Page:Tariff History of the United States.djvu/86

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


CHAPTER II.

THE EARLY PROTECTIVE MOVEMENT AND THE TARIFF OF 1828.


In the present essay we shall consider, not so much the economic effect of the tariff, as the character of the early protective movement and its effect on political events and on legislation.

The protective movement in this country has been said to date from the year 1789, even from before 1789; and more frequently it has been said to begin with the tariff act of 1816. But whatever may have been, in earlier years, the utterances of individual public men, or the occasional drift of an uncertain public opinion, no strong popular movement for protection can be traced before the crisis of 1818–19. The act of 1816, which is generally said to mark the beginning of a distinctly protective policy in this country, belongs rather to the earlier series of acts, beginning with that of 1789, than to the group of acts of 1824, 1828, and 1832. Its highest permanent rate of duty was twenty per cent., an increase over the previous rates which is chiefly accounted for by the heavy interest charge on the debt incurred during the war. But after the crash of 1819, a movement in favor of protection set in, which

68