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the legislation was entirely experimental, and as there were no precedents to steer by, there was general acquiescence in the provisions, not only as insuring revenue but as establishing protection. The class of articles subjected to duty is the best guide to the spirit of the Act. It imposed the highest duties on those manufactures and industries which were deemed most in need and most worthy of encouragement. They embraced the iron and steel of Pennsylvania; the glass of Maryland; the cotton, indigo and tobacco of the Southern States; the wool, leather, paper and fisheries of the Eastern States. There was hardly an article introduced into it whose freedom from foreign competition had not been petitioned for, and the desirability of whose home growth or manufacture had not been made clear to the majority in Congress.
A powerful spur to the passage of this Act had been the oft-repeated boast of Great Britain that while America had achieved political independence, it had been reconquered commercially, and was a more abject and useful appendage than before. It was therefore quite natural that the friends of the Act, and those who hoped most from its provisions, should regard it as in the nature of a second Declaration of Independence, and as far more valuable to the Government and the people for the spirit it evinced and the possibilities it contained, than for the rates of duty it established.
This Act was followed the next year, 1790, by Hamilton's lengthy and able report upon "Commerce and Manufactures." This report was designed to emphasize the principle of protective legislation. It embraced all the learning and experience of the older nations bearing upon the subject, and it served the purpose of reconciling an almost universal party sentiment to the operations of the Act of 1789, while it more than ever committed the budding nation to the doctrine he advocated. It was in this report that ht enunciated the principle which protectionists of to-day claim to be fully proved by experience, to wit, that internal competition is an effectual corrective of monopoly, and in the end tends to a lower scale of prices for protected manufactures than prevailed for foreign. His interpretation of the powers conferred on the Government by the clause of the Constitution relating to taxes, revenue and the common defence has been accepted by all political parties, and it now prevails without regard to party lines.
This Act of 1789 and this report of 1790 form the beginning of an historic and practical protective era in the United States. It was an era which lasted, under varying conditions, which we shall note, up until 1816.
The previous session of the First Congress had been an extra one. It was now, January 4, 1790, in First Regular Session at Philadelphia and had received Hamilton's celebrated report. Federals and Anti-Federals divided over the payment of the debts, especially those of the States, and the doctrine of open or close construction of the Constitution was fast shaping up political lines. However, there was very little division of sentiment on the propriety of increasing the rates of duty provided by the Act of July 4, 1789, and they were increased by the Act of August 10, 1790, which went into effect January 1, 1791.
During the Second Session of the First Congress, which opened October 24, 1791, at Philadelphia, there was much excitement owing to opposition to the Excise Laws of the previous session and the rebellion against them in Pennsylvania, known as the " Whiskey Rebellion." The animosities thus aroused served to widen the gap between the Federals and Anti-Federals, but not enough to defeat further tariff legislation. The Act of May 2, 1792, was passed without much difficulty. It took effect July 1, 1792, and it increased the ad valorem rates of duty from 2)4 to 5 per cent. This was the third Tariff Act in three years, and the drift of legislation was in favor of higher and more protective duties.
During the First Session of the Third Congress which met December 2, 1793, party lines became still more distinct over matters of tariff legislation. The Anti-Federals had now taken the name of Republicans, and, though without a definite policy of their own, found means of coherence and growth in opposing Federal doctrines. Yet it was a comparatively easy matter to pass the Tariff Act of June 7,1794, which took effect July 1, 1794. All parties were agreed as to the necessity of providing additional revenue, which the increased ad valorem rates in the Act were designed to secure. All parties were also agreed that a tariff was the quietest and easiest way of attaining such revenue, and the Anti-Federals, or Republicans, who had violently opposed the excise laws, were even more fully committed to a tariff as a revenue measure than the Federals. They, however, began to draw the line when the doctrine of protection was broached. Not all, of course, but a few whose strict construction notions dominated their economic views.
The next tariff legislation was the Act of May 13, 1800, which took effect July 1, 1800. This legislation was not difficult and was still in the line of protective duties. It raised the duties on sugar half a cent a pound and on silks 2j£ per cent.
On March 26, 1804, an amended Tariff Act was passed which took effect July 1, 1804. It must be remembered that now the country had undergone a political revolution, that the Republicans were in power in Congress and that Jefferson was President. Yet the Tariff Act of 1804 was in the line of increased duties.
All the Acts thus far were amendatory of the original Act of 1789, and were helpful of the provisions and operations of that Act. As sufficient time had elapsed to form opinions of the workings of that Act, or in other words, to witness the effects of incorporating protective tariff legislation into our institutions, it will be profitable to turn to the sentiment of the times respecting it.
In his seventh annual message, Washington said:—" Our agriculture, commerce and manufactures prosper beyond example. Every part of the Union displays indications of rapid and various improvement, and with burdens so light as scarcely to be perceived."
John Adams in his last annual message said :—" I observe with much satisfaction that the product of the revenue during the present year is more considerable than at any former period."
Thomas Jefferson in his second annual message said:— "To protect the manufactures adapted to our circumstances is one of the land-marks by which we should guide ourselves."
The provisions of the Act of 1789 and its amendments had, in their practical workings, so far exceeded expectations, that in 1806 Jefferson found the revenues more than ample for the requirements of the Government. In speaking of the surplus he said in his sixth annual message:— "Shall we suppress the imposts and give that advantage to foreign over our domestic manufactures? On a few articles of more general and necessary use, the suppression, in due season, will doubtless be right, but the great mass of the articles on which imposts are laid are foreign luxuries, purchased only by the rich, who can afford themselves the use of them."
In 1809 he wrote to Humphrey thus:—" My own idea is that we should encourage home manufactures to the extent of our own home consumption of everything of which we raise the raw materials."
Said Madison in his special message of May 23, 1809:— "It will be worthy of the just and provident care of Congress to make such further alterations in the laws as will more especially protect and foster the several branches of manufactures which have been recently instituted or extended by the laudable exertions of our citizens."
Says Harriman in writing of the Tariff of 1789:—" Agriculture became more extensive and prosperous; Commerce increased with wonderful rapidity; old industries were revived and many new ones established; our merchant navy revived and multiplied; all branches of domestic trade prospered; our revenues exceeded the wants of government; the people became contented and industrious; the whole country was on the high road to wealth and prosperity."
THE EMBARGO AND TARIFF OF l8l2.
Now while many provisions in the Tariff Acts up to 1808 embraced the protective doctrine, such as duties on hemp, cordage, glass, nails, salt and various manufactures of iron, as has been noted the duties were low, according to present standards. Protection of the textiles and of unmanufactured iron had not been much thought of. But they were soon to draw attention and become the great subjects of the protective controversy.
The year 1808 marks a turning-point in the industrial history of our country. The Berlin and Milan decrees of Napoleon and the English Orders in Council led to th& Embargo Act of December, 1807. The Non-Intercourse Act followed it in 1809. War was declared against Great