Tariffs Breed Wars

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New at Mises Working Papers: Tariffs, Wars, and the Economics of Protection: Lessons from the History of American Textiles by Leo Adrianus of the University of Buffalo

ABSTRACT: The fierce tariff struggles of 19th century America illuminate the important role trade policy could play in determining the course of history. And as a major player in the protectionist movement, the textile industry was more than knee-deep in the controversy. This paper is organized into two main parts, the first of which provides a brief review of the development of textile protection during the 19th century, and its role in shaping the period’s political turmoil which culminated in the War Between the States. The second part of this paper seeks to unravel the causes behind Southern hostility against the protective tariff through the lens of Austrian economics, with particular emphasis on its subjective theory of value. The protectionist doctrine, which enforcement is herein argued to be Lincoln’s true motivation for war, is further examined from the standpoint of natural rights theory. DOWLOAD THE PAPER

9:42 am on June 7, 2005