Didn't Tariffs start the war?

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The reason for referencing my own blog in single instance was to show a chart from an independent source that has been used by many CWT members to document that tariffs before the Civil War on dutiable items averaged 19% whereas they averaged 45% for the next fifty years.

I guess you missed that.

No, Phil, I didn't. I was more concerned with how you placed the chart in your own theory.


As for the rest, it's customary to document facts. Insight is up to the abilities of the student.

And here I thought it was on the poster to provide both facts and his own insight on what they meant to him.

Oh, well, live and learn. :smile:

Still, I remain a bit confused on your theory of Republicans starting a war solely on the idea that, if they won, they would somehow reap benefits of an economic feature, by being able to foretell a rise in tariff rates after the war.

Like I stated earlier, F. W. Taussig states the reason high tariffs stayed in place and all other wartime taxes repealed was to take a financial burden off the average citizen and let importers pay the higher tariffs.

His book, The Tariff History of the United States, seems to make this a valid point, at least to me.

Any thoughts on his view?

Unionblue
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Here are some more 1860-61 Northern newspaper articles and letters showing that tariffs and other economic considerations motivated Northerners to choose to fight the Civil War rather than let the cotton states secede peacefully.

*​

Boston Transcript, March 18, 1861 (This one concludes that slavery was not the cause of secession)

Alleged grievances in regard to slavery were originally the causes for the separation of the cotton States, but the mask has been thrown off, and it is apparent that the people of the seceding States are now for commercial independence. . . The merchants of New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah are possessed with the idea that New York, Boston and Philadelphia may be shorn . . . of their mercantile greatness by a revenue system verging upon free trade. If the Southern Confederation is allowed to carry out a policy by which only a nominal duty is laid upon imports, no doubt the businesses of the chief Northern cities will be seriously injured.

The difference is so great between the tariff of the Union and that of the Confederacy that the entire Northwest must find it to their advantage to purchase imported good at New Orleans rather than New York. In addition Northern manufacturers will suffer from the increased importations resulting from low duties. . .

*​

The Boston Herald, November 12, 1860

[Should the South secede] she will immediately form commercial alliances with European countries [that] . . . will help English manufacturing at the expense of New England. The first move the South would make would be to impose a heavy tax upon the manufacturers of the North, and a export tax on the cotton used by Northern manufacturers. In this way she would seek to cripple the North. The carrying trade, which is now done by American vessels, would be transferred to British ships.

*

The following is excerpted from a letter from New York Times publisher Henry Raymond to William Yancey of Alabama. (Dec. 30, 1860)

If the South secedes the remaining truncated Union would "be surrendering to a foreign and hostile power more than half of the Atlantic seaboard—the whole Gulf—the mouth of the Mississippi . . . and its drainage of the commerce from the mighty West . . . all chance of further accessions from Mexico, Central America or the West India islands and all prospect of extending our growth . . . in the only direction in which such extension will ever be possible. . ."

Nine-tenths of our people in the North and Northwest would wage a war longer than the War of Independence before they will assent to any such surrender . . . There is no nation in the world so ambitious for growth and power—so thoroughly pervaded with the spirit of conquest and so filled with dreams of enlarged dominions, as ours.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Here are some more 1860-61 Northern newspaper articles and letters showing that tariffs and other economic considerations motivated Northerners to choose to fight the Civil War rather than let the cotton states secede peacefully.

*​

Boston Transcript, March 18, 1861 (This one concludes that slavery was not the cause of secession)

Alleged grievances in regard to slavery were originally the causes for the separation of the cotton States, but the mask has been thrown off, and it is apparent that the people of the seceding States are now for commercial independence. . . The merchants of New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah are possessed with the idea that New York, Boston and Philadelphia may be shorn . . . of their mercantile greatness by a revenue system verging upon free trade. If the Southern Confederation is allowed to carry out a policy by which only a nominal duty is laid upon imports, no doubt the businesses of the chief Northern cities will be seriously injured.

The difference is so great between the tariff of the Union and that of the Confederacy that the entire Northwest must find it to their advantage to purchase imported good at New Orleans rather than New York. In addition Northern manufacturers will suffer from the increased importations resulting from low duties. . .

*​

The Boston Herald, November 12, 1860

[Should the South secede] she will immediately form commercial alliances with European countries [that] . . . will help English manufacturing at the expense of New England. The first move the South would make would be to impose a heavy tax upon the manufacturers of the North, and a export tax on the cotton used by Northern manufacturers. In this way she would seek to cripple the North. The carrying trade, which is now done by American vessels, would be transferred to British ships.

*

The following is excerpted from a letter from New York Times publisher Henry Raymond to William Yancey of Alabama. (Dec. 30, 1860)

If the South secedes the remaining truncated Union would "be surrendering to a foreign and hostile power more than half of the Atlantic seaboard—the whole Gulf—the mouth of the Mississippi . . . and its drainage of the commerce from the mighty West . . . all chance of further accessions from Mexico, Central America or the West India islands and all prospect of extending our growth . . . in the only direction in which such extension will ever be possible. . ."

Nine-tenths of our people in the North and Northwest would wage a war longer than the War of Independence before they will assent to any such surrender . . . There is no nation in the world so ambitious for growth and power—so thoroughly pervaded with the spirit of conquest and so filled with dreams of enlarged dominions, as ours.
You keep posting northern editorials, but it was the south that seceded and started shooting.

The north did not start the war.

Why not attempt to make your case for tariffs causing the war, but use southern editorials?
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
You keep posting northern editorials, but it was the south that seceded and started shooting.

The north did not start the war.

Why not attempt to make your case for tariffs causing the war, but use southern editorials?

@DanSBHawk ,

As you anyone else can read from your source material, as many Northern editorials of the period and also point to slavery as the primary cause of the war. And it should be noted, we are usually reading the opinion of one man when viewing these articles, the editor of the paper most times, with his own political agenda.

As for using Southern newspapers, what a concept!

I'll wait with you and see how many editorials we will see on the subject of the tariff as the cause of the war.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
You keep posting northern editorials, but it was the south that seceded and started shooting.

The Northern newspaper articles undeniably show why Northerners objected to secession and therefore chose to fight a war to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.

The north did not start the war.

Yes it did. The North could have let the cotton states leave in peace with no war. The newspaper articles show why the North would not permit that.

Why not attempt to make your case for tariffs causing the war, but use southern editorials?

Because the case is made by showing why the North chose to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
The Northern newspaper articles undeniably show why Northerners objected to secession and therefore chose to fight a war to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.

Yes it did. The North could have let the cotton states leave in peace with no war. The newspaper articles show why the North would not permit that.

Because the case is made by showing why the North chose to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.
The secessionists started shooting. That's why the Union chose to fight.

So you are unable to make a case for tariffs from southern editorials?
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The Northern newspaper articles undeniably show why Northerners objected to secession and therefore chose to fight a war to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.

Not all Northern editorials show that the tariff was the main reason for the war and it is not, by any means, shows "undeniably why Northerners objected to secession."

Yes it did. The North could have let the cotton states leave in peace with no war. The newspaper articles show why the North would not permit that.

Phil, you know that not every Northern newspaper article printed the same reasons or causes for the war. You know this because even your sources show editorials that did not support this view.

Because the case is made by showing why the North chose to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.

No, it is your carefully selected editorials supporting your view of the case you wish to make.

I ask you directly, have you ever read the two volume work, Northern Editorials On Secession, edited by Howard C. Perkins?

Unionblue
 

leftyhunter

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Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Here are some more 1860-61 Northern newspaper articles and letters showing that tariffs and other economic considerations motivated Northerners to choose to fight the Civil War rather than let the cotton states secede peacefully.

*​

Boston Transcript, March 18, 1861 (This one concludes that slavery was not the cause of secession)

Alleged grievances in regard to slavery were originally the causes for the separation of the cotton States, but the mask has been thrown off, and it is apparent that the people of the seceding States are now for commercial independence. . . The merchants of New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah are possessed with the idea that New York, Boston and Philadelphia may be shorn . . . of their mercantile greatness by a revenue system verging upon free trade. If the Southern Confederation is allowed to carry out a policy by which only a nominal duty is laid upon imports, no doubt the businesses of the chief Northern cities will be seriously injured.

The difference is so great between the tariff of the Union and that of the Confederacy that the entire Northwest must find it to their advantage to purchase imported good at New Orleans rather than New York. In addition Northern manufacturers will suffer from the increased importations resulting from low duties. . .

*​

The Boston Herald, November 12, 1860

[Should the South secede] she will immediately form commercial alliances with European countries [that] . . . will help English manufacturing at the expense of New England. The first move the South would make would be to impose a heavy tax upon the manufacturers of the North, and a export tax on the cotton used by Northern manufacturers. In this way she would seek to cripple the North. The carrying trade, which is now done by American vessels, would be transferred to British ships.

*

The following is excerpted from a letter from New York Times publisher Henry Raymond to William Yancey of Alabama. (Dec. 30, 1860)

If the South secedes the remaining truncated Union would "be surrendering to a foreign and hostile power more than half of the Atlantic seaboard—the whole Gulf—the mouth of the Mississippi . . . and its drainage of the commerce from the mighty West . . . all chance of further accessions from Mexico, Central America or the West India islands and all prospect of extending our growth . . . in the only direction in which such extension will ever be possible. . ."

Nine-tenths of our people in the North and Northwest would wage a war longer than the War of Independence before they will assent to any such surrender . . . There is no nation in the world so ambitious for growth and power—so thoroughly pervaded with the spirit of conquest and so filled with dreams of enlarged dominions, as ours.
Unless we know how much revenue tarrif were actually collected from Southern consumers then we can't validate the veracity of the editorials. How much did Southern consumers pay in tarriff's vs fighting a war against the United States and the untold cost of loosing their menfolk plus having their actual foreign trade stifled not only during the ACW but afterwards as it would take a few years to bring back cotton exports to normal?
How many Southern mothers and wives would willingly let their sons and husband's fight to save a bit if money on foreign goods that we can't even identity?
Leftyhunter
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Here are some more 1860-61 Northern newspaper articles and letters showing that tariffs and other economic considerations motivated Northerners to choose to fight the Civil War rather than let the cotton states secede peacefully.

*​

Boston Transcript, March 18, 1861 (This one concludes that slavery was not the cause of secession)

Alleged grievances in regard to slavery were originally the causes for the separation of the cotton States, but the mask has been thrown off, and it is apparent that the people of the seceding States are now for commercial independence. . . The merchants of New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah are possessed with the idea that New York, Boston and Philadelphia may be shorn . . . of their mercantile greatness by a revenue system verging upon free trade. If the Southern Confederation is allowed to carry out a policy by which only a nominal duty is laid upon imports, no doubt the businesses of the chief Northern cities will be seriously injured.

The difference is so great between the tariff of the Union and that of the Confederacy that the entire Northwest must find it to their advantage to purchase imported good at New Orleans rather than New York. In addition Northern manufacturers will suffer from the increased importations resulting from low duties. . .

The Boston Herald, November 12, 1860

[Should the South secede] she will immediately form commercial alliances with European countries [that] . . . will help English manufacturing at the expense of New England. The first move the South would make would be to impose a heavy tax upon the manufacturers of the North, and a export tax on the cotton used by Northern manufacturers. In this way she would seek to cripple the North. The carrying trade, which is now done by American vessels, would be transferred to British ships.


The following is excerpted from a letter from New York Times publisher Henry Raymond to William Yancey of Alabama. (Dec. 30, 1860)

If the South secedes the remaining truncated Union would "be surrendering to a foreign and hostile power more than half of the Atlantic seaboard—the whole Gulf—the mouth of the Mississippi . . . and its drainage of the commerce from the mighty West . . . all chance of further accessions from Mexico, Central America or the West India islands and all prospect of extending our growth . . . in the only direction in which such extension will ever be possible. . ."

Nine-tenths of our people in the North and Northwest would wage a war longer than the War of Independence before they will assent to any such surrender . . . There is no nation in the world so ambitious for growth and power—so thoroughly pervaded with the spirit of conquest and so filled with dreams of enlarged dominions, as ours.
The tariff was a very important issue since it provided over 90% of the revenue for the federal government. In his Inaugural Address of 1861, President Lincoln stated “The power confided to me will be used…..to collect the duties and imposts (tariffs); but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.“ In this statement, he practically threatened an invasion of the southern states in order to collect the federal tariff.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Wisconsin
The tariff was a very important issue since it provided over 90% of the revenue for the federal government. In his Inaugural Address of 1861, President Lincoln stated “The power confided to me will be used…..to collect the duties and imposts (tariffs); but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.“ In this statement, he practically threatened an invasion of the southern states in order to collect the federal tariff.
You left out holding the "property and places belonging to the Government." Lincoln was merely carrying out the duties of his office.

At any rate it didn't matter. The secessionists turned it into a war by opening fire.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
You left out holding the "property and places belonging to the Government." Lincoln was merely carrying out the duties of his office.

At any rate it didn't matter. The secessionists turned it into a war by opening fire.
Thanks for your comments but please notice the ellipsis (periods) that I inserted into the direct quote. This is to indicate the intentional omission of words from a direct quote that is given.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Location
Midwest
...high and protective tariffs were undeniably one of the reasons the Yankees chose to fight in order to coerce the seven cotton states back into the Union.

Or, it's quite deniable. The issue of tariffs never reached the point of outrage that the slavery issue did. No little children of unemployed noble gentry dressed in rags writhing in the gutters of Southern towns begging for scraps that might fall from the fine carriages of Northern bankers come to foreclose Southern estates, no disgraced daughters of the South reduced to amalgamation because of ...give me a second here ...TARIFFS!

In any event the Nor'easterns ("Yankees") had no more to do with it than any other part of the Country. It was Federal dictum originating out of the primary Southern city of Washington, DC that controlled tariffs. (having passed the democratic review of Southern lawmakers in Congress).
 
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Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Or, it's quite deniable. The issue of tariffs never reached the point of outrage that the slavery issue did. No little children of unemployed noble gentry dressed in rags writhing in the gutters of Southern towns begging for scraps that might fall from the fine carriages of Northern bankers come to foreclose Southern estates, no disgraced daughters of the South reduced to amalgamation because of ...give me a second here ...TARIFFS!
You miss the point.

I cite Northern worry over the trade impact on their business due to lower tariffs in the Confederacy and loss of the Southern markets for goods manufactured by tariff-protected Northern manufactures as important reasons that the North chose to fight, not the South.

In any event the Nor'easterns ("Yankees") had no more to do with it than any other part of the Country. It was Federal dictum originating out of the primary Southern city of Washington, DC that controlled tariffs. (having passed the democratic review of Southern lawmakers in Congress).

All the above is irrelevant to anyone who understands that revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives where the South never had a numerical advantage. In 1860 the free states had a 149-to-88 advantage in the House and a 36-to-30 advantage in the Senate.

Post.jpg
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Tariffs were never the issue that brought on the Civil War.

Not even the 1860 tariff collection of 50+ million dollars of revenue for the federal government.

The major concern, the ONE concern that drove the Southern slaveholding States to secession was the idea that a $4 BILLION dollar institution would not be secure under Lincoln and a Republican administration.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Location
Midwest
...You miss the point...I cite Northern worry over the trade impact on their business due to lower tariffs in the Confederacy and loss of the Southern markets for goods manufactured by tariff-protected Northern manufactures as important reasons that the North chose to fight, not the South...

But seeing that it was the South that chose to fight (of course you know that, I don't mean to slight your historical knowledge that the South fired the first shot and was the first to declare war, as everybody knows) that point just doesn't play out, if you thought it would slip by.

Let's just calmly review. The industrial and merchant class of the North had no more say in how the Government would react to threats from the South than they did on revenue assessments or labor laws. Representation came equally from House and the Senate, and not all Senators could be bought.

In any event Southern business did not have to endure anything particularly more harsh than Northern businesses in regards legislation or lack of it. Businesses North and South were doing just fine before the war in spite of the tariff issue. In other words there was nothing in tariffs that forced the South to start its war. Clearly, the primary stressor leading to war was slavery, that is; the South wanting to keep it and expand it at the expense of Northern state's rights, to mention the Fugitive Slave Law.

You'd think that with enough pretty charts we could distract from that, but it hasn't worked yet.
 
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