Ludwig von Mises Institute

Tariff of 1828

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The Tariff of 1828, often called at the time the Tariff of Abominations, was a protectionist tax of 48% on goods imported into the United States. It was implemented to protect industries primarily in the Northern states. Tariffs were the primary source of revenue for the federal government, that is, until the income tax on individuals was implemented in 1913.

Southerners were duly outraged at the tariff, as it compelled them to pay tax on goods that they themselves did not import. South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Nullification and refused to collect the tariff at Charleston Harbor. The states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama subsequently denounced the tariff as well.

In 1833, South Carolina shifted gears after much contention and agreed to collect the tariff but only at a much lower rate.

The compulsory collection of tariffs was one of many issues that drove Southern states to secede from the Union beginning in 1860.

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