Andrew Jackson Sectionalism

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Sometimes when a ruling authority decide what they think is the “best” for their country, sectionalism evolves. Sectionalismisloyalty to the interests of one’s own region or section of the country, rather than the nation as a whole. In simple words,it means one would only strive toimprove their town or area, rather than improving the country.

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An example of sectionalism would be during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. The decisions made during Jackson’s president caused sectionalism itself to manifest.

Signs of sectionalism showed after Congress released the Tariff of 1828, the vetoing of the re-chartering of the Bank of the United States, and Jackson refusing to admit Texas as a state. The Tariff of 1828 was a major factor that contributed to the emerging sectional conflicts during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Passed by Congress in 1828, it was aimed to protect the booming industries in the north and tax the south on imported goods such as wool, fur, liquor, etc. The South was angry at paying a high amount on imported goods, since it harmed their economy.

As a result, South Carolina threatened secession from the Union. Congress, hoping to make things work better for the south, issued the Tariff of 1832, lowering the tariff down to 35% with a reduction of 10%, but the southerners still thought this was not enough. So it led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832; the South Carolinians said the Tariff of 1832 was unconstitutional, declaring it to be a void. Jackson, angry about this whole conflict, issued a proclamation against S. C. in which Governor Hayne from S. C. eleased a counter-proclamation, causing sectional tensions to be lurking around the corners. This whole conflicted ended when Henry Clay proposed a compromise bill that would reduce the Tariff of 1832 by about 10% over a period of eight years, so that by 1842 the rates would be down to 20% to 25%. Andrew Jackson vetoing the re-chartering of the Bank of the United States proved sectionalism to be emerging. Jackson and the westerners saw the BUS as a tool of the rich to get richer, but to the easterners, it was a great institution that reduced bank failures secured their funds.

The vetoing of the re-chartering of the Bank of the United States started when Henry Clay deployed a strategy hoping to bring Jackson’s popularity down so then he can hopefully win the next presidential election. He presented Jackson a bill for the re-chartering of the BUS that was four years early. The point of this was if Jackson signed it, he would lose supporters from the west and south, and if he vetoed it, he would lose the support from the elite and wealthy people of the East. However, the people from the east were now a minority and they fearedJackson.

Jackson vetoed the re-charter bill, scorning the BUS to be unconstitutional, which aligned the west against the East. Sectionalism emerged between the north and the south when Jackson refused to admit Texas as a state. After Texas gained its independence from Santa Anna in 1836, many of the Texans wanted to become part of the Union, but the slavery issue wouldn’t allow this. If Texas was to be admitted to the Union, then that means there would be 13 slave states and 12 free states, breaking the whole point of the Missouri Compromise.

The Missouri Compromise called for all states above the 36 degree 30 line to be free, and the states under that line would be slave states, bringing a fair balance between slave states and free states. The Northerners were uneasy with Texas since they didn’t want Texas to be admitted to the Union, otherwise there would be more slave states than free. During Andrew Jackson’s presidency, tensions between the south, west, and north emerged causing sectionalism. Sectionalism emerged after Congress released the Tariff of 1828, the re-chartering of the Bank of the United States was vetoed, and Jackson refusing to admit Texas as a state.