Sectionalism in the early-mid
In fact, the War in general essentially served as an ignition to the division of the sections. Even further dividing the sections, the Protective Tariff of 1814 put a 25% tax on all imported goods. This means that a roll of cloth from Britain that originally sold for $5 would now cost $6.
25. This greatly helped the North – British factories often sold goods cheaper than the factories in New England did in order to sell more. Due to the tariff, the North now had the best price and farmers in the west and south were forced to buy from New England factories.To help out the south, the government would spend some of their refits from the tariffs on transportation improvements in the south and west. The south and west, however, was angered by the tariff. The transportation improve-meets, they argued, did not help them significantly. Overall, they felt the north was benefiting from the tariff at their expense.
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Sectionalism was such a widespread and realized problem that three sectional representatives – one for each section – emerged. Henry Clay spoke for the west. Although he was a sectional leader, Clay has been called one Of the most nationalistic leaders in America’s history.Clay had always tried to improve national unity, but unfortunately, many of his ideas never went into effect. John C. Calhoun was the sectional representative for the south. He was an opinionated man, and believed the states should have more power than the federal government.
Calhoun also strongly opposed the tariffs. The northern delegate was Daniel Webster. Webster, unlike Calhoun, believed that there should be a stronger federal government, and also supported tariffs. Even the presidential elections were linked to sectionalism. After John QuinceAdams narrowly won the heated election of 1824, he and Andrew Jackson ran against each other in the election of 1828. John Quince Adams was a Federalist who liked to be considered authority rather than a “common person. ” Andrew Jackson was quite the opposite.
A republican (now called a democrat), one of the key elements in Jackson’s campaign was showing that he was one of the people and spoke for everybody, not just people with money. Due to this, many voters from New England (north) voted for John Quince Adams, while nearly everybody from the south and west voted forAndrew Jackson. In the end, Jackson easily won the election. The same year Jackson was elected, a new tariffs issued. This tariff was one of the highest tariffs in American History. The south called it the Tariff of Abominations because they hated it so much. Solely helping the north and devastating the south and west, this new tariff passed in 1 828 widened the gap that separated the north from the west and south.
Southern sectional leader John Calhoun wanted to nullify the tariff. He said that states should have the right to nullify a law they thought was unconstitutional.Northern representative Daniel Webster attacked this idea, saying how if states could nullify whatever they pleased, there would be a lack of organization and no reason for a federal government. Eventually, Webster wins this argument. In a political dinner, Calhoun found out that he did not have support from president Andrew Jackson, and resigned from the argument. Still infuriated about the steep tariff, North Carolina threatened to secede from the Union. Jackson compromised that he would reduce the tariff, but also make sure North Carolina remained a member of the United States by sing the Army.
This lack of national unity had unfortunate effects on the nation. People often referred to themselves by their section rather than country. There was a distinct difference in lifestyles – the south was more agricultural while the north was more industrial. The string of events, starting with the War of 1812 and worsening with tariffs, put a hamper on national unity. Although the United States was independent, they were divided among themselves. Can a nation call itself independent when its population only wants to support its “section,” not the nation as a whole?