Nullifier Party

Nullifier Party
Leader John C. Calhoun
Founded 1828 (1828)
Dissolved 1839 (1839)
Split from Democratic-Republican Party
Merged into Democratic Party
Headquarters Charleston, South Carolina
Ideology Economic liberalism
States' rights
Political position Right-wing
Colors      Turquoise

The Nullifier Party was an American political party based in South Carolina in the 1830s. Considered an early American third party, it was started by John C. Calhoun sometime in May–December 1828.

The Nullifier Party was a states' rights party that supported the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, holding that states could nullify federal laws within their borders. It narrowly missed claiming the unofficial title of being the first ever third party to be created within the United States—that title is for the Anti-Masonic Party, which was created in New York in February 1828. The Nullifier Party had several members in both houses of the Congress between 1831 and 1839. Calhoun outlined the principles of the party in his South Carolina Exposition and Protest (1828), a reaction to the "Tariff of Abominations" passed by Congress and signed into law by President John Quincy Adams. The party supported Calhoun's ally John Floyd of Virginia for President in the 1832 election and the state legislature gave Floyd South Carolina's 11 electoral votes, even though Floyd was not a candidate and had himself unsuccessfully tried to convince Calhoun to run for President. As for the party's candidate for Vice President, the Massachusetts based political economist Henry Lee was selected.

After President Andrew Jackson left office, Calhoun and most of his followers joined the Democratic Party.

Notable members

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election Candidate Running mate Votes Vote % Electoral votes +/- Outcome of election
1832 John Floyd Henry Lee a[]
11 / 286
New Lost
1836 Not presentedb[]
  • ^ a: All of John Floyd's electoral votes came from South Carolina where the Electors were chosen by the state legislatures rather than by popular vote.
  • ^ b: Endorsed Hugh Lawson White as President and John Tyler as Vice President.

Congressional elections

  • ^ c: South Carolina class 2 seat: Jacksonian changed party to Nullifier before the beginning of the first session.
  • ^ d: Office left vacant when Calhoun resigned to became Senator on December 28, 1832.

See also

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