The main purpose of the Tariff Act of 1816 was to bolster the growth of manufacturing in the United States. According to Tax History, this tariff passed by the 14th Congress levied "a series of 25 percent duties" and was intended to reduce America's dependence on British goods.
In the early years of the nation, the American government used tariffs primarily as a means to make money for the government. The Tariff of 1816 marks one of the first times that a tariff was levied for other purposes. Even though it proved only mildly protective of domestic manufacturing, it started a trend of government support for this economic sector.