From Ohio History Central
no edit summary
Tariffs are taxes placed on goods imported from foreign countries. Tariffs serve two main purposes. First, these taxes allow a nation to raise money. Second, tariffs protect a nation's goods from cheaper priced foreign items.
The Tariff of 1816 helped businesses in Ohio to compete with European factories. During the War of 1812, many Ohio businesses began production to replace English goods no longer accessible to Americans. In Cincinnati, several businesses flourished by the late 1810s, including a textile mill, several distilleries and breweries, a cotton mill, and at least one glass manufacturer. Ohio's abundance of raw materials, like lumber, coal, iron, and waterpower, aided industrialization in the state, but there were still several problems to overcome. Among these obstacles were a lack of skilled laborers, a poor transportation infrastructure, and competition from other nations' products. As Ohio's population grew and as the state invested in turnpikes, canals, and railroads, the first two problems declined in importance. The Tariff of 1816 helped the United States, including Ohio, to compete at least domestically with foreign products.