- Jan 3, 2019
Exactly, the tariff argument has been debunked on this site numerous times. The politicians in the south could have voted it down or just filibustered first instead of hastily getting out of dodge.The problem with all tariff arguments is that in the search for a rational motivation for a destructive war, the argument ends without presentation of facts.
There is no evidence that the increased burden in tax payments, or increased cost of tariff protected goods, justified the risk.
It becomes a bare assertion that the if the south would have remained in the US the tax burden would have greater than if they had formed their own nation, and paid all their own military and governmental costs.
In fact the main substitute for US taxes were not Confederate taxes, but instead hyper inflation, and paying whatever the blockade runners demanded when they landed their cargoes in the Confederacy.
No one ever quantifies the actual decrease in demand for southern cotton that would results from higher tariffs, fewer imports and stronger dollar denominated currencies.
Its just one irrational and obsessive argument substituted for another, tariffs instead of slavery.
The problem with all tariff arguments is that the southern senators definitely could have helped shape the tariff reform in 1861.
But they did not remain in Congress. Then it was a Pennsylvania Democrat, James Buchanan, who signed the tariff bill into law. And when the Democratic party regained power in the US after 1884, tariffs remained unchanged and the implementation of a direct tax was delayed for about 30 years.