Reply To: Nullification and Violence


A few things, John:

1) Congress passed the Force Bill. Yes, Jackson asked for it, but he couldn’t order it. Interestingly, Calhoun and his allies went and stood in an antechamber as the Senate voted, so the only “Nay” vote came from Virginia’s Senator John Tyler, Jr., who used his speech explaining the vote as a farewell to the Democratic Party. Within a decade, he’d be a Whig president–with Democratic principles.

2) That depends how you define “confrontation.” At Ole Miss in 1962, the controversy over admitting James Meredith to the school led to widespread violence evocative of events many decades earlier; the Federal Government warned Mississippi’s governor that he risked a jailing if he didn’t toe the line. Ultimately, he caved and Meredith became Ole Miss’s first black undergraduate. Five years earlier, at Little Rock, the governor decided to disallow local authorities to integrate Central High School; President Eisenhower responded by sending in the 101st Airborne Division to force them in. If by “nullification” you mean “flouting federal law/court order,” then these scenarios fall into the category you inquired about.