Sample History Paper on Henry Clay and the Protective Tariff
The concept tariff refers to a tax levied on goods and services that are imported. Imposition of tariffs ensures trade restrictions since imported goods are more expensive compared to locally produced goods and services. There exist different tariffs for different items. Also, tariffs are sources of government revenue as well as income to the local producers (Oakes 55). Moreover, tariffs are also used as an instrument for determining trade rules.
Protective tariffs are monetary charges placed on goods from other countries by a local government with the aim of guarding similar products that are produced locally. The tax placed on foreign products and services gets its way to the customer at a higher price than locally produced goods. This scheme is put in place to encourage purchasers to consume domestic merchandises since consumption of too much foreign goods and services would lead to the bankruptcy of domestic markets (Oakes 71). Also, higher import rates discourage the consumers from purchasing foreign products which are expensive hence contributing to the circulation of additional domestic currency. The Protective tariff have raised controversy over the years with different people airing different views concerning the tariffs. For instance, those who consume imports are opposed to protective tariffs whereas manufacturers offer their full support since they have been profiting from them.
Manufacturers would be the supporters of the protective tariff since these types of tariffs protect their products from foreign competition. In essence, protective tariffs enable domestic manufacturers and companies to make huge profits as the tariffs discourage consumers from buying imported goods which are sold expensively. This leads to increased transactions to the local industrialists (Oakes 93). On the other hand, the consumers would be opposed to protective tariff because they do not benefit from high prices placed on imports since the local markets usually sell similar goods at prices slightly lower than the imported ones thus hurting the consumers. Another reason for opposing the tariff is that affected nations also would fight back and impose similar Tariffs on imported goods. This would create tariff wars which would considerably lead to trade distortion.
On the criticism that a protective tariff benefits some at the expense of others, Henry Clay asserts that protective tariffs are imposed to promote American Production. He further explains that it is at the foreign industry that the tax is entirely leveled. Moreover, Henry Clay believes that protective tariffs are not meant for overburdening the American industry but in case that happens, the impact would be incidental. He goes on to dismiss the allegations saying that imposition of protective tariffs is transacted voluntarily and not by compulsion (Annals of Congress 5). In spite of that, the revenue accrued from these tariffs benefits all American citizens on an equitable basis. According to Henry Clay, there are four objects of choice as far as consumption is concerned. The first choice would be declining to pay the tax and abstain from using the article. The second is to consume the overseas product. Engaging in the manufacturing industry is the third choice while the fourth choice is to supply from the local producers. However, he has opposed to the opinion of a man from Virginia that South is not in a position to participate in manufacturing trade since he asserts that the South population is well adapted to manufacturing industry since it can afford domestic facilities.
Oakes, James. Of the People: A History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Annals of Congress: December, 1824, New York: American Heritage Pub, 1824.
Henry Clay and the Protective Tariff
Henry Clay and the Protective Ta