Throughout history the power of government plays a leading role in the turning points of how the government should expand its branches and support its country. In the events of the Nullification Crisis and the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions, both opposed how the government grew its power. Although the power of the national government increased during the early republic, this development often faced serious opposition. As the government throughout the years increase its power, states government can’t help but fight for their rights.
States began opposing the national government’s decisions as their decisions questioned civil liberties. In order to strongly support their cause, state governments began to declare federal laws null and void. In the events of the Nullification Crisis and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, these events help embody the clear differences between two opposing principals of government power- states’ rights and federalism. The Nullification Crisis arose during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson, as the people of the South strongly agreed to nullify, avoid and ignore federal law, they disagreed with Congress rulings.
As the new president, Jackson did not properly prepare to handle his presidency, he did not properly handle the protests against the Tariff of 1828. Members of the South felt that the tariff affected the south more than the north. As the federal government began to increase its power, the fear of a corrupt government and power hungry officials, with accordance with John. C. Calhoun beliefs, the south began to nullify and ignore national law. These attempts challenged the federal government and caused disputes between states and federal law.
However, as states eagerly began to protest against tariffs and rulings the Federal government did not allow southern states to nullify their tariff. This shows how strong their power is and how they clearly display that their rulings are important. The motives of the southern states protesting against federal law is due to unfair attention between the southern and northern states. The Nullification Crisis of 1832 expressed the idea that states representing the people have the right to judge the constitutionality of federal decisions.
Before the Nullification Crisis, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions began doubting federal actions as well. The resolutions were passed in opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts which were ruled by federal law. As the Jeffersonian Republicans first enacted the Kentucky resolutions, it was an attack to the Federalist interpretation of the constitution. Also, the resolutions protest against limitations on civil liberties. They interpreted that the national government would extend its powers over the states.
The resolutions expressed that the constitution established an agreement between states and the federal government. In which the federal government has no right to expand its powers under the terms of the agreement. But just like the nullification crisis, other states disagreed and ignored their statements. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions declared that states have the right to decide on the constitutionality of federal rulings. Throughout history the rise of federal power has states disagreeing with their decisions.
Although neither the south states or the federal government won the conflict of the Nullification Crisis, it resulted great tension between the two groups. Citizens realized that President Jackson became untrustworthy to their motives of refusing federal law. The crisis defined that the powers of both the federal government and the state government. As both events lead up to the Civil War, these events marked that the voice of the states should be heard. Although the resolutions did not meet their goal, it revealed that the clash between states and federal government embodied principal roles of government.
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