whenever the Federal Government
should attempt to execute the tariff laws within its limits.
At this period a large and influential minority, almost amounting to a majority of the people of South Carolina
, were opposed to nullification.
This party embraced the Federal
judges, and the collectors and other revenue officers at the different ports.
They did not believe nullification to be either a rightful or constitutional remedy for grievances, which notwithstanding they felt keenly in common with their fellow-citizens.
So hostile did the parties become toward each other in the progress of the conflict, that there was imminent danger they might resort to civil war. The minority stood ready to aid the Government
in enforcing the tariff laws against the nullifiers.
The Convention, in their address to the people of the United States
proposed terms of compromise, with which should Congress comply, South Carolina
would repeal the nullifying ordinance.
Professing their willingness ‘to make a large offering to preserve the Union
and distinctly declaring that it was a concession on their part, they proposed to consent to a tariff imposing the same rate of duty on the protected as on the unprotected articles, ‘provided that no more revenue be raised than is necessary to meet the demands of the Government
for constitutional purposes, and provided, also, that a duty substantially uniform be imposed upon all foreign imports.’
Thus their ultimatum was a uniform ad valorem horizontal tariff for revenue alone, without any discriminations whatever in favor of domestic manufactures.
At this crisis Mr. Calhoun
resigned the office of VicePresi-dent, and on the 12th December, 1832, took his seat in the Senate as one of the Senators
from South Carolina
, for the purpose of advocating the measures he had advised.
Strange to say, South Carolina
substantially succeeded in accomplishing her object by the passage of the ‘Compromise Act’ of 2d March, 1833.3
Under it, Congress provided for a gradual reduction of existing duties on all foreign articles competing in the home market with our domestic manufactures, until they should finally