網頁圖片
PDF

abundance the raw materials of manufacture; and the raw material, uninstructed man, to manufacture them. Is it to be pretended that these occupations, when fully under way at home, will not furnish a market for the superfluous produce of agriculture, provided that produce be, as it necessarily will be, suited to the demand? Or ought this variety of occupation, and above all, the mass of real knowledge it implies, to be renounced and neglected for the sake of foreign commerce—that we may not interfere with the profits and connections of the merchants who reside among us; and that we may be taxed, and tolerated, and licensed, to fetch from abroad what we can, with moderate exertion, supply at home? It appears to me of national importance to counteract these notions.”

We pass finally to one of the modern pillars of the no-protection policy, John C. Calhoun. What he now thinks, his party profess to know. For ourselves, we are glad he ever held opinions so sound as these. The passages, taken from a speech delivered in Congress, April, 1816, relate to that momentous condition to which every nation is liable, but the idea of which seems never to have presented itself to the minds of the radical economists—a state of war. The language is eloquent and powerful, the reasoning most conclusive : “The security of a country mainly depends on its spirit and its means; and the latter principally on its moneyed resources. Modified as the industry of this country now is, whenever we have the misfortune to be involved in a war with a nation dominant on the ocean, and it is almost only with such we can at present be, the moneyed resources of the country, to a great extent, must fail. It is the duty of Congress to adopt those measures of prudent foresight which the events of war make necessary. “Commerce and agriculture, till lately, almost the only, still constitute the principal sources of our wealth. So long as these remain uninterrupted, the country prospers: but war, as we are now circumstanced, is equally destructive to both. They both deend on foreign markets; and our country is placed, as it regards them, in a situation strictly insular. A wide ocean rolls between us and our markets. What, then, are the effects of a war with a maritime power— with England 7 Our commerce annihilated, spreading individual misery, and producing national poverty; our agriculture cut off from its accustomed markets, the sur3. oduct of the farmer perishes on his nds; and he ceases to produce, because he cannot sell. His resources are dried up,

a

while his expenses are greatly increased, as all manufactured articles, the necessaries as well as the conveniences of life, rise to an extravagant price. “No country ought to be dependent on another for its means of defence; at least, our musket and bayonet, our cannon and ball, ought to be domestic manufacture. But what is more necessary to the defence of a country than its currency and finance? Circumstanced as our country is, can these stand the shock of war? Behold the effect of the late war on them : When our manufactures are grown to a certain perfection, as they soon will, under the fostering care of government, we will no longer experience those evils. The farmer will find a ready. market for his surplus produce ; and, what is almost of equal consequence, a certain and cheap supply for all his wants. His prosperity will diffuse itself to every class in the community; and instead of that lanor of industry and individual distress now incident to a state of war and suspended commerce, the wealth and vigor of the community will not be materially impaired. The arm of government will be nerved. Taxes, in the hour of danger, when essential to the independence of the nation, may be greatly increased. Loans, so uncertain and hazardous, may be less relied on ; thus situated, the storm may beat without, but within all will be quiet and safe.

“However prosperous our situation when at peace, with uninterrupted commerce— and nothing then could exceed it—the noment that we are introlved in war, the whole is reversed. When resources are most needed; when indispensable to maintain the honor, yes, the very existence of the nation, then they desert us. Our currency is also sure to experience the shock; and becomes so deranged as to prevent us from calling out fairly whatever of means is left to the country. The exportation of our bulky articles is prevented: the specie of the country is drawn off to pay the balance perpetually accumulating against us; and the final result is the total derangement of our currency.

“Manufactures produce an interest strictly American, as much so as agriculture. In this they have the decided advantage of commerce or narigation; and the country will derive from it much advantage. Again, it is calculated to bind together more closely our wide-spread Republic. It will greatly increase our mutual dependence and intercourse : and will, as a necessary consequence, excite an increased attention to INTERNAL IMproveMENT, a subject every way so intimately connected with the ultimate attainment of national strength, and the perfection of our politi. cal institutions.”

Having thus exhibited the opinions on this great question, of the most eminent of those whose opinions our opponents have ever professed to follow, (undoubtedly they can claim that James K. Polk is not of the number—he never had but one sentiment on the subject, and the people will remember it,) we wish only to subjoin a passage from another emiment man, on a consideration of mightier importance to a great nation than any of these practical points—the influence, namely, of the protective system on the education and morals of the people. It is a passage from Mr. Webster's late speech at Albany.

“In this country, wages are high: they are, and they ought to be, higher than in any other country in the world. And the reason is, that the laborers of this country are the country. The vast proportion of those who own the soil, especially in the Northern States, cultivate their own acres. They stand on their own acres. The proprietors are the tillers, the laborers on the soil. But this is not all. The members of the country here are part and parcel of the Government. This is a state of things which exists nowhere else on the face of the earth. An approximation to it has been made in France, since the Revolution of 1831, which secured the abolition of primogeniture and the restraints of devises.

“But nowhere else in the world does there exist such a state of things as we see here, where the proprietors are the laborers and at the same time help to frame the Government. If, therefore, we wish to maintain the Government, we must see that labor with us is not put in competition with the pauper, unlearned, ignorant labor of Europe. Our men who labor have families to maintain and to educate. They have sons to fit for the discharge of the duties of life; they have an intelligent part to act for themselves and their connections. And is labor like that to be reduced to a level with that of the forty millions of serfs of Russia, or the serfs of other parts of Europe, or the half-fed, half-clothed, ignorant, dependent laborers of a great part of the rest of Europe? America must cease then to be America. We should be transferred to I know not what sort of a Government— transferred to I know not what state of society, if the laborers in this country are to do no more to maintain and educate their families and provide for old age, than they do in the Old World. And may our eyes never look upon such a spectacle as that in this free country!”

Having thus set forth, though in too short space, the early history of our vol. 1.-no, i.

manufactures, the early and the latter conduct of England with respect to them, and the true and only policy of our government in the matter, confirming our views and the force of history by the opinions of men whom the enemies of such policy are bound to believe, we are disposed to embody, in conclusion, some of the grounds of the Protective Theory in a few simple propositions. 1. A judicious tariff affords to the industry of the country, protection against derangement and depression by unequal foreign competition ; it sustains and cherishes such industry, increasing its efficiency and rewards at the same time that it provides a revenue, adequate to pay the debts and defray the current expenses of the government. 2. It extends and diversifies the sphere of home industry, by calling into existence such new branches of production as are adapted to the wants and circumstances of the people, keeping ever in view the natural resources and facilities. of the country, and the genius of its inhabitants. 3. The effect of such protection is to increase generally the intellectual and industrial capacity of the laboring class; to render them more independent, and increase the reward of their labor; while at the same time it ensures to capital a. more uniform activity, and renders property and products of all kinds more readily and uniformly convertible at fair and reasonable prices. 4. This policy is especially adapted to and demanded by the interests of the great Agricultural class, who can very rarely secure a steady, remunerating demand for their surplus productions elsewhere than in their own country; many of those products being perishable, and liable to be seriously injured, if not destroyed, by transportation to any considerable distance, while nearly all of them are bulky, and only to be conveyed to foreign countries at a ruinous expense. 5. Protection, though often valuable and necessary to the farmer in keeping out of our own markets foreign products which rival and supplant his own, is still more useful and indispensable to him in creating and maintaining all around and beside him ready and steady markets for his produce, by bringing into prosperous and durable existence new branches of industry which do not rival his own, but which employ multitudes who are con8

sumers only, and not to any great extent producers, of agricultural staples. 6. Duties levied on foreign fabrics which shut out those fabrics and build up a home production of substitutes, and so a vastly enlarged and quickened home consumption of provisions, fruits, wool, cotton, fuel, &c., are truly protective of agriculture, and essential to its prosperOuS existence. 7. The effect of an adequate and wise protection is to bring the producer and consumer far nearer each other—to unite them in friendly intimacy and mutual good-will—to diminish largely and beneficially the heavy subtraction otherwise made from the general proceeds of productive labor to pay the cost and charges of transportation and trade—and to secure them against the chances and changes of fluctuation in national policy and the occasional intervention of embargoes and war. 8. The limitations thus set to the sphere and operations of trade are not injurious even to a just and useful commerce, since every nation must still purchase of other nations those various products, mineral and vegetable, with which the diversities of soil, of climate, and of geologic structure, enable one to supply another with decided advantage to both; and far greater development and productive efficiency will be ensured to the industry of each nation by wise protection and encouragement. The imports of any nation will be found to bear a far nearer proportion to the productiveness of its industry than to the freedom of its trade --being governed by its ability to pay rather than its willingness to buy. 9. The proper and decisive consideration in determining whether to protect or not protect the home production of a particular article, is simply—Have we evidence that it may ultimately be produeed here, if adequately protected now, as cheaply—that is, with as little labor— as it can be produced elsewhere 1. If it can be, then it is wise, beneficent, patriotic, to cherish the home production, although the money cost of the article, by reason of the cheapness of labor in some other countries as compared with its price in our own, may be permanently less if imported free of duty. 10. If the effective laboring population of our country be estimated at 4,000,000, by whom 3,000,000 under a revenue tariff are engaged in producing articles of necessity or utility, and

1,000,000 in interchanging, transporting, and selling them; and the consequence of a resort to protective duties be to" diminish the latter class to half a million and increase the former, without impairing the efficiency of their labor, to three and a half millions, as its tendency must manifestly be, then the aggregate annual product of our national industry must be increased one-seventh, the average reward of labor enhanced in like proportion, and the wealth of the country be rapidly and steadily augmented. 11. While one effect of mere revenue duties manifestly is and must be an enhancement of the price to the consumer of the article on which they are levied, the influence of protective duties naturally is and must be to diminish the price of the protected articles to their consumers, by cutting down the cost of transportation and traffic, although the producer in this country may receive for it as much as, or even more than, formerly. 12. This tendency of protective duties in diminishing the cost of the protected articles to the consumer is accelerated by the following incidents or results of protection: 1st, Comparative steadiness of demand for the producer; the home market being naturally less variable than a distant one. 2d, Increased demand for the product. Our people buy and consume more of an article made at home and paid for with their own products, than of a foreign one. 3d, Comparative steadiness of prices. The maker of hats or calicoes for a protected home market, while he is constantly pressed down in his prices by competition, to a point very near the cost of production, is yet never subjected to that sort of competition which, based on cheaper labor and other elements of production, seeks a present ruinous depression of prices in the hope of securing a future monopoly of the market, and a consequent ample remuneration for all losses.

The man who produces any fabric, knowing that he is morally sure of a fair reward for his labor, can afford it cheaper, and generally will do so, than if he labored always in terror of an unequal and ruinous competition ; just as the New England farmer of to-day can af'ford corn cheaper than his forefathers could two hundred years ago, when they were compelled to raise it only within

[blocks in formation]

14. We do not propose nor advocate absolutely prohibitory duties. We would adjust the tariff so as to give to every branch of home industry a clear and undeniable advantage over the rival industry of foreign nations in the supply of our own markets, but leave it so that novel and rare fabrics might be moderately introduced, to stimulate invention and improvement in our own artisans, and contribute to the national revenue. Such limited importations may also be serviceable in correcting any momentary tendency to excessive prices by combinations among our own producers of any article. r

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

NOTES UPON LETTERS.*

HALF way through any tolerably full edition of Mr. Coleridge's poems may be found under “Ode to Dejection” this bit of music :— We receive but what we give, And in our life alone does Nature live; Ours is her wedding garment, ours her shroud; And would we aught behold of higher worth Than that in animate cold world, allowed To the poor, loveless, ever anxious crowd? Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud, Enveloping the earth: And from the soul itself must there be sent A sweet and potent voice of its own birth, Of all sweet sounds the life and element'

It is what five out of eight readers of Mr. Coleridge's poems would call very beautiful—running it over but once : two out of the eight would read it twice for a fuller understanding of its merits: and we dare say there might be one out of eight who would read it a third time, without any decided impression whatever. Of course this latter reader would be one of the “poor, loveless, ever anxious crowd;” and the first five, among whom we reckon L. Maria Child, who quotes it as the motto of her book, are they from whom “issue forth

A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud, Enveloping the earth.” Those who had to read twice in order to a fair understanding, would never think of placing it as a motto to a book of letters from New York or any other place; but very ingeniously is it placed on the title-page to letters of a lady who looks out ever from under “a fair luminous cloud.” on scenes we are presently to enjoy, all the while her soul sending forth

“A sweet and potent voice of its own birth, Of all sweet sounds the life and element :"

We do not mean to speak too jokingly of a verse of Coleridge's—least of all of an ode which ourselves can run through delightedly in dreamy hours, and call, with heart full, and eyes almost—beautiful! But if we had business on hand and wanted our mind clear of cobwebs, our vision unincumbered by any “forth

issuing glory,” our sympathies sound and our whole heart right, we should leave it, with all other Leaves Sibylline, on our shelf. Very likely, if we should think it worth our while to write a book of letters—full of sights and sounds about a great city—in the hope of doing the world a trifling service, we should want our mind clear, our view unincumbered by any poetic hallucinations, and our heart, not diseased with a morbid sensitiveness, but sound, healthy, right. Mrs. Child has taken the work out of our hands, and let us see how bravely she has done it. And a note in setting out, upon her title. These are letters. There is a charm in that word—letters. It is a name to conjure with. If we were ever to take it into our head to write a book, and should wish, as we surely would, to make its sale great, we would call it—what do you think!—Letters from Home! Who in the wide world would not buy Letters from Home! But all letters are not letters. They will understand what we mean, and they only, who have, like ourselves, a little pacquet tied together with a narrow ribbon, now soiled with frequent handling, which they take cautiously and reverently out of some hidden nook, on days of driving tempest or far into the middle of a winter's night when all around are coying with Death's brother, and read them over with such smiles and such tears, such sorrow and such hope, such blessing and joy as no other one of all life's episodes can bring together. But these are not all. What sweet sympathies will not the social experience of another, written down fully, fairly, freely, call out of a sensitive soul! But mind– it must be written in letters. Think of Cowper: what a household name is that of Mrs. Unwin' Not through the whole cycle of romance does one woman-name bring such softened memories up as this of that good woman. And Lady Hesketh, and John Johnson, and Samuel Ross, and the Throckmortons,—what a life they live in letters! Think of Scott and his letters, and straightway—if you have a spark of music in your soul

* Letters from New York, by L. Maria Child, author of “The Mother's Book,” &c.,

&c. Chas. S. Francis : 1843.

« 上一頁繼續 »