In the old Prussian provinces alone there were fifty-three different customs frontiers, and German manufactures could not develop until the growth of the Zollverein brought with it commercial consolidation, internal freedom and greater homogeneity of economic conditions.
While Saxony's political liberty was thus enlarged, its commerce and credit were stimulated by its adhesion to the Prussian Zollverein and by the construction of railways.
The tariff of the Zollverein was, in essentials, the Prussian tariff of 1818, and was moderate as compared with most of the separate tariffs previously existing.
As a follower of the ideas of Friedrich List, he furthered the foundation of the Zollverein in the year 1833 and the making of canals.
The trend of the tariff policy of the Zollverein for some time after 1834 was towards protection; partly because the specific duties of 1818 became proportionately heavier as manufactured commodities fell in price, partly because some actual changes in rates were made in response to the demands of the Protectionist states.
In 1832 the adhesion of Baden to the Prussian Zollverein did much for the material prosperity of the country.