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PoP's Southern American: Causes of Southern independence movement 1860

6/19/2011

Causes of Southern independence movement 1860

The Tariff of 1828, was a protective tariff passed by the Congress of the United States on May 19, 1828 designed to to protect industry in the northern United States. It was labeled the Tariff of Abominations by its southern detractors because of the effects it had on the antebellum Southern economy and led to the Nullification Crisis. Source

The second great period in the tariff history of the United States opens with the Civil War. It is true that the first steps towards a policy of higher protection were taken just before the war began. In the session of 1860-61, immediately preceding the outbreak of the conflict, the Morrill Tariff Act was passed by the Republican party, then in control because the defection of Southern members of Congress had already begun. It substituted specific duties for the ad valorem duties of 1846 and 1857, and made some other changes of significance, as in the higher duties upon iron and steel. Nevertheless, the advances then made were of little importance as compared with the far-reaching increases of duty during the Civil War. These formed part of the general resort to every possible fiscal device. Source

The goal of the tariff was to protect industry in the northern United States which were being driven out of business by low-priced imported goods by putting a tax on them. The South, however, was harmed firstly by having to pay higher prices on goods the region did not produce, and secondly because reducing the importation of British goods made it difficult for the British to pay for the cotton they imported from the South. The reaction in the South, particularly in South Carolina, would lead to the Nullification Crisis that began in late 1832.

"What were the causes of the Southern independence movement in 1860?" "Northern commercial and manufacturing interests had forced through Congress taxes that oppressed Southern planters and made Northern manufacturers rich."..."... the South paid about three-quarters of all federal taxes, most of which were spent in the North." - Charles Adams, "For Good and Evil. The impact of taxes on the course of civilization," 1993, Madison Books, Lanham, USA, pp. 325-327

"The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole...we have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty percent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually." - Daily Chicago Times, December 10, 1860

"They (the South) know that it is their import trade that draws from the people's pockets sixty or seventy millions of dollars per annum, in the shape of duties, to be expended mainly in the North, and in the protection and encouragement of Northern interest.... These are the reasons why these people do not wish the South to secede from the Union. They (the North) are enraged at the prospect of being despoiled of the rich feast upon which they have so long fed and fattened, and which they were just getting ready to enjoy with still greater gout and gusto. They are as mad as hornets because the prize slips them just as they are ready to grasp it." ~ New Orleans Daily Crescent, January 21, 1861


Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War (SIC)
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