With his deep understanding of the strict constitutional limitations on the federal agent in Washington, John Tyler deserves to be ranked as one of the greatest American presidents, along with Jefferson Davis. He rightly saw the result of Andrew Jackson’s threatened coercion of South Carolina as a threat to the Union itself.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Idle Talk of Preserving a Republic
“Shortly after the election of 1832 [John] Tyler broke with the [Jackson] Administration. The occasion of the breach was the nullification crisis. But up to this time he was regarded as a Democrat in good if not regular standing. Jackson’s policy toward South Carolina was so objectionable to him that he aligned himself with the anti-Administration forces, and finally left the Democratic party. To support or even acquiesce in the President’s measures would be, as he considered, to sacrifice his State’ rights principles — a sacrifice which at no time during his entire career was he willing to make.
In writing to Governor John Floyd, of Virginia [January 16, 1833], he declared that “if South Carolina be put down, then may each of the States yield all pretensions to sovereignty. We have a consolidated government, and a master will soon arise. This is inevitable. How idle to talk of preserving a republic for any length of time with an uncontrolled power over the military, exercised at pleasure by the President.”
(John Tyler, Champion of the Old South, American Political Biography Press, 1939/2006, pp. 112-113)