AMERICA'S FOREIGN PRESIDENT | 2005-04-30
In 1865, Republicans knew exactly what the war had been about.
In 1865 the President of the United States was Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. Republicans pointed out that Johnson was "a foreigner." They denied any Southerners the right to sit in congress. They declared that the Yankee Nation had conquered the Southern Nation.
They were right. From that day forward, the South was a colony of the Yankee Nation in a much more genuine sense than American was ever British colony. The federal government ran huge surpluses because of the high tariffs the North imposed.
Southerners paid those tariffs twice. If they bought foreign goods, Southerners paid tariffs on them to such an extent that it not only financed the entire Federal budget, it caused embarrassing surpluses. In order to avoid paying the huge tariffs, Southerners had to buy much more expensive industrial products from New England. New England pocketed all of it, and that is why tariffs were kept so high.
That has been forgotten. And that was not the worst of it.
New England protected its industrial monopoly in America because New Englanders also owned the railroads. Any Southern company that wanted to ship industrial products north had to pay up to ten times as much as New England had to pay to send products south. It was impossible for the South to develop any major industries in the age when the only key to prosperity was industrialization. By the time of World War II tariffs had faded in importance.
With the New Deal, the federal government ceased to rely on tariffs for its main income. It was now supported by corporate taxes, excise taxes, and corporate income taxes.
If you ever wonder why so many conservative Southerners supported those new taxes, now you know the reason.