Prohibition and the Tariff Question


 "Mr. McKinley Presents…"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 7, 1888, p. 500

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon presents William McKinley, Republican congressman from Ohio, as a merchant offering cheap whiskey as an incentive to buy a high-priced wool suit. The image is a critical commentary on the Republican platform stance to eliminate internal taxes (which would include those on alcohol) in order to cut the federal surplus while upholding high tariffs.

After winning election to congress in 1876, McKinley had quickly established himself as a champion of high protective tariffs. In 1889, he became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, using the position to ensure passage of the McKinley Tariff of 1890, which raised the average levy on imports to 48% (the highest rate in American history to that date). Angry voters turned him and other protectionist Republicans out of office later that year. McKinley, though, remained popular in his party and state, winning election as governor of Ohio in October 1891, reelection two years later, and election as president of the United States in 1896.













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