In 1832, over a month before John C. Calhoun resigned the Vice Presidency to join forces with his rebellious comrades in South Carolina, agents provocateurs of Her Majesty's Government secretly arrived in Charleston Harbour, triggering a sequence of events that would lead inexorably to a rematch with their nemesis from 1812, the "Old Hickory" Andrew Jackson (pictured).
"Disunion by Force", 1833 Crisis Part 1 by Ed. & Scott PalterBecause the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Marquis Richard Wellesley - elder brother of the Duke of Wellington - was intent on "the dissolution of the American Confederacy, which I think would be a great benefit to the civilized world".
"The dissolution of the American Confederacy would be a great benefit to the civilized world" ~ WellesleyOf course the biggest driver for dissolution was purely economic. Because high federal tarrifs might be good for protecting Northern manufacturers from imports, but they were frankly disasterous for the cotton and rice planters in the South who depended on export trade. Worse still, secession was an unspeakable word in Washington, because the loss of the southern states would cost the Federal Government millions in lost revenue.
Invoking a strict interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, South Carolina nullified the tarrifs, infuriating President Jackson who believed that the State was about the destroy the Union. Soon enough Jackson would be dispatching a warship, the Natchez, to Charleston Harbour, to extract - if necessary by force - federal tarrifs from merchant's warehouses.
The War would soon be joined, and yet the conflict would take a shape few anticipated. Because the State of South Carolina overestimated its support in the south. "By the God of Heaven, I wil uphold the law!" ~ JacksonAnd Andrew Jackson was determined to fight, predicting that "I expect soon to hear that a civil war of extermination has commenced. When everything is ready, I shall join them myself". The President was also secretly pledging to arrest Southern leaders, and hang them.
Starting with the hero of the South. Because already medals were being issued, with the clandestine assistance of British agents provocateurs, emblazened with "John C. Calhoun, First President of the Southern Confederacy". In the words of Daniel Webster, America faced "Disunion by Force".
The Story Continues in Part 2