Andrew Jackson: Proclamation to the People of South Carolina Regarding Nullification

(1832)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

President Jackson's Proclamation regarding Nullification begins by stating that the South Carolina convention advocates a course of action contrary to South Carolinians responsibilities as citizens, which violates the Constitution. Appealing to Revolutionary heritage, the patriotism of South Carolinians, and the idea that the Union has been sanctioned by God, the proclamation outlines Jackson's reasons for nullification. Deeming nullification “strange,” the proclamation argues that a state cannot be a part of the Union and reject federal laws. The proclamation defines the relationship between the people and the federal government as a “social compact,” one that dates from colonial times, and it maintains the supremacy of federal laws and treaties over state and local interests. It also rejects the argument that South Carolina is uniquely and unfairly burdened by the tariff, noting that states have at times shared unequally in the...

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Andrew Jackson's proclamation (Library of Congress)

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