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Disunion!The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859$
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Elizabeth R. Varon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832325

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807887189_varon

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Ruinous Tendencies The Anti-Abolition Backlash

Ruinous Tendencies The Anti-Abolition Backlash

(p.87) 3 Ruinous Tendencies The Anti-Abolition Backlash

Elizabeth R. Varon

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter begins with abolitionist Lydia Maria Child's commentary on the nullification crisis: “Who does not see that the American people are walking over a subterranean fire, the flames of which are fed by slavery?” This protracted clash between South Carolina and the federal government lasted from 1828 until 1833. The ostensible cause of the crisis was Congress's passage, in 1828, of a “tariff of abominations” on European imports. In the first act of the crisis, President Andrew Jackson had condemned South Carolina's nullification scheme and hoped that a reduction in the tariff rate would ease tensions. However, South Carolinian states' rights men were singularly unimpressed by the tariff reform of 1832, and in November of that year held a Nullification Convention that enacted a veto of the hated measure and threatened secession if the U.S. government tried to enforce the nullified law.

Keywords:   abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child, nullification crisis, tariff of abominations, Nullification Convention, President Andrew Jackson

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