young patriot from South Carolina as to the desirability of secession, but they left no doubts in his mind as to its legality.
Colhouna leader of Charleston high society. The couple had 10 children over 18 years: Three of them, Floride Pure, Jane, and Elizabeth, died in infancy.
He was raised Calvinist but was attracted to Southern varieties of Unitarianism of the sort that attracted Jefferson. Southern Unitarianism was generally less organized than the variety popular in New England. He was generally not outspoken about his religious beliefs. After his marriage, Calhoun and his wife attended the Episcopal Church, of which she was a member. Brushing aside the vehement objections of both anti-war New Englanders and arch-conservative Jeffersonians led by John Randolph of Roanokethey demanded war against Britain to preserve American honor and republican values, which had been violated by the British refusal to recognize American shipping rights.
Drawing on the linguistic tradition of the Declaration of Independence, Calhoun's committee called for a declaration of war in ringing phrases, denouncing Britain's "lust for power", "unbounded tyranny", and "mad ambition". The opening phase involved multiple disasters for American arms, as well as a financial crisis when the Treasury could barely pay the bills. The conflict caused economic hardship for the Americans, as the Royal Navy blockaded the ports and cut off imports, exports and the coastal trade.
Several attempted invasions of Canada were fiascos, but the U. These Indians had, in many cases, cooperated with the British or Spanish in opposing American interests.
One colleague hailed him as "the young Hercules who carried the war on his shoulders. It called for a return to the borders of with no gains or losses. Before the treaty reached the Senate for ratification, and even before news of its signing reached New Orleans, a massive British invasion force was utterly defeated in January at the Battle of New Orleansmaking a national hero of General Andrew Jackson.
Americans celebrated what they called a "second war of independence" against Britain. This led to the beginning of the " Era of Good Feelings ", an era marked by the formal demise of the Federalist Party and increased nationalism. In he called for building an effective navy, including steam frigates, as well as a standing army of adequate size. The British blockade of the coast had underscored the necessity of rapid means of internal transportation; Calhoun proposed a system of "great permanent roads".
The blockade had cut off the import of manufactured items, so he emphasized the need to encourage more domestic manufacture, fully realizing that industry was based in the Northeast. The dependence of the old financial system on import duties was devastated when the blockade cut off imports. Calhoun called for a system of internal taxation that would not collapse from a war-time shrinkage of maritime trade, as the tariffs had done.
The expiration of the charter of the First Bank of the United States had also distressed the Treasury, so to reinvigorate and modernize the economy Calhoun called for a new national bank. Through his proposals, Calhoun emphasized a national footing and downplayed sectionalism and states rights.
Phillips says that at this stage of Calhoun's career, "The word nation was often on his lips, and his conviction was to enhance national unity which he identified with national power. His gestures are easy and graceful, his manner forcible, and language elegant; but above all, he confines himself closely to the subject, which he always understands, and enlightens everyone within hearing.
A later critic noted the sharp contrast between his hesitant conversations and his fluent speaking styles, adding that Calhoun "had so carefully cultivated his naturally poor voice as to make his utterance clear, full, and distinct in speaking and while not at all musical it yet fell pleasantly on the ear". He was often seen as harsh and aggressive with other representatives.
Historian Russell Kirk says, "That zeal which flared like Greek fire in Randolph burned in Calhoun, too; but it was contained in the Cast-iron Man as in a furnace, and Calhoun's passion glowed out only through his eyes. No man was more stately, more reserved. He is above all sectional and factious prejudices more than any other statesman of this Union with whom I have ever acted. Calhoun took office on December 8 and served until He proposed an elaborate program of national reforms to the infrastructure that he believed would speed economic modernization.
His first priority was an effective navy, including steam frigates, and in the second place a standing army of adequate size—and as further preparation for emergency, "great permanent roads", "a certain encouragement" to manufactures, and a system of internal taxation that would not collapse from a war-time shrinkage of maritime trade, like customs duties. Calhoun's political rivalry with William H.
Crawfordthe Secretary of the Treasury, over the pursuit of the presidency in the election, complicated Calhoun's tenure as War Secretary. The general lack of military action following the war meant that a large army, such as that preferred by Calhoun, was no longer considered necessary.
The "Radicals", a group of strong states' rights supporters who mostly favored Crawford for president in the coming election, were inherently suspicious of large armies. Some allegedly also wanted to hinder Calhoun's own presidential aspirations for that election. Calhoun, though concerned, offered little protest. Later, to provide the army with a more organized command structure, which had been severely lacking during the War ofhe appointed Major General Jacob Brown to a position that would later become known as " Commanding General of the United States Army ".
He promoted a plan, adopted by Monroe into preserve the sovereignty of eastern Indians by relocating them to western reservations they could control without interference from state governments.
- John C. Calhoun: Seventh Vice President of the United States
- John C. Calhoun
- This week in history: John C. Calhoun and the Nullification Crisis
Calhoun's frustration with congressional inaction, political rivalries, and ideological differences spurred him to create the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Thomas McKenney was appointed as the first head of the bureau. In response, Representative James Tallmadge Jr.
This amendments touched off an intense debate between North and South that had some talking openly of disunion. According to Adams, "He said, yes, pretty much, but it would be forced upon them. Four other men also sought the presidency: Calhoun failed to win the endorsement of the South Carolina legislature, and his supporters in Pennsylvania decided to abandon his candidacy in favor of Jackson's, and instead supported him for vice president.
Other states soon followed, and Calhoun therefore allowed himself to become a candidate for vice president rather than president. He won votes out of electoral votes, while five other men received the remaining votes. After Clay, the Speaker of the House, was appointed Secretary of State by Adams, Jackson's supporters denounced what they considered a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Clay to give Adams the presidency in exchange for Clay receiving the office of Secretary of State, the holder of which had traditionally become the next president.
Calhoun also expressed some concerns, which caused friction between him and Adams. Calhoun became disillusioned with Adams' high tariff policies and increased centralization of government through a network of "internal improvements", which he now saw as a threat to the rights of the states.
Calhoun wrote to Jackson on June 4,informing him that he would support Jackson's second campaign for the presidency in The two were never particularly close friends. Calhoun never fully trusted Jackson, a frontiersman and popular war hero, but hoped that his election would bring some reprieve from Adams's anti-states' rights policies.
The only other man who accomplished this feat was George Clintonwho served as Vice President from to under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Hamilton spoke about this prospect with Governor John Forsyth of Georgia, who acted as a mediator between the Jackson campaign and Crawford. Forsyth wrote a letter back to Hamilton in which he claimed that, after speaking with Crawford, Crawford stated that it was Calhoun, not him, who supported censuring Jackson for his invasion of Florida.
Knowing that the letter could destroy the partnership between Jackson and Calhoun, Hamilton and fellow-Jackson aide William B. Lewis allowed it to remain in Hamilton's possession without informing Jackson or the public of its existence. Petticoat affair Early in Jackson's administration, Floride Calhoun organized Cabinet wives hence the term "petticoats" against Peggy Eatonwife of Secretary of War John Eatonand refused to associate with her. They alleged that John and Peggy Eaton had engaged in an adulterous affair while she was still legally married to her first husband, and that her recent behavior was unladylike.
He believed that Clay would compromise the essentials of American republican democracy to advance his own self-serving objectives. Jackson also developed a political rivalry with his Vice-President, John C.Jackson Nullification
Throughout his term, Jackson waged political and personal war with these men, defeating Clay in the Presidential election of and leading Calhoun to resign as Vice-President. Jackson's personal animosity towards Clay seems to have originated inwhen Clay denounced Jackson for his unauthorized invasion of Spanish West Florida in the previous year.
Clay was also instrumental in John Quincy Adams's winning the Presidency from Jackson inwhen neither man had a majority and the election was thrown into the House of Representatives. Adams' appointment of Clay as Secretary of State confirmed Jackson's opinion that the Presidential election has been thrown to Adams as part of a corrupt and unprincipled bargain.
Courtesy of AWL Online Roads and canals were built to across the nation during the early to mids. Clay's "American System" would have funded such improvements. Clay was called The Great Compromiser, and served in the Congress starting in He had a grand strategic vision called the American System.
This was a federal government initiative to foster national growth though protective tariffs, internal improvements and the Bank of the United States. Clay was unswerving in his support for internal improvements, which primarily meant federally funded roads and canals. Jackson believed the American System to be unconstitutional — could federal funds be used to build roads? He vetoed the Maysville Road Bill, Clay's attempt to fund internal improvements. His veto of the Bank Recharter Bill drove the two further apart.
Calhoun and Jackson held separate views on many issues, including states' rights. Jackson's personal animosity for Calhoun seems to have had its origin in the Washington "social scene" of the time.