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portion will turn while they bave strength and ingenuity left, to other occupations, the elder will die off, and give no further trouble. In the mean time, however, the productive power, and consequently the resources of the country are increased, for when a great portion of that work, which was once performed by human labour, is thrown upon the blind forces of nature, or when, by her aid, more is executed by the same labour, there must be a great improvement in her physical, if not moral condition. It has been supposed by many, that man, thus far relieved from the necessity of labour, must become more independent, more enlightened, and more happy. “The faculty of amassing capital, or, in other words, value (says M. Say) I apprehend to be one cause of the vast superiority of man over the brute creation," and what it has been asked is the use of capital, if it does not tend to increase human production, supply human wants, and relieve human labour ? This, if specious in theory, is not always accurate in practice. We have already remarked that the tendency of the commercial system is to excessive and unequal accumulation, the more the labour of a country is performed by machinery, the more all efforts become the mere competition of wealth-of gigantic powers moved by gigantic means-while puny interlopers are disregarded and swept away. If by some new invention, the labour formerly executed by a hundred persons can be performed by ten, it will by no means follow, that the ninety who are dismissed, even if they have more leisure, will enjoy more happiness. Even the position of the ten who remain, may, by no means, be improved. They may only have to do what can be done by any other ten labourers. The whole benefit may, and probably will, result to the capitalist, who will have the means to set in operation the new machinery-at the fate of the ninety, we have already hinted. However, as in no country yet known, has improvement ever advanced so far as to leave no demand for labour, we have no doubt that all who are not physically disabled will find employment, but their condition will not be improved-and as we consider the time as still far off, when machinery shall entirely supersede the necessity for human labour, and extirpate the human race; when, according to the monitory exclamation of M. Sismondi, the last man, sovereign of course he must be, will be employed in turning the wheel, or rather kindling the fires which must drive the whole machinery, the mechanical automatons of a nation, and thus concenter in himself all power and all wealth, we shall not enter into
discussion respecting the measures that ought to be adopted to prevent its occurrence, any more than to guard against the advent of that comet which it is said is, at a very remote period, to impinge against the earth and disturb the calculations and speculations of many of its philosophers. The best and simplest system, the most practicable and the wisest, is for the government to employ itself in protecting the country from foreign power, in preserving among the citizens, equal rights, privileges and advantages, and then leave it to the sagacity of each individual to devote bis time, his talents, or his wealth to such pursuits as he shall deem most advantageous, and to his prudence, to guard against the evils, which exist, in some degree, in every stage of society. But this doctrine is despised for its simplicity, and those whose lofty minds are incapable of bending successfully to the details of one man's business are too often the very persons who are most anxious to manage and regulate the capital and labour of every individual in the nation.
“Oh fortunatos, nimium, &c." The schoolboy reads these lines with pleasure, as they recall to his memory the thousand enjoyments that the country furnishes to the unsophisticated mind. The aged politician might repeat them when reviewing the happy condition of nations, whilst passing through the early stages of their political existence--when the warmth and freshness and purity of youth still mark and dignify their conduct. If they have not wealth to make them formidable abroad, they have peace and competence at home. If they cannot disturb the utterinost ends of the earth, they can protect their own altars, and their children want neither raiment nor food. How ill exchanged are these blessings for the extremes which accompany the last stages of a commercial system, where the contrast of unbounded opulence and squalıd poverty are every where visible, and constantly increasing. These times will come with the natural increase of population, and its usual concomitant, wealth--these extremes will gradually appear, but it would seem to us folly, if not madness, to accelerate their approach. It is like hurrying over, if it were possible, the joyous and vigorous years of youth and manhood to arrive at age and decrepitude, because, at that time, great wealth and higher honours are in expectancy, and may possibly await us.
We have been led further than we intended into this discussion, but we will make some additional observations before we leave it. Of all the attempts which have been made from time to time to build up manufactures by force, none have been so mischievous, and, at the same time, so ridiculous as the one lately made in our own country. In its fundamental doctrines it is old enough, nay in its dotage ; it is only in some of its mo
difications that it may claim to be original. It endeavours to combine opposing principles, to reconcile contradictions ; to make manufactures cheap by raising the price of raw materials and of labour-for it was among the lures it held out to labourers, that employment, under this system, would be more abundant and wages higher-but it was a great object to buy, in its infancy, golden opinions from all men. The leaders of the project were not at all deceived in the bearing of the measure, but they hoped if the yoke could once be fairly fixed on the country, that it might easily afterwards be arranged and adjusted to suit the interest it was intended to subserve. Hence, in order to lower the price of woollen goods, and make, by this means, the system popular throughout the country, a high duty was laid on imported wool, and the price necessarily enhanced. But how else could the wool-growers be enlisted, and bribed to throw their weight into the scale. It was supposed that at a future, and not far distant day, it would not be difficult to prove that this part of the scheme was incorrect, and inconsistent with the true faith of protection, and that the combined power of the manufacturers would be able, easily, to remove this obstruction as one of their own creation, and one, therefore, that ought to be modified at their discretion. While pressing this measure forward, they were willing that the nominal duty on the importation of cotton should continue unaltered; they would even if it had not been too obvious a farce, have proposed duties on the importation of grain to cajole the farmers with the expectation of an improved price on their staples. If this were not done, it was only because the absurdity would have been too glaring, of appearing to protect those articles which we were actually exporting to almost all quarters of the globe. That the manufacturers understood fully the operations of their own act, no one will doubt, neither will any one suppose that they intended to suffer it to continue unchanged. No men understand better than themselves the principles of free trade, and the benefit of being able to purchase all their materials at the lowest possible prices. They already begin to discover their feelings and views on this subject. In Niles' Register, of the 20th June, a letter from “one of the most respectable and worthy gentlemen of New-England” is prefaced on the part of the editor, by declaring that the attempt to encourage the growth of wool was a political machine that has answered its purpose, and is now laughed at. From the letter itself we will quote a few sentences to show how strongly they support the opinions we have here advanced.
“The manufacturer has been wronged, cheated, ruined. The only true friends of the manufacturer are those who now seek to repeal the ridiculous tariff of 1828.–Put a duty for revenue alone on cloths, and remove the duty on wool—this process will invite the regular importer back to his old employment, and finish the vain erpedient, already too long adhered to, of growing wool in this country.—The duties on dye stuffs, oil, soap and wool, taken in connexion with the derangement of trade, by making the inanufacturer an exporter, amounts to a much higher protection to the foreigner than all the tariff affords to us.- The system which alone can sustain him (the manufacturer) is one founded on the principle of monopoly."
The whole letter coming from the quarter it does, merits attention. We know not how the wool-growers in the north and west will consider it, but to us it appears a clear and accurate exemplification of the natural and necessary tendency of the whole system. Labour, when employed in one way only, is considered as American industry, and all other occupations are to be sacrificed, as far as may be necessary, to this one paramount pursuit. Great Britain, from whom the friends of the Tariff delight so much to draw their examples, and derive their facts, affords us, on this point, a striking illustration. The landholders in that country, in order to equalize in some measure the restrictive system, have obtained on their part, as protection for their corn, not only a high duty on importation, but an absolute prohibition until the price of grain became so high in England, as to manifest a scarcity almost amounting to famine. As in order to protect manufactures, they paid a higher price for many articles which could have been imported advantageously from abroad, it seemed but reasonable that they should sell at higher prices their own productions. This protection, as in other cases, led to an increased employment of capital in this pursuit. Poor lands which, without such aid, could not bave been brought into cultivation, have been improved at a heavy expense. The proprietors, or those who have made iovestments in these inferior soils, consider themselves as having a strong claim on the government under whose encouragement these investments were made for continued protection. Thus it is, that in this system every step seems to plunge you more inextricably in a labyrinth from which there is no easy escape. For while the farmers of Great Britain demand the continuance of those laws under which they have adventured so much money, very different views of the subject are taken by other parties. The kingdom is now in a state of great excitement on account of the corn laws-great efforts are making to repeal them, expressly on account of the manufacturers. This interest is found alike clamorous, whether the government is disposed to take off duties on articles they produce, or impose them on articles which they consume. They understand perfectly, and maintain strenuously, the doctrines of free trade, as far as their own interests are exclusively concerned. They know the advantages of buying at low, and selling at high prices : but it is themselves only who are to enjoy this privilege. As with us this labour alone is considered as national, (American we would call it) no other as contributing to national independence. Capital and industry in every other occupation is apparently to be disregarded, and as far as they interfere with this great interest to be trampled under foot.
To manufactures we have no hostility-we rejoice to see them springing up wherever they can arise with native strength and inherent vigour. They possess naturally great advantages in our country, from local circumstances, from the cheapness of provisions, the almost unparalleled command of water power, the abundance of wood and coal, and the distance at which we are placed from foreign competitors. With the duties which, even on account of revenue, we are obliged to impose, these advantages in the home market are quite sufficient to raise up and protect all the articles of general use, unless the labour of the country can be much more profitably employed in other pursuits, and if it can, what prudence, what wisdom, what patriotism is there in diverting by force and hot-bed culture, this labour from its natural and more profitable channel. Manufacturers constitute certainly a great interest in any nation, but it is only one out of many; it is not even the most important, and there is no reason either in policy or justice, why it should be built up at the expense of others, to be elevated as of exclusive excellence, to bear a name above all other names, to become the test of patriotism, the watchword of a party, the shrine at which men must worship and sacrifice judgment and inclination, if they wish to obtain honour and power.
It is not easy to estimate the difference which a few years have made on this subject in the United States. Manufactures were then increasing, slowly perhaps but prosperously, in many parts of our country, new workshops were appearing with every change of season, new and permanent fabrics were every year added to our former productions. Improvements in this department kept pace with improvements in all others, not running ahead, but bearing a close relation to the general and gradual increase of wealth throughout the country. They prospered, and all men rejoiced in their prosperity. But in an evil hour, the capitalists not satisfied with the domestic market which was