Try Your Strength

 

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Although the tariff normally provided an emotional issue in American politics, the Panic of 1907 led to widespread concern that the high, protectionist duties put in place in the Dingley tariff of 1897 were contributing to high prices and dampening the nation's prosperity.  Thus during the 1908 presidential campaign, both Democrats and Republicans pledged a thorough revision of the tariff schedules.  Voters generally assumed this rhetoric meant a reduction, not an increase, in the protective tariff.

This cartoon, from May 12, 1909 edition of Puck (a Democratic free trade magazine) showed the widespread view that high tariff rates were helping big business and hurting the consumer with high prices.