In 1881, after Lincoln’s Tax War, Jefferson Davis told the Mississippi Legislature: "The principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form."
Today, President Donald Trump’s Tariff War looks more and more like Abraham Lincoln’s Tariff War of 1861.
In his First Message to Congress on April 29, 1861, Confederate States President Davis declared: “The people of the agricultural Southern States perceived a tendency by the Northern States to make the federal government impose tax burdens on imports to enrich the manufacturing and shipping classes of the North at the expense of the South. Long and angry controversies grew out of these attempts.”
The Federal Reserve says the average American family will pay $831 a year in higher prices just for Trump’s new 25 percent tariff on some products made in China, and will pay over $2,000 a year if all of China’s imports are taxed.
Lincoln is Trump's favorite president. Whether imported or made in the U.S., consumers ultimately pay this federal sales tax through higher prices.
Our Confederate ancestors, black and white, slave and free, were invaded and forced to pay Lincoln’s 40 percent tariff on imported products from all countries, which Jefferson Davis declared was why Southern states withdrew from the voluntary union of independent states.
Supporting Davis’ position, Vice-President Alexander Stephens, on March 21, 1861, exposed Lincoln’s hypocrisy: “Despite the Republicans’ professions of humanity, they are unwilling to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor. Lincoln’s idea of enforcing the laws has but one object, and that is a collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor.”
There is no proof of Lincoln ever declaring a war to free slaves. July 4, 1861, Lincoln told Congress: “My policy sought only to collect the tax revenue.”
Roger K. Broxton, president
Confederate Heritage Fund