Tariff of 1857

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Passed with some hope to elude the impending economic crisis, the Tariff of 1857 was the lowest tariff enacted by Congress since 1816. The tariff was partially passed in order to rectify the conflict between the woolen manufacturers and producers, both of whom were badly hit with the 1846 tariff, which had raised the duties on raw wools to thirty percent and reduced that on flannels and blankets to only twenty percent. The Tariff of 1857 effectively lowered the manufacturers' costs, protected their market from foreign competition, and compensated producers by retaining the existing thirty percent duties on competing foreign wools. The Tariff of 1857 was warmly greeted in the South and roundly derided in the North. The tariff was one of a number of major issues that was dangerously increasing the tension between the two regions.