The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation

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8. The Civil War

A New History of Taxation

Tags Taxes and SpendingU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

09/06/2004Charles Adams

A tariff set the stage for the American Civil War. The quarrel between the North and the South was a fiscal quarrel, not a war over slavery. The tariff of 1828 was called the tariff of abomination. Nullification was a strong argument to void unconstitutional federal laws.

The South paid the vast majority of the taxes. Fort Sumter was essentially a useless fort, but it did serve to collect taxes. Secession was the cause of the Civil War, but taxation was the most significant factor. Taxes have been the core of most rebellions throughout history.  Attempts to secede have always been very tough. Sadly, some Southerners did make slavery an argument for secession. Lincoln did not believe in the self-determination of people.

Lecture 8 of 10 from Charles Adams' The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation.


Charles Adams

Charles Adams (1930-2013) was an attorney and specialist in international taxation. He wrote extensively on taxes and their impact on civilization, for outlets including the New York TimesWashington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He was also an adjunct scholar at the Mises Institute and the Cato Institute. Among other books he was the author of For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization​.