Nullification Proclamation : Nullification Crisis History
Subjects discussed and questions addressed: South Carolina Ordinance of
Nullification, the Nullification Crisis, and the Nullification Proclamation history. What was the Nullification
Proclamation? What caused the Nullification Crisis? Or, what were the causes of the Nullification Crisis? What was
President Andrew Jackson's reply to the Nullification Ordinance? The state's Ordinance is also enclosed and addresses
and lists its grievances with the final outcome.
South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, November 24, 1832.
An ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States,
purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities.
Whereas the Congress of the United States by various acts, purporting
to be acts laying duties and imposts on foreign imports, but in reality intended for the protection of domestic manufactures and the giving of bounties to classes and
individuals engaged in particular employments, at the expense and to the injury and oppression of other classes and individuals,
and by wholly exempting from taxation certain foreign commodities, such as are not produced or manufactured in the United
States, to afford a pretext for imposing higher and excessive duties on articles similar to those intended to be protected,
bath exceeded its just powers under the constitution, which confers on it no authority to afford such protection, and bath
violated the true meaning and intent of the constitution, which provides for equality in imposing the burdens of taxation
upon the several States and portions of the confederacy: And whereas the said Congress, exceeding its just power to impose
taxes and collect revenue for the purpose of effecting and accomplishing the specific objects and purposes which the constitution
of the United States authorizes it to effect and accomplish, hath raised and collected
unnecessary revenue for objects unauthorized by the constitution.
We, therefore, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled,
do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the several acts and parts of acts of the Congress of the
United States, purporting to be laws for the imposing of duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities, and
now having actual operation and effect within the United States, and, more especially, an act entitled "An act in alteration of the several acts imposing duties on imports," approved on the nineteenth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight and also an act entitled "An act to alter and amend the several acts imposing duties on imports," approved on the fourteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, are unauthorized by the constitution of the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent thereof and are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State, its officers
or citizens; and all promises, contracts, and obligations, made or entered into, or to be made or entered into, with purpose
to secure the duties imposed by said acts, and all judicial proceedings which shall be hereafter had in affirmance thereof,
are and shall be held utterly null and void.
And it is further ordained, that it shall not be lawful for any of the constituted
authorities, whether of this State or of the United States, to enforce the payment of duties imposed by the said acts within
the limits of this State; but it shall be the duty of the legislature to adopt such measures and pass such acts as may be
necessary to give full effect to this ordinance, and to prevent the enforcement and arrest the operation of the said acts
and parts of acts of the Congress of the United States within the limits of this State, from and after the first day of February
next, and the duties of all other constituted authorities, and of all persons residing or being within the limits of this
State, and they are hereby required and enjoined to obey and give effect to this ordinance, and such acts and measures of
the legislature as may be passed or adopted in obedience thereto.
And it is further ordained, that in no case of law or equity, decided in the
courts of this State, wherein shall be drawn in question the authority of this ordinance, or the validity of such act or acts
of the legislature as may be passed for the purpose of giving effect thereto, or the validity of the aforesaid acts of Congress,
imposing duties, shall any appeal be taken or allowed to the Supreme Court of the United States, nor shall any copy of the
record be permitted or allowed for that purpose; and if any such appeal shall be attempted to be taken, the courts of this
State shall proceed to execute and enforce their judgments according to the laws and usages of the State, without reference
to such attempted appeal, and the person or persons attempting to take such appeal may be dealt with as for a contempt of
And it is further ordained, that all persons now holding any office of honor,
profit, or trust, civil or military, under this State (members of the legislature excepted), shall, within such time, and
in such manner as the legislature shall prescribe, take an oath well and truly to obey, execute, and enforce this ordinance,
and such act or acts of the legislature as may be passed in pursuance thereof, according to the true intent and meaning of
the same, and on the neglect or omission of any such person or persons so to do, his or their office or offices shall be forthwith
vacated, and shall be filled up as if such person or persons were dead or had resigned; and no person hereafter elected to
any office of honor, profit, or trust, civil or military (members of the legislature excepted), shall, until the legislature
shall otherwise provide and direct, enter on the execution of his office, or be he any respect competent to discharge the
duties thereof until he shall, in like manner, have taken a similar oath; and no juror shall be impaneled in any of the courts
of this State, in any cause in which shall be in question this ordinance, or any act of the legislature passed in pursuance
thereof, unless he shall first, in addition to the usual oath, have taken an oath that he will well and truly obey, execute,
and enforce this ordinance, and such act or acts of the legislature as may be passed to carry the same into operation and
effect, according to the true intent and meaning thereof.
And we, the people of South Carolina, to the end that it may be fully understood
by the government of the United States, and the people of the co-States, that we are determined to maintain this our ordinance
and declaration, at every hazard, do further declare that we will not submit to the application of force on the part of the
federal government, to reduce this State to obedience, but that we will consider the passage, by Congress, of any act authorizing
the employment of a military or naval force against the State of South Carolina, her constitutional authorities or citizens;
or any act abolishing or closing the ports of this State, or any of them, or otherwise obstructing the free ingress and egress
of vessels to and from the said ports, or any other act on the part of the federal government, to coerce the State, shut up
her ports, destroy or harass her commerce or to enforce the acts hereby declared to be null and void, otherwise than through
the civil tribunals of the country, as inconsistent with the longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union; and that the
people of this State will henceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political
connection with the people of the other States; and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate government, and do all other
acts and things which sovereign and independent States may of right do.
Done in convention at Columbia, the twenty-fourth day of November, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and in the fifty-seventh year of the Declaration of the Independence
of the United States of America.
(Sources listed at bottom of page.)
Recommended Reading: Nullification: How
to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. Description: Citizens across the country are fed up with
the politicians in Washington telling us how to live our lives—and then sticking us with the bill. But what can we do?
Actually, we can just say “no.” As New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., explains, “nullification”
allows states to reject unconstitutional federal laws. For many tea partiers nationwide, nullification is rapidly becoming
the only way to stop an over-reaching government drunk on power. From privacy to national healthcare, Woods shows how this
growing and popular movement is sweeping across America and empowering states to take action against Obama’s socialist
policies and big-government agenda. Continued below...
From the Inside Flap: Unconstitutional
laws are pouring out of Washington…but we can stop them.
Just ask Thomas Jefferson. There is a “rightful remedy”
to federal power grabs—it’s called Nullification.
In Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, historian
and New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains not only why nullification is the constitutional tool
the Founders envisioned, but how it works—and has already been employed in cases ranging from upholding the First Amendment
to knocking down slave laws before the Civil War. In Nullification, Woods shows:
* How the states were meant to be checks against federal tyranny—and
how a growing roster of governors and state attorneys general are recognizing they need to become that again
* Why the
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reinforces the rights of states to nullify unconstitutional laws
* Why it was left
to the states to uphold the simple principle that an unconstitutional law is no law at all
* Why, without nullification,
ordinary Americans will continue to suffer the oppression of unjust, unconstitutional laws
* PLUS thorough documentation
of how the Founding Fathers believed nullification could be applied
Nullification is not just a book—it could become a movement to restore
the proper constitutional limits of the federal government. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Nullification is sure to stir
debate and become a constitutional handbook for all liberty-loving Americans.
Sources: Ford, Paul Leicester, The Federalist: A commentary on the Constitution
of the United States by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay edited with notes, illustrative documents and a copious
index by Paul Leicester Ford. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1898; Yale Law School, The Avalon Project.