View single post by 39th Miss. Walker
 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 06:04 pm
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39th Miss. Walker

Joined: Tue May 1st, 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 80

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The Seaman's Laws were not a protest against the Tariffs. It was simply what it was, a law to keep black seamen from mixing with the local blacks. There was still very much a fear of what had happened in the slave revolts in Santo Domingo. Some of the participants in that slave revolt were seamen aboard trading vessels sailing into Charleston.
As I posted above this came on the heels of of actual insurrections in the South.
When I say round one to South Carolina, it is not meant as a celebration, rather it was the first time a law was passed, refuted by the Federal Government and then the illegality of the law nullified by South Carolina's refusal to back down.
Also as you study the nullification controversy in the early 1800's you should come to the conclusion the Lowcountry planters were a bit paranoid, of a black uprising, northern abolitionists, and loss of market.
Also keep in mind the Southern economy was a free market economy, with the South selling their goods on the open market while the Northerners were protected by the tariffs.
It is enough to make someone paranoid!

Actually the height of the Nullification Controversy was in the 1816-1836 time period. It was through this Northern "majority" that the tariffs were passed.
This is not to imply that Southerners didn't vote for some tariffs as well.
Some of their votes were a way of trying to make the tariffs so odious as to cause the original backers and some industries to push for abolishment of the tariffs.

It was also during this time the very definitions of what our government was were being formed, hence the States Rights vs the Nationalists. There were States Rights advocates in the North as there were Nationalists in the South, although by the late 1820's most Nationalists in the South had become States Rights advocates, partially as a result of the defining of the government and the tariffs.
For a good read on how the South viewed our government and sovereignty find a copy of John C Calhoun's EXPOSITION. Here he makes the case for States Rights. His theory was that since the State Conventions ratified the Constitution only the State Conventions could change it. That the Supreme Court MAY review lower courts decisions but any question of the Constitutionality should come ultimately from the States themselves.
Ultimately each of us owes our allegiance to numerous sovereignty's, the city we live in, the state, and the nation. There has to be a clear definition and delineation. Here the States Right advocates said since they, the states. ratified the Constitution and since the Constitution reserved for the states all other rights not expressly assigned to the Federal government they not the Federal Government would be the final say.

Last edited on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 06:06 pm by 39th Miss. Walker

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