What tariff passed the Congress in 1828

The Tariff of Abominations (1828) - 2021

The tariff of abominations The name outraged the southerners to a customs tariff passed in 1828. Southerners believed the import tax was too high and wrongly targeted their region of the country.

The tariff in force in the spring of 1828 put very high tariffs on goods imported into the United States. And this created great economic problems for the south.

Since the south was not a manufacturing center, it either had to import finished goods from Europe (especially Great Britain) or buy goods made in the north.

In order to injure injuries, the law was evidently designed to protect manufacturers in the northeast.

With a protective tariff that essentially causes artificially high prices, consumers in the south were severely disadvantaged when buying products from Nordic or foreign manufacturers.

The 1828 customs posed another problem for the south as it restricted business with England. And that, in turn, made it more difficult for the British to afford cotton in the American South.

The intense feeling about the tariff of abominations led John C. Calhoun to anonymously write essays setting out his theory of annihilation, in which he strongly argued that states could ignore federal laws. Calhoun's protest against the federal government ultimately led to the nullification crisis.

Background to the tariff of 1828

The 1828 tariff was one of a series of protective tariffs adopted in America. After the War of 1812, when English manufacturers began to flood the American market with cheap goods that undercut and threatened the new American industry, the US Congress responded by setting a tariff in 1816. Another tariff was passed in 1824.

These tariffs were designed as a protective measure - that is, they were intended to drive up the price of imported goods, thus protecting American factories from British competition. And they became unpopular in some places because the tariffs were originally always promoted as temporary measures. However, with the advent of new industries, new tariffs kept appearing to protect them from foreign competition.

The 1828 tariff came about as part of an intricate political strategy that was designed to pose problems for President John Quincy Adams. Andrew Jackson supporters hated Adams after his election in the 1824 Corrupt Bargain election.

The people of Jackson drafted a bill with very high tariffs on imports necessary for both the North and the South, on the assumption that the bill would not be passed. It was believed that the President was held responsible for the tariff's failure to implement. And that would cost him among his followers in the northeast.

The strategy failed when the Collective Bargaining Act was passed in Congress on May 11, 1828. President John Quincy Adams signed the bill. Believing the tariff was a good idea, Adams signed it despite realizing it could offend him politically in the upcoming 1828 election.

The new tariff introduced high import duties on iron, molasses, distillate, flax and various manufactured goods. The law was instantly unpopular and people in the various regions were rude. But the resistance was greatest in the south.

John C. Calhoun's Resistance to the Customs of Abominations

The fierce southern opposition to customs in 1828 was led by John C. Calhoun, a dominant South Carolina politician. Calhoun had grown up on the border in the late 17th century, but had trained at Yale College in Connecticut and was also trained in law in New England.

In national politics, Calhoun had emerged as an eloquent and dedicated advocate of the South (and also of the institution of slavery on which the South's economy depended) by the mid-1820s.

Calhoun's plans to run as president were thwarted by a lack of support in 1824, and he was eventually named vice president with John Quincy Adams. In 1828, Calhoun was actually the vice-president of the man who signed the hated tariff into law.

Calhoun published a strong protest against the tariff

In late 1828, Calhoun wrote an essay entitled "South Carolina Exposition and Protest," which was published anonymously. (In special circumstances, Calhoun was not only the vice president of the official Adams, but also the counterpart of Andrew Jackson, who campaigned for Adams to be ousted in the 1828 election.)

In his essay, Calhoun criticized the concept of a protective tariff, arguing that tariffs should only be used to increase revenue, not to artificially increase business in certain regions of the nation. And Calhoun called the South Carolinians "serfs of the system" and explained how they were forced to pay higher prices for essentials.

Calhoun's essay was submitted to the South Carolina state legislature on December 19, 1828. Despite public outrage over customs and Calhoun's staunch rejection, state lawmakers have taken no action against customs.

Calhoun's authorship of the essay was kept secret, although he made his view public during the nullification crisis that broke out when the tariff issue arose in the early 1830s.

The Importance of the Customs Tariff

The Abominations Tariff did not result in extreme actions (such as secession) by the state of South Carolina. However, the 1828 tariff significantly increased resentment against the north, a sentiment that lasted for decades and helped lead the nation towards civil war.