NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Aftermath of Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures"

Douglas A. Irwin

NBER Working Paper No. 9943
Issued in September 2003
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ITI

Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures (1791) is a classic document in the history of U.S. economic policy, but its fate in Congress is not well known. It is commonly believed that the report was never implemented. Although Hamilton's proposals for bounties (subsidies) failed to receive support, virtually every tariff recommendation put forward in the report was adopted by Congress in early 1792. These tariffs were not highly protectionist duties because Hamilton feared discouraging imports, which were the critical tax base on which he planned to fund the public debt. Indeed, because Hamilton's policy toward manufacturing was one of encouragement and not protection, those interests shifted their political support from the Federalists to the Jeffersonian Republicans during the 1790s.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9943

Published: Irwin, Douglas A. "The Aftermath of Hamilton's 'Report on Manufacture'." The Journal of Economic History 64 (2004): 800-821.

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