As I said, Fichte, who was not a nobody, was more radically protectionist than anyone. That was 1800. But the main point of confusion stems from the Zollverein issue. Free trade was argued primarily "between/among" German polities; the tariff was against everyone outside the Zollverein. And indeed, a lot of Zollverien politics was caught up in the competition with Austria for domination of the German states. In pre-unification Germany it was possible to argue simultaneously for free trade and protectionism. It is true that the agricultural interests favored free trade (to get cheapter manufactured imports) until the famous iron and rye. But agricultural interests were not the only game in Germany.
-- Gregory P. Nowell Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Milne 100 State University of New York 135 Western Ave. Albany, New York 12222