- Jan 3, 2019
Thanks for your comments but there was a valid concern in the north about the economic effects from secession and the southern tariff system before the war began as shown in the historical record. An article in the New York Times on March 12, 1861 stated: “ We have high duties in commerce, at the very moment when the seceding States are inviting commerce to their ports by low duties. ..…..We cannot expect nations whose prosperity depends so largely upon commerce as does that of England and France to be insensible to such appeals…..” .
This issue has also been addressed by historians as shown below.
“In addition to the forts and party unity, Lincoln had another vexing worry. He had to make a decision about collecting revenues, which meant the tariff. The question of the tariff and its collection had two components. The first had to do with the potential loss of federal revenue from the customs duties normally generated by the states that had seceded. The Confederacy now controlled the customshouses in each of them. ……..The second factor regarding the tariff had a political as well as an economic dimension. When the Morrill Tariff enacted by the Republicans went into effect, on April 1, its rates would almost double those in the tariff law of the Confederate States. This differential could mean the potential shift of foreign trade from northern ports to southern. …….Northeastern mercantile and financial interests quickly became aware of the possible negative consequences for them. At the end of March, a committee of New York merchants came to the White House to press the President on the government’s policy. To a reporter, they revealed their distress: “The present uncertainty as to the new tariff is destroying trade and legitimate speculation.” This tariff conflict and its possible financial repercussions caused a shift in business opinion. Before it had been almost monolithic against coercion, but now it was turning to form up behind Lincoln’s inaugural pledge to collect revenue and hold the forts.” Source: We Have the War Upon Us by William J. Cooper, 2012, pages 247-8.
“On April 1, the North and South would cease to have the same schedule of duties, for that was the date when the new Morrill Tariff would go into effect. Thereafter the duties levied in northern ports would be almost double those levied in the ports of the Confederacy under the old tariff of 1857. Under these conditions every Yankee merchant was convinced that he faced bankruptcy. European goods would avoid northern entrepots (ports) and flow directly to the South, whose cities would achieve a position of mercantile supremacy. ……The English and French press made it quite clear to American businessmen that foreign merchants and manufacturers intended to take full advantage of the low southern tariff.” Source: And the War Came, The North and the Secession Crisis 1860-1861 by Kenneth Stamp, 1970, page 232.
There was genuine concern from northern merchants and politicians about the economic effects of secession and the southern free trade policy. A group of merchants even discussed this in a private meeting with Lincoln and began to advocate the use of force against the south.
I'm sure the so-called issue was addressed by historian through history tools, but economic data needs to be addressed by using econometric tools, and that's why you are stumped. Again, Lincoln was not vexed, he adjusted and implemented a different policy to collect revenue, and never missed a beat. You do know that taxation is taxation, no matter the form? What is the difference from collected money from a tariff or an income tax? Nothing.
You went from posting this in post #277: The south was simply too important for the Union to let it secede and the consequences would have been disastrous to posting "it was a valid concern" in this thread. Don't you think there's a big difference between "disastrous" and "concern?" I initially responded to your first comment in bold, and that was not close to accurate. Secession was not disastrous for the north, but it certainly was disastrous for the south. It might have been a "valid concern" for the north but it never materialized into a disaster.