South Carolina’s Nullification of the Force Bill (1833)

(from Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. 1:400-01)


An Ordinance

To nullify an Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act further to provide for the Collection of Duties on Imports,” commonly called the Force Bill.


We, the People of the State of South Carolina in Convention assembled, do Declare and Ordain, that the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports,” approved on the second day of March, 1833, is unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States, subversive of that Constitution, and destructive of public liberty; and that the same is, and shall be deemed, null and void, within the limits of this State; and it shall be the duty of the Legislature, at such time as they may deem expedient, to adopt such measures and pass such acts as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement thereof, and to inflict proper penalties on any person who shall do any act in execution of enforcement of the same within the limits of this State.

            We do further Declare and Ordain, That the allegiance of the citizens of this State, while they continue such, is due to the said State; and that obedience only, and not allegiance, is due by them to any other power or authority, to whom a control over them has been, or may be delegated by the State; and that the General Assembly of said State is hereby empowered, from time to time, when they may deem it proper, to provide for the administration to the citizens and officers of the State, or such of the said officers as they may think fit, of suitable oaths or affirmations, biding them to the observance of such allegiance; and abjuring all other allegiance; and, also, to define what shall amount to a violation of their allegiance, and to provide the proper punishment for such violation.