Friday, February 2, 2024

Lincoln’s Tariff War ~ March 2, 1861 By Thomas DiLorenzo

 When Charles Adams published his book For Good and Evil, a world history of taxation, the most controversial chapter by far was the one on whether or not tariffs caused the American War between the States. That chapter generated so much discussion and debate that Adams’s publisher urged him to turn it into an entire book, which he did, in the form of When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession.

Many of the reviewers of this second book, so confident were they that slavery was the one and only possible reason for both Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency and the war itself, excoriated Adams for his analysis that the tariff issue was a major cause of the war. (Adams recently told me in an email that after one presentation to a New York City audience, he felt lucky that “no one brought a rope.”)

My book, The Real Lincoln, has received much the same response with regard to the tariff issue. But there is overwhelming evidence that: 1) Lincoln, a failed one-term congressman, would never have been elected had it not been for his career-long devotion to protectionism; and 2) the 1861 Morrill tariff, which Lincoln was expected to enforce, was the event that triggered Lincoln’s invasion, which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Read it all: