In 1791, Founding Father of the United States Alexander Hamilton composed his Report on the Subject of Manufactures, which recommended a broad program of protectionist tariffs.
Often referred to by its shortened name, Report on Manufactures, this document is the fourth and final report submitted to Congress by Alexander Hamilton. Demonstrating a keen knowledge of the economics of the era, Hamilton affirms his desire to see American industry grow and flourish at home - modest tariffs, the sum of which would be redirected as subsidies to manufacturing, form the central plank of the proposition.
After the United States emerged from war victorious, three economic conditions defined the young nation: a lack of homeland industrial development, the modest population, and the relative abundance of land. Hamilton proposed that monetary incentives and government stimulus to industry could, in time, see the country develop and flourish. Supplementary to this would be continued investment in technology and science, that the USA could become a country of innovation.
Opposition to the idea of subsidizing industry was fierce; James Madison in particular being staunchly against the idea. It took seventy years, until the accession of President Abraham Lincoln, that Hamilton's principles were formally adopted as national policy. Lincoln fused Hamilton's ideas with his own opposition to slavery, and envisioned a post-emancipation America with sophisticated and prosperous agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
Famous for standing as one of the first economic figures of the fledgling United States, Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary to the Treasury and an early opponent to slavery. He was killed in a duel by Vice President Burr, whom he had offended, in 1804.