Tariff Wars and the Politics of Jacksonian America
The spreading of democracy caused by the tariff evoked bitter sectional controversy among Americans. Northerners claimed they needed a tariff to protect their industries and also their wages. Southerners alleged the tariff forced them to buy goods at increased prices. Having lost the argument against the tariff on its merits, in the 1820s, southerners began to argue the Constitution did not allow Congress to enact a protective tariff. In this fight, we see increased tensions between northerners and southerners in the decades before the Civil War began.
As Tariff Wars reveals, this struggle spawned a controversy that placed the nation on a path that would lead to the early morning hours of Charleston Harbor in April of 1861.