Friday, June 24, 2011

Confronting the Lincoln Cult - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Daily

Confronting the Lincoln Cult - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Daily:

" And yet, as you say, none of this touches on your central thesis.

DiLorenzo: Right, and my thesis is that Lincoln devoted twenty-eight years of his life to an economic agenda of mercantilist high tariffs, pork in the form of internal improvements, and the promotion of a central bank. The basic strategy of this economic agenda was to allow the Republican Party to buy votes from protectionist manufacturers, mining and timber companies that wanted cheap federal land, subsidy-seeking railroad companies, and white laborers who did not want competition from freed blacks or slaves. You have written that Lincoln was the political son of Alexander Hamilton.

DiLorenzo: Yes, the founding father who represented the mercantilist, big-government brand of Americanism in contrast to the Jeffersonian spirit of freedom. The long-time debate between Jefferson and Hamilton was settled at gunpoint. That’s what the War for Southern Independence was all about.

After the election and just before Lincoln’s inauguration, the House passed the Morrill tariff which elevated the rate to 47.06 percent--an extortionist rate. Remember that the tariff was the primary source of federal revenue in those days and the South, which wanted free trade with the world, was paying 80 percent of the total federal revenue, according to Frank Taussig’s authoritative history."

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