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Tariff History of the United States

Tariff History of the United States by Taussig

Tags Taxes and SpendingU.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryInterventionism

06/15/1890F.W. Taussig

The Mises Institute has completely re-typeset F.W. Taussig’s definitive work on the tariffs of the 19th century in the United States, a history that in some sense is the most important ever written because it was so decisive in leading to the sectional conflict culminating in the Civil War.

This book has never been surpassed as pure economic history. This might be the first new presentation of the book to appear in 100 years.

It is not economic history as that phrase has come to be understood in recent years. It is more than a litany of facts and data manipulated with econometrics. This is super-charged, very interesting history of real people, institutions, and policies and their effects. Taussig shows how the tariff policies had an enormous influence on the direction of U.S. industrial development, and the conflicts caused by intervention.

He was of course a free trader, like most economists of his generation. But the case for free trade here is not just a matter of theory, but emerges from within the historical narrative. It is the kind of economic history that anyone can read and love. Knowing the details here provides a window into a time and helps explain what might otherwise be completely lost on the casual observer.


F.W. Taussig

Dr. F.W. Taussig was professor of political economy at Harvard. He wrote The Tariff History of the United States and a two-volume Principles of Economics.


NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons 1910 [1892. Fifth Edition, Revised, with additional material, including a consideration of the Aldrich-Payne Act of 1909.