Tariffs as the “Cause”


May 2, 2006
We hear daily that the unmentionable was not the cause of secession. Tariffs are often trotted out as the cause that forced secession. I’ve never bought this but here is the chance:

Please post any and all contemporary accounts you can find that clearly state that tariffs were the cause of secession.
There seems to be a deafening lack of responses on this thread.

Personally, I do not support the belief that secession was about anything other than the unmentionable. Various issues are mentioned from time to time, but I do not believe any State would have ever seceded over Tariffs or Fishing Bounties or any other "cause" I have seen mentioned.

Dead Parrott

Jul 30, 2019
The war was fought over the federal government limiting the expansion of the unmentionable (for without expansion, the unmentionable was doomed).

Individual soldiers fought for many and varied reasons.

None of those reasons were tariffs, for the individual soldiers.

I believe Georgia mentioned control of rivers, and Texas bewailed protection from 'savages'. Post offices were noted somewhere too.

None of them enough to start shooting, though.

Every state had different gripes about different things at different times - but actually going to war was over the unmentionable.

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Oct 28, 2011
The issue of slavery was of course, the major reason for the secession of the states in the deep south. However, the tariff was a source of controversy that was actually mentioned in some of the secession documents. However, slavery was a much more important issue to the southern states in their decision to secede.