John C. Calhoun on Tariffs

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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There is a significant difference between revenue and protective tariffs. Revenue tariffs were used to generate revenue for the federal government but did not appreciably increase the cost of imported goods to the consumer. Protective tariffs, on the other hand, were designed to raise the price of foreign goods in order to encourage the purchase of comparable domestic products. High protective tariffs tend to support domestic production but they also hurt trade and were opposed by those in the import-export business. Since high protective tariffs were often reciprocated by other nations, high tariffs tended to stifle trade in general.

You asked what imported items were so critical to the Confederacy but that really isn’t the point. The very nature of the southern economy was what really mattered. The southern states depended on foreign trade to sustain their economy. They depended on the importation of goods from overseas because they had a small manufacturing base. Furthermore, the southern economy was very dependent on the export of their agricultural goods to other nations. Therefore, the south opposed any type of trade barriers such as protective tariffs which stifled foreign trade. High protective tariffs imposed an undue burden on import-export dependent regions such as the southern states. The southern states were opposed to protectionist tariffs because of the negative affect it had on their economy.
Tarriff's were at a historic low before Ft.Sumter was fired on. Post ACW US Tarriff's increased and do did cotton exports from the American South I can later link you up with a chart on that. Nobody is going to go to war over tarriff's we don't have letters or diaries to that effect. If an argument is made that tarriff's actually was the main cause of the ACW then it would be helpful to know which products were worth dying for.
Leftyhunter
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
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Location
Georgia
Tarriff's were at a historic low before Ft.Sumter was fired on. Post ACW US Tarriff's increased and do did cotton exports from the American South I can later link you up with a chart on that. Nobody is going to go to war over tarriff's we don't have letters or diaries to that effect. If an argument is made that tarriff's actually was the main cause of the ACW then it would be helpful to know which products were worth dying for.
Leftyhunter
Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff was the main cause of the civil war. However, the tariff had been a source of controversy between the north and south for years even before the Civil War began. For example, the Tariff of 1828 was labeled as the “Tariff of Abominations” because of the effects it had on the southern economy. This was a protective tariff passed by Congress that was designed to protect industry in the north that was suffering from low-priced imported goods from Europe. In 1860, the Republican party included a strong pro-tariff plank in its party platform. Abraham Lincoln was an ardent protectionist and supported the Morrill Tariff which had already been approved by the House of Representatives in May 1860. Lincoln campaigned on a promise that he would make a new tariff bill one of his top economic priorities when he was elected.
 

leftyhunter

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Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff was the main cause of the civil war. However, the tariff had been a source of controversy between the north and south for years even before the Civil War began. For example, the Tariff of 1828 was labeled as the “Tariff of Abominations” because of the effects it had on the southern economy. This was a protective tariff passed by Congress that was designed to protect industry in the north that was suffering from low-priced imported goods from Europe. In 1860, the Republican party included a strong pro-tariff plank in its party platform. Abraham Lincoln was an ardent protectionist and supported the Morrill Tariff which had already been approved by the House of Representatives in May 1860. Lincoln campaigned on a promise that he would make a new tariff bill one of his top economic priorities when he was elected.
I can't blame Lincoln since the US government was running a deficit and their was no federal income tax so some way had to be found to raise revenue for the government. People in Texas were complaining about Indian raids but how was the government that was in debt supposed to pay for more troops?
As stated high tarriff's in no way impacted Southern cotton exports nor was it even a minor reason for the ACW.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff was the main cause of the civil war. However, the tariff had been a source of controversy between the north and south for years even before the Civil War began. For example, the Tariff of 1828 was labeled as the “Tariff of Abominations” because of the effects it had on the southern economy. This was a protective tariff passed by Congress that was designed to protect industry in the north that was suffering from low-priced imported goods from Europe. In 1860, the Republican party included a strong pro-tariff plank in its party platform. Abraham Lincoln was an ardent protectionist and supported the Morrill Tariff which had already been approved by the House of Representatives in May 1860. Lincoln campaigned on a promise that he would make a new tariff bill one of his top economic priorities when he was elected.
@wausaubob ,
Has a chart showing that post ACW the American South dramatically increased cotton exports despite higher US tarriff's and even though the ACW greatly spurred cotton exports from Egypt and the Indian Subcontinent. If I come across it I link you to it.
Leftyhunter
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
While many argue over which geographic region paid the most in tariffs, Calhoun was at least equally concerned about how protective tariffs could be used to provide domestic near monopolies for Northern manufacturers. Consider cotton cloth priced at under thirty-cents per yard.

New England’s antebellum cotton cloth makers were one of the first manufacturing industries to demand tariff protection in 1816. Although they did not need it after 1832 they continued to bask in tariff protection up to, if not beyond, the Civil War. They also sharply increased the effective rate of such tariffs up to 1846 by deceptive use of specific duties and minimum valuations compounded with ordinary ad valorem rates. Here’s how it worked.

A percentage tariff is an ad valorem tariff. Duties are calculated by multiplying the statutory percentage times the value of the import. In contrast, a specific duty tariff is an amount in dollars, or cents, assigned to the applicable import regardless of its value. A minimum valuation is an artificial value assigned to an imported item regardless of its true cost, which is normally lower. Before the Civil War, the ad valorem rate on cotton cloth averaged about 25%. However, imported cotton cloth costing typically less than thirty-cents per yard required that the ad valorem fee be calculated as if the import cost thirty-cents. Often the true cost was lower, sometimes much lower, than thirty-cents.

By 1845, for example, manufacturing innovations in Great Britain had reduced the landed cost of British cotton cloth imports to only thirteen-cents per yard. But since the 30% ad valorem rate had to be applied to a minimum price of thirty-cents the resulting tariff per yard was nine-cents, which translated to a prohibitive percentage duty of nearly 70%. Such a fee is bad enough on its face, but considering that the New England cloth makers were viable without any tariff, the 70% rate was greedy. It enabled the New England makers to effectively have a domestic monopoly on cloth costing less that thirty-cents per yard.

Not until Tennessee’s James K. Polk was elected President in 1844 were tariff opponents able to remove the deceptive per-yard minimum pricing with the new 1846 Walker Tariff. Even then it took an eight-month grueling congressional secession to pass the Walker bill by a majority of only one in a twenty-eight to twenty-seven Senate vote.

*​

Source: Douglas Irwin & Peter Temin, “The Antebellum Tariff on Cotton Textiles Revisited,” Journal of Economic History: Volume 61, Number 3 (2001)
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
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I can't blame Lincoln since the US government was running a deficit and their was no federal income tax so some way had to be found to raise revenue for the government. People in Texas were complaining about Indian raids but how was the government that was in debt supposed to pay for more troops?
As stated high tarriff's in no way impacted Southern cotton exports nor was it even a minor reason for the ACW.
Leftyhunter
Yes, the federal government needed additional revenue and a way to protect domestic industry from foreign competition. Some of the southern states even mentioned the tariff controversy in their secession documents.
 

leftyhunter

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Yes, the federal government needed additional revenue and a way to protect domestic industry from foreign competition. Some of the southern states even mentioned the tariff controversy in their secession documents.
Southern states may of mentioned tarriff's but nobody is going to charge a cannon so Ellie May can save a few dollars on a fancy dress from France.
Leftyhunter
 

Potomac Pride

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Southern states may of mentioned tarriff's but nobody is going to charge a cannon so Ellie May can save a few dollars on a fancy dress from France.
Leftyhunter
That is an interesting analogy but I didn't say the war was caused by tariffs only that it was a source of controversy.
 

leftyhunter

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That is an interesting analogy but I didn't say the war was caused by tariffs only that it was a source of controversy.
Tarriff's have always been controversial sine the days of Jefferson and Hamilton. On the other hand it had almost nothing to do with the cause of the ACW and has pointed out earlier the Confederacy imposed their own high tarriff's as well.
Leftyhunter
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
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Tarriff's have always been controversial sine the days of Jefferson and Hamilton. On the other hand it had almost nothing to do with the cause of the ACW and has pointed out earlier the Confederacy imposed their own high tarriff's as well.
Leftyhunter
Yes, the federal tariff had been a source of controversy for decades before the Civil War even began. The tariff provided over 90% of the revenue for the federal government and was very important. Here is what Lincoln said about the tariff in his inaugural address of 1861: “The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and 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.”
 

leftyhunter

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Yes, the federal tariff had been a source of controversy for decades before the Civil War even began. The tariff provided over 90% of the revenue for the federal government and was very important. Here is what Lincoln said about the tariff in his inaugural address of 1861: “The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and 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.”
Yes but his remarks don't excuse violent rebellion. The Constitution is quite clear the US government can use force to squash a rebellion as indeed President Washington did during the Whiskey Rebellion.
Leftyhunter
 

unionblue

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Yes, the federal tariff had been a source of controversy for decades before the Civil War even began. The tariff provided over 90% of the revenue for the federal government and was very important. Here is what Lincoln said about the tariff in his inaugural address of 1861: “The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and 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.”

But, as I infer from your above, the tariff was only a controversy, and not the cause of the civil war, correct?
 

Potomac Pride

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But, as I infer from your above, the tariff was only a controversy, and not the cause of the civil war, correct?
Tariffs were not the cause of the Civil War. However, tariffs did play an important part in the early development of secessionist constitutional theory. Equally significant was the emergence of the tariff issue again after the Panic of 1857 which caused additional disagreement to the existing national argument over slavery. The passage of the Morrill Tariff in 1861 at the height of the secession crisis further weakened the geographical ties that bound the Union together.
 
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unionblue

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Tariffs were not cause of the Civil War. However, tariffs did play an important part in the early development of secessionist constitutional theory. Equally significant was the emergence of the tariff issue again after the Panic of 1857 which caused additional disagreement to the existing national argument over slavery. The passage of the Morrill Tariff in 1861 at the height of the secession crisis further weakened the geographical ties that bound the Union together.

@Potomac Pride ,

In your opinion, how did the passage of the Morrill Tariff further weaken geographical ties? And wasn't the Morrill Tariff passed AFTER the firing on Ft. Sumter?

Unionblue
 

Potomac Pride

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@Potomac Pride ,

In your opinion, how did the passage of the Morrill Tariff further weaken geographical ties? And wasn't the Morrill Tariff passed AFTER the firing on Ft. Sumter?

Unionblue
The Morrill Tariff was adopted in March 1861 and Ft. Sumter did not occur until the following month. However, this tariff had been approved in the House of Representatives in May 1860 and was vehemently opposed by the southern states. In fact, Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia stated in a speech in Nov. 1860 that it was “the most atrocious tariff bill that ever was enacted” due to the high rates of duty on imported items contained in the bill. He went on to argue that the bill was a result of a coalition that had been struck and he then invoked the nullification precedent. The tariff provided an issue for secessionist agitation in some southern states and was even addressed in their secession conventions.
 

unionblue

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The Morrill Tariff was adopted in March 1861 and Ft. Sumter did not occur until the following month. However, this tariff had been approved in the House of Representatives in May 1860 and was vehemently opposed by the southern states. In fact, Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia stated in a speech in Nov. 1860 that it was “the most atrocious tariff bill that ever was enacted” due to the high rates of duty on imported items contained in the bill. He went on to argue that the bill was a result of a coalition that had been struck and he then invoked the nullification precedent. The tariff provided an issue for secessionist agitation in some southern states and was even addressed in their secession conventions.

Thank you for the above clarification.

It is appreciated.
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Here is a thought provoking analysis correlating the impact of tariff rates on cotton prices.
R squared.jpg

Planters knew that when tariff rates go up, cotton prices go down. They also knew that, when in power, the Republicans would raise tariff rates. Cotton prices would consequently fall to ruinous levels. They would face poverty--certain and severe.

The following chart shows the relationship between the tariff rate and cotton prices over the period of years after the Republicans came to power and after the war's effect on prices had begun to settle.


 

unionblue

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Here is a thought provoking analysis correlating the impact of tariff rates on cotton prices.

Planters knew that when tariff rates go up, cotton prices go down. They also knew that, when in power, the Republicans would raise tariff rates. Cotton prices would consequently fall to ruinous levels. They would face poverty--certain and severe.

The following chart shows the relationship between the tariff rate and cotton prices over the period of years after the Republicans came to power and after the war's effect on prices had begun to settle.



Ah! 'The Great Conspiracy' website!

I note in the chart provided from that website lists the years 1870 - 1945. This conflicts with the tariff rates you have given before in other posts that the tariff rate was 19% at the beginning of the Civil War and 45% after the war in what way. How does this chart explain the war was caused by tariffs? What does it add, in your opinion, to this theory?

Unionblue
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
Ah! 'The Great Conspiracy' website!

I note in the chart provided from that website lists the years 1870 - 1945. This conflicts with the tariff rates you have given before in other posts that the tariff rate was 19% at the beginning of the Civil War and 45% after the war in what way. How does this chart explain the war was caused by tariffs? What does it add, in your opinion, to this theory?

Unionblue
Also @wasuabob has provided a chart that shows the dramatic rise in Southern cotton exports despite much higher US tarriff's. Also @Philip Leigh chart doesn't take into account other factors such has wars, economic depressions, and increased international competition that will enivetably decrease cotton prices regardless of tarriff's.
Leftyhunter
 

unionblue

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To All,

A previous forum thread on the Confederate Tariff that may offer some insight.

The Confederate Tariff.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-confederate-tariff.21784/#post-271680
I ask anyone reading the above thread please examine closely posts# 13, 31, and 32, especially when it is proposed that there was no protective tariffs under the Confederate Tariff.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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