IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Antebellum Tariff Politics: Regional Coalitions and Shifting Economic Interests

  • Douglas A. Irwin

Throughout U.S. history, import tariffs have been put on a sustained downward path in only two instances: from the early 1830s until the Civil War and from the mid-1930s to the present. This paper analyzes the political economy of tariff reductions in the antebellum period. Tariff politics was highly sectional: the North supported high tariffs, the South favored low tariffs, and the West was a swing region. In the 1820s, a coalition between the North and West raised tariffs by exchanging votes on import duties for spending on internal improvements. President Andrew Jackson delinked these issues by vetoing several internal improvements bills. The nullification crisis led to the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which phased out tariffs above 20 percent over a 9-year period. By this time, transportation improvements gave the West access to foreign markets, giving the region a stake with the South in maintaining a low tariff equilibrium. Thus, the West's changing position on trade policy helps explain the rise and fall of tariffs over this period. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/590131
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 715-741

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:4:p:715-741
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Doulgas A. Irwin, 2003. "New Estimates of the Average Tariff of the United States, 1790-1820," NBER Working Papers 9616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Irwin, Douglas A., 2003. "New Estimates of the Average Tariff of the United States, 1790 1820," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 506-513, June.
  3. John Carter & David Schap, 1987. "Executive veto, legislative override, and structure-induced equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 227-244, January.
  4. James, Scott C. & Lake, David A., 1989. "The second face of hegemony: Britain's repeal of the Corn Laws and the American Walker Tariff of 1846," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 1-29, December.
  5. Irwin, Douglas A & Kroszner, Randall S, 1999. "Interests, Institutions, and Ideology in Securing Policy Change: The Republican Conversion to Trade Liberalization after Smoot-Hawley," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 643-73, October.
  6. Matthew Slaughter, 2001. "Does trade liberalization converge factor prices? Evidence from the antebellum transportation revolution," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 339-362.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:4:p:715-741. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.