Tariffs

Potomac Pride

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Do your really believe that Jeff Davis would have called all the farming men and boys of the South to a war just so that he could pay a bit less on the goods he bought? If he called, would they have come just to save a little on the price of purchased goods?

Rebellions, like the Revolution, the CW, the French, the Russian, the Chinese, are fought to change or preserve a society's structure. Who ruled -- the King or the people? Were slaves property or not? Was the Union indivisible? For these questions, people would fight --- but to save a few dollars on their purchases?
Thanks for your comments DB but I didn't say that tariffs caused the Civil War. All I said was that the tariff was a sectional issue that was disputed between the North & South before the war.
 

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I've posted this elsewhere, but it bears repeating when tariffs are being discussed.

Up to the moment we made ourselves free, we were living under a protective tariff, and, that was a violation, which justified our secession. For forty years we, and those who went before us, had submitted to unconstitutional expenditures by the General Government. This was a violation of the compact, justifying our secession. In 1852 the people of South Carolina solemnly declared of the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States by the Federal Government. There were then causes which justified this State, so far as any obligation is concerned, in dissolving the Union. - Maxcy Gregg, Dec. 1860


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.
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To make, however, their numerical power available to rule the Union, the North must consolidate their power. It would not be united, on any matter common to the whole Union - in other words, on any constitutional subject - for on such subjects divisions are as likely to exist in the North as in the South. Slavery was strictly a sectional interest. If this could be made the criterion of parties at the North, the North could be united in its power; and thus carry out its measures of sectional ambition, encroachment and aggrandizement. To build up their sectional predominance in the Union, the Constitution must first be abolished by constructions; but that being done, the consolidation of the North, to rule the South, by the tariff and slavery issues, was in the obvious course of things. - Robert Barnwell Rhett​
 

DaveBrt

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Thanks for your comments DB but I didn't say that tariffs caused the Civil War. All I said was that the tariff was a sectional issue that was disputed between the North & South before the war.
Surely you realize that this entire 1300+ post tread has been about whether tariffs were a/the cause of session. Your post was taking in that light -- if it is your view that tariffs were not a/the cause of the split and war, I would be glad to hear it.
 
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It's not that the Confederates wanted to kill people over tariffs. It really was an issue in regards to fiscal and trade policies between the North and South. The economy of the southern states depended on foreign trade and they advocated a free trade policy. Because of their small manufacturing sector, they were forced to purchase most manufactured goods from either Europe or the northern states. A protectionist tariff as advocated by the Republicans raised the price of virtually all of the manufactured goods purchased by the southern states. In addition, the southern states believed most of the federal tax revenue generated from the tariffs was being spent in the north. The tariff had been a point of contention between the North & South for years before the Civil War even began. The secession of the southern states and subsequent independence from the Union was a way in which the south would be able to avoid the economic exploitation by the North.
Their (slave South) FAULT!
They could have accepted that they needed manufacturing for themselves, but it must have been easier to sit back and let all the slaves do the dirty work, pay the tariff, and gripe about it. Not thinking, caused them to choose secession, and war, both would show them the fallacy of their ways.

Kevin Dally
 

Potomac Pride

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Surely you realize that this entire 1300+ post tread has been about whether tariffs were a/the cause of session. Your post was taking in that light -- if it is your view that tariffs were not a/the cause of the split and war, I would be glad to hear it.
My initial post was in response to someone who said the Confederates were killing people over tariffs which wasn't factual. The actual fighting was a result of the desire of the southern states to achieve independence and the unwillingness of the Union to recognize the legitimacy of the secession.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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My initial post was in response to someone who said the Confederates were killing people over tariffs which wasn't factual. The actual fighting was a result of the desire of the southern states to achieve independence and the unwillingness of the Union to recognize the legitimacy of the secession.
Over the issue of slavery and not the tariff.
 

Potomac Pride

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Their (slave South) FAULT!
They could have accepted that they needed manufacturing for themselves, but it must have been easier to sit back and let all the slaves do the dirty work, pay the tariff, and gripe about it. Not thinking, caused them to choose secession, and war, both would show them the fallacy of their ways.

Kevin Dally
It is unfortunate that the economy of the southern states did not diversify but the warm climate led to the development of agriculture. However, most of the families in the south did not own slaves.

Over the issue of slavery and not the tariff.
I have already stated that the war was not fought over tariffs but thanks for your comments anyway.
 

USS ALASKA

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A British perspective...

The Civil War’s Forgotten Transatlantic Tariff Debate and the Confederacy’s Free Trade Diplomacy

by Marc-William Palen

Recent studies of Civil War foreign relations have offered strong arguments for why Britain maintained its neutral stance throughout the conflict by emphasizing the strong transatlantic diplomatic and financial ties that had developed by the mid-nineteenth century.7 While persuasive, such studies have done so while overlooking British reaction to the tariff at the time it was passed. Although the Morrill Tariff may not have endangered British investment in the United States, it greatly ruffled Britain’s commercial feathers and editorial pages. As Martin Crawford has observed, the tariff ’s impact on British opinion “was certainly greater than most modern historians have been willing to admit.”8 Yet, aside from the recent work of Duncan Campbell, the tariff issue has become little more than a footnote within the diplomatic histories of the Civil War.9 The Civil War itself has received so much transatlantic study that the minimizing of the tariff issue is all the more striking.10 Brian Jenkins and Howard Jones have concluded that the Morrill Tariff did not help the Confederacy gain British support, and while David Crook, in his classic work The North, the South, and the Powers, briefly acknowledges that the South sought to “exploit British resentment at the Union’s ‘new protectionism,’ symbolized by the Morrill tariff , and offered the lure of a free trade south as a vital new market or British goods” and that “southern propaganda excoriated the Morrill tariff,” he offers no further treatment of these subjects.11 Granted, these studies accurately portray the tariff ’s small role in ultimately influencing the major decisions of Britain’s top policymakers. If, however, the Confederacy’s free trade diplomacy is expanded to include not only official state-to-state interactions but also the activities of non-state southern sympathizers and pro-Confederate propagandistic efforts to influence English public opinion, then the tariff debate takes on renewed significance within Civil War foreign relations.

https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/16324/Palen Transatlantic Free Trade Diplomacy JCWE March 2013.pdf?sequence=4&isAllowed=y
216,810


Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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John S. Carter

First Sergeant
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Mar 15, 2017
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Would anyone have a list of pre-war tariffs? I am trying to understand world trade before the war, and how tariffs affected the southern states. Any recommended study materials is always greatly appreciated. regards.
May I suggest the new book by H.W. Brands" Heirs of the Founders- Henry Clay,John Calhoun,and Daniel Webster-The second generation of American giants".This is one of the best and most interesting books on the tariffs of 1832-1833-1842 the Nullification act and the Force bill .If there are people who still think that slavery was the issue that lead to secession then I believe that Mr.Brand's book will provide one with a different view.It deals with the three great Congressmen of the ear of 1810 to 1850 the era that is overlooked as to the one issue that aroused the South to began considering the fact that they may have a right to succeed.When you read Webster or Clay speeches defending the actions of Congress concerning tariffs against Calhoun 's Nullification one hears Lincoln in 1859-1861. With both of these men Union and Constitution were what were essential while Calhoun thought of Liberty as in 1776 and of Anti Federalist .The rights of the States vs.the mandate of the Constitution/Union.Two different interpretations of what the issue of state authority vs central authority meant which still has not been resolved.Suggest 'THE GREAT DECISION"Cliff Sloan and David McKean.This is a insightful book of the court of John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson on the court's authority role in interpretation of the Constitution.Adams lost the election but he won in his selection of Marshall.The Federalist would leave their mark in our legal system and the credit is due to Adams and Marshal.
 
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Can someone - who believes tariffs caused the war - tell me specifically which tariffs enacted by the Feds harmed the southern states?
 



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