IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/nbr/nberch/11738.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

Revenue or Reciprocity? Founding Feuds over Early U.S. Trade Policy

In: Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s

Author

Listed:
  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

The Constitution of 1787 was designed to give Congress powers over trade policy that it lacked under the Articles of Confederation. The Washington administration was split over whether to use these powers to raise revenue or to retaliate against Britain's discriminatory trade policies. Obsessed with funding the national debt, Alexander Hamilton sought to avoid any conflict with Britain that might disrupt imports and diminish the customs revenue flowing into the Treasury coffers. By contrast, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison advocated a policy of "aggressive reciprocity" to force Britain to open its home and colonial markets to American goods and shipping services. This paper examines how the nation's founding policymakers confronted this dilemma and evaluates the merits of different trade policy options. The main conclusion is that the Federalist policy of moderate tariffs, non-discrimination, and conflict avoidance provided much needed stability during the critical first decade of the new government.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas A. Irwin, 2010. "Revenue or Reciprocity? Founding Feuds over Early U.S. Trade Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s, pages 89-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11738
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c11738.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Bordo, Michael D. & Vegh, Carlos A., 2002. "What if Alexander Hamilton had been Argentinean? A comparison of the early monetary experiences of Argentina and the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 459-494, April.
    3. Shepherd, James F. & Walton, Gary M., 1976. "Economic change after the American Revolution: Pre- and post-war comparisons of maritime shipping and trade," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 397-422, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Goldin, Claudia D. & Lewis, Frank D., 1980. "The role of exports in American economic growth during the napoleonic wars, 1793 to 1807," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 6-25, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N71 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11738. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.