The Walker Tariff of 1846

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Patrick Sulley

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It wouldn't hurt to post any historic source that refutes one position and supports your own.

Makes for a much more interesting debate and throws the burden of proof back to the other person.

Pretty neat idea, huh? :smile:
the best anyone can come to proof is to refer to contemporaneous writings of the time...as there is no way to track his opinion nor mine as to who paid for the tariffs...north or south in the majority. so we have to use peripheral/empirical evidence. I will get the historic statements to support my claim but there is no way to confirm with 100 percent accuracy one way or another...but to state the baseless unprovable claim "the north paid more in tariffs than the south" and do so as if it were absolute authority is tiring. I believe the South Carolina secession debates bring up the percent of tariffs/taxes raised by the south and spent on the north, but i will have to find it again and get back to you.
 
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Patrick Sulley

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Until our next post,
Unionblue
who pays? good question....thats what i have been trying to figure out...there is no way to track that...the port is a collection point. i would hazard to guess the "responsible party for the particular goods". be it northern or southern customers ...in the majority... is the relevant question.

why the port of call is irrelevant? The tariffs would be paid there because that is where the product disembarks. But its location is not dispositive of who received the disembarked goods. New York for instance was used by all of the USA. north and south..to say "the northern ports received the most tariffs" does not mean northerners paid the most tariffs. they are not mutually inclusive
 

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Jan. 6.—A meeting of citizens, irrespective of party, was held at Chicago, 111., this evening. The resolutions adopted express love for the Union ; regard every attempt to rend it as the basest treason and most insane folly ; regard the Constitution of the United States as forming a union between the people of tho several States, and intended to be perpetual ; and every attempt by a State to secede or annul the laws of the United States, is not only usurping tho powers of the general Government, but aggression upon the equal rights of the other States ; that peaceable secession, if possible, must necessarily be a matter of agreement between the States, and until such agreement is made, the existing Government has no choice but to en force the law and protect the property of the nation ; that in view of what is now transpiring in the Southern States, of threats to prevent the inauguration of a President, constitutionally elected, it is incumbent upon the loyal people of the several States to be prepared to render all their aid, military and otherwise, to (lie en forcement of the Federal laws ; that Major Anderson deserves the thanks of the country for tho course pursued by him.—Evening Post, Jan. 8.
 
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Patrick Sulley

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It wouldn't hurt to post any historic source that refutes one position and supports your own.

Makes for a much more interesting debate and throws the burden of proof back to the other person.

Pretty neat idea, huh? :smile:
For a little context that the port of New York was a port used by the "South" so tariffs paid at the port were diverse. The publication "World" April 16 1861 —"Seventeen vessels were seized in the port of New York from ports in southern States, their clearances being improper, and not signed by United States officers. They were fined $100 each, and some were held subject to for forfeiture".—World, April 16.
 
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trice

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who pays? good question....thats what i have been trying to figure out...there is no way to track that...the port is a collection point. i would hazard to guess the "responsible party for the particular goods". be it northern or southern customers ...in the majority... is the relevant question.

why the port of call is irrelevant? The tariffs would be paid there because that is where the product disembarks. But its location is not dispositive of who received the disembarked goods. New York for instance was used by all of the USA. north and south..to say "the northern ports received the most tariffs" does not mean northerners paid the most tariffs. they are not mutually inclusive
The importer pays. He cannot get the goods unless he pays, although they can be stored in a a government or private (bonded) warehouse in the US until he pays. (These warehouses can also be used for trans-shipment -- where goods are dropped off in a port by one ship and picked up by another for a different international destination.) When the warehouse is a private facility, there is a requirement that a customs bond be posted to ensure the government gets paid. Currently, you can leave the goods in the warehouse without paying the duty for up to five years.

The use of warehouse storage to delay paying custom duties began in Britain and was implemented in 1803. It quickly became a normal and routine process that spread rapidly across the world (because it cut down on fraud and tax evasion 😄 ).

No one is saying that all the goods that came in through Northern ports were consumed in "the North (as in "the rest of the country"). What is being pointed out is that the claims that "the South" paid a disproportionate share of imports is never supported with any actual data and it is highly unlikely to be true when most of the US population did not live in "the South" and some 4 million of the people living in "the South" were slaves who were not likely to be buying imported goods.
 

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The importer pays. He cannot get the goods unless he pays, although they can be stored in a a government or private (bonded) warehouse in the US until he pays. (These warehouses can also be used for trans-shipment -- where goods are dropped off in a port by one ship and picked up by another for a different international destination.) When the warehouse is a private facility, there is a requirement that a customs bond be posted to ensure the government gets paid. Currently, you can leave the goods in the warehouse without paying the duty for up to five years.

The use of warehouse storage to delay paying custom duties began in Britain and was implemented in 1803. It quickly became a normal and routine process that spread rapidly across the world (because it cut down on fraud and tax evasion 😄 ).

No one is saying that all the goods that came in through Northern ports were consumed in "the North (as in "the rest of the country"). What is being pointed out is that the claims that "the South" paid a disproportionate share of imports is never supported with any actual data and it is highly unlikely to be true when most of the US population did not live in "the South" and some 4 million of the people living in "the South" were slaves who were not likely to be buying imported goods.
the claims the the northern states paid more for tariffs is not supported by evidence either.

when i say "who pays?" i was reposting unionblue's question. i am well aware of who pays the "responsible party for the particular goods".
 
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trice

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the claims the the northern states paid more for tariffs is not supported by evidence either.

when i say "who pays?" i was reposting unionblue's question. i am well aware of who pays the "responsible party for the particular goods".
Please -- only "the South" makes any claim about the Tariff being unfair to their section. It is "the South" that wants an unrealistic interpretation of the data to justify their secession. It is "the South" that must justify their doubtful claims -- or abandon the pretense that secession was about tariffs.
 

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Please -- only "the South" makes any claim about the Tariff being unfair to their section. It is "the South" that wants an unrealistic interpretation of the data to justify their secession. It is "the South" that must justify their doubtful claims -- or abandon the pretense that secession was about tariffs.
the South, unlike the North, was dependent on foreign trade for the majority of its income. Southerners earned most of their money by selling cotton and tobacco to foreigners. Europe, Britain much more than the other nations, purchased the lion's share of southern cotton.


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.


The example of the transactions of a British supercargo in the New York port makes the mathematics come alive for easy understanding. There are two examples, one without a tariff and one with the tariff.


In the first example, with free trade (that is, without a tariff), a ship from Liverpool, England, ties up at the wharf in New York. The supercargo, that is, the ship's officer who has charge of the cargo and its sale and purchase, watches while his ship is unloaded. Cranes lift bundles of bar iron and packages of woolen fabric from the hold and over the sides of the ship, depositing them on the dock. From there they are carried into the warehouse. The warehouseman pays the supercargo for the merchandise the sum $10,000.


The supercargo takes the money and walks over to the cotton exchange. He says, "Gentlemen, I will take $10,000 worth of cotton for my return trip to Liverpool."


The cotton broker says, "Sir, demand is heavy and cotton is at 35 cents per pound." "For $10,000 I can give you 28,857 pounds of cotton. That will be about fifty-eight 500-pound bales." "Do you have room in your hold, Sir?"


"Yes. I will take it all," says the supercargo. "Load up my ship." The cotton is loaded on board and the captain sails on the morning tide out of the harbor back to Liverpool with the load of cotton destined for the British cotton mills.


Then the United States government imposes a forty-percent tariff on iron and woolen fabric.


On its next trip, the ship from Liverpool again ties up at the wharf in New York. Bundles of bar iron and packages of woolen fabric again are unloaded from the hold to the dock and are carried into the warehouse. The warehouseman pays the supercargo $10,000 for the merchandise.


Now the supercargo must go to the U.S. Customs office and pay the customs officer forty-percent of the money, $4,000. He is left with only six-thousand dollars in his wallet.


Arriving at the cotton exchange, he says to the cotton broker, "I'm sorry, Sir, but your government has taken away a large share of the proceeds from the iron and woolens. Now I only have $6,000 left to give you for a load of cotton."


The cotton broker is anguished, because his normal percentage commission will yield less money for him than before. He cannot say, simply, "I'm sorry, but I will just have to sell it to someone else." He already knows that every other foreign buyer is in the same situation. The tariff has cut into their income in the same way.


The broker knows that he cannot just withhold the cotton. He can't let it sit in the warehouse, especially when there is no prospect of better business conditions tomorrow. He must sell the cotton for whatever money there is in the market to purchase it. The price of the cotton must decline accordingly. Now, the price of that fifty-eight bales of cotton has declined to $6,000 or twenty-one cents per pound. It is a forty-percent reduction in cotton revenue.


The planter's loss of cotton income is immediate and devastating.


The downward-sloping line on the scatter chart is the single most important fact to learn with respect to the cause of the U.S. Civil War.
 

Patrick Sulley

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Please -- only "the South" makes any claim about the Tariff being unfair to their section. It is "the South" that wants an unrealistic interpretation of the data to justify their secession. It is "the South" that must justify their doubtful claims -- or abandon the pretense that secession was about tariffs.
since any future tariff imposed on foreign goods would equal a reduction of the price of mostly cotton. so a 40 percent tariff on say steel...once the foreign ship sells his steel for 10,000 he has to pay 4,000 to the US he then only has 6000 dollars to buy cotton, instead of 10,000 he had before. the seller of the cotton then has to reduce the price of cotton because it does him no good having it sit in a warehouse.....effectively a 40 percent tariff on steel would be a 40 percent reduction of the price per pound of cotton...understand now?
 
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trice

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since any future tariff imposed on foreign goods would equal a reduction of the price of mostly cotton. so a 40 percent tariff on say steel...once the foreign ship sells his steel for 10,000 he has to pay 4,000 to the US he then only has 6000 dollars to buy cotton, instead of 10,000 he had before. the seller of the cotton then has to reduce the price of cotton because it does him no good having it sit in a warehouse.....effectively a 40 percent tariff on steel would be a 40 percent reduction of the price per pound of cotton...understand now?
What in the world are you talking about?
 

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What in the world are you talking about?
exactly.

OK, the reason the southern states wanted to leave (not withstanding slavery) was because of the prospect of the Morrill tariff or one like it in the future. which at the time seemed imminent because of expansion west and possibly losing power in the congress to block oppressive taxes. It's not hard to see the potential loss of quite a lot of money as explained. its not hard to understand.
 
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trice

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since any future tariff imposed on foreign goods would equal a reduction of the price of mostly cotton. so a 40 percent tariff on say steel...once the foreign ship sells his steel for 10,000 he has to pay 4,000 to the US he then only has 6000 dollars to buy cotton, instead of 10,000 he had before. the seller of the cotton then has to reduce the price of cotton because it does him no good having it sit in a warehouse.....effectively a 40 percent tariff on steel would be a 40 percent reduction of the price per pound of cotton...understand now?
exactly.

OK, the reason the southern states wanted to leave (not withstanding slavery) was because of the prospect of the Morrill tariff or one like it in the future. which at the time seemed imminent because of expansion west and possibly losing power in the congress to block oppressive taxes. It's not hard to see the potential loss of quite a lot of money as explained. its not hard to understand.
I am really, really trying to avoid sounding insulting here, but this will sound like it anyway.

With all due respect, that description in your 1st post above is a bizarrely distorted, inaccurate and unrealistic depiction of how international trade works. It is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to describe why it is as close to completely wrong as things get.

Assuming this is based on something someone said back around the time of the Civil War, almost certainly before John Marshall published Principles of Economics in 1890, usually regarded as the start of the modern science of Economics. Maybe this is from someone with an acquaintance with classical economics (what Thomas Carlisle called "the dismal science" of Malthus in 1849) or what Adam Smith called political economy in 1776, but it does not match up with the reality of international trade and ignores many important factors that would affect the transaction. Even where you can imagine this limited example matching a real transaction chain, it can only be for a very small/inexperienced/underfunded or just-plain-bad trader. As a description of international trade on a macro scale it is worthless.
 
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lurid

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[Q
Congress enacted 42 tariff laws between 1789 and 1916. Debates over these bills reflected profound differences in perspectives about the economic interests of various constituents. Members invoked combinations of values—regarding the rights and needs of states, businesses, workers, and consumers—and assertions—such as a proposed tariff’s EXPECTED (EMPHASIS MINE) impacts on those various constituents. Key tensions—between protectionism and free trade, between producers and consumers, between employers and workers—were present decade after decade. Deliberations were complex, passionate, divisive, and lengthy.
But free trade won from 1846-1860, so what was the tariff gripe about that caused the south to start the war? You are confusing politics with economics and discussing things in a literary and speculation sense which turned into a logical fallacy because the economic data clearly shows that low tariffs favored the south for a few decades prior to the CW. It doesn't matter that members invoked anything, because none of it materialized.

The problem with your free trade argument is that it only benefited a small amount of people because the south only had one real commodity to trade and that was cotton. If you can understand the difference of microeconomics and macroeconomics you can see that free trade inhibited macroeconomics and fueled microeconomics.

The graph below clearly shows even with free trade the United States was still in a trade deficit, so what good was free trade during that era? It only benefited the cotton planter, whereas the protective tariff was to sustain business and expand the economy, and it did later on.

untitled.png
 

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What in the world are you talking about?
[Q

But free trade won from 1846-1860, so what was the tariff gripe about that caused the south to start the war? You are confusing politics with economics and discussing things in a literary and speculation sense which turned into a logical fallacy because the economic data clearly shows that low tariffs favored the south for a few decades prior to the CW. It doesn't matter that members invoked anything, because none of it materialized.

The problem with your free trade argument is that it only benefited a small amount of people because the south only had one real commodity to trade and that was cotton. If you can understand the difference of microeconomics and macroeconomics you can see that free trade inhibited macroeconomics and fueled microeconomics.

The graph below clearly shows even with free trade the United States was still in a trade deficit, so what good was free trade during that era? It only benefited the cotton planter, whereas the protective tariff was to sustain business and expand the economy, and it did later on.

View attachment 328998
As stated before....tariffs dont stay stagnant. yes the tariffs of the time were good for all...but it was no secret and the republican platform ran on...raising tariffs....and did. No more "winning" so to paraphrase "the North may have needed the south...but the south didnt need the North"...so why not secede?...the Union started the war to bringthe south back.
here, i will let a planter of the time explain it.
"Why do you wish to go out?" asked the correspondent. "Lincoln may make a good and a just President."


"That is not the thing," replied the planter, "most of us planters are deeply in debt; we should not be if out of the Union. We should have a direct trade with Europe. We should get a better price for our cotton, and our goods would cost us 50 per cent less than now."


This was a precise and succinct statement of the true reasons for secession. The mathematical relationship between tariff rates and cotton prices confirms that his expectation of higher cotton prices was well founded.


Direct trade with Europe would have brought, among many other benefits, British iron at about half the cost of American iron.


The planter recognized the reality that the balance of power to control tariff rates had irrevocably shifted away from the South. "It don't make much difference what Lincoln does," he said. "We want to secede. We must do it now or never. If we don't secede now the political power of the South is broken."


To explain to the correspondent the effects of the shifting balance of power, the planter recounted how New England had lost its control of political power to the South and the West. "Once New-England was a power in the State," he said. "She made Congress pass just such laws as she pleased. She has had her Adamses, her Websters, and her Tariffs. What is she now? Merely New-England. No power; no one regards her. So it will be with the South if we do not go out now. I say we, for the South will go with us."
 
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Patrick Sulley

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But free trade won from 1846-1860, so what was the tariff gripe about that caused the south to start the war?
as stated before....tariffs dont stay stagnant. yes the tariffs of the time were good for all...but it was no secret and the republican platform ran on...raising tariffs....and did. No more "winning" so to paraphrase "the North may have needed the south...but the south didnt need the North"...so why not secede?...the Union started the war...Sumter was not the true beginning of the war...but i will not get into that here. The election of Lincoln to the presidency, the success of the Republican political party in the North in the 1860 Congressional elections and adjustments in Congressional representation necessitated by the 1860 census meant that the balance of power to control tariff legislation was shifting permanently from South to North. Increases in the tariff were a certainty. Southern economic distress lay ahead.
 
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Patrick Sulley

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I am really, really trying to avoid sounding insulting here, but this will sound like it anyway.
it's a debate...there is nothing that you can say that would insult me. I am a contrarian. I take which ever side of a debate that stimulates my mind the most. It's easy to debate the northern side....i have many times before. the stimulating debate is from the southern side. I am third generation Irish from Port Orchard Washington and have no dog in this fight. I am here for the debate.
 
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Patrick Sulley

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I am really, really trying to avoid sounding insulting here, but this will sound like it anyway.

With all due respect, that description in your 1st post above is a bizarrely distorted, inaccurate and unrealistic depiction of how international trade works. It is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to describe why it is as close to completely wrong as things get.

Assuming this is based on something someone said back around the time of the Civil War, almost certainly before John Marshall published Principles of Economics in 1890, usually regarded as the start of the modern science of Economics. Maybe this is from someone with an acquaintance with classical economics (what Thomas Carlisle called "the dismal science" of Malthus in 1849) or what Adam Smith called political economy in 1776, but it does not match up with the reality of international trade and ignores many important factors that would affect the transaction. Even where you can imagine this limited example matching a real transaction chain, it can only be for a very small/inexperienced/underfunded or just-plain-bad trader. As a description of international trade on a macro scale it is worthless.
You are going on the assumption that a group of individuals...powerful individuals...couldnt conspire to over throw a government, cause dissension on a false pretense to bring more profit to those select individuals? What would you say to some evidence..contemporaneous evidence..that slavery..or the use of the idea of slavery ...was used to mask a real reason to divide this country into two confederacies? I can provide a letter to Lincoln detailing who the men where..where they met...their purpose...and the reasons for the division of our country...willing see it?
 

lurid

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as stated before....tariffs dont stay stagnant. yes the tariffs of the time were good for all...but it was no secret and the republican platform ran on...raising tariffs....and did. No more "winning" so to paraphrase "the North may have needed the south...but the south didnt need the North"...so why not secede?...the Union started the war...Sumter was not the true beginning of the war...but i will not get into that here. The election of Lincoln to the presidency, the success of the Republican political party in the North in the 1860 Congressional elections and adjustments in Congressional representation necessitated by the 1860 census meant that the balance of power to control tariff legislation was shifting permanently from South to North. Increases in the tariff were a certainty. Southern economic distress lay ahead.
You're correct, tariffs didn't stay stagnant because the chart below clearly shows that tariffs declined steadily by 40% from 1830 to 1860, so the economic points hard in the direction that the south had no legit grievance and poorly forecasted events.

Again, you are regurgitating that proverbial political rhetoric when we are supposed to be talking economics, which the economics proved that the south had low tariffs for 30 years. The intrusion of politics into the field of economics is simply an evidence of human ignorance or arrogance, and is as fatuous as an attempt to manipulate but none of it materialized, at least none of it did during the era you're claiming it did.

Average_Tariff_Rates_in_USA_(1821-2016).png
 
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Patrick Sulley

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You're correct, tariffs didn't stay stagnant because the chart below clearly shows that tariffs declined steadily by 40% from 1830 to 1860, so the economic points hard in the direction that the south had no legit grievance and poorly forecasted events.
so the republican party platform was not to raise tariffs? and that is not a grievance? really? Your own chart betrays your logic. From 1860 to the mid late 1860's the tariffs spiked. This was not a result of war and recovering cost or paying for costs of war...this tariff was debated since 1857 when there was no war....and was what the Republican/whig platform was about. Lincoln was a Henry Clay Whig.....it wasnt even a secret what they were planning to do if they won. It's ok to change your opinion and not "lose" a debate...it's just adjusting your perception some. it's OK. When i had poor information on export taxes...i listened...researched more...and changed my perspective..it didnt mean anything expect i had bad info. i survived.
 
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trice

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You are going on the assumption that a group of individuals...powerful individuals...couldnt conspire to over throw a government, cause dissension on a false pretense to bring more profit to those select individuals? What would you say to some evidence..contemporaneous evidence..that slavery..or the use of the idea of slavery ...was used to mask a real reason to divide this country into two confederacies? I can provide a letter to Lincoln detailing who the men where..where they met...their purpose...and the reasons for the division of our country...willing see it?
That relates to nothing I have ever said and appears to be some concept of yours that you are claiming I believe.
 
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