REVIEWS on the protective tariff in 1816 and elaborated on these arguments throughout the 1820s. The memorial, in other words, was itself more of a summary than an original piece of work. Moreover, whatever its contribution to congressional debates, the 1832 tariff was not the last word in the tariff battle. In fact, South Carolina nullified both the 1828 and 1832 tariffs and, as we have seen, the tariff was altered a year later and several times thereafter. Although Belko briefly traces the background of the free-trade debate, his book does not tell the movement's whole story. Perhaps this approach would have been more acceptable without such a grandiose title. A book that proclaims the triumph of anything promises more than a short history of one convention. But even taken on its own terms--as a history of that convention--The Triumph of the Antebellum Free Trade Movement falls short and does not sufficiently account for the failure to satisfy radical southerners in their desire to condemn protectionism. Nor does it explain how that failure contributed to the nullification controversy, perhaps the greatest challenge to the Constitution before the Civil War. Pa ul A. Gil je is George Lynn Cross
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jul 5, 2013
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