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Literature Library


Tariff History of the United States

Tariff History of the United States

The Mises Institute has completely retypeset F.W. Taussig’s definitive work on the tariff of the 19th century in the United States, a history that in some sense is the most important ever written because it was so decisive in leading to the sectional conflict culminating in the Civil War.

This book has never been surpassed as pure economic history. This might be the first new presentation of the book to appear in 100 years.

It is not economic history as that phrase has come to be understood in recent years. It is more than a litany of facts and data manipulated with econometrics. This is super-charged, very interesting history of real people, institutions, and policies and their effects. Taussig shows how the tariff policies had an enormous influence on the direction of U.S. industrial development, and the conflicts caused by intervention.

He was of course a free trader, like most economists of his generation. But the case for free trade here is not just a matter of theory, but emerges from within the historical narrative. It is the kind of economic history that anyone can read and love. Knowing the details here provides a window into a time and helps explain what might otherwise be completely lost on the casual observer.

5th edition

  • The Argument for Protection to Young Industries
  • Industrial History of the Colonies and of the United States before 1808
  • The Cotton Manufacture
  • The Woollen Manufacture
  • The Iron Manufacture
  • The Early Protective Movement and Tariff of 1828.
  • The Tariff, 1830–1860
  • Tariff Legislation, 1861–1909
  • The War Tariff
  • The Failure to Reduce the Tariff after the War.
  • How Duties were Raised above the War Rates
  • The Tariff Act of 1883
  • The Tariff Act of 1890
  • The Tariff Act of 1894
  • The Tariff Act of 1897
  • The Tariff Act of 1909
  • Imports and Duties, 1860–1907
  • Duties of 1861, and those of 1864 which were retained, without change till 1883
  • Revenue from internal taxes and from the tariff, 1860–1907
  • Product, Imports, and Foreign and Domestic Prices of Copper, 1875–1886
  • Product, Imports, and Foreign and Domestic Prices of Steel Rails, 1871–1908
Publication Information NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons 1910 [1892. Fifth Edition, Revised, with additional material, including a consideration of the Aldrich-Payne Act of 1909.
Updated 5/10/2011