Jackson Stares Down South Carolina

When the Palmetto State threatened to nullify federal statutes at will, President Jackson met it with tough rhetoric and threat of force -- and postponed the Civil War for three decades.

War was at hand. Upstairs in his White House study over the long winter of 1832-33, President Andrew Jackson stood strong against a distant state that posed, he believed, an all too imminent threat to the Union. South Carolina was defying him, and he hated it: he believed to his core that the state was putting the nation in jeopardy. Four hundred and fifty miles down the Atlantic seaboard in Charleston, radicals were raising an army to defend South Carolina's right to nullify the federal statutes it chose not to accept. Read more »

There Was Another South

Was the old South solidly for slavery and secession? An eminent historian disputes a long-cherished view of that region’s history

The stereotype of the South is as tenacious as it is familiar: a traditionally rebellious region which has made a dogma of states’ rights and a religious order of the Democratic party. Here indeed is a monotonous and unchanging tapestry, with a pattern of magnolia blossoms, Spanish moss, and the inevitable old plantations running ceaselessly from border to border. To this depiction of almost willful backwardness, add the dark motif of the Negro problem, a few threads of poor white, and the picture is complete.

 
 
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