The tariff was an issue that
deeply divided Americans in 1912. Values were at stake. Americans had debated the tariff
and disagreed about tariffs since the beginning of the nation. Their concerns may seem
arcane to us now, but the passion with which Americans confronted the tariff demonstrate
its historical importance. In 1912, the Democratic, Republican, and Progressive parties
had carefully worded platform planks about the tariff. Candidates spoke to the issue of
the tariff. Writers and cartoonists paid attention to the tariff.