School Improvement in Maryland
Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic B. Emergence, Expansion and Changes in Nations and Empires

Indicator 2. Evaluate the importance of Jacksonian Democracy and how it represented a change in the social, political and economic life of the United States

Objective b. Analyze how tariff policy and issues of states' rights influenced the development of political parties and prompted sectional differences


During the 1820s, party politics reemerged in the United States. Torn apart by the controversial election of 1824, the Republican party split into the National Republicans, who favored a strong central government and included merchants and farmers, and Andrew Jackson’s Democratic-Republicans (or Democrats), who favored states’ rights and included Westerners, Southerners, and laborers. The debate over the tariff of 1828 helped crystallize states’ rights arguments and exposed the growing rift between North and South. Angry that the tariff protected Northern manufacturers while increasing prices on goods, Vice President John C. Calhoun and other Southern politicians argued that any state or group of states has the right to nullify, or cancel, any federal law, and they raised the possibility of secession. For a time, it seemed as if the federal union might be broken. Congress gradually lowered the tariff to appease Southerners, and Jackson pushed through the Force Bill, which gave the President the authority to use federal troops to enforce laws. Together, these measures persuaded Southerners to accept the tariffs, and the emergency passed. However, the crisis illuminated the growing gulf between the economic and political interests of North and South.

Resources for Objective 5.B.2.b:
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