Hayne, Robert Young (1791–1839)

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As a United States senator from South Carolina, Robert Young Hayne debated daniel webster of Massachusetts in the famous Webster-Hayne Debate of 1830. The debate began over a bill to slow down the sale of western lands but developed into a heated discussion over slavery, the nature of the Union, and the relationship between the states and the federal government. Hayne argued for the right of states to nullify federal laws. After the debate—which most contemporaries and historians agree was won by Webster—Hayne was a key participant in the South Carolina nullification Convention of 1833. The Convention asserted that the federal tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and null and void in South Carolina. Hayne was then elected governor of the state. In his inaugural address he asserted "we will stand or fall with carolina." As governor he organized troops to defend South Carolina's sovereignty from the federal government, but he ultimately accepted a compromise that peacefully ended the "Nullification Crisis."

Paul Finkelman


Jervey, Theodore D. (1909) 1970 Robert Y. Hayne and His Times. New York: DaCapo Press.