Instructions: One of the controversial issues of the time period was the imposition of a protective tariff on imported foreign goods. Prominent politician and presidential candidate, Henry Clay had an opinion on the protective tariff and the wisdom of its imposition. In this assignment you will read the primary source excerpt below and answer the questions at the conclusion of the reading This assignment has a 20 point value with points awarded according to the quality of your response to the questions asked. In order to complete this assignment students should read Lesson 7 Content pages and textbook chapter 9 in addition to carefully reading the passage provided. Provide your answer as a text response. Your essay should be in complete sentences utilizing correct grammar and punctuation. Essays are expected to be 500 to 1,000 words. Please note the deadline for completing this assignment. HENRY CLAY AND THE PROTECTIVE TARIFF – Primary Source Reading Excerpt from an 1824 Henry Clay speech before a congressional committee concerning the tariff. Having called the attention of the committee to the present adverse state of our country, and endeavored to point out the causes which have led to it; having shewn that similar causes, wherever they exist in other countries, lead to the same adversity in their condition; and having shewn that, wherever we find opposite causes prevailing, a high and animating state of national prosperity exists, the committee will agree with me in thinking that it is the solemn duty of government to apply a remedy to the evils which afflict our country, if it can apply one. Is there no remedy within the reach of the government? Are we doomed to behold our industry languish and decay yet more and more? But there is a remedy, and that remedy consists in modifying our foreign policy, and in adopting a genuine American System. We must naturalize the arts in our country, and we must naturalize them by the only means which the wisdom of nations has yet discovered to be effectual–by adequate protection against the otherwise overwhelming influence of foreigners. This is only to be accomplished by the establishment of a tariff, to the consideration of which I am now brought. And what is this tariff? It seems to have been regarded as a sort of monster, huge and deformed; a wild beast, endowed with tremendous powers of destruction, about to be let loose among our people, if not to devour them, at least to consume their substance. But let us calm our passions, and deliberately survey this alarming, this terrific being. The sole object of the tariff is to tax the produce of foreign industry, with the view of promoting American industry. The tax is exclusively levelled at foreign industry. That is the avowed and the direct purpose of the tariff. If it subjects any part of American industry to burthens, that is an effect not intended, but is altogether incidental and perfectly voluntary. It has been treated as an imposition of burthens upon one part of the community by design for the benefit of another; as if, in fact, money were taken from the pockets of one portion of the people and put into the pockets of another. But, is that a fair representation of it? No man pays the duty assessed on the foreign article by compulsion, but voluntarily; and this voluntary duty, if paid, goes into the common exchequer, for the common benefit of all. Consumption has four objects of choice. 1. It may abstain from the use of the foreign article, and thus avoid the payment of tax. 2. It may employ the rival American fabric. 3. It may engage in the business of manufacturing, which this bill is designed to foster. 4. Or it may supply itself from the household manufactures. But, it is said by the honorable gentleman from Virginia, that the South, owing to the character of a certain portion of its population, cannot engage in the business of manufacturing. Now, I do not agree in that opinion to the extent in which it is asserted. The circumstance alluded to may disqualify the South from engaging in every branch of manufacture as largely as other quarters of the Union, but to some branches of it that part of our population is well adapted. It indisputably affords great facility in the household or domestic line. But, if the gentleman’s premises were true, could his conclusion be admitted? According to him, a certain part of our population, happily much the smallest, is peculiarly situated. The circumstance of its degradation unfits it for the manufacturing arts. The well being of the other, and the larger part of our population, requires the introduction of those arts. What is to be done in this conflict? The gentleman would have us abstain from adopting a policy called for by the interests of the greater and freer part of our population. But is that reasonable? Can it be expected that the interests of the greater part should be made to bend to the condition of the servile part of our population? That, in effect, would be to make us the slaves of slaves. I went, with great pleasure, along with my Southern friends, and I am ready again to unite with them in protesting against the exercise of any legislative power, on the part of Congress, over that delicate subject, because it was my solemn conviction, that Congress was interdicted, or at least not authorized, by the constitution, to exercise any such legislative power. And I am sure, that the patriotism of the South may be exclusively relied upon to reject a policy which should be dictated by considerations altogether connected with that degraded class, to the prejudice of the residue of our population. Annals of Congress, 12th Cong., 1st sess., December 9, 10, and 16, 1811. Use your textbooks and the above reading to answer the following questions. Submit your answers in short essay form as a text response. 1. Define tariff. What is a “protective tariff”? 2. Who would support a protective tariff and why? Who would be opposed to it and why? 3. Based on the above reading, how does Henry Clay answer the criticism that a protective tariff helps some at the expense of others?
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