The Tariff Issue

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.

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