Tariffs Forced Southern States to Secede

ScottMac

Private
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Location
East Texas
There was no tax on exports that i know of however buying fewer imports from cotton buying countries would lower cotton revenues if they bought less cotton. But again the southern democrats controlled congress and the exec branch when the tariffs in operation from 1846 were imposed and could have voted down the morill tariff if they had not seceded.
Also they imposed an embargo of cotton exports to force recognition by England and France , their two largest importers.
They simply did not think this thing through, imo.
Respectfully, John

John-sorry I mis-understood my source, but it was stated this way:
"The high tariffs imposed on U.S. imports severely diminished European ability to earn dollars by exporting their goods to us. A large portion of the revenues from sales of their goods to us would not go into European pockets but to the U.S. Treasury instead. The Europeans would have fewer dollars left over with which to buy our agricultural products. With fewer dollars in European pockets available for the purchase of cotton, the price of cotton must plunge in order to meet the reduced amount of money available in the market for its purchase. The South, therefore, liked low import tax rates because the low import taxes meant that foreigners had more money left over to bid for cotton. Under low tariff rates, high cotton prices would be a sure thing."
Conversely stated, high tariffs meant low cotton prices.
Respectfully, Scott
 

John Fenton

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
retired traveling
Exactly!
"...Secondly, the sectional legislation (i.e. tariffs, unegovernment expenditures in the Northern States
The Walker reforms helped to stabilize many years of fluctuating tariff politics by instituting a moderately free trade Tariff-for-revenue system that lasted, subject to a further uniform reduction of rates in 1857, until the eve of the Civil War. It also carried important geopolitical connotations, as Walker strategically designed and implemented the tariff to coincide with Great Britain’s repeal of its own protectionist Corn Laws the same year. These concurrent measures effectively initiated a pattern of joint trade liberalization between the two countries. Specific beneficiaries included the United States’ agriculture-heavy export sector, which included western-produced grains and wheats as well as southern-produced cotton. The booming trade of King Cotton that followed in the early 1850s would have significant implications for the perception of secessionism abroad, as well as the Union and Confederacy’s contest to prevent or draw the European powers into the Civil War.
https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/tariffs-and-the-american-civil-war.html
Respectfully, john
 

Norm53

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Location
Cape May, NJ
More sources:
Tariff of 1816
Tariff of 1824 the "Sectional Tariff"
Tariff of 1828 the "Tariff of Abominations"
Tariff of 1832
Tariff of 1833
John Randolph, on the Tariff of 1816, makes the issue clear:
"It eventuates in this: whether you, as a planter will consent to be taxed, in order to hire another man to go to work in a shoemaker's shop, or to set up a spinning jenny. For my part I will not agree to it, even though they should, by way of return, agree to be taxed to help us to plant tobacco; much less will I agree to pay all, and receive nothing for it. No, I will buy where I can get manufactures cheapest; I will not agree to lay a duty on the cultivators of the soil to encourage exotic manufactures; because, after all, we should only get much worse things at a much higher price, and we, the cultivators of the country, would in the end pay all."

The result of these Tariffs was, in the words of Senator Benton in 1828, in the Senate :
" I feel for the sad changes which have taken place in the South during the last fifty years. Before the Revolution, it was the seat of wealth as well as of hospitality. Money and all it commanded abounded there. But how now?All this is reversed. Wealth has fled from the South and settled in the regions North of the Potomac; and this in the face of the fact that the South in four staples alone has exported produce since the Revolution, to the value of eight hundred millions of dollars; and the North has exported comparatively nothing. Such an export would indicate unparalleled wealth, but what is the fact? In the place of wealth a universal pressure for money was felt---nor enough for current expenses ---the price of all property down ----the country drooping and languishing ---towns and cities decaying ---and the frugal habits of the people pushed to the verge of universal self-denial for the preservation of their family estates. Such a result is a strange and wonderful phenomenon. It calls upon statesmen to enquire into the cause; and if they enquire upon the theatre of this strange metamorphosis they will receive one universal answer from all ranks and ages, that it is Federal legislation which has worked this ruin."......"No Tariff has yet included Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia, except to increase the burdens imposed upon them."

Clearly the historical facts prove out that the South was forced by the North into Secession and thus it is, to this day referred to as the "War of Northern Aggression " by Southerners.
Men behind curtains
If you walk into the lion's den armed with a penknife, then don't be surprised if you suffer scratches.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
The only state that included any concern with economic domination by the North was Georgia.

Not true, South Carolina had a lot to say about tariffs and spending, and they connected that not only to the revolutionary past of the US, but to the consolidated, centralized government they were concerned about.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org...ess-of-south-carolina-to-slaveholding-states/

The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​
There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern toward the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear toward Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them, were expended among them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure. To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution. Yet this British policy, has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade, is almost annihilated. In 1740, there were five shipyards in South Carolina, to build ships to carry on our direct trade with Europe. Between 1740 and 1779, there were built in these yards twenty-five square rigged vessels, besides a great number of sloops and schooners, to carry on our coast and West India trade. In the half century immediately preceding the Revolution, from 1725 to 1775, the population of South Carolina increased seven-fold.​
No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown.​
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
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Location
South Carolina
From the South Carolina secession convention:

I trust that the door is now forever closed to all further connection with our Northern confederates; for what guarantees can they offer us, more strictly guarded, or under higher sanctions, than the present written compact between us? And did that sacred instrument protect us from the jealousy and aggressions of the North, commenced forty years ago, which resulted in the MIssouri Compromise?​
Did the Constitution protect us from the cupidity of the Northern people, who, for thirty-five years, have imposed the burden of supporting the General Government chiefly on the industry of the South? - from the opening speech by the president pro tempore​
 

BigTex

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2019
We have many threads on the question of the legality or lack there of concerning Secession.
Can we stick to your OP? I posted a simple question what exact imported items were do vital that Southern parents would willingly sacrifice their sons over?
Leftyhunter
The adverse economic effects of these Tariffs are the complaint. The sectional legislation had done this and showed no signs of abating with the rise of the radical faction gaining power. Your request for a specific item is facetious at best. Nice try.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
I take it that there is no law on the collection of duties in South Carolina now. We are out of the Union, or, if it is necessary to wait until 7 o'clock, we shall be out of the Union then. There will be, then, no law for the collection of duties. But if it be necessary to make temporary laws, I am entirely unwilling to adopt the laws of the United States. The tariff is that which our fathers have been fighting forty years. We are now free from it, and I am not willing to be under it one hour longer. I do not understand the Ordinance to propose that the tariff laws of the United States shall be of force in this State. - Maxcy Gregg, from day three of the SC secession convention​
 

BigTex

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2019
Not true, South Carolina had a lot to say about tariffs and spending, and they connected that not only to the revolutionary past of the US, but to the consolidated, centralized government they were concerned about.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org...ess-of-south-carolina-to-slaveholding-states/

The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​
There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern toward the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear toward Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them, were expended among them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure. To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution. Yet this British policy, has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade, is almost annihilated. In 1740, there were five shipyards in South Carolina, to build ships to carry on our direct trade with Europe. Between 1740 and 1779, there were built in these yards twenty-five square rigged vessels, besides a great number of sloops and schooners, to carry on our coast and West India trade. In the half century immediately preceding the Revolution, from 1725 to 1775, the population of South Carolina increased seven-fold.​
No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown.​
Edited.
Tariffs are a tax on the people they said. The duties collected were expended elsewhere. The result was impoverishment of the one section and the benifit of another section. Sectional legislation begets animosity.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BigTex

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2019
Thanks for using sources for your statement. I notice the closest statement to the Civil War is from 1833. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/reasons-secession is a documentary study of the reasons for secession based on the statements of the reasons for secession given by the seceding states that listed their grievances. The only state that included any concern with economic domination by the North was Georgia. The study concluded that such concerns made up 15% of Georgia's statement. So to me, the main issue with your concept is that Confederates barely mentioned economic matters at all. Slavery, States right and Lincoln election were all more prominent according to those who seceded at the time they seceded. I take them at their word.
They were all interconnected. You cannot say that only one issue was sufficient cause. A "long train of abuses".
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
They were all interconnected. You cannot say that only one issue was sufficient cause. A "long train of abuses".

BigTex, it is your claim that one factor - tariffs alone - forced secession. If I agreed that a long train of abuses was the cause, tariffs would be the caboose, i.e., least significant, and barely mentioned by Confederates themselves. You were not able to cite Lincoln or any cabinet member saying they wanted to destroy the South economically because none of them said that or wanted that. Your statement above disproves your thesis.
 

John Fenton

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
retired traveling
They were all interconnected.
Yes they were. Even the tariff complaint was connected to slavery. First i have shown that the south was in control of the tariff issue from 1846 to the eve of war. Second the tariff reductions had no effect on northern or English textile production and was transformed from a protection tariff to a revenue tariff.
And third if the south had not been so totally dependent on slave labor agriculture and had industrialized and diversified , they would have been no more sensitive to tariffs than the north who also had a huge agricultural output.
Respectfully, john
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Not true, South Carolina had a lot to say about tariffs and spending, and they connected that not only to the revolutionary past of the US, but to the consolidated, centralized government they were concerned about.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org...ess-of-south-carolina-to-slaveholding-states/

The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​
There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern toward the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear toward Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them, were expended among them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure. To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution. Yet this British policy, has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade, is almost annihilated. In 1740, there were five shipyards in South Carolina, to build ships to carry on our direct trade with Europe. Between 1740 and 1779, there were built in these yards twenty-five square rigged vessels, besides a great number of sloops and schooners, to carry on our coast and West India trade. In the half century immediately preceding the Revolution, from 1725 to 1775, the population of South Carolina increased seven-fold.​
No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown.​
I take it that there is no law on the collection of duties in South Carolina now. We are out of the Union, or, if it is necessary to wait until 7 o'clock, we shall be out of the Union then. There will be, then, no law for the collection of duties. But if it be necessary to make temporary laws, I am entirely unwilling to adopt the laws of the United States. The tariff is that which our fathers have been fighting forty years. We are now free from it, and I am not willing to be under it one hour longer. I do not understand the Ordinance to propose that the tariff laws of the United States shall be of force in this State. - Maxcy Gregg, from day three of the SC secession convention​

@Andersonh1,

Did South Carolina mention tariffs in it's formal declaration of secession?

And since we both know it wasn't, what reason was given during the convention NOT to mention the tariff?

Because the people had come to conclude that it was the issue of slavery that brought about their secession, was it not?

Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The adverse economic effects of these Tariffs are the complaint. The sectional legislation had done this and showed no signs of abating with the rise of the radical faction gaining power. Your request for a specific item is facetious at best. Nice try.

What we have is one of the biggest, lamest, excuses for the Civil War yet proposed. The tariff always fails as the cause of the war because it was not the issue that concerned the South the most.

Restricting slavery from the territories, a Republican President, and about a $1.94 per person per year in tariff rate for the entire US population does not get the tariff into the same ring.

It would be nice to know our Confederate ancestors fought over anything but slavery, but we're stuck with it.

The tariff is no excuse for secession.

And just so we don not have to repeat this lame excuse, perhaps all should view the following, ancient thread on this very same topic:

How Did Tariffs Work?


http://civilwartalk.com/threads/how-did-tariffs-work.1166/#post-19874

Enjoy,
Unionblue
 
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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
You were not able to cite Lincoln or any cabinet member saying they wanted to destroy the South economically because none of them said that or wanted that. Your statement above disproves your thesis.

Quotes from Lincoln:
“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.” This quotation is from Lincoln’s Inaugural Address in March 1861 practically threatening an invasion of the south in order to collect the federal tariff.

“…..the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue (tariffs) can not be effectually executed therein….” This quotation is from Lincoln’s Proclamation in April 1861 calling for a blockade of southern ports in order to collect the tariff.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
@Andersonh1,

Did South Carolina mention tariffs in it's formal declaration of secession?

And since we both know it wasn't, what reason was given during the convention NOT to mention the tariff?

Because the people had come to conclude that it was the issue of slavery that brought about their secession, was it not?

Unionblue

The formal declaration of secession makes the case it does because the majority at the convention felt that was the strongest legal and constitutional case they could make that the other states and the federal government had violated the compact. Taxation by Congress was not unconstitutional, in and of itself, even though the southern states felt both tariffs and expenditures favored the north at their expense, as they plainly declared. Some in the convention, like Maxcy Gregg, would have included the tariff in the official Declaration, regardless.

The Address to the Slaveholding States came out of the same convention as the Declaration of Causes. The reasons both give are equally as valid, and both documents represent a part of the reason that South Carolina seceded.
 
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