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From Religious Revivals to Tariff Rancor: Preaching Free Trade and Protection during the Second American Party System


  • Stephen Meardon


The religious awakening of the early-nineteenth-century United States opened deep rifts in the generation that overlapped and followed it. The rifts emerged from questions of religious doctrine and evangelical method, then widened to encompass worldly politics and ideologies, including the tariff. Two authors and advocates who represent well the religious influence on the U.S. tariff controversy are the Reverend Joshua Leavitt (1794–1873) and the Reverend Calvin Colton (1789–1857). Both were swept up in the religious revivals of the 1820s, and both became, over the following two decades, leading contributors to the second party system's debates over slavery and the tariff. Their contributions to the tariff debate were to conjoin the arguments for free trade and protection, within and on the periphery of the Whig Party, to their religiously inspired views about the abolition of slavery.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Meardon, 2008. "From Religious Revivals to Tariff Rancor: Preaching Free Trade and Protection during the Second American Party System," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 40(5), pages 265-298, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:40:y:2008:i:5:p:265-298

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    Joshua Leavitt; Calvin Colton; Whig Party; tariff;


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