NULLIFICATION (ante), in general, might be used to indicate any act of absolute invalidation or making void, but is almost exclusively applied to the doctrine first set forth thy John C. Calhoun in a paper known as the South Carolina &position, which was presented by him in 1828 to the legislature of that state, and by them ordered printed. This doctrine asserted the right of any state to declare the unconstitutionality of any United States law, though it should have been passed in the proper manner, have received the assent of the president, and even have been tested as to its constitutionality before the U.S. supreme court. And it was further claimed that any attempt to enforce such law in a state which had refused to acknowledge its force was such an unconstitu tional violation of the sovereign rights of that state as would justify her in at once leaving the union. The immediate cause of this remarkable assertion of power was the existing system of tariff laws, which, it was claimed, bore with great unfairness on the non manufacturing and raw-material-producing southern states. The argument was in great measure based on language used by Jefferson in drawing up the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798-99 in regard to the sedition and alien laws. Here it was asserted that the general government was not "the final or exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge 'for itself, as,well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress." These resolutions further express the convic tion that other states "returning to their natural rights in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring such laws void and of no force. and will each take measures of its own in providing that neither these acts nor any others of the general government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the constitution, shall. be exercised within their respective territories." Senator Hayne of South Carolina was the first to advocate openly the destructive doctrine based on these expressions of Jefferson, and his speech on the subject in the serrate called forth Webster's famous oration of Jan. 26, 1830. The
theory rapidly gained ground among the extreme believers in state sovereignty, and toward the close of 1832 the governor of South Carolina, acting on the advice of Cal houn, tio thOt. at Charleston. This Convention reported for the action of the legislature an ordinance, declaring that the existing tariff law was and void, and no law," authorizing the citizens of the state to refuse payment of nay taxes under that law after Feb. 1, 1882, and denying the right of the U. S. supreme court to pass upon the validity of the ordinance itself. This bold declaration of inde pendence from the authority of the general government was accompanied by the threat that if any steps were taken to enforce the collection of duties, the state would be justi fied in retiring from the union, and not a vote was cast against it in the convention. When congress met in 1832, Hayne was governor of South Carolina. Calhoun entered the senate, and the state legislature was on the point of enacting laws to carry out the nullification ordinance. The danger was averted partly by the adoption of the so-called Clay's compromise, a modification of the tariff law, but chiefly by the firm and wise action of Andrew Jackson, then serving his second term as president. His orders to the rev enue officers of Charleston showed his intention to carry out the laws and maintain the authority of the general government; it was well known that he was not a man to be trifled with or intimidated, and his special message to congress ou the subject is one of the ablest state-papers produced in the country's history. The authorship of the procla mation is generally attributed to Edward Livingston, the secretary of state. Jackson's position as a southern democrat and as a military hero also bad much weight. Calhoun made an able and ingenious speech in the senate, Feb., 1833, sustaining his view of nulli fication, but the movement had lost its force, and though there was for some years a party of nullifiers under Calhoun's leadership, that form of the doctrine of state sov ereignty was no longer a factor in politics, though undoubtedly the forerunner and logi cal parent of the doctrine of the right of secession.