The tariff question

The tariff question - that pushed the cost of living up for...

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The tariff question.  Tariffs were the one issue that seriously divided the two parties. Republicans favored  high tariffs to help subsidize American industry by keeping cheaper imported goods out  of the country; Democrats wanted to lower duties to reduce prices. Tariff schedules —  what rates were charged on which products — were always changing to reflect new  commodities on the market or the political strategies of members of Congress who used  the tariffs for their own advantage. A senator from Iowa, for example, would support a  low rate for iron ore since none was mined in his state and a high rate on imported grain  to protect Iowa corn.  Toward the end of his term, Grover Cleveland proposed a major overhaul of the  country's tariff policy. The high rates, he argued, had created a sizable federal surplus 
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Unformatted text preview: that pushed the cost of living up for everyone while benefiting only a few. Congress refused to enact tariff reform, and Cleveland's position cost him the next election. Although receiving more of the popular vote, he lost to Benjamin Harrison, the Republican senator from Ohio, in the electoral college. Emboldened by their victory in 1888, the Republicans raised rates in 1890 (the McKinley Tariff) and again in 1897 (the Dingley Tariff). In the interim, during Cleveland's second term (1892–97), a modest reduction was enacted in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894. The law included a personal income tax to make up for the revenue lost due to the lower rates, a provision the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional....
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2011 for the course HIST 1310 taught by Professor Marshall during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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