HARD SAUCE: there’s an interesting substance. “Add flavoring and beat again.” No wonder it’s hard.
Ben Harrison’s administration had highlights like the admission of North Dakota, and low-lights like the McKinley Tariff.
After 450 amendments, the Tariff Act of 1890 was passed, and increased average duties across all imports from 38% to 49.5%. McKinley was known as the “Napoleon of Protection,” and the act reflected this sentiment. It raised rates on some goods and lowered rates on others, always attempting to protect American manufacturing interests.
Prices went up, and the Republicans lost almost half their seats in Congress. Harrison lost his reelection, the Democrats came in with control of all three branches. They removed all the tariffs so prices would go down, sales would increase, and Federal revenue from the expanded economic activity would replace the revenue lost from tariffs.
No doubt they thought the issue settled and the party firmly in control of the nation's future, but we'll get to that story in a while.