1833 Force Bill

President Andrew Jackson

Summary and Definition of the 1833 Force Bill
Summary and Definition: The 1833 Force Bill extended executive power and was designed to deal with the actions of the South Carolina legislature who had passed an Ordinance of Nullification declaring the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void within the state borders of South Carolina. The  Force Bill authorized Jackson to use military force against any state that resisted the protective tariff laws. The Force Bill also rejected the Nullification Doctrine which was the concept that it was within individual states' rights to nullify federal law or to secede from the Union.

The Force Bill for kids
Andrew Jackson was the 7th American President who served in office from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837. One of the important events during his presidency was the passing of the Force Bill during the Nullification Crisis.

   
  

Force Bill for kids
The Force Bill was passed by Congress on March 2, 1833, during the Nullification Crisis and authorized President Jackson to
use military force against any state that resisted the protective tariff laws. The Force Bill extended executive power. What had led the President to take the drastic action of passing the Force Bill that authorized the President to use whatever force necessary to suppress insurrections (rebellions)?

Reason for the Force Bill: Protective Tariffs
The Force Bill was passed by President Andrew Jackson following the actions of the South Carolina legislature in response to a series of  protective tariff acts. These laws (taxes) were designed to raise money and protect the nation's goods from cheaper priced foreign items. These tariffs were opposed by
the states in the South, which being predominantly agricultural, and reliant on the North and foreign countries for manufactured goods, saw the protective tariffs as damaging to their state's economy. South Carolina were particularly fierce in their opposition and declared the tariffs were unconstitutional. Refer to Tariff of 1816 and Tariff of 1828 (the Tariff of Abominations).

Reason for the Force Bill: Actions taken by South Carolina
The first action taken by South Carolina was issue a document
known as the South Carolina Exposition that contended the tariffs were unconstitutional based on a Doctrine (principle) of Nullification. The action taken by Andrew Jackson in response to the opposition was the reduced Tariff of 1832 but this action failed to pacify the protestors. The South Carolina legislature then passed an Ordinance of Nullification declaring the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void within the state borders of South Carolina. South Carolina also threatened to secede if the national government attempted to collect the tariff duties

Reason for the Force Bill: Andrew Jackson's Nullification Proclamation
The Nullification Crisis exploded. President Jackson was furious that the
Tariffs had been "Nullified" by South Carolina and threats of succession had been made. Jackson issued a warning that he was prepared to enforce the law. It was called the Nullification Proclamation. Vice President John C. Calhoun resigned and the Nullification Crisis worsened. President Jackson asked Congress to give him greater power and on March 2, 1833 the Force Bill was passed.

Purpose of the Force Bill
The purpose of the Force Bill was not only to use military force to enforce the tariff laws but it also rejected the Nullification Doctrine - the concept of individual states' rights to nullify federal law or to secede from the Union.

What did the Force Bill authorize?
The Force Bill authorized President Andrew Jackson to enforce the protective tariff laws. The full name of the Force Bill was:

 "An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports"

The Force Bill consisted of 8 sections. The most important sections dealing with the following:

● Section 1 of the Force Bill deals with unlawful barriers to the collections of import duties (taxes)
● Section 2 of the Force Bill expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts
● Section 5 of the Force Bill authorizes the President to use whatever force necessary to suppress insurrections (rebellions)
● Section 6 of the Force Bill  deals with States who refuse to jail persons imprisoned under Federal law
● Section 8 of the Force Bill is a 'Sunset Clause' stating that the "first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer."

Response to the Force Bill
The Force Bill clearly stated the lengths that the government were prepared to go. The South Carolina legislature was about to nullify the Force Bill as well. However, a
Compromise Tariff, proposed by Henry Clay, was passed by Congress in March 1833 that gradually lowered the tariff rates over the next 10 years. The Compromise Tariff was accepted by South Carolina and the Nullification Crisis was brought to a conclusion.

Importance and Significance of the Force Bill
The importance and significance of the Force Bill was as follows:

The Force Bill contained the potential conflict caused by the sectional interests of the North and the South
The Force Bill publicly denied the right of secession to individual states and deny individual states' rights to nullify federal law
The Force Bill extended executive power giving the President the authority to use military force to suppress rebellions

Summary of the Force Bill for kids
The Force Bill consisted of 8 sections the most important of which are summarized below:

● Section 1 of the Force Bill deals with unlawful barriers to the collections of import duties (taxes) by:
● ● Securing ports and harbors for the protection of duty collectors (tax collectors)
● ● Allowing for the detention of vessels and cargoes to enforce revenue tariffs (laws)
● ● Preventing the unauthorized removal of untaxed vessels and cargo
● ● Authorizing the President to use armed forces to protect customs officers

● Section 2 of the Force Bill expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts
● ● Allowing injured parties in revenue cases to sue in court
● ● Considering property detained by customs officers to be in the custody of the law, subject to disposal by court order only
● ● Criminalizing anyone who avoids the legal process, in regaining detained property, as guilty of a misdemeanor (crime)

● Section 5 of the Force Bill authorizes the President to use whatever force necessary to suppress insurrections (rebellions) in with States, or parts within a state, who employ force, or any other unlawful means, to obstruct the execution of U.S. federal law, or interfere with the process of any Federal court

● Section 6 of the Force Bill  deals with States who refuse to jail persons imprisoned under Federal law
● ● The Force Bill authorizes U.S. marshals to jail such persons in "other convenient places, within the limits of said state" and to make provisions for this purpose

● Section 8 of the Force Bill is a 'Sunset Clause'. (A 'Sunset Clause' is a regulation in a law that provides that the law shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend the law.) The Sunset Clause stated that the:
● ● "first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer."

Force Bill for kids - President Andrew Jackson Video
The article on the Force Bill provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following Andrew Jackson video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 7th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837.

Force Bill

Interesting Facts about Force Bill for kids and schools
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The Force Bill, a Important event in US history
Andrew Jackson Presidency from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837
Fast, fun, interesting timeline about Important events
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Force Bill for schools, homework, kids and children

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