Possibly it was the tariff issue in which the American Government showed its pro-industrial bias most clearly. Industrial protection had been the accepted policy while the country was mainly agrarian, but it was continued, at variable rates, even after the infant industries had become dominant giants. In 1861-4 average tariff rates were increased from 25% to 47%. The McKinley Tariff of 1890, raising average rates to 49'/2%, and the Dingley Tariff of 1897, raising them higher still to 57% (Jones 1965) were passed well after the phase of industrialization. The much less powerful interests in favour of free trade, such as those of cotton producers, merchants and, towards the end of the century, the farmers, could at best modify, but not reverse, the protectionist policy. However, in terms of growth and development, tariffs were probably of minor importance (North 1966).