Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
By John J. Lalor
NEITHER American nor English literature has hitherto possessed a Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy. The want of a work of reference on these important branches of knowledge has long been felt, especially by lawyers, journalists, members of our state and national legislatures, and the large and intelligent class of capitalists and business men who give serious thought to the political and social questions of the day. The present work, which will be completed in three volumes, is the first to supply that want. It is also the first Political History of the United States in encyclopædic form—the first to which the reader can refer for an account of the important events or facts in our political history, as he would to a dictionary for the precise meaning of a word. The French, the Germans and even the Italians are richer in works of reference on political science and political economy than the Americans or the English. The Germans have Rotteck and Welcker’s
Staatslexikon, and Bluntschli and Brater’s
Staatswörterbuch; the French, Block’s
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, and the celebrated
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, edited by Guillaumin and Coquelin.The “Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States” is intended to be to the American and English reader what the above-named works are to French and German students of political science and political economy. The articles by foreigners in our work are largely translations from the
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, the
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, the
Staatswörterbuch, and original articles by Mr. T. E. Cliffe Leslie, the eminent English economist; while the American articles are by the best American and Canadian writers on political economy and political science. The task of writing the articles on the political history of the United States was confided to one person, Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Norwalk, Connecticut, thoroughness, conciseness and the absence of repetition and of redundancy being thus secured…. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Originally printed in 3 volumes. Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- V.1, Entry 1, ABDICATION
- V.1, Entry 2, ABOLITION AND ABOLITIONISTS
- V.1, Entry 3, ABSENTEEISM
- V.1, Entry 4, ABSOLUTE POWER
- V.1, Entry 5, ABSOLUTISM
- V.1, Entry 6, ABSTENTION
- V.1, Entry 7, ABUSES IN POLITICS
- V.1, Entry 8, ABYSSINIA
- V.1, Entry 9, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 10, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 11, ACCLAMATION
- V.1, Entry 12, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
- V.1, Entry 13, ACT
- V.1, Entry 14, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 15, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 16, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 17, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 18, ADJOURNMENT
- V.1, Entry 19, ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 20, ADMINISTRATIONS
- V.1, Entry 21, AFRICA
- V.1, Entry 22, AGE
- V.1, Entry 23, AGENT
- V.1, Entry 24, AGENTS
- V.1, Entry 25, AGIO
- V.1, Entry 26, AGIOTAGE
- V.1, Entry 27, AGRICULTURE
- V.1, Entry 28, ALABAMA
- V.1, Entry 29, ALABAMA CLAIMS
- V.1, Entry 30, ALASKA
- V.1, Entry 31, ALBANY PLAN OF UNION
- V.1, Entry 32, ALBANY REGENCY
- V.1, Entry 33, ALCALDE
- V.1, Entry 34, ALCOHOL
- V.1, Entry 35, ALGERIA
- V.1, Entry 36, ALGERINE WAR
- V.1, Entry 37, ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS
- V.1, Entry 38, ALIENS
- V.1, Entry 39, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 40, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 41, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 42, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 43, ALLOYAGE
- V.1, Entry 44, ALMANACH DE GOTHA
- V.1, Entry 45, ALSACE-LORRAINE
- V.1, Entry 46, AMBASSADOR
- V.1, Entry 47, AMBITION
- V.1, Entry 48, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- V.1, Entry 49, AMERICA
- V.1, Entry 50, AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
- V.1, Entry 51, AMERICAN PARTY
- V.1, Entry 52, AMERICAN WHIGS
- V.1, Entry 53, AMES
- V.1, Entry 54, AMISTAD CASE
- V.1, Entry 55, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 56, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 57, ANAM
- V.1, Entry 58, ANARCHY
- V.1, Entry 59, ANCIEN RÉGIME
- V.1, Entry 60, ANDORRA
- V.1, Entry 61, ANHALT
- V.1, Entry 62, ANNEXATION
- V.1, Entry 63, ANNEXATIONS
- V.1, Entry 64, ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY
- V.1, Entry 65, ANTI-MASONRY
- V.1, Entry 66, ANTI-NEBRASKA MEN
- V.1, Entry 67, ANTI-RENTERS
- V.1, Entry 68, ANTI-SLAVERY.
- V.1, Entry 69, APPORTIONMENT
- V.1, Entry 70, APPROPRIATION.
- V.1, Entry 71, APPROPRIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 72, ARBITRAGE
- V.1, Entry 73, ARBITRARY ARRESTS
- V.1, Entry 74, ARBITRARY POWER
- V.1, Entry 75, ARBITRATION
- V.1, Entry 76, ARCHONS
- V.1, Entry 77, AREOPAGUS.
- V.1, Entry 78, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION
- V.1, Entry 79, ARISTOCRACY.
- V.1, Entry 80, ARISTOCRATIC AND DEMOCRATIC IDEAS.
- V.1, Entry 81, ARITHMETIC
- V.1, Entry 82, ARIZONA
- V.1, Entry 83, ARKANSAS
- V.1, Entry 84, ARMISTICE
- V.1, Entry 85, ARMIES
- V.1, Entry 86, ARMY
- V.1, Entry 87, ARTHUR
- V.1, Entry 88, ARTISANS
- V.1, Entry 89, ARYAN RACES.
- V.1, Entry 90, ASIA
- V.1, Entry 91, ASSEMBLY (IN U. S. HISTORY)
- V.1, Entry 92, ASSESSMENTS
- V.1, Entry 93, ASSIGNATS
- V.1, Entry 94, ASSOCIATION AND ASSOCIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 95, ASYLUM
- V.1, Entry 96, ATELIERS NATIONAUX
- V.1, Entry 97, ATTAINDER
- V.1, Entry 98, ATTORNEYS GENERAL
- V.1, Entry 99, AUSTRALIA
- V.1, Entry 100, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
- V.1, Entry 101, AUTHORITY
- V.1, Entry 102, AUTHORS
- V.1, Entry 103, AUTOCRAT
- V.1, Entry 104, AUTONOMY.
- V.1, Entry 105, AYES AND NOES
- V.1, Entry 106, BADEN
- V.1, Entry 107, BALANCE OF POWER
- V.1, Entry 108, BALANCE OF TRADE
- V.1, Entry 109, BALLOT
- V.1, Entry 110, BANK CONTROVERSIES
- V.1, Entry 111, BANKING
- V.1, Entry 112, BANK NOTES.
- V.1, Entry 113, BANKRUPTCY.
- V.1, Entry 114, BANKRUPTCY, National.
- V.1, Entry 115, BANKS.
- V.1, Entry 116, BANKS, Functions of.
- V.1, Entry 117, BANKS OF ISSUE
- V.1, Entry 118, BANKS, Advantages of Savings.
- V.1, Entry 119, BANKS, History and Management of Savings,
- V.1, Entry 120, BAR
- V.1, Entry 121, BARNBURNERS
- V.1, Entry 122, BARRICADE
- V.1, Entry 123, BARTER.
- V.1, Entry 124, BASTILLE
- V.1, Entry 125, BAVARIA
- V.1, Entry 126, BELGIUM
- V.1, Entry 127, BELL
- V.1, Entry 128, BELLIGERENTS
- V.1, Entry 129, BENTON
- V.1, Entry 130, BERLIN DECREE
- V.1, Entry 131, BILL
- V.1, Entry 132, BILL OF EXCHANGE
- V.1, Entry 133, BILL OF RIGHTS
- V.1, Entry 134, BILLION
- V.1, Entry 135, BILLS
- V.1, Entry 136, BI-METALLISM.
- V.1, Entry 137, BIRNEY
- V.1, Entry 138, BLACK COCKADE
- V.1, Entry 139, BLACK CODE.
- V.1, Entry 140, BLACK REPUBLICAN.
- V.1, Entry 141, BLAINE
- V.1, Entry 142, BLAIR
- V.1, Entry 143, BLOCKADE
- V.1, Entry 144, BLOODY BILL
- V.1, Entry 145, BLUE LAWS
- V.1, Entry 146, BLUE LIGHT
- V.1, Entry 147, BOARD OF TRADE.
- V.1, Entry 148, BOLIVIA
- V.1, Entry 149, BOOTY
- V.1, Entry 150, BORDER RUFFIANS
- V.1, Entry 151, BORDER STATES
- V.1, Entry 152, BOURGEOISIE
- V.1, Entry 153, BOUTWELL
- V.1, Entry 154, BRAHMANISM.
- V.1, Entry 155, BRAZIL
- V.1, Entry 156, BRECKENRIDGE
- V.1, Entry 157, BROAD SEAL WAR
- V.1, Entry 158, BROKERS
- V.1, Entry 159, BROOKS
- V.1, Entry 160, BROWN
- V.1, Entry 161, BUCHANAN
- V.1, Entry 162, BUCKSHOT WAR
- V.1, Entry 163, BUCKTAILS
- V.1, Entry 164, BUDDHISM
- V.1, Entry 165, BUDGET
- V.1, Entry 166, BULL
- V.1, Entry 167, BUNDESRATH
- V.1, Entry 168, BUREAUCRACY
- V.1, Entry 169, BURGESSES
- V.1, Entry 170, BURLINGAME
- V.1, Entry 171, BURR
- V.1, Entry 172, BUTLER, Benj. F.
- V.1, Entry 173, BUTLER, William Orlando
- V.1, Entry 174, CACHET
- V.1, Entry 175, CÆSARISM
- V.1, Entry 176, CALENDAR
- V.1, Entry 177, CALHOUN
- V.1, Entry 178, CALIFORNIA
- V.1, Entry 179, CANADA
- V.1, Entry 180, CANALS
- V.1, Entry 181, CANON LAW
- V.1, Entry 182, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 183, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 184, CAPITULATION
- V.1, Entry 185, CARICATURE
- V.1, Entry 186, CARPET BAGGERS
- V.1, Entry 187, CARTEL
- V.1, Entry 188, CASS
- V.1, Entry 189, CASUS BELLI
- V.1, Entry 190, CAUCUS
- V.1, Entry 191, CAUCUS SYSTEM
- V.1, Entry 192, CAUSE AND EFFECT IN POLITICS.
- V.1, Entry 193, CELIBACY, Clerical
- V.1, Entry 194, CELIBACY, Political Aspects of.
- V.1, Entry 195, CELTS.
- V.1, Entry 196, CENSURE.
- V.1, Entry 197, CENSURE OF MORALS.
- V.1, Entry 198, CENSURES
- V.1, Entry 199, CENSUS.
- V.1, Entry 200, CENTRALIZATION and DECENTRALIZATION.
- V.1, Entry 201, CEREMONIAL
- V.1, Entry 202, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 203, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES.
- V.1, Entry 204, CHARITY, Private.
- V.1, Entry 205, CHARITY, Public.
- V.1, Entry 206, CHARITY, State.
- V.1, Entry 207, CHASE
- V.1, Entry 208, CHECKS AND BALANCES.
- V.1, Entry 209, CHEROKEE CASE
- V.1, Entry 210, CHESAPEAKE CASE.
- V.1, Entry 211, CHILI.
- V.1, Entry 212, CHINA
- V.1, Entry 213, CHINESE IMMIGRATION.
- V.1, Entry 214, CHIVALRY.
- V.1, Entry 215, CHRISTIANITY.
- V.1, Entry 216, CHURCH AND STATE
- V.1, Entry 217, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 218, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 219, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 220, CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS
- V.1, Entry 221, CHURCHES
- V.1, Entry 222, CINCINNATI
- V.1, Entry 223, CIPHER DISPATCHES AND DECIPHERMENT
- V.1, Entry 224, CIRCULATION OF WEALTH.
- V.1, Entry 225, CITIES
- V.1, Entry 226, CITIES AND TOWNS.
- V.1, Entry 227, CIVIL ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 228, CIVIL LIST.
- V.1, Entry 229, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
- V.1, Entry 230, CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
- V.1, Entry 231, CIVILIZATION
- V.1, Entry 232, CLAY
- V.1, Entry 233, CLEARING, AND CLEARING HOUSES
- V.1, Entry 234, CLERICALISM
- V.1, Entry 235, CLIENTÈLE AND CUSTOM
- V.1, Entry 236, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 237, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 238, CLINTON
- V.1, Entry 239, CLINTON, George
- V.1, Entry 240, CL�TURE
- V.1, Entry 241, COASTING TRADE
- V.1, Entry 242, COCHIN CHINA
- V.1, Entry 243, COINAGE
- V.1, Entry 244, COLFAX
- V.1, Entry 245, COLONIZATION SOCIETY
- V.1, Entry 246, COLORADO
- V.1, Entry 247, COLOMBIA
- V.1, Entry 248, COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 249, COMMERCIAL CRISES
- V.1, Entry 250, COMMISSION
- V.1, Entry 251, COMMITTEES
- V.1, Entry 252, COMMON LAW
- V.1, Entry 253, COMMONS
- V.1, Entry 254, COMMUNE
- V.1, Entry 255, COMMUNISM
- V.1, Entry 256, COMPETITION.
- V.1, Entry 257, COMPROMISES
- V.1, Entry 258, COMPULSORY CIRCULATION
- V.1, Entry 259, COMPULSORY EDUCATION
- V.1, Entry 260, CONCESSION
- V.1, Entry 261, CONCLAVE.
- V.1, Entry 262, CONCLUSUM
- V.1, Entry 284, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
- V.1, Entry 301, CONVENTION
- V.1, Entry 375, DISTILLED SPIRITS
- V.1, Entry 384, DOMINION OF CANADA
- V.2, Entry 7, EDUCATION
- V.2, Entry 18, EMBARGO
- V.2, Entry 33, EXCHANGE
- V.2, Entry 35, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
- V.2, Entry 37, EXCHANGE OF WEALTH
- V.2, Entry 121, GREAT BRITAIN
- V.2, Entry 130, HABEAS CORPUS
- V.2, Entry 180, INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION
- V.2, Entry 225, JUSTICE, Department of
- V.2, Entry 246, LAW
- V.2, Entry 364, NEW GRANADA
- V.2, Entry 379, NULLIFICATION
- V.3, Entry 4, OCEANICA
- V.3, Entry 29, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE
- V.3, Entry 32, PARLIAMENTARY LAW.
- V.3, Entry 116, RACES OF MANKIND
- V.3, Entry 137, REPUBLICAN PARTY
- V.3, Entry 155, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
- V.3, Entry 195, SLAVERY
- V.3, Entry 278, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V. 2, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of American Writers
—After the passage of the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions in 1798-9 (see
laches of the federal government in maintaining its position. In the language of John Taylor, of Caroline, the most intense of Jeffersonian nullifiers, “the appeal is to public opinion; if that is
we must yield.” (See also
—The passage of the tariff of 1824 (see
—The constitutional objections to the levying of protective duties by congress were that, though the constitution gives congress power to lay and collect duties and imposts, the power is granted only for the purpose of raising revenue to “pay the debts and provide for the general welfare” of the country; that this was in its nature very different from the asserted power to impose protective or prohibitory duties, for the prohibitory system must end in destroying revenue from imports; that it was equally incompatible with the general welfare clause, being exercised for the benefit only of a particular interest; and that the passage of a protective system by a majority in congress did not make it the less a violation of the constitution.
—The first to cast about for a remedy for the “tyranny of a majority” was John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina. It is strange that his failure to find the remedy in the constitution did not lead him to suspect that the southern labor system was at fault in the matter; on the contrary, he proceeded to coin the extraordinary and extra constitutional remedy to which he gave the name of “nullification,” borrowed from the Kentucky resolutions of 1799, where it seems to be used in an entirely different sense. Jeffersonian nullification contemplated a concerted action of states which should, if three-fourths of the states could be induced to agree in reprobating a federal law, “nullify” it in national convention by constitutional amendment; Calhoun nullification contemplated a suspension of the law by any aggrieved state, until three-fourths of the states, in national convention, should overrule the nullification. Both ideas encouraged frequent national conventions; but it is obvious that under the latter, if one-fourth of the states should support the recalcitrant state, the minority, having the initiative, would be enabled to veto any policy which should be disagreeable to it.
—The substance of Calhoun’s arguments for the propriety and expediency of nullification was as follows: 1. The basis of the whole was the dogma of state sovereignty. “It is a gross error,” said Calhoun, in February, 1833, “to confound the
exercise of sovereign power with
sovereignty itself, or the
delegation of such powers with a
surrender of them. A sovereign may delegate his powers to be exercised by as many agents as he may think proper, under such conditions and with such limitations as he may impose; but to surrender any portion of his sovereignty to another is to annihilate the whole.” From this, thought Calhoun, it would fairly follow that, whenever a sovereign state became satisfied that her agent, the federal government, was misusing the powers delegated to it, it was the right of the state to suspend the exercise of the power delegated until it should be properly used. A. H. Stephens thinks this use of state sovereignty, as a basis for nullification, “too subtle” for common comprehension, but the difficulty seems to have lain, for once, in a defect of Calhoun’s logic. If his premise, the idea that the Union was a compact between sovereign states, were true, it might justify a state in regarding the compact as entirely at an end, if it believed the compact to have been violated or subverted by other states; but it could not justify a state in remaining in the Union, receiving all its benefits, and nullifying its laws at pleasure. Many southerners, in 1832-3, would have shown great respect for a direct secession by South Carolina, but regarded nullification with contempt and dislike. (See
comitia of the Roman republic, each independent of the other and yet both uniting, by mutual forbearance and concession, in a concurrent authority, were instanced to demonstrate the innocuousness and even expediency of nullification. The instance might have been a fair one if there had been in question but a pair of states, instead of a Union; but with twenty-four states in 1830, and thirty-eight in 1883, it is not easy to calculate the geometrical progression of the difficulties which would have
attended an attempt to govern through twenty five or thirty-nine co-ordinate
—The first open assertion of nullification as a constitutional right of each individual state, that is, of Calhoun nullification, was in the adoption of the so-called “South Carolina Exposition” by the legislature of that state. This was a report of a committee of that body, originally prepared by Calhoun during the summer of 1828. In the following winter, 1829-30, Calhoun being president of the United States senate, occurred the “great debate in the senate” (see
—Webster’s definition of nullification has been taken, rather than anything in Calhoun’s or Hayne’s speeches, because, though formulated by an enemy to nullification, it more exactly states it. It was not the object of the advocates of nullification to define it
exactly; in the endeavor to establish a new feature in the American constitutional system, it would have been impolitic to lay down a limit beyond which they would not go, and to less than which they would not submit. In this instance Hayne neither accepted nor rejected Webster’s definition, but referred him to the third of the Virginia resolutions, which claims the right for the states to “interpose.” Hayne seems to have held that the legislature of a state might nullify; Calhoun held the slightly more tenable ground that nullification must be carried out by a state convention, as the highest exponent of the sovereignty of the state, and that the legislature had only to enforce the acts of the convention. It will be seen that South Carolina’s nullification followed the theory of Calhoun, not that of Hayne.
—That portion of the debate which related peculiarly to nullification, and which was confined to Webster and Hayne (Calhoun being the presiding officer, and not privileged to debate), took place Jan. 20-26, 1830. Had the modern system of national conventions been in existence, the attempt would immediately have been made to secure control of a democratic convention, and commit the party to the new doctrine, as was successfully done in the case of Texas annexation in 1844. (See
—July 26, 1831, Calhoun published a treatise on nullification in a South Carolina newspaper, which was widely copied. It argued, as before, in favor of the constitutionality and expediency of nullification, and took the further ground that unless congress, at the approaching session, should eliminate the protective features from the tariff, it would be advisable that South Carolina should force an issue by nullifying the law and forbidding the collection of the duties within the state. The national debt was being steadily decreased (in 1835 it amounted to only $ 37.513); the total ordinary expenses of the government
were from twelve to thirteen millions of dollars (in 1831, $ 13,864,067); the revenue from customs alone was about twenty-five millions (in 1831, $ 24,224,441); what then, asked Calhoun, was the honest and proper course for the federal government to pursue upon the approaching extinguishment of the debt? To continue to tax the non-manufacturing south, by high duties on imports, for the benefit of northern manufacturers, and to expend the surplus of receipts over expenditures in a system of internal improvements which would demoralize and corrupt both congress and its constituents? or to prevent the accumulation of the surplus by a timely and judicious reduction of the duties, and thereby to leave the money in the pockets of those who made it, from whom it can not be honestly or constitutionally taken, unless required by the fair and legitimate wants of the government? If the former course was persisted in, it would become an intolerable grievance, and South Carolina ought to cease to look to the general government for relief, exercise her reserved right of nullification, and relieve herself by forbidding the collection of the obnoxious duties in her ports, and allow her citizens to supply themselves with foreign goods untaxed. No attempt was ever made by any nullificationist to reconcile this programme with the plain direction of the constitution that “all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States,” and “that no preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another”; no human ingenuity could reconcile them.
—Nearly all of the seven months of the following session was taken up by the consideration of Clay’s tariff bill, which finally became law, July 14, 1832, the vote standing 132 to sixty-five in the house and thirty-two to sixteen in the senate. The act was to go into effect March 3, 1833. It reduced the duties on many of the articles on its list to 25 per cent., instead of 30 per cent., as before; but it recognized fully the principle of protection; the heavier duties were still designed for the protection of manufactures; every southern senator and representative opposed to protection voted against the bill; and McDuffle, of South Carolina, declared in debate that it increased the amount of protection to manufactures and also the burdens of the south.
—In South Carolina, where this result of the winter’s session of congress had already been discounted in speculation, the next step was nullification. The legislature was convened, Oct. 22, by the governor, and passed an act calling a state convention, which met at Columbia, Nov. 19, 1832, and passed an ordinance of nullification, Nov. 24 This ordinance, 1, declared the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 to be null, void, and no law, nor binding upon the state, its officers or citizens; 2, prohibited the payment of duties under either act within the state after Feb. 1, 1833; 3, made any appeal to the supreme court of the United States, as to the validity of the ordinance, a contempt of the state court from which the appeal was taken, punishable at the discretion of the latter; 4. ordered every office holder and juror to be sworn to support the ordinance; and 5, gave warning that, if the federal government should attempt to enforce the tariff by the use of the army or navy, or by closing the ports of the state, or should in any way harass or obstruct the state’s foreign commerce, South Carolina would no longer consider herself a member of the Union, but would forthwith proceed to organize a separate government.
—The two points about the ordinance which are especially to be noted, in considering the success or failure of nullification, are, 1, that the ordinance, which was now a part of the organic law of the state, irreversible except by another convention, had declared positively that the existing duties should not be collected after Feb. 1 following; and 2, that force in any form would be followed by secession. A union party, admitting the right of secession, but not that of nullification, existed in the state, but the action of the convention was generally supported in and out of the legislature. Simms, as cited among the authorities, gives the respective voting strength of the two parties at 30,000 and 15,000. The new legislature, which met in December, 1832, and was almost entirely made up of nullifiers, elected Hayne governor, put the state in a position for war, and passed various acts reassuming powers which had been expressly prohibited to the states by the constitution. Gov. Hayne’s message defended the doctrine of nullification, and declared the primary allegiance of every citizen to be due to the state. (See
posse comitatus, adjourned and left the field clear for the struggle.
—It is as well to group here the successive steps by which the federal government disregarded the convention’s threats in case of the application of force, or of the harassing in any way of the state’s foreign commerce. Nov. 6. 1832, the president had instructed the collector at Charleston to provide as many boats and inspectors as might be necessary, to seize every vessel entering the port and keep it in custody until the duties should be paid, “to retain and defend the custody of the said vessel against any forcible attempt,” and to refuse to obey the legal process of state courts intended to remove the vessel from his custody. Gen. Scott was ordered to Charleston to support the collector, and a naval force was sent to the harbors of the state. Dec. 11, the president issued his so-called “nullification proclamation.” It declared the doctrine of nullification to be “incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed”;
but stronger than all its arguments was its warning to the people of the state: “The dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce that you can not succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject—my duty is emphatically pronounced in the constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution deceived you—they could not have been deceived themselves. Their object is disunion, and disunion by armed force is treason. Are you ready to incur its guilt? If you are, on your unhappy state will fall all the evils of the conflict you force upon the government of your country.” Strong as was this language, the known character of its author added still more force to it; no man was so dull as not to understand that Andrew Jackson’s “execution of the laws in the face of organized opposition” meant the utter destruction either of the president or of the opposition. In the north the proclamation was received with almost unanimous enthusiasm; in the border states it was received more coolly, even Clay finding “many things in it too ultra” for his taste; in the other southern states there was a certain feeling of neutrality, discontent with South Carolina, but determination that she should not be “coerced.” Dec. 31, Gov. Hayne issued a counter-proclamation, warning the citizens of the state not to be seduced from their primary allegiance to the state by the “dangerous, pernicious, specious and false” doctrines of the president’s proclamation. Jan. 16, 1833, the president, in a special message, asked congress to empower him to alter or abolish revenue districts, to remove custom houses, and to use the land and naval forces for the protection of the revenue officers against attempts to recover property by force. A bill to enforce the tariff was therefore at once introduced, was instantly nicknamed the “bloody bill”—sometimes the “force bill”; and the debate upon it not only overlapped the dreaded date, Feb. 1, 1833, but lasted until the end of the month. It became law March 2, 1833.
—On both of the issues which South Carolina had forced, the state had evidently been beaten. In spite of the solemn promulgation of the unrepealed ordinance of nullification, the duties had been collected as usual after Feb. 1; force had been applied, and yet the state had not seceded. A private “meeting of leading nullifiers” in Charleston had indeed decided, late in January, that the enforcement of the ordinance should be suspended until after the adjournment of congress; but certainly it will not be pretended that a meeting of private citizens, even of “leading nullifiers,” could have any authority to “suspend” a part of the organic law of the state. That would have been nullification in naked deformity—nullification even of state law by individual citizens. It is beyond a doubt that the ordinance would have been relentlessly enforced on the appointed day but for one consideration—the attitude of the executive.
—On the other hand, the tendency in congress, from its first meeting in December, 1832, had been toward a modification of the tariff. Many distinct influences were at work in this direction. The rapid reduction of the debt and the probability of a surplus weighed heavily with some; many democratic representatives were by nature opposed to the principle of protection, had only taken it up because of their constituents’ desire for it, and were now very willing to make “the crisis” an excuse for overthrowing it; the president’s own influence had been thrown heavily in favor of a revision of the tariff; and many even of those who were honest protectionists, were disposed to lessen the magnitude of the crisis by sacrificing protection. In the house the committee of ways and means reported, Dec. 27, 1832, the administration measure, usually called the Verplanck bill, which cut the duties down to the scale of 1816, giving up all the protective duties of 1824, 1828 and 1832. Feb. 12, 1833, Clay asked permission in the senate to introduce a compromise tariff bill. Its main features were that, after Dec. 1, 1833, all
ad valorem duties of more than 20 per cent. should be reduced one-tenth every two years until June 1, 1842, at which date the rate of 20 per cent. should be the maximum. Calhoun, who was now in the senate, agreed to the bill, assigning as a reason his desire not to injure manufactures by too sudden a reduction. The bill, assured of the support of both protectionists and nullifiers, seemed certain of success, when Clay, Feb. 21, sprung upon the nullifiers an amendment by which duties were to be paid on the value of the goods in the American port, not in the foreign port of exportation. Up to this time the house was still debating the Verplanck bill; but, Feb. 26, by a vote of 119 to eighty-one, the house passed the bill which Clay had introduced in the senate.
—Everything now rested with the senate. The nullifiers there found Clay’s amendment extremely distasteful, since the levying of duties on the higher American valuations was in itself protection, and on the last day but one of the session announced their final resolution to refuse to vote for it. The protectionists declared the nullification vote to be a
sine qua non, and their leader, Clayton, of Delaware, moved to table the bill, acknowledging that it was his intention to kill it, and leave South Carolina and the president to decide the enforcement of the existing tariff. Clayton was induced to withhold his motion until the next day; in the meantime he was importuned to release Calhoun at least from the necessity of voting for the Clay amendment; but he insisted upon either the whole nullification vote for the Clay amendment, or the failure of the entire bill. The next day Calhoun unwillingly voted for the whole bill, covering his retreat by an unmeaning declaration that his vote was only given on condition that some suitable method of appraisement should be adopted. The whole bill passed the senate by a vote of twenty-nine to sixteen, and was signed by the president March 2. The South Carolina convention, March 16, met and repealed the ordinance of nullification.
can not be doubted that the country lived for the next nine years under a progressively less protectionist tariff, nor that the reduction of the tariff was in great measure due to the attitude of South Carolina. There is far more doubt as to whether it can be fairly said, as it has sometimes been said, that “nullification triumphed.” On the contrary, it might be more fairly said that the explosion, while it stunned protection for the time, killed nullification forever. Calhoun’s new constitutional scheme had aborted in every point: it had not been put in force at the appointed time; it had received no respectful recognition from the federal government; the president’s “harassing of the state’s commerce” had been followed, not by secession, but by an illegitimate and unofficial “suspension” of the ordinance; no convention of the states had been called to decide between the state and the government; but congress and the president, interpreting their own powers, had revised the tariff at their own discretion. Nullification was evidently still-born, though the good nature of congress gave an opportunity to perform the last rites of sepulture over it by formally repealing it. It was so dead that its own parent never again ventured to hint a hope of its revivification; and when the protective tariff of 1842 was passed, neither Calhoun nor any one else suggested a nullification, but South Carolina, like other anti-protective states, quietly submitted until a change of parties brought the revenue tariff of 1846.
—It is not at all certain that the final settlement of the question, however its immediate wisdom may be questioned, was not for the greatest ultimate good of the country. On the one hand, if congress had forced the issue with the state, the question of state sovereignty and primary state allegiance would have been settled by Jackson in 1833 with the expenditure of far less blood and treasure than was expended in 1861-5. On this ground mainly, that it was not proper to yield great principles to faction, and that “the time had come to test the strength of the constitution and the government,” Webster had refused to have any share in the remedy of a compromise tariff. On the other hand, it is equally certain that a conflict on such grounds would never have rid the south of the incubus of slavery. It was well that the conflict was postponed until state sovereignty and slavery, inextricably involved in a common purpose, should perish by a common disaster. (See, in general,
—See 1 von Holst’s
United States, 459; 3 Spencer’s
United States, 389; 43 Niles’
Register; 10-12 Benton’s
Debates of Congress; 6 Calhoun’s
Works, 1 (South Carolina Exposition); Jenkins’
Life of Calhoun, 161; 4 Elliot’s
Debates, 509; Appleton’s
American Cyclopœdia (edit. 1858), art. “Calhoun”; 1 Stephens’
War Between the States. 421; 1 Draper’s
Civil War, 453; 3 Parton’s
Life of Jackson, 433; 3 Webster’s
Works, 343; 1 Curtis’
Life of Webster, 433; 1 Webster’s
Private Correspondence, 529; Simms’
History of South Carolina, 420; J. A. Hamilton’s
Reminiscences, 243; 1 Benton’s
Thirty Years’ View, 342;
Harper’s Magazine, August, 1862; Hunt’s
Life of Livingston, 371; 2 Colton’s
Life and Times of Clay, 223; Clay’s
Private Correspondence, 347; the tariff of 1832 and Clay’s compromise tariff are in 4
Stat. at Large, 583, 632; the ordinance of nullification in 10 Benton’s
Debates of Congress, 30, 1 Benton’s
Thirty Years’ View, 297, 43 Niles’
Register, 219; the nullification proclamation in 4 Elliot’s
Debates, 582, 2
Statesman’s Manual, 890; 43 Niles’
Register, 231, 288; 2 Calhoun’s
Works, 197, 262; 3
ib., 140; 5 Clay’s