Throughout the 19th century, American political and public opinion oscillated between protectionism on the one hand, and free trade or at least reciprocal tariff reductions with major trading partners on the other. Both parties used approximately similar arguments to support their positions: both believed that their approach would support the domestic economy, provide employment and prosperity, and stimulate industrial revival. The sharp depression of the 1880s brought protection back into favour, and a bill drafted by Congressman (later President) William McKinley in 1890 showed the strength of protectionist sentiment. For the next two decades, the debate occupied much of American political life. The six volumes in this set include works by passionate supporters and opponents of protectionism, as well as more neutral observations on the merits of each. It compliments and expands on more famous and widely available works on protection such as those of F.W. Taussig and Henry George, and shows the breadth and depth of opinion on this issue. Contributors include McKinley, the journalist Ida Tarbell and economists such as Edward Stanwood and J. Lawrence Laughlin.