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Act, which undid the compromises of 1820 and 1850, and thus opened up once more the question of slavery in the Territories, which many had hoped never to hear of again. In 1856, when the name of the party had already been changed to Republican, the convention which nominated Fremont for President described the party policy in an essay which bore much more the character of a manifesto than of a platform. Protests against the extension of slavery into the Territories occupied the only prominent place in the program. Besides this were exhortations to the federal government to engage in the system of so-called "internal improvements." Nothing much was said of Revenue. But whatever was said on this subject was hardly germane to the campaign; for it was already evident that the issue to be voted on was the one which really absorbed the attention of the whole people slavery.

The same may be said, and with even more force, of the election of 1860. If slavery overshadowed every other consideration in 1856, what shall be said of 1860? The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court and John Brown's raid had intervened; evidently there was no other question on which the people awaited the deliverances of political conventions than simply the question of slavery. And the conventions of 1860 divided and subdivided on this and on no other issue. It is therefore of little consequence what the Republican convention that nominated Lincoln thought on the subject of internal improvements, or of taxation, or of tariffs, or of any other subject whatever. But there were considerations of temporary expediency, founded on the necessity for conciliation, that prompted the device of a more comprehensive program. It was evident that with Illinois and Pennsylvania, in addition to the States carried by the Republicans in 1856, they would be able, in 1860, to secure the presidential election. So Lincoln, of Illinois, was nominated, to increase the chances in that State, and

here is the beginning of the trouble — it was declared that the "tariff for revenue" should be so adjusted as to encourage the development of the industries of the whole country. Here was Pennsylvania's chance. Lincoln for Illinois, and the tariff for Pennsylvania. True, as a recent correspondent of one of the daily papers says, 66 no partiality for Pennsylvania monopolies " can be detected in this platform. But the important matter is the way the program is carried out.

Then came the war. Into the details of tariff legislation I do not purpose to enter, for it is sufficiently interesting to follow up the successive party platforms. That of 1864 had no direct mention of the tariff in it; nor can we discover any occasion for treating of the subject at this time. The question, the one question, the whole question, was of prosecuting the war. Besides, Pennsylvania had her tariff; that had been attended to several years before. We may pass, then, at once to the platform of 1868, the last reverberations of war having died down even more completely than they have now. What position was the great and successful Republican party, having carried out its original promise of checking slavery, and, with the help of events, much more than its promise, what position was it now prepared to take up, on the question of revenue and encouraging the development of industries? To be sure, the presidential election, with at the head of the ticket, was a foregone conclusion; and for the first time in its history the Republican party had to contend with a foregone conclusion. No adversary is more dangerous for a political party than a foregone conclusion. It is when confronted with certain success that a party faces its greatest danger. It is then that the stuff it is made of will be most severely tried for then the greatest temptations will arise and threaten to prevail over stern morality. With a President practically elected by acclamation, with a Congress assured to them, if by no other circumstance, at any

rate by the absence of many Southern representatives, what did the Republicans propose to do with their power in 1868? That is really one of the most interesting inquiries which the history of American parties puts it in our power to answer. Much more interesting, and far more important, is the cognate question, which history has also answered for us, what did the Republican party do with its power. But, reflecting on the antecedents of this election, going back fourteen years to 1854, during all which time events had made slavery the only question of interest and importance, and coming down to the spring of 1868, the Republican convention of that year becomes for the student the centre of considerable political curiosity. The antecedents have been rather hinted at than described; but the state of the case will not be found, on investigation, materially different from that suggested. And the interesting question is, what was the Republican party's sober thought when, in 1868, it was confronted with certain success; what did it propose to do with its power, at the beginning of this new period in American political history, when the old scores of the past had been, apparently, forever washed. away in blood, and it stood at the threshold of new things? In the platform of that year is the following sentence, whose significance must be interpreted in the light of subsequent events :

"It is due to the labor of the nation that taxation should be equalized and reduced as rapidly as the national faith will permit.”

Here, then, is the first declaration of the Republican party on the subject of taxation to which any importance may be attached; for previous declarations on this subject must, of necessity, as they actually did, sink into insignificance alongside the impending questions of slavery, war, and finance. The tariff Acts of 1862 and 1864 were treasury measures, and whatever may be thought of the sagacity of their authors, they can hardly be construed as indications of Republican policy. Pennsylvania had been car


ried in 1860 by the promise of a tariff, cooperating as this did with the splits in the Democratic party. But the tariff Acts of the preceding years cannot be regarded as the outcome of the industrial theory of protection. They were merely incidents of The war period of the Republican party came to an end with 1868; at that election the party opened the second chapter of its history with the declaration that taxation should be equalized and reduced, and this declaration must be considered in connection with the contemporary events and the state of public opinion.


In the previous year, 1867, there had just been an all but successful attempt to effect a reduction of the tariff. The bill designed for the purpose had been drafted by Mr. David A. Wells, with reductions of duty on raw materials" and, in some cases, on manufactured articles, while increasing the duties in no case; and this bill had passed the Senate (Rep.) by 27 to 10, and had failed of consideration in the House (Rep.), only through lack of the two-thirds vote the division standing 106 to 64 in favor of the bill. So when the election of 1868 was at hand the Republicans had just voted in the majority in both Houses in favor of reduction of the revenue, and in favor of reduction of the tariff into the bargain. With this as an indication of what was meant by equalizing and reducing taxation, the platform of '68 expressed the intentions of the party at that time. The use purposed to be made of their assured power was equalization and reduction.


From that time to the present the history of the Republican party is comprehended within very narrow lines

1868-1872-. So the first declaration of the Republican party as to its intention regarding the revenue and the system of taxation of which account need be taken is that of 1868; and in order to define more clearly what was meant by the declaration that taxation should be reduced and equalized, it is sufficient to refer to the tariff bill of 1867, which had been carried through the

Republican Senate by the vote 27 to 10 and had been favorably received by a large majority in the Republican House, failing only through want of the two-thirds vote then required for the consideration of a Senate bill. The meaning of the declaration is unmistakably that the excessive war taxes should be now reduced, and that in their reduction attention should be paid to equalization. What is the meaning of equalization in this connection? A long chapter might be written on that; but it will suffice to remember how the protective duties first came to be imposed in 1861 and 1864. Important as the acquisition of Pennsylvania was, it must not be hastily assumed that the Pennsylvania Protectionists were to have everything their own way other sections of the country had to be conciliated, some, indeed, pacified. This had been accomplished (consciously or unconsciously), by the imposition of an extensive system of internal taxation, not so much complex as comprehensive. The principle pursued in levying these taxes, in the language of an able observer, was that of a Donnybrook fair: when you see a head. hit it: when you see a commodity, tax it. When every article in the country reached the consumer plastered all over with revenue stamps, lukewarm adherents, and even opponents, of the protective system fell easy victims to the tariff experts. In a word, the whole fabric of custom duties, so far as they were protective, was built up on the internal-revenue foundation. In order to offset the obstructive tendency of the internal taxes on domestic industries, that is to say, for the purpose of equalization, duties, intended as equivalents, were laid on importations. When then the time had come, in 1868, for beginning the reduction of the revenue, we should not be now, nor were the people then, at a loss to understand the meaning of a promise to reduce, and simultaneously to equalize, the taxes. The only signification such an expression could carry is that both the internal taxes and the import duties should be

reduced, simultaneouly reduced and equivalently reduced.

From words we may turn to deeds. In 1870 a tariff bill was finally passed by the Republican Congress. This bill, instead of fulfilling the promise of previous platforms, succeeded in making reductions on revenue articles alone, leaving the protective factors of the tariff either untouched or absolutely increased. The revenue duties on tea, coffee, wines, sugar, molasses, and spices were lowered; the protective duties on steel rails, marble, nickel, were raised! Such was the equalization put into practice. The only protective duty lowered at all was that on pig-iron, which was reduced from $9 to $7 per ton; the $2 having been originally put on as a compensation for the internal tax, which had itself been repealed as early as 1866. Nevertheless, this reduction is very significant; for the action in that case confirms the construction I have suggested for the promise to equalize taxation. But this is the only equalization which took place. The other imposts, originating just as this on pig-iron had originated, were left, or increased.*

The growing sentiment in favor of tariff reform which had found expression in the platform of 1868 was not to be so easily rebuked. Western members of Congress continued to be returned in favor of uncompromising reduction. In 1872, a tariff bill was introduced into the House by the Committee on Ways and Means (Dawes, of Massachusetts, chairman, dissenting). This bill proposed substantial reductions of the protective duties. Pig-iron was to be put down to $6; the duties on wool, woollens, and cotton cloths were to be reduced by twenty per cent. Here was an attack on the mainstays of the system. The coal, salt, and lumber duties were also

*If any further indication is needed of the meaning of equalization at this time, the fact that Western members of both parties were unanimous in favor of reduction of the tariff. The internal taxes had already been removed or scaled down; to equalize taxes, therefore, was to reduce the tariff equivalently,

to be reduced. By these means, the revenue would have been appreciably curtailed, and the growth of the protective system would have received a sensible check. Instead of that, however, a substitute was framed in the Senate and finally pushed through the House, in which the protective factors of the tariff were gently handled, being subjected to an insignificant horizontal reduction of ten per cent all along the line. As things then stood this slight reduction did not remove the protective element from a single duty. Foreign competition was as impossible after as before the bill. And in order to reduce the revenue, the valuable duties on tea and coffee were abolished. To abolish a purely revenue duty is equivalent to a renewal of the protective lease for a number of years proportioned to the reduction of revenue effected, as has been demonstrated over and over again. And so the Protectionists evidently regarded the result; for in this year for the first time, and since then more and more boldly, they stood out for the maintenance of the system. This is shown by the Republican platform of 1872. 1872-1888. Having gained a substantial victory in Congress, first in 1870, then in 1872, — and having set at naught the plain meaning of the platform of 1868, the Protectionists took complete possession of the Republican party in the succeeding campaign; for the convention, renominating Grant, declared that the " revenue, except so much as may be derived from the tax upon tobacco and liquors, should be raised by duties upon importations," and that these duties should be adjusted" to aid in securing remunerative wages to labor, and promote the industries, prosperity, and growth of the whole country."

In other words, the Republican party found itself pushed over the precipice on the brink of which it had stood from its inception. Several by no means insignificant efforts had been made to rescue the organization from its impending fate. The first, in 1867, as I have said, was all but

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successful. At that time the majority in both houses of a Republican Congress was distinctly in favor of tariff reduction, and not until 1872 did the industrial fallacy of protection begin to prevail. The previous declaration of 1860, though similar in expression, and craftily baited for Pennsylvania, is necessarily devoid of national signification. When the attention of the whole country- North and South — was bent on one issue, as in 1860, it is not the office of a conventional platform to invent another.

When the Republicans had carried the election of 1872 on a Protectionist platform, after having successfully resisted the reduction sentiment of 1868, it is no wonder that when the opportunity arose for imposing new burdens of taxation the party should be found unanimous in favor of increased protection. The opportunity occurred in 1875, in consequence of the falling off of receipts at the treasury, which accompanied the financial panic of 1873, and the subsequent depression. The Congress of that year succeeded, almost without a protest, in re-establishing the tariff of 1864, by simply repealing the ten-per-cent reduction of 1872. The effect was not to protect the domestic producer much more efficiently than he was already, for he was, as I have noted, amply secured against foreign competition in spite of the ten-per-cent reduction. The repeal, however, is not without its significance, for it is indissolubly linked with the previous act abolishing the tea and coffee duties, which were purely revenue duties. If these had not been removed in 1872 there would have been no occasion for repealing the ten-per-cent reduction of the protective duties.

At the next election the Democrats carried the House and elected Tilden. But, as has been usual with them, the lapse of twelve years was required to wake up to what was happening, and to discover that the Republican party had finally subsided into a protectionist organization. There is this to be said in their excuse,-that they have not had


control of the Government in all this time, and have not therefore had an opportunity to accomplish legislation. In the mean while the Protectionists become stronger with every election. They must not be confounded with the Republican party as a whole that has been weakened at nearly every election; but inside the organization there can be no doubt that more and more of the leading men have gone over to the industrial theory of protection, and that the persons whose pockets are directly interested in the maintenance of the duties have gained a more and more complete control of the councils and machinery of the party. This becomes apparent from a consideration of the Tariff Act of 1883.

In the first place, the grip of the Protectionist, or rather of the protected person, a necessary distinction, for there are some honest Protectionists, was shown in an act of the previous year. In 1882, a tariff commission was appointed. This in itself, it may be well to remark in passing, is a singular, though by no means uncommon, kind of procedure. The deputation of parliamentary functions and investigation is a parliamentary function - cannot be too highly censured. A commission was appointed to "investigate" the tariff. Not a single member of the board as selected by the President (Arthur) was favorable to a reduction of the tariff, and its chairman was the secretary of the Wool Manufacturers' Association, which has been one of the most successful associations for private aggrandizement by political means ever organized. The report of the commission having been handed in early in the session of 1882-83, it seemed for a time that, though protection might not receive a check, at any rate, neither would it receive direct encouragement. The House could not agree on a tariff bill, and succeeded, at first, in fostering protection only indirectly, namely, by reducing internal taxes, al

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*A bill was introduced at the session just ended (1890) to establish another tariff commission. The mover was Senator Plumb, Kansas.

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The clamor for a reduction of taxation had become irresistible. It would have been impossible in that House to have passed at once a bill increasing the importation duties. All bills aiming at this failed, until the bill

reducing the internal taxes had been passed ; then the succeeding links of the Protectionist concatenation were adroitly welded together. This is worth describing.

In the Senate a bill had been framed partly on the basis of the report of the commission and partly tending toward reduction of the tariff. This was tacked on as an amendment to the bill for reducing internal taxes, and sent back to the House. By the existing rules of that body a twothirds vote was required for consideration of the Senate bill, either for concurrence or non-concurrence, and a two-thirds majority could not be obtained in favor of this bill. A majority vote is, however, sufficient to change the rules. Accordingly a resolution was introduced for a new rule, by which a majority vote was made sufficient for taking up a Senate bill for non-concurrence, but not sufficient for the purpose of concurrence. This having been adopted and the tariff bill having been taken up for consideration, it was immediately non-concurred in, and referred to a conference committee composed of five members from each House, seven of whom were Protectionists of the Protectionists. The results of their cogitation may be described in the language of Mr. Morrison, speaking at the next session of Congress.

By Mr. Reed, of Maine.

"The office and duty of a conference committee is to adjust the difference between disagreeing houses. This House had decided that bar-iron of the middle class

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