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"A Dead Loss"

Topic:
Democrats and the Tariff Question
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
William Allen Rogers
Date:
September 8, 1888, p. 668
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A major strategy of the Republican campaign in 1888 was to paint President Grover Cleveland as pro-British because of his call for tariff reform (presumably to flood the country with British products) and his administrationís attempt to resolve a dispute between Canadian and American fishermen. The GOP focus had the dual purpose of making the Democratic nominee appear unpatriotic by selling out national interest and of appealing to Irish-Catholic voters who detested British rule of their native land. When the Republican-dominated Senate rejected the administrationís fisheries treaty in July 1888, the president responded by requesting congressional authority to ban the importation of all goods from British Canada. Congress refused, as Cleveland foresaw, but the request allowed him to appear tough with Britain. It was also a threat to New England Republicans, since the regionís railroads were the major transporter of products from Canada.

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