New York and Environs, Library of Congress,

When New York Financed the USA

Federal Income and Spending in 1860

If anybody doesn’t like taxes — those were the days. In 1860 the only federal tax was an import tax, and that’s it (excise taxes and the first Income tax were introduced in 1861 to finance the Civil War). The federal government spending was a modest 1.8% of GDP, and the national debt was at 1.48% of GDP (Chantrill, 2021). So, what was the money come from, and what was it…