The see-saw goes up (Trump imposes tariffs); the see-saw goes down (Clinton pushes “free trade”). But the Tariff See-Saw has been going on longer than this. (Background: The Tariff See-Saw, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, July 15, 2018.)
Previous to 1839 the “Free Trade” gang had resolved secretly to secede from the U.S. In 1841, Cunning Calhoun sent an emissary, a Mr. Mason of Virginia, to the British government “with a view to securing its powerful aid in his [John C. Calhoun’s] aforesaid unalterable resolve to secede from the Union.” Calhoun sent Mason to secure British aid after President Andrew Jackson cracked down on the “Free Trade” gang in 1832.
In response to Calhoun’s emissary, in 1841 Sir William Napier sent two plans for subduing the United States to the British War Office.
You can see how devious were the ways of the “Free Trade” gang. But meanwhile, after Andrew Jackson’s crackdown, a Compromise Tariff of 1833 went into effect. Some tariffs were lowered and the result was disastrous. By 1840 production had greatly diminished and in many places had practically ceased. The Compromise Tariff had robbed our industries of Protection.
It was then that the Tariff of 1842 came to our rescue. Protection was restored and our industries were revived.
But in 1844 the “Free Trade” James Polk was elected President. Polk made free trader Robert J. Walker his Treasury Secretary and largely through Walker’s efforts the Protective Tariff of 1842 was repealed and the ruinous Free Trade Tariff of 1846 was enacted. This 1846 tariff of “Free Trade” caused a train of business and financial disasters. “Instead of prosperity everywhere in the land, there was misery and ruin.”
When Millard Fillmore became President in 1850 he “frequently called the attention of Congress to the evils produced by this Free Trade, and to the necessity of protecting our manufactures ‘from ruinous competition from abroad.'”
From this and the previous blog entry you can see that the tariff issue has see-sawed in this country for a long time.
(Source: The Great Conspiracy: Its Origin and History, by John A. Logan. New York: A.R. Hart & Co., 1886.)