States’ Rights and Federal Supremacy

Although the thirteen original states all eventually ratified the US Constitution, the struggle for its ratification demonstrates that it was not supported by all of the states. At issue was the power that the newly created Federal government acquired at the cost of power held by the States. Jefferson and Madison raised that issue in 1798 when they wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, as does Calhoun in 1832. This conflict brought the country into a Civil War, and the emergence of the “Tea Party” in recent years indicates that it continues to be unresolved. An increasing sectionalism was developing between the North and the South, and the nullification crisis was a manifestation of this conflict. INSTRUCTIONS: This writing assignment will require you to compare and contrast two Primary Source documents, in order to explain and discuss how the nullification crisis demonstrates a growing sectionalism between the North and the South. Review the discussion of Jefferson and Madison’s “Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions” in Chapter 9. Review the section titled The Nullification Crisis located in Chapter 11. Read the following linked documents. They can also be found at The Avalon Project site, under 19th Century document. Document 1: South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/ordnull.asp Document 2: Jackson’s Proclamation of Nullification https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jack01.asp PREPARE AND SUBMIT: Write a well-organized essay, a minimum of 700 words (but not limited to), including supporting details from the documents/textbook/other sources in which you analyze and discuss the material that has been assigned by addressing the following question: Identify and discuss Calhoun’s arguments regarding the unconstitutionality of the Tariff of 1828, his theory of nullification and right to secession comparing them to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, and President Jackson’s response.

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