Q:

What did President Jackson do in response to South Carolina's threat of secession?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Library of Congress, South Carolina's threat of secession during the Nullification Crisis resulted in a threat that President Jackson would use federal troops to enforce tariff laws if necessary. Ultimately, Congress passed a compromise tariff bill that defused the situation, preventing any actual bloodshed over the issue.

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Full Answer

The Nullification Crisis began when South Carolina bristled at the tariff acts that passed in 1828 and 1832, ultimately claiming the tariffs were unconstitutional and declaring that the state would not enforce them. When President Jackson challenged this with his Nullification Proclamation, South Carolina passed bills authorizing the use of military force to resist federal attempts at enforcing the tariffs, ultimately threatening to secede from the Union to avoid the unpopular laws. While Jackson had been a supporter of states' rights on some issues in the past, he clearly came down on the side of federal authority in this conflict and asked Congress for an authority to use force against the rebellious state if necessary. He sent ships to the state's harbors to take over the job of collecting the tariffs, while at the same time, Congress began work on a compromise bill that would ultimately lower the offending tariffs to acceptable levels. South Carolina found the new plan acceptable, and the topic of secession was shelved, at least temporarily.

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