In the context of war, perfidy is a form of deception in which one side promises to act in good faith (such as by raising a flag of truce) with the intention of breaking that promise once the unsuspecting enemy is exposed (such as by coming out of cover to attack the enemy coming to take the "surrendering" prisoners into custody). Perfidy constitutes a breach of the laws of war and so is a war crime, as it degrades the protections and mutual restraints developed in the interest of all parties, combatants, and civilians.

Geneva Conventions

Perfidy is specifically prohibited under the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, which states:

Article 37. – Prohibition of perfidy

1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy:

(a) The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender;
(b) The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness;
(c) The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and
(d) The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.

2. Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. The following are examples of such ruses: the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation.

Article 38. – Recognized emblems

1. It is prohibited to make improper use of the distinctive emblem of the red cross, red crescent or red lion and sun or of other emblems, signs or signals provided for by the Conventions or by this Protocol. It is also prohibited to misuse deliberately in an armed conflict other internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals, including the flag of truce, and the protective emblem of cultural property.

2. It is prohibited to make use of the distinctive emblem of the United Nations, except as authorized by that Organization.

Article 39. – Emblems of nationality

1. It is prohibited to make use in an armed conflict of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.

2. It is prohibited to make use of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of adverse Parties while engaging in attacks or to shield, favour, protect or impede military operations.

3. Nothing in this Article or in Article 37, paragraph 1(d), shall affect the existing generally recognized rules of international law applicable to espionage or to the use of flags in the conduct of armed conflict at sea.


Disapproval of perfidy was part of the customary laws of war long before the prohibition of perfidy was included in Protocol I. For example, in the 1907 Hague Convention IV - The Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article 23 includes:

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden....(b) To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;....(f) To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag, or of the military insignia and military uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;....

During the Pacific Theater of World War II, Japanese soldiers were reported to often booby-trap their dead and wounded and/or fake surrenders or injuries to lure Allied troops into a trap then surprise attack them. One example of this was the "Goettge Patrol" during the early days of the Guadalcanal Campaign in 1942 in which an allegedly fake Japanese surrender resulted in more than 20 U.S. deaths. It has been asserted that this incident, along with many other perfidious actions of the Japanese throughout the Pacific War, led to an Allied tendency to shoot the dead or wounded Japanese soldiers and those who were attempting to surrender and not take them as POWs easily.[1][2][3]

At the Dachau Trials, the issue of whether the donning of enemy uniforms to approach the enemy without drawing fire was within the laws of war was established under international humanitarian law at the trial in 1947 of the planner and commander of Operation Greif, Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny was found not guilty by a U.S. military tribunal of a crime by ordering his men into action in U.S. uniforms. He had passed on to his men the warning of German legal experts, that if they fought in U.S. uniforms, they would be breaking the laws of war, but they probably were not doing so just by wearing U.S. uniforms. During the trial, a number of arguments were advanced to substantiate this position and that the German and U.S. military seem to be in agreement on it. In its judgement, the tribunal noted that the case did not require that the tribunal make findings other than those of guilty or not guilty, so consequently, no safe conclusion could be drawn from the acquittal of all accused.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Ulrich Straus, The Anguish Of Surrender: Japanese POWs of World War II (excerpts) Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0-295-98336-3, p. 116
  2. ^ Galen Roger Perras (March 2003). Stepping Stones to Nowhere: The Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and American Military Strategy, 1867-1945. University of British Columbia Press. p. 232.
  3. ^ Kenneth Rose (October 10, 2007). Myth and the Greatest Generation: A Social History of Americans in World War II. Routledge. p. 264.
  4. ^ Source: Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals. United Nations War Crimes Commission. Vol. IX, 1949: Trial of Otto Skorzeny and others General Military Government Court of the U.S. zone of Germany 18 August to 9 September 1947

External links

Caeca et Obdurata

Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia (named for its Latin incipit, meaning the blind and obdurate perfidy of the Hebrews) was a papal bull, promulgated by Pope Clement VIII on February 25, 1593, which expelled the Jews from the Papal States, effectively revoking the bull Christiana pietas (1586) of his predecessor Pope Sixtus V. Prior to 1586, Pope Pius V's bull Hebraeorum gens sola (1569) had restricted Jews in the Papal States to Rome and Ancona.The bull was a culmination of Clement VIII's tightening of the anti-Jewish measures of his predecessors which began with his elevation to the papacy in 1592. The bull gave Jews three months to leave the Papal States (with the exception of Rome, Ancona, and the Comtat Venaissin of Avignon). The main effect of the bull was to evict Jews who had returned to areas of the Papal States (mainly Umbria) after 1586 (following their expulsion in 1569) and to expel Jewish communities from cities like Bologna (which had been incorporated under papal dominion since 1569).

For the Jews remaining within Rome, Ancona, or the Comtat Venaissin, the bull re-established mandatory weekly sermons. The bull also resulted in the relocation of Jewish cemeteries to Ferrara and Mantua.The bull alleged that Jews in the Papal States had engaged in usury and exploited the hospitality of Clement VIII's predecessors "who, in order to lead them from their darkness to knowledge of the true faith, deemed it opportune to use the clemency of Christian piety towards them" (alluding to Christiana pietas).Three days later, on February 28, Clement VIII promulgated Quum Hebraeorum malitia, decreeing that the Talmud should be burnt along with cabalistic works and commentaries, which gave the owners of such works 10 days to turn them over to the Universal Inquisition in Rome and subsequently two months to hand them over to local inquisitors.

Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine

Charles (953–993) was the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 977 until his death.

Born at Laon in the summer of 953, Charles was the son of Louis IV of France and Gerberga of Saxony and the younger brother of King Lothair. He was a sixth generation descendant of Charlemagne. When his father was captured by the Normans and held, both his sons were demanded as ransom for his release. Queen Gerberga would only send Charles, who was then handed over and his father was released into the custody of Hugh Capet.In or before 976, he accused Lothair's wife, Emma, daughter of Lothair II of Italy, of infidelity with Adalberon, Bishop of Laon. The council of Sainte-Macre at Fismes (near Reims) exonerated the queen and the bishop, but Charles maintained his claim and was driven from the kingdom, finding refuge at the court of his cousin, Otto II. Otto promised to crown Charles as soon as Lothair was out of the way and Charles paid him homage, receiving back Lower Lorraine.In August 978, Lothair invaded Germany and captured the imperial capital of Aachen, but failed to capture either Otto or Charles. In October, Otto and Charles in turn invaded France, devastating the land around Rheims, Soissons, and Laon. In the latter city, the chief seat of the kings of France, Charles was crowned by Theodoric I, Bishop of Metz. Lothair fled to Paris and was there besieged. But a relief army of Hugh Capet's forced Otto and Charles to lift the siege on 30 November. Lothair and Capet, the tables turned once more, chased the German king and his liege back to Aachen and retook Laon.

Around 979, Charles transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel in Brussels. This is generally accepted as the time when the city was founded. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island.

As he had been a vassal also of Lothair, Charles' acts on behalf of Otto were considered treason and he was thereafter excluded from the throne. On Lothair's death (986), the magnates elected his son Louis V and on the latter's death (987), Hugh Capet. Thus, the House of Capet came to the throne over the disgraced and ignored Charles. Charles' unexceptional marriage and his lack of wealth are two of the reasons he was denied the throne. Charles made war on Hugh, even taking Rheims and Laon. However, on Maundy Thursday (26 March) 991, he was captured, through the perfidy of the Bishop Adalberon, and was imprisoned by Hugh in Orléans, where he died a short while later, in or before 993. He was succeeded as Duke of Lower Lorraine by his son Otto.In 1666, the sepulchre of Charles was discovered in the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. His body appears to have been interred there only in 1001, but that is not the date of his death, as some scholars assumed. Though Charles ruled Lower Lorraine, the Dukes of Lorraine (Upper Lotharingia) counted him as Charles I of Lorraine.

Everything on a Waffle

Everything on a Waffle is a 2001 bestselling children's novel, written by Polly Horvath and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book was critically acclaimed and won a variety of awards, including the 2002 Newbery Honor. A sequel, One Year in Coal Harbour, was published in 2012.

Good faith

Good faith (Latin: bona fides), in human interactions, is a sincere intention to be fair, open, and honest, regardless of the outcome of the interaction. While some Latin phrases lose their literal meaning over centuries, this is not the case with bona fides; it is still widely used and interchangeable with its generally accepted modern-day English translation of good faith. It is an important concept within law and business. The opposed concepts are bad faith, mala fides (duplicity) and perfidy (pretense). In contemporary English, the usage of bona fides is synonymous with credentials and identity. The phrase is sometimes used in job advertisements, and should not be confused with the bona fide occupational qualifications or the employer's good faith effort, as described below.

Harry Hyde (actor)

Harry Hyde was a silent film actor who appeared in 73 American films during the decade from 1910 to 1920, most notably as Mabel Normand's character's suitor in D.W. Griffith's 1911 drama Her Awakening. He also wrote the screenplay for The Sentimental Sister, a Blanche Sweet vehicle produced in 1914. As was frequently the case during the dawn of cinema, Hyde's roles ran the gamut from leading man to unbilled extra, sometimes in the same week. He portrayed Mary's suitor in D.W. Griffith's The Perfidy of Mary (1913) with Dorothy Gish, Mae Marsh, and Lionel Barrymore; and played Blanche Sweet's character's cuckolded husband in Griffith's Blind Love (1912), in which she deserts her marriage for another man, has a baby, then realizes that she should have stayed with her husband (Hyde) and attempts to return to him.

John of Coutances

John of Coutances was a medieval Bishop of Worcester.

John was a nephew of Walter of Coutances, Bishop of Lincoln and was treasurer of the diocese of Lisieux before his uncle appointed him Archdeacon of Oxford sometime before December 1184. He also was dean of Rouen, and retained the treasurership of Lisieux while archdeacon.John was elected in January 1196 and consecrated on 20 October 1196. He died on 24 September 1198 or on 25 September. His death was commemorated on 24 September.Peter of Blois was commissioned by a Bishop of Worcester, probably John of Coutances to write a significant anti-Judaic treatise Against the Perfidy of Jews around 1190.John should not be confused with a different John of Coutances who, in the 11th–12th century, wrote a chronicle of the Church at Coutances, France.

Kinzua Dam

The Kinzua Dam, on the Allegheny River in Warren County, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest dams in the United States east of the Mississippi River. It is located within the Allegheny National Forest.

The dam is located 6 miles (10 km) east of Warren, Pennsylvania, along Route 59, within the 500,000-acre (200,000 ha) Allegheny National Forest. A boat marina and beach are located within the dam boundaries. In addition to providing flood control and power generation, the dam created Pennsylvania's second deepest lake, the Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Lake, and Lake Perfidy among the Seneca. Quaker Lake, a smaller artificial lake that empties into the reservoir, was also formed as a result of the dam.

The lake extends 25 miles to the north, nearly to Salamanca, New York, which is within the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca Nation of New York. Federal condemnation of tribal lands to be flooded for the project displaced more than 600 Seneca members and cost the reservation 10,000 acres (4,000 ha), nearly one-third of its territory and much of its fertile farmland.

Legends of Anika

Legends of Anika (Serbo-Croatian: Anikina vremena), is a 1954 Yugoslav drama film directed by Vladimir Pogačić.

The film is based on the same-titled short novel penned by the Nobel Prize-winning Yugoslav author Ivo Andrić, continuing Pogačić's series of screen adaptations of literary works by local authors (it was preceded by his critically acclaimed 1953 film Perfidy, which was itself based on a play by Ivo Vojnović).It was the first Yugoslav film which had a cinema release in the United States, where it premiered on 18 April 1956.

Louis of Lower Lorraine

Louis of Lower Lorraine (c. 980 – after 1012) was the second of Charles of Lorraine's three sons and the eldest by his second marriage to Adelaide, the daughter of a low-ranking vassal of Hugh Capet.

Unlike his elder brother Otto, who inherited their father's duchy of Lower Lorraine, Louis went with his father to France, where Charles fought for the French throne. They both were imprisoned, through the perfidy of Adalberon, Bishop of Laon, by Hugh at Orléans in 991, when Louis was still a child. His father died in prison in or by 993, but Louis was released.

It was William IV of Aquitaine who sheltered Louis afterwards, from 1005 until 1012. He opened the Palace of Poitiers to him and treated him as royalty, regarding him as the true heir to the French throne. Louis even subscribed a charter of William's as Lodoici filii Karoli regis. Young Louis drifted, eventually to be utilised by Robert II, Archbishop of Rouen, who was plotting against the Capetians. Louis was imprisoned again, permanently, this time at Sens, where he died.

Operation Rimau

Operation Rimau was an attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour, carried out by an Allied commando unit Z Special Unit, during World War II using Australian built Hoehn military MKIII folboats. It was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick which had taken place in September 1943, and was again led by Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Lyon of the Gordon Highlanders, an infantry regiment of the British Army.

Originally part of a much larger operation called Operation Hornbill, the aim of Rimau was to sink Japanese shipping by paddling the folboats in the dark and placing limpet mines on ships. It was originally intended that motorised semi-submersible canoes, known as "Sleeping Beauties", would be used to gain access to the harbour, however, they resorted to folboats. After the raiding party's discovery by local Malay authorities, a total of thirteen men (including raid commander Lyon) were killed during battles with the Japanese military at a number of island locations or were captured and died of their wounds in Japanese captivity. A group of ten commandos were transported to Outram Road Jail in Singapore after capture by the Japanese, were tried with perfidy and espionage in a Japanese court and executed on 7 July 1945.


"Perfidia" (Spanish for "perfidy", meaning faithlessness, treachery or betrayal) is a song written by Alberto Domínguez (1911–1975), a Mexican composer and arranger born in the state of Chiapas, about love and betrayal. Aside from the original Spanish, other renditions exist, including English and instrumental versions. The English lyrics are by Milton Leeds. The song was published in 1939 and became a hit for Xavier Cugat on the Victor label in 1940. Desi Arnaz sings the Spanish version in the 1941 film Father Takes a Wife which starred Gloria Swanson. This version was used by director Wong Kar-wai in his films Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046.

In late 1960 a rock instrumental version of "Perfidia" was released by the Ventures, which rose to number 18 on the Billboard chart. The record was a Top 10 hit on a number of popular music radio stations, including KYA in San Francisco, KLIF Dallas, KOL Seattle, KDWB Minneapolis, WHK Cleveland, KIMN Denver, and KISN Portland. The record topped out at number 11 on the charts of WLS Chicago, and WIBG Philadelphia.

The Ventures version was included on The Original Hits Past & Present, Volume Two, a compilation album released by Liberty Records (LRP 3180) in 1961.

"Perfidia" has been recorded by many artists, including Laurel Aitken, John Altman, Dave Apollon, Juan Arvizu , Andrea Bocelli, Brave Combo, Wilbert Alonzo Cabrera, Ray Conniff, Café Tacuba, Chico Che, Nat King Cole, Xavier Cugat, Issac Delgado, Phyllis Dillon, Freddy Fender, Ibrahim Ferrer, Frank Galan, Irvys Juarez & Rhonda Rosales, Ben E. King, Dorothy Lamour, James Last, Julie London, Trini Lopez, Los Panchos, Elvira Quintana, Los Rabanes, Los Straitjackets, Los Tres Caballeros and Javier Solís (in Spanish), Luis Miguel, Glenn Miller, Olivia Molina, Hugo Montenegro, VIS Limunada (in Serbocroatian), Sara Montiel, Nana Mouskouri, Duke Pachanga, Lupita Palomera, Charlie Parker, María Dolores Pradera (in Spanish), Perez Prado, Elvira Ríos, Bud Roman and the Toppers, Linda Ronstadt (in Spanish and English), Alfredo Sadel, the Four Aces, the Shadows with and without Cliff Richard, the Ventures, Mel Tormé, René Touzet, King Tubby, Olavi Virta, Lawrence Welk, and many others.

An English arrangement of "Perfidia" was also the founding song of the Princeton Nassoons, Princeton University's oldest a cappella group.

Perfidy (book)

Perfidy is a book written by Ben Hecht in 1961. The book describes the events surrounding the 1954–1955 Kastner trial in Jerusalem.

The book is based on transcripts from the trial and concludes that in 1944 Rudolf Kastner deliberately withheld from the Jews in Hungary, knowledge that the trains the Nazis were putting them on were taking them to death by the gas chamber, not to a fictitious resettlement city as the Nazis claimed and that Kastner then lied about it under oath. One of the supporting facts presented is that, in the Supreme Court appeal of the original verdict implicating Kastner, all five Supreme Court Judges upheld Judge Halevi's initial verdict on the "criminal and perjurious way" in which Kastner after the war had testified on behalf of Nazi war criminal Kurt Becher. Judge Silberg summed up the Supreme Court finding on this point: "[respondent Malchiel] Greenwald has proven beyond any reasonable doubt this grave charge." Most of the judgement was later overturned.

Perfidy (disambiguation)

Perfidy may refer to:

Perfidy in war, a criminal form of deception, in which one side promises to act in good faith (e.g. by raising a flag of surrender) with the intention of breaking that promise once the enemy has exposed himself.

Perfidy (film) (1953), is a Yugoslavian drama film directed by Vladimir Pogacic. It was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

Perfidy (book) (1961), written by Ben Hecht, it details the events surrounding the Rudolf Kastner trial.See alsoPerfidious Albion, a nickname for Great Britain (or often just England)

Perfidy (film)

Perfidy (Serbo-Croatian: Nevjera) is a 1953 Yugoslavian drama film directed by Vladimir Pogačić. It was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

Ruse de guerre

The French ruse de guerre, sometimes literally translated as ruse of war, is a non-uniform term; generally what is understood by "ruse of war" can be separated into two groups. The first classifies the phrase purely as an act of military deception against one's opponent; the second emphasizes acts against one's opponent by creative, clever, unorthodox means, sometimes involving force multipliers or superior knowledge. The term stratagem, from Ancient Greek strategema (στρατήγημα, "act of generalship") is also used in this sense.

Ruses de guerre are described from ancient to modern times, both in semi-mythical accounts such as the story of the Trojan Horse in Virgil's Aeneid, and in well-documented events such as the flying of the American flag by the RMS Lusitania in 1915 (whilst the United States was a neutral country) to deter attack by German submarines, and they also feature in fiction.

The term ruse de guerre is given legal meaning within the rules of war. Good faith is required, but at least 17 different types of ruse, including ambushes, false radio messages, the use of spies and the use of dummy guns, are considered legitimate as long as they do not involve treachery or perfidy. Landmines and similar traps can be considered perfidious under the rules in certain circumstances. Explicitly prohibited ruses under article 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 include improper use of a flag of truce or the military insignia of the enemy.

The Perfidy of Mary

The Perfidy of Mary is a 1913 silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Dorothy Gish and Mae Marsh as cousins Rose and Mary, with Walter Miller as Rose's suitor, Harry Hyde as Mary's suitor, and Lionel Barrymore as Mary's father. The picture has comedic overtones and also features Henry B. Walthall as a poet.

The Treachery of Images

The Treachery of Images (French: La Trahison des images) is a painting by surrealist painter René Magritte. It is also known as This is Not a Pipe and The Wind and the Song. Magritte painted it when he was 30 years old. It is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.The painting shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe."

The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!

The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in Les Mots et Les Images, La Clé des Songes, Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et la chanson), The Tune and Also the Words, Ceci n’est pas une pomme, and Les Deux Mystères.The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage. Compare with Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory" as well as Diderot's This is not a story.

On December 15, 1929, Paul Eluard and Andre Breton published an essay about poetry in La Revolution Surrealiste (the Surrealist Revolution) as a reaction to the publication by poet Paul Valéry "Notes sur la poésie" in Les Nouvelles littéraires of September 28,1929. When Valéry wrote "Poetry is a survival", Breton and Éluard made fun of it and wrote "Poetry is a pipe", as a reference to Magritte's painting.In the same edition of La Revolution Surrealiste, Magritte published "Les mots et les images" (his founding text illustrated where words play with images), his answer to the survey on love, and Je ne vois pas la [femme] cachée dans la forêt, a painting tableau surrounded by photos of sixteen surrealists with their eyes closed, including René Magritte himself.

War crime

A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations.The concept of war crimes emerged at the turn of the twentieth century when the body of customary international law applicable to warfare between sovereign states was codified. Such codification occurred at the national level, such as with the publication of the Lieber Code in the United States, and at the international level with the adoption of the treaties during the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Moreover, trials in national courts during this period further helped clarify the law. Following the end of World War II, major developments in the law occurred. Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law. Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, following the creation of several international courts, additional categories of war crimes applicable to armed conflicts other than those between states, such as civil wars, were defined.

Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act

The Revenue Act or Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 (ch. 349, §73, 28 Stat. 570, August 27, 1894) slightly reduced the United States tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff and imposed a 2% tax on income over $4,000. It is named for William L. Wilson, Representative from West Virginia, chair of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Arthur P. Gorman of Maryland, both Democrats.

Supported by pro-free trade members of the Democratic Party, this attempt at tariff reform imposed the first peacetime income tax (2% on income over $4,000, or $88,100 in 2010 dollars, which meant fewer than 1% of households would pay any). The purpose of the income tax was to make up for revenue that would be lost by tariff reductions. The democrats under the Cleveland administration wanted to move away from the protectionism proposed by the McKinley tariff while Cleveland was still in office. By coincidence, $4,000 ($88,100 in 2010 dollars) would be the exemption for married couples when the Revenue Act of (October) 1913 was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, as a result of the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in February 1913.

The bill introduced by Wilson and passed by the House significantly lowered tariff rates, in accordance with Democratic platform promises, and dropped the tariff to zero on iron ore, coal, lumber and wool, which angered American producers. With Senator Gorman operating behind the scenes, protectionists in the Senate added more than 600 amendments that nullified most of the reforms and raised rates again. The "Sugar Trust" in particular made changes that favored itself at the expense of the consumer.

President Grover Cleveland, who had campaigned on lowering the tariff and supported Wilson's version of the bill, was devastated that his program had been ruined. He denounced the revised measure as a disgraceful product of "party perfidy and party dishonor," but still allowed it to become law without his signature, believing that it was better than nothing and was at the least an improvement over the McKinley tariff.

The Wilson-Gorman Tariff attracted much opposition in West Texas, where sheepraisers opposed the measure. A Republican, George H. Noonan, was elected to Congress from the district stretching from San Angelo to San Antonio but only for a single term. Among Noonan's backers was a former slave, George B. Jackson, a businessman in San Angelo often called "the wealthiest black man in Texas" in the late 19th century.

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