Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

A CRITICAL STUDY

OF

NULLIFICATION

IN

SOUTH CAROLINA

BY

DAVID FRANKLIN HOUSTON, A.M.

ADJUNCT-PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Copyright, 1896, ,
BY THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGR.

UNIVERSITY PRESS :
JoHN WILSON AND SoN, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

PREFACE.

THE

HE nullification movement with which this mono

graph deals derives its chief interest from the terrible issues of 1860-65, which were its logical outcome. The secession movement dates definitely from 1824. In the period from 1824 to 1832 all the principles that were fought for in the Civil War were formally enunciated in South Carolina, and a determination to apply them, if it should become necessary, was repeatedly expressed. Secession became a subject of daily thought and conversation; and familiarity with it bred contempt for its possible dangers. Further, in this period the bearing of the institution of slavery on political and economic issues became clearly recognized both in the North and in the South; the fears of the Southerners for the safety of the institution were awakened, and their passions were raised to the highest pitch. By 1832 the feelings of the majority of South Carolinians were alienated from the Union. The State remained in the Union, it is true; but her ordinary attitude towards it from this time was one at least of indifference. Many

V

of her wisest and most far-sighted citizens felt that the final struggle was only a matter of time, — only a matter of arousing the more conservative Southern States.

The writer has not here undertaken to discuss nullification in all its aspects. It would have been extremely tedious to go over the ground that has been covered in a masterly way by the great constitutional writers and speakers of the past and present. His aim is principally to look at the movement from within, to trace its origin and development inside the boundaries of South Carolina, and to discuss the validity of the leading doctrine in the light of the precedents on which the nullifiers mainly relied and of South Carolina's earlier history. Most of the existing accounts of this subject are incomplete and unsatisfactory, because their authors, writing from the outside, and as a part of a more general work, fixed their attention to an unwarranted extent on the doings of certain conspicuous public men from South Carolina, whose motives and conduct were assumed to be truly representative. The present writer has attempted to place these so-called leaders in their proper perspective, to trace the growth of popular feeling and to estimate its influence. While his attempt is not satisfactory even to himself, still he feels that the subject stands out in a truer light when viewed from within. His study of this particular movement from the point of view here indicated confirms his early impressions that many periods of American history

« ZurückWeiter »