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The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals IndustryWar and Politics, 1910-1930$
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Kathryn Steen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469612904

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469612904.001.0001

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/ Xenophobia, Tariffs, and Confiscation, 1914–1918

/ Xenophobia, Tariffs, and Confiscation, 1914–1918

(p.138) 5 / Xenophobia, Tariffs, and Confiscation, 1914–1918
The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals Industry

Kathryn Steen

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how the crisis in dyes and pharmaceuticals during World War I shaped American public policy. It shows how synthetic dyes and pharmaceuticals contributed to the shift to autarky and isolation that gripped the United States during and after the war. It also considers the surge in political support for the tools of the federal government on behalf of the domestic synthetic organic chemicals industry, and how the hostility to Germany was linked to the production of synthetic dyes and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the chapter discusses some of the federal government's multifaceted promotional industrial policy, including the use of tariffs and legislation. More specifically, it looks at the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 whose provisions related to supervising German-owned property in the United States were carried by the Alien Property Custodian. One of these provisions, Section 10, addressed patents and evolved directly out of controversy over Salvarsan, a synthetic organic pharmaceutical.

Keywords:   public policy, World War I, synthetic dyes, pharmaceuticals, United States, synthetic organic chemicals industry, Germany, tariffs, Alien Property Custodian

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