Columbia Herald Calls for Tariff
When we are living through worrisome economic periods we tend to ignore that throughout the history of our country we have had many similar slumps and that we have always recovered to new prosperity.
There have been different complicated causes for economic recession and depression over the years. One of the contributing factors to the Great Depression is said to be the 1930 Hawley-Smoot Tariff which was meant to help keep U.S. industries competitive. The higher tax on imports instead led to less foreign trade, which at this time was with European countries, and less of a market for U.S. goods.
Tariffs had been called for, and enacted as an attempt to help local industry, long before the 1930s. The December 31, 1867 York Gazette carried the following item from the Columbia Herald:
“ROLLING MILL CLOSED.–We regret that we are compelled to announce the closing of the Susquehanna Iron Company’s Rolling Mill, which throws out of employ a large number of laborers at a season of the year when their wages are needed to support their families. We understand that the wages of laborers have been reduced at the mills in Philadelphia, Norristown, Phoenixville, Reading, Allentown and other places, and that unless Congress increases the Tariff and restores the Southern markets, all the mills in the country will close during the next six months.”
Nothing is ever simple, is it?
The tariff mentioned above was raised . Scholars are still debating whether its effects were good or bad. The Southern markets were eventually restored during the period of Reconstruction and thereafter, so that was good for the whole U.S. economy. Whatever the factors, the American iron industry, including the Susquehanna Iron Company, survived and prospered as we hope our present industries will again.
Click links below for more about York area industry.
Variety Iron Works.
Pullman Automobile Company.
Red Lion cigars.
Click below for more on Columbia, PA.
Wrightsville-Columbia bridge rebuilt after Civil War.
Columbia advocated for U.S. capital.