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In May 1930 more than a thousand members of the American Economic Association issued a petition urging Congress to vote down the tariff bill then pending in the conference committee and the president to veto the measure should it come to him for signature. One month later, Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Act into law. Economists have long recognized the benefits of free trade, first articulated by Adam Smith in 1776 and extended by David Ricardo in the early nineteenth century. Yet trade protection occurs and recurs, often in phases and perhaps even in cycles. Even today, after nearly forty years of strong American support for free trade in the world economy, protectionism is once again an important political issue in the United States.

The dominant explanation for protection is one of domestic political failure. Because restrictions on trade benefit relatively small groups of producers whereas the mass of consumers benefit from free trade, producers have a greater incentive to organize and influence the political process. Pressured by failing industries unwilling to bear the costs of economic change, politicians promote trade-restrictive measures that benefit the few at the expense of the many. The problem, according to this explanation, lies not in a misidentification of political objectives or in the value of economic openness but in the unwillingness or inability of politicians to adhere to the goal of free trade.1

Drawing upon an equally old historical tradition associated with Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List, this book advances an alternative explanation that conceives of both protection and free trade as legitimate and effective instruments of national policy. Like the early mercantilists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Hamilton and List believed that power and wealth are proper and, in the long run, harmonious goals of national policy; that nation-states—rather than individuals or global society—are the most important actors on the international stage and the appropriate unit of analysis; and that nationstates pursue national interests defined in terms of power and wealth.2 Yet unlike their predecessors, who focused narrowly on the sovereign’s gold stocks, Hamilton and List recognized that the sources of national power and wealth are many and varied and that different policies are necessary at different stages in a country’s development. Although neither Hamilton nor List set forth a fully developed theory of international trade, both attempted to identify the conditions under which free trade and protection would best serve the national interest. Hamilton argued that national wealth and power could be enhanced by protecting certain “infant industries,” which could not otherwise survive the rigors of international competition.3 List attempted a more general indictment of free trade. Considering the practices of several European nationstates, List denounced free trade as the instrument used by the leading commercial power to maintain its dominance over others. To break free from the leading power’s grasp and become an international power in its own right, List argued, a country needed to protect its economy and stimulate the process of industrialization.4

In this same spirit, Part I of this book develops a deductive, systemic-level theory of national trade interests which attempts to specify the conditions and circumstances that stimulate rational power- and wealthseeking nation-states to pursue free trade, protection, or some combination of both. My central proposition is that the national trade interests, political choices, and ultimately trade strategies of individual countries are fundamentally shaped and influenced by the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure. Protection and free trade, then, are not simply the result of domestic political pressures but the considered response of self-seeking nation-states to varying international structures.

A second theoretical proposition developed in Part I concerns the relationship between systemic incentives and the domestic political process. Chapter 2 addresses the question of how the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure are communicated or translated into national trade strategies. A disaggregated conception of the state is presented in which the principal domestic political cleavage is between the foreign policy executive, concerned with national power and wealth, and the representative element of the state, responsive primarily to the rent-seeking interests of society. The clash between these two sets of interests ultimately determines trade policy. Domestic politics is not seen as unimportant, but I argue that the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure are influential and that domestic political factors, normally granted analytic autonomy from systemic incentives, are best understood as interacting with these constraints.

American Trade Strategy

Part II of this book tests the systemic theory of international economic structures in a “hard” or least likely crucial case study of American trade strategy between 1887 and 1939.5 During this period, the United States possessed a large domestic market, low levels of economic interdependence, an isolationist ideology, and strong societal pressure groups within a highly permeable political process. Consequently, it could be argued that American trade strategy would have been unlikely to respond to the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure. As I demonstrate in Chapters 3 through 6, however, that strategy was shaped in important ways by these systemic incentives, thereby offering strong support for the theory.

Trade Strategy Defined

Trade strategy is a government plan or method for obtaining one or more objectives within the international economy related to the import or export of tangible goods. All trade is strategic, or characterized by interactive decision making, at the most basic level: every import is another country’s export. Thus, almost by definition, trade strategy refers to government policies that are contingent upon the actions of other nation-states or intended to manipulate the preferences and policies of others.

Trade strategy has two dimensions (see Figure I.1). The first, international market orientation, indicates a country’s willingness to permit the international market to control its trade flows. A liberal, open, or free trade strategy, as traditionally defined in the literature on international political economy, relies upon the market as the principal determinant of the pattern of international trade. A protectionist or mercantilist strategy, on the other hand, regulates trade flows through government fiat in the form of tariffs, nontariff barriers to trade, barter arrangements, or centrally planned trade. The second dimension, the degree of international political activity, denotes the desire of a country to influence the international economic order and the policies of others. In a passive strategy, policies are typically directed inward at the country’s own domestic economy. An active strategy seeks to influence the economic order and the policies of other countries.

In the period 1887–1939, no formal statements of American trade strategy were offered on a regular or periodic basis. Rather, trade strategy must be inferred from the debates over tariff policy, the central trade issue of the era and the principal instrument through which strategy was implemented.6 Trade strategy is, however, distinct from and more general than tariff policy; two (or more) tariff acts may differ in their particulars yet reflect a single trade strategy.

Figure I.1. Two dimensions of trade strategy and characteristic indicators

Eight tariff acts were passed by Congress and signed into law during the period examined in this book.7 Each can be classified within the dimensions of the international market orientation and degree of international political activity in two ways. Tariff policies can be categorized by their substantive legislative provisions. Three elements are of particular importance: the average rates of duty, their “negotiability,” and the extent of discrimination between countries. Higher rates of duty are more protectionist, lower rates more liberal. Tariff acts that do not discriminate between countries are more liberal than those that do, although discrimination may also indicate an active trade strategy. Similarly, measures that fix rates irrespective of the actions of other countries or contain flexible provisions that are not implemented are more passive than acts that allow the legislature or the executive to bargain with other countries over duties and other provisions.

Tariff policies can also be classified by their stated purposes. Declarations of intent, especially by politicians, are often misleading. Yet during the tariff debates, policy makers appear to have been quite explicit when discussing the purposes of the legislation. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the tariff was a politically divisive issue. The perspectives of both the “protectionists” and “free traders” were highly developed and neither group appeared to believe it necessary to disguise its objectives in passing any tariff bill. Moreover, in nearly all cases there is a close correspondence between the first and second means of classifying the trade acts. Tariff acts that sought to close the United States off from the international economy are classified as protectionist and passive. Conversely, those acts which sought to stimulate trade both at home and abroad are classified as liberal and active. The specific reasons for the classification of each of the eight bills are discussed in Part II.

Historical Overview

Rapid and dramatic changes occurred in American trade strategy in the period 1887–1939. After the Civil War and before 1887, the United States was a relatively passive and highly protectionist nation-state. Tariffs were high, nonnegotiable, and nondiscriminatory. During World War II, the United States shed the last vestiges of its nineteenth-century strategy. By 1945, it had emerged as an active world leader strongly supportive of universal free trade. The transition from America’s passive protectionism of the mid-nineteenth century to its active liberalism of the mid-twentieth is the substantive focus of this book. Within this period, four phases can be identified.

President Grover C. Cleveland, a northern Democrat, broke the dominant post–Civil War protectionist consensus in his 1887 Annual Message to Congress by calling for duty-free status for raw materials. In the ensuing debate, the tariff was internationalized or reconceptualized as a more active instrument for promoting exports. Although maintaining the essential structure of protection at home, both the McKinley Act of 1890, passed under the Republican administration of Benjamin Harrison, and the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894, enacted during Cleveland’s second term, pursued special trading relationships with the countries of Latin America by lowering duties on a selected and limited number of raw materials. Both parties hoped these relationships would expand American exports to the region at the expense of British and other European traders. Thus the United States sought and, as will be seen in Chapter 3, easily obtained both protection for imports and expansion of exports.

Between 1897 and 1912, the second phase of American trade strategy, the United States continued to pursue highly protectionist policies and became more active in the international economic arena. Specifically, the strategy of bilateral bargaining first adopted in the McKinley Act was expanded to include the increasingly protectionist countries of continental Europe. In the Dingley Act of 1897, the United States offered the continental Europeans reciprocal reductions in duties for the first time and threatened penalty duties against selected Latin American countries unless they granted trade concessions to American exporters. Reflecting new confidence in the ability of the United States to compete on equal terms in world markets, the Payne-Aldrich Act of 1909 granted lower duties to all countries that did not unduly discriminate against American goods. Despite their differences, however, both tariff acts rejected liberal free-trade principles and actively sought to exploit the national trade strategies of other countries.

Between 1912 and 1930, the United States departed from its historic policy of protection. The Underwood Act, passed under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, drastically lowered tariff rates and endorsed the principle of freer international trade. A decade later, in an international economy still unsettled by the war, the United States increased its tariff moderately in the Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922. Nonetheless, tariff rates remained far below those of earlier phases. This modest increase from the low levels of 1913 was partially offset by a more active trade strategy and adoption of the nondiscriminatory most-favored-nation principle. Throughout this third phase of trade strategy, then, American policy was characterized by tariff restraint and a high degree of international activism.

Finally, during the period from 1930 to 1939, the United States took a dramatic turn toward renewed protection in the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930, only to reverse course and adopt the liberal and extremely active Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in 1934. Although the latter signaled an important departure in American trade strategy, it was not a radical break with past practice. Rather, the 1934 act was intended as a complement to protection, enabling the United States to reopen foreign markets to its exports. Not until after 1945 did the United States fully endorse the principle of free trade at home and abroad.

Chapters 3 through 6 examine these four phases of American trade strategy. Each chapter analyzes the constraints and opportunities the United States confronted in the international economic structure; how these constraints and opportunities shaped the national trade interest and, in turn, trade strategy; and the role of the foreign policy executive in the policy-making process. The Conclusion summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the theory as revealed in the case study.

Theoretical Overview

American trade strategy between 1887 and 1939 is typically explained by a combination of interest-group politics and competition among political parties. The interest-group argument is well-known. Producers have concentrated interests in protection, and consumers have diffuse interests in free trade. As a result, producers organize more easily and bring greater pressure to bear on the political process. The decentralized and relatively open American political process, moreover, contains many points of access for motivated petitioners, ensuring that their voices will be heard. At least in the omnibus tariff acts passed by Congress in the period examined here, the almost infinitely divisible nature of the tariff, which often allowed duties to be tailored to specific producers, created a norm of mutual noninterference and a process of legislative logrolling in which virtually all claimants could be satisfied. As a result, the American tariff tended toward equality and uniformity in duties and universality in application.8

The role of political parties is often superimposed on this interest-group explanation. The Republicans, with an electoral base in the Northeast and Midwest, are identified as the party of protection, and the Democrats, drawing on the traditionally trade-dependent South, the party of free trade. Fluctuations in tariff rates, in this view, are explained by changes in party dominance.9

These explanations are widely accepted, but they appear inadequate. As discussed in more detail in Part II, the industrial structure of the American economy did not change in tandem with trade strategy. The dependence of American manufacturers on exports rose dramatically over the 1890s, yet the tariff remained highly protectionist. This dependence increased only slightly before World War I, but the tariff was drastically lowered in 1913. American dependence on exports and foreign investment continued to rise during the war, but tariffs were increased in 1922. Explanations of trade strategy based on political parties are also open to question. In the early 1890s, there were important commonalities in policy despite changes in party. Conversely, party platforms changed significantly over time, even though the electoral bases remained similar. These anomalies should not necessarily lead us to dismiss the importance of interest groups and political parties, but they should call into question the narrowness of explanations derived entirely from domestic political factors.

The most important international alternative to this domestic-level explanation is the theory of hegemonic stability, although it focuses principally on international economic regimes and is never applied to American trade strategy before World War I.10 There are two principal variants of this theory. The first, associated with Charles P. Kindle-berger, focuses on the provision of the collective good of international stability, with instability defined as a condition in which small disruptions (for example, the 1929 stock market crash) have large consequences (the Great Depression). Assuming that markets are inherently unstable—or nonhomeostatic systems—and tend toward stagnation and fragmentation, Kindleberger argues that the international economy will be stable only if a single leader is willing to assume responsibility for “(a) maintaining a relatively open market for distress goods; (b) providing counter-cyclical long-term lending; and (c) discounting in a crisis.”11 Kindleberger has subsequently added that the leader must also undertake to “manage, in some degree, the structure of foreign exchange rates and provide a degree of coordination of domestic monetary policies.”12

The second variant, found in the writings of Robert Gilpin and Stephen D. Krasner, attempts to explain the strength and content of international economic regimes. Both authors share Kindleberger’s assumption that markets are nonhomeostatic systems. Yet according to this view, liberal international economies collapse not only as a result of inherent flaws in the self-regulating international market mechanism but also because nation-states pursue goals other than aggregate national income and welfare. Krasner posits three additional goals: social stability, political power, and economic growth.13 Gilpin takes a similar position, arguing that “other than in a few … exceptional circumstances, societies throughout history have placed much greater emphasis on security values such as social stability or self-sufficiency than on income gains from the free operation of markets.”14 The political tasks in this variant, therefore, involve not only curing market dysfunction through hegemonial intervention but also creating an international order that meets the security needs of nation-states so that they can pursue the gains from freer trade. Both Gilpin and Krasner argue that strong liberal international economic regimes are most likely to be created when a single hegemonic leader dominates the international economy.

With the growing popularity of the theory of hegemonic stability, the views of these three authors have been reduced to a simpler and more deterministic form which draws a direct and causal link between hegemony, regime stability, and economic openness. Robert Keohane, for example, states that the theory “holds that hegemonic structures of power, dominated by a single country, are most conducive to the development of strong international regimes whose rules are relatively precise and well obeyed. According to the theory, the decline of hegemonic structures of power can be expected to presage a decline in the strength of corresponding international economic regimes.”15 This simplified version of the theory of hegemonic stability, which draws heavily upon the example of Britain’s hegemonic decline in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, has been subjected to several varied tests, with mixed results.16 Most important, the continued openness of the international economy in the 1970s and early 1980s despite America’s declining hegemony has been widely perceived as a major shortcoming or anomaly of the theory.

Since its “discovery,” this anomaly has guided several important research projects in the field of international political economy. The recent volume on international regimes edited by Krasner and Keohane’s After Hegemony both use this shortcoming as a rationale for studying international regimes. Likewise, Judith Goldstein argues that the continued openness of the United States is a result of the frozen or rigid American state structure created through past success.17

Rather than reject the theory of hegemonic stability or supplement it through the analysis of additional variables, I seek to remain within the analytic framework of the theory but to refine and extend its logic. The theory of international economic structures presented here differs from the theory of hegemonic stability in its definition of the international structure, its ability to explain the political economy of nonhegemonic as well as hegemonic structures, and its conclusions and predictions on the degree of openness likely to be found in nonhegemonic structures. In particular, the theory seeks to shed the “hegemonic obsession” of much of the current literature. By failing to distinguish between the structurally derived interests of nonhegemonic nation-states, past studies have been unable to discern differences between nonhegemonic international economic structures. Differentiating between such structures is, I believe, necessary for a proper understanding of the politics and processes of the international economy.

Despite the similarities in their conclusions, Kindleberger, Gilpin, and Krasner define the international economic structure differently. Kindleberger employs the single dimension of relative size, which he divides into three categories: small, middle, and large-sized countries. Gilpin defines the structure by political-military power and relative efficiency. He also identifies three categories of nation-states within the international political economy: hegemonic powers, peripheral states, and growth nodes. Like Gilpin, Krasner uses two dimensions but focuses on the degree of equality (or inequality) in both the level of development and the size of nation-states and posits six hypothetical distributions of potential economic power.18

For reasons explained in Chapter 1, I define the international economic structure as the configuration of nation-states within the two dimensions of relative size and relative labor productivity. Within these two dimensions, seven categories of actors are identified, each with a specific trade policy preference ordering. This preference ordering and the strategic interaction between categories create constraints and opportunities for individual nation-states which, in turn, shape the national trade interest. Thus, by examining the international economic structure, the position of a country within it, and changes in the structure over time, it is possible to explain and predict national trade strategies. Throughout, the emphasis is on developing a rigorous, deductive, and systemic-level theory specific enough to be open to empirical testing through an examination of the trade strategies of individual countries. In the process, necessary and sufficient conditions for economic openness under alternative international economic structures are identified.

The chapters in Part II do not attempt to test the relative explanatory power of the theory of international economic structures against the prevailing domestic explanations of interest-group politics and competition between political parties. Rather, these chapters attempt to develop the strongest possible support for the theory of international economic structures and to discern the limits of a systemic approach in explaining trade strategy in a single country. This is a necessary first step toward conducting a meaningful debate on the relative efficacy of domestic and international explanations. Each chapter in Part II, however, does briefly summarize the anomalies raised for the domestic approach by the interpretation of American trade strategy presented here, and the final chapter presents some tentative conclusions on the complementary nature of domestic and international explanations of trade strategy.

The theory of international economic structures set forth in Chapter 1 is clearly associated with the growing school of structural or neo-Realism in international relations. Although structural Realist theories have gained wide visibility over the last decade, they are open to at least one of the criticisms leveled against Realist theories of the 1950s and 1960s. Both Realists and structural Realists “black box” domestic politics. Although most Realists do not assert that the international system is wholly determining and are aware that domestic politics exert an impact upon policy, the relationship between the systemic and national levels of analysis in this literature remains ambiguous. This problem can be ignored with relative impunity by many systemic theories. Both Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics and the theory of hegemonic stability, for instance, seek to explain systemic processes and outcomes such as balances of power or regime stability as a result of systemic features. Within this approach there is considerable room for individual deviancy: the failure of one country to balance or adhere to the regime does not disconfirm the theory.19 In seeking to develop a systemic theory of the behavior of individual nation-states, however, the question of how systemic constraints and opportunities are communicated into policy becomes central. In other words, it is no longer possible to abstract from domestic politics.

In Chapter 2, I attempt to unpack the black box of domestic politics and determine how the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure are recognized and acted upon within the domestic sphere so as to result in observable trade strategies. I argue that the state can be decomposed into at least two sets of conflicting actors: the foreign policy executive and the representative element. The latter aggregates and articulates the interests of the politically mobilized groups within society. The former—typically facing a national electorate and mandated to protect and enhance the power and wealth of the nation-state—identifies the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure and seeks to ensure the adoption of policies consonant with its demands. Because of the relative rather than absolute nature of power, and to the extent that collective action is difficult within society, the interests articulated by the foreign policy and representative elements of the state must differ. This conflict prevents the foreign policy executive from acting unilaterally; to a greater or lesser extent, it must bargain with the representative element and society. This bargaining process, in turn, is influenced by the structure of the state and executive or presidential leadership. Particular attention is paid in Part II to executive strategies for gaining influence within and access to the congressionally dominated tariff-making process.

At the most basic level, the theory of international economic structures, like all systemic theories, can be confirmed or disconfirmed only by the behavior of nation-states. The theory does not contain any conception of political process, so the way nation-states arrive at policy is an unanswerable and unimportant question. All that is needed, at this level, is a correlation between the behaviors predicted by the theory and those observed in reality. This simple test is sufficient if actual strategy does in fact coincide with the predictions, or if one is examining a large number of cases and therefore can tolerate a certain number of anomalies. The framework for understanding the domestic political process developed in Chapter 2, however, allows for testing the systemic theory in a single case without denying the importance of domestic politics. By specifying who should be especially sensitive to systemic incentives, the theory of international economic structures can be confirmed if the foreign policy executive articulates preferences and pursues policies consistent with the predicted constraints and opportunities, even if the final policy does not fully coincide with the national trade interest. Of course, the larger the gap between the national trade interest and the trade strategy actually pursued, the less useful the theory of international economic structures will be. In addition, the theory will be falsified if a country’s trade strategy is inconsistent with the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure and the foreign policy executive fails to advocate and pursue the predicted policies.

Following these criteria, and given the least likely nature of the case examined, this book offers relatively strong support for the theory of international economic structures. With only a few exceptions, American trade strategy did conform to the constraints and opportunities of the international economic structure. Moreover, state officials within the foreign policy executive were normally sensitive to the systemically generated national trade interest and advocated appropriate strategies.


This Introduction closes with two cautionary notes. First, the theory of international economic structures is not intended as either a deterministic or a unicausal explanation of trade strategy. I seek to push a systemic theory to its practical limits, but I am under no delusions that it provides a completely satisfying explanation. Other factors, including ideology, business cycles, and the sheer weight of history, are also important. In the end, all constraint-based theories will be underdetermining; this one is no exception. Second, unlike the modern mercantilists and many present-day trade economists, I eschew normative conclusions. I desire merely to explain the trade strategies of individual countries; whether the policies actually pursued are, by some definition, optimal is a question I leave to others.

Although I seek to avoid judgments on the value of specific policies, I have not altogether ignored practical concerns. Since its inception, the United States has been torn between the wish to retreat into the home market and the desire to trade in the international economy. The first tendency reached its apogee in the period between the Civil War and 1887, the second, during the post-1945 Pax Americana. During the period 1887–1939, neither the desire for protection against imports nor the wish to expand exports clearly predominated in American politics. Confronted with a growing desire to participate in the international economy and reap the advantages of its steadily increasing productivity, the United States altered its traditional strategy of high tariff protection and international passivity after 1887. As the previous consensus declined, America had to decide how and to what extent to trade in an international economy it could not control. Today, the United States faces a similar decision. With the decline in American power, the United States is now only the most influential nation-state within a fairly large group of relative equals. Although it is “still an extraordinary power,”20 it can no longer unilaterally lead the international economy in accordance with its own desires. By reexamining America’s prehegemonic era, new light can be shed on the problems and choices likely to face the United States in the years ahead.

Concern has also been raised over the implications of America’s declining hegemony for the maintenance of the current liberal international economic regime. Many fear that with the waning of American power, the Pax Americana will follow the path of the Pax Britannica into a new phase of protectionism and economic conflict. By recognizing the critical role played by nonhegemonic nation-states within the international economy, the often assumed parallel between the decline of the Pax Britannica and the decline of the Pax Americana becomes questionable. As I try to demonstrate throughout this work, the analogy is misleading. Despite several important similarities, America’s decline need not and will not follow the path blazed by Britain earlier in this century. Rather than portending a future of decay in the international economic order, the decline of American hegemony actually presents new opportunities for international cooperation.

1For classic studies of the tariff which take this view, see Frank W. Taussig, The Tariff History of the United States, 8th ed. (New York: Putnam, 1931); and E. E. Schattschneider, Polities, Pressures and the Tariff (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1935). The argument is developed more formally in the public choice literature on tariffs, also referred to as “endogenous tariff theory.” See in particular Richard E. Caves, “Economic Models of Political Choice: Canada’s Tariff Structure,” Canadian Journal of Economics 9, (May 1976): 278–300; Jonathan J. Pincus, Pressure Groups and Politics in Antebellum Tariffs (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977); and Robert Baldwin, The Political Economy of U.S. Import Policy (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985). Many more studies are reviewed in Real P. Lavergne, The Political Economy of U.S. Tariffs (New York: Academic, 1983). The only such study to focus on the period covered here is Bennett D. Baack and Edward John Ray. “The Political Economy of Tariff Policy: A Case Study of the United States,” Explorations in Economic History 20 (January 1983): 73–93.

2See Jacob Viner, “Power versus Plenty as Objectives of Foreign Policy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” World Politics 1 (October 1948): 1–29; E. F. Heckscher, Mercantilism, trans. Mendel Shapiro, rev. 2d ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1955); and Charles Wilson, Profit and Power: A Study of England and the Dutch Wars (New York: Longmans, Green, 1957). For an alternative view that explains mercantilism as a form of rent-seeking by societal groups, see Robert B. Ekelund and Robert D. Tollison, eds., Mercantilism as a Rent-Seeking Society: Economic Regulation in Historical Perspective (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1981).

3Documents Relating to American Economic History: Selections from the Official Reports of Alexander Hamilton, arr. Felix Flugel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1929).

4Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy (London, 1885; rpt. New York: Kelley, 1977).

5On least likely case studies see Harry Eckstein, “Case Study and Theory in Political Science,” in Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby, eds., The Handbook of Political Science, 8 vols. (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1975), 7:79–137.

6Because I am testing hypotheses rather than writing history, not all of the historical record is necessary. Only such information is gathered as is necessary to disconfirm or support the hypotheses developed in Chapters 1 and 2. I consulted first the public record, such as the Congressional Record and congressional hearings and reports, then published primary materials, including memoirs and collected papers, and finally unpublished primary material, largely private papers of the individual decision makers and government documents.

7These eight acts are the McKinley Tariff (1890), Wilson-Gorman Tariff (1894), Din-gley Tariff (1897), Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909), Underwood Tariff (1913), Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922), Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930), and the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (1934). The last was not a completely new tariff act but an amendment to the 1930 act. Tariff bills are named for the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who is principally charged with writing the bill, and in some cases, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, if the Senate revises the measure substantially. For the Smoot-Hawley bill, the normal order is reversed because of the Senate’s important role in nearly rewriting the entire bill.

8See Schattschneider, Politics, Pressures and the Tariff; and Theodore J. Lowi, “American Business, Public Policy, Case-Studies, and Political Theory,” World Politics 16 (July 1964): 667–715. On interest groups see William H. Becker, The Dynamics of Business-Government Relations: Industry and Exports, 1893–1921 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); and Joan Hoff Wilson, American Business and Foreign Policy, 1920–1933 (Boston: Beacon, 1973).

9Tom E. Terrill, The Tariff Politics, and American Foreign Policy, 1874–1901 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1973), presents the clearest argument on the importance of party competition. Party competition is also important to Taussig (Tariff History); and Edward Stanwood, American Tariff Controversies in the Nineteenth Century (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1903).

10This label was coined by Robert Keohane in “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability and Changes in International Economic Regimes, 1967–1977,” in Ole Holsti, Randolph Siver-son, and Alexander L. George, eds., Change in the International System (Boulder: Westview, 1980), pp. 131–62.

11Charles P. Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), p. 292.

12Charles P. Kindleberger, “Dominance and Leadership in the International Economy: Exploitation, Public Goods, and Free Rides,” International Studies Quarterly 25 (June 1981): 247.

13Robert Gilpin, U.S. Power and the Multinational Corporation: The Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment (New York: Basic Books, 1975); “Economic Interdependence and National Security in Historical Perspective,” in Klaus Knorr and Frank N. Trager, eds., Economic Issues and National Security (Lawrence: Regents Press of Kansas, 1977); and Stephen D. Krasner, “State Power and the Structure of International Trade,” World Politics 28 (April 1976): 317–47.

14Gilpin, “Economic Interdependence,” p. 22.

15Keohane, “Theory of Hegemonic Stability,” p. 132.

16For example, Timothy J. McKeown, “Hegemonic Stability Theory and Nineteenth Century Tariff Levels in Europe,” International Organization 37 (Winter 1983): 73–91; Arthur A. Stein, “The Hegemon’s Dilemma: Great Britain, the United States, and the International Economic Order,” International Organization 38 (Spring 1984): 355–86; Peter F. Cowhey and Edward Long, “Testing Theories of Regime Change: Hegemonic Decline or Surplus Capacity?” International Organization 37 (Spring 1983): 157–88; and Fred Lawson, “Hegemony and the Structure of International Trade Reassessed: A View from Arabia,” International Organization 37 (Spring 1983): 317–37.

17A special issue of International Organization 36 (Spring 1982); Robert Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984); Judith Goldstein, “A Re-examination of American Trade Policy: An Inquiry into the Causes of Protectionism” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1983); and “Ideas, Institutions, and American Trade Policy,” International Organization 42 (Winter 1988).

18Kindleberger, “Dominance and Leadership,” pp. 249–51; Gilpin, “Economic Interdependence,” p. 22; Gilpin, U.S. Power; Krasner, “State Power,” p. 323.

19Kenneth Waltz, one of the most important neo-Realist theorists, is careful to circumscribe his argument in Theory of International Politics (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979); Waltz notes repeatedly throughout the book that he is writing a theory of international relations, not foreign policy. Waltz, for instance, does not state that all countries will balance, only that balancing behavior will be selected out through evolution and emulated through socialization. See also his essay “Reflections on Theory of International Politics: A Response to My Critics,” in Robert Keohane, ed., Neorealism and Its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 322–45.

20Susan Strange, “Still an Extraordinary Power: America’s Role in a Global Monetary System,” in Raymond E. Lombra and William E. Witte, eds., The Political Economy of International and Domestic Monetary Relations (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1982); see also Bruce Russett, “The Mysterious Case of Vanishing Hegemony; or, Is Mark Twain Really Dead?” International Organization 39 (Spring 1985): 207–31.

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