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Prof, hope you’ve been well these past two years!
A new president comes in and wishes to “cancel” all previous executive orders which are still in effect… What does he have to do to do this? Issue a new EO saying “all previous EO’s, except for this one, are done now?” Or is there some other process for “canceling” previous executive orders?
I wondered the same thing for a long time. Check this out: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2624357
Its about the pre-Coolidge situation but it does relate to the question of fiscal austerity vs inflationary fed after the depression of 1920-21.
Wow I didn’t realize he remained on board even into the Napoleonic period. Even as someone who doesn’t yet know too much about it, that seems extremely late.
Thanks for such a great answer (to a pretty broad question)!
Thank you for originally encouraging me to email him. Took me like 6 months to work up the courage the first time.
This time he gave me this nugget: after Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published (in 1852) and selling like crazy, the Free Soil Party got less than half the northern votes it got in 1848, thus it may have impacted the public mind but “had far less POLITICAL impact than has been alleged, certainly far less than the Kansas-Nebraska Act two years later.”
He sends his best to you, Dr. Gutzman!
Professor that’s really interesting to hear. I’ve read a lot of accounts, some from the time period, that it basically swept the nation and did a lot to influence public opinion. Of course, it would not be “surprising” if this was exaggerated.
Could you point me to the recent research which talks about this?
He said that Georgia’s declaration “is inaccurate about the protection of northern business interests AND about businessmen actively seeking coalition with antislavery groups” and pointed me to Business & Slavery by Philip Foner to show that “mercantile and financial business elements in the North opposed the Republican party because they feared its triumph would provoke disunion.”
That book is out of print and all the hard copies I found were $100+.
If anyone is interested, that book can be rented for free for 14-days from archive.org if you create a username.
Wow that letter to Fox is really eye-opening, especially in its entirety, thanks again.
I may have found half an answer in Holt who contextualizes Republican pro-tariff sentiment with the panic of 1857 and resultant federal budget deficits. Its not clear that this shows manufacturing interests drafting off of anti-slavery, just that the rising Republicans adopted the cause of higher tariffs in response to a crisis.
After the fall in imports caused a fall in revenue Buchanan resorted to deficit financing rather than slashing spending which “allowed the Republicans to… demand a higher tariff that would balance the federal budget and restore jobs to the unemployed by protecting American industry from foreign competition. By the fall of 1858 Republicans throughout the North, but especially in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts had taken up the cry for tariff revision.”
Frustratingly, he doesn’t cite any primary sources for that section (my only gripe about that whole book). However, in a nearby section he does cite Foner who similarly describes the Republicans becoming strongly anti-tariff in the wake of the 1857 panic. He goes on to quote William Cullen Bryant who, shortly before the 1860 Republican convention, said: “A deeply-laid conspiracy is in operation to pervert the Republican party to the purposes of the owners of coal and iron mines.”
Although Foner seems to be describing non-principled Republicans bending on the tariff issue to achieve political ends, if what Bryant said is correct then maybe some Pennsylvania coal interests were getting their tentacles in there after all?
Perhaps Robert Toombs was a subscriber to the New-York Evening Post?
Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 171-175.
Holt, Michael M. The Political Crisis of the 1850s (New York: Wiley, 1978), 201.
Thanks! I’ll check those out, just ordered them both!
Reading the responses to Lincoln’s poll of his cabinet members, I’m struck by Secretary of State Seward’s use of the word “provoke”–thrice!–to describe the consequences of provisioning Ft. Sumter.
It seems to me that each respondent gave their thoughts as to (1) what would happen as a result, i.e. whether it would start a war and (2) whether then it should be done. In the first round of polling every person had opposite answers to (1) and (2). They were all either “Yes, No” or “No, Yes”.
What stands out about the second round is the appearance of a third answer of “Yes, Yes”, with two “Yes, No”‘s and one “No, Yes” changing their answers (Bates, Welles, and Chase respectively).
So no less than three cabinet members said “yes it will start a war, and we should do it anyway!”
The internet (and academia for that matter) is full of pompous sophistry explaining why it’s ridiculous to say Lincoln was trying to provoke, or that provisioning was an act of aggression. I can only attribute this to blissful/willful ignorance in service of deifying Lincoln and demonizing the South.
Do you think this is a modern phenomenon? Did most observers at, or around, the time of the War recognize that Lincoln and his cabinet were clearly devising a way to get the South to fire?
On that token, Hamilton justified a large national debt on grounds that making rich bondholders dependent on the government would secure its perpetuity right?
If thats the case, could an argument in favor of a welfare state which says “making poor people (or all people) dependent on the government secures its perpetuity” be described as distinctly “Hamiltonian?”
Thank you professor 🙂