previous next
[91] arena of a stirring conflict between her “National” school of politicians, headed by Calhoun and McDuffie, and the “Radicals,” whose chief was William H. Crawford, of Georgia. Repeated duels between Mr. McDuffie and Colonel William Cuming, of Georgia, in one of which McDuffie was severely wounded, were among the incidents of this controversy. Yet but few years elapsed before Mr. Calhoun and his trusty henchman, McDuffie, appeared in the novel character of champions of “State rights,” and relentless antagonists of Protection, and all the “National” projects they had hitherto supported! Mr. Calhoun attempted, some years afterward, to reconcile this flagrant inconsistency; but it was like “arguing the seal off the bond” --a feat to which the subtlest powers of casuistry are utterly inadequate. He did prove, however, that his change did not follow, but preceded, his quarrel with General Jackson--his original, though then unacknowledged, demonstration against Protection as unconstitutional, and in favor of Nullification as a reserved right of each State, having been embodied in an elaborate document known as “The South Carolina exposition,” adopted and put forth by the Legislature of his State near the close of 1828. The doctrines therein affirmed were those propounded by Hayne and refuted by Webster in the great debate already noticed.

The Tariff of 1828--the highest and most protective ever adopted in this country — was passed by a Jackson Congress, of which Van Buren, Silas Wright, and the Jacksonian leaders in pennsylvania and Ohio, were master-spirits. It was opposed by most of the members from the Cotton States, and by a majority of those from New England--some provisions having been engrafted upon it with the alleged purpose and the certain effect of making it obnoxious to Massachusetts and the States which, on either side, adjoined her. On the other hand, the members from the Middle and Western Free States, without distinction of party, supported it almost unanimously. This Tariff imposed high duties on Iron, Lead, Hemp, Wool, and other bulky staples, and was very generally popular. Under it, the industry of the Free States, regarded as a whole, was more productive, more prosperous, better rewarded, than ever before, and the country exhibited a rapid growth in wealth, intelligence, and general comfort.

The South--that is, the cottongrowing region — for Louisiana, through her sugar-planting interest, sustained the Protective policy, and shared in the prosperity thence resulting — now vehemently opposed the Tariff, declaring herself thereby plundered and impoverished. There is no evidence that her condition was less favorable, her people less comfortable, than they had been; but the contrast between the thrift, progress, and activity of the Free States, and the stagnation, the inertia, the poverty, of the cotton region, was very striking. And, as the South was gradually unlearning her Revolutionary principles, and adopting instead the dogma that Slavery is essentially right and beneficent, she could not now be induced to apprehend, nor even to consider, the real cause of her comparative wretchedness; though she was more than once

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
McDuffie (4)
John C. Calhoun (3)
Silas Wright (1)
John E. Wool (1)
Webster (1)
Andrew Jackson (1)
Robert Y. Hayne (1)
William Cuming (1)
William H. Crawford (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1828 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: