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goes, would rarely choose to expose themselves to the complicated and critical perils, which would attend attempts to unlade prior to their coming into port. They would have to dread both the dangers of the coast, and of detection, as woll after, as before their arrival at the places of their final destination. An ordinary degree of vigilance, would be competent to the prevention of any material infractions upon the rights of the revenue. A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed and employed, might at small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws. And the government, baving the same interest to provide against violations every where, the co-operation of its measures in each state, would have a powerful tendency to render them effectual. Here also we should preserve, by union, an advantage which nature holds out to us, and which would be relinquished by separation. The United States lie at a great distance from Europe, and at a considerable distance from all other places, with which they would have extensive connections of foreign trade. The passage from them to us in a fow hours, or in a single night, as between the coasts of France and Britain, and of other neighbouring nations, would be impracticable. This is a prodigious security against a direct contraband with foreign countries; but a circuitous contraband to one state, through the medium of another, would be both easy and safe. The difference between a direct importation from abroad, and an indirect importation, through the channel of an adjoining state, in small parcels, according to time and opportunity, with the additional facilities of inland communication, must be palpable to every man of discernment.
It is, therefore, evident, that one national government would be able, at much less expense, to extend the duties on imports, beyond comparison, further, than would be practicable to the states separately, or to any partial confederacies: Hitherto I believe it may safely be asserted, that these duties have not upon an average exceeded in any state three per cent. In France they are estimated at about fifteen per cent. and in Britain the proportion is still greater There seems to be
nothing to hinder their being increased in this country, to at least treble their present amount. The single article of ardent spirits, under federal regulation, might be made to furnish a considerable revenue. According to the ratio of importation into this state, the whole quantity imported into the United States may, at a low computation, be estimated at four millions of gallons; which at a shilling per gallon, would produce two hundred thousand pounds. That article would well bear this rate of duty; and if it should tend to diminish the consumption of it, such an effect would be equally favourable to the agriculture, to the economy, to the morals, and to the boalth of society. There is, perhaps, nothing so much a subject of national extravagance, as this
article. What will be the consequence, if we are not able to avail our. selves of the resource in question in its full extent ? A nation delves dannot long exist without revenue. Destitute of this essential support, it must resign its independence, and sink into the degraded condition of a province. This is an extremity to which no government will of choice accede. Revenue therefore must be had at all events. In this country, if the principal part bo not drawn from commerce, it must fall with oppressive weight upon land. It has been already intimated that excises, in their true signification, are too little in unison with the feelings of the people, to admit of great use being made of that mode of taxation: nor indeed, in the states where almost the solo employ- , ment is agriculture, are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous, to pormit very ample collections in that way. Personal estate, as before remarked, from the difficulty of tracing it, cannot be subjected to large contributions, by any other means than by taxes on consumption. In populous cities, it may be enough the subject of conjecture, to occasion the oppression of individuals, without much aggregate benefit to the state ; but beyond these circles, it must, in a great measure, escape tho eye and the hand of the tax gatherer. As the necessities of the state, nevertheless, must be satisfied in some mode, the defect of other resources must throw the principal weight of the public
burthens on the possessors of land. And, as on the other hand, the wants of the government can never obtain an adequato supply, unless all the sources of revenue are open to its demands, the finances of the community, under such embarrass monts, cannot be put into a situation consistent with its respecto ability or its security. Thus we shall not even have the con solations of a full treasury, to atone for the oppression of that valuable class of citizens, who are employed in the cultivation of the soil. But public and private distress will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert; and unite in deploring the infatu. ation of those counsels which lod to disunion.
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 28, 1787.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED, WITH A VIEW TO ECONOMY.
As connected with the subject of revenue, wo may with pro. priety consider that of economy. The money saved from one object, may be usefully applied to another; and there will be so much the loss to be drawn from the pockets of the people. If the states be united under one government, there will be but one national civil list to support; if they are divided into several confederacies, there will be as many different national civil lists to be provided for; and each of them, as to the principal departments, co-extensive with that which would be necessary for a government of the whole. The entire separation of the states into thirteen unconnected sovereignties, is a project too extravagant, and too replete with danger, to have many advocates. The ideas of men who speculate upon the dismomberment of the empire, seem generally turned towards three confederacies; one consisting of the four northern, another of the four middle, and a third of the five southern states. There is little probability that there would be a greater number. According to this distribution, each confodoracy would compriso an extent of territory larger than that of the kingdom of Great Britain. No well informed man will suppose that the affairs of such a confederacy can be properly regulated by a government, less com.
prebensive in its organs or institutions, than that which has been proposed by the convention. When the dimensions of a state attain to a certain magnitude, it requires the same energy of government, and the same forms of administration, which are requisite in one of much greater extent. This idea admits not of precise demonstration, because there is no rule by which wo can measure the momentum of civil power, necessary to the govornmont of any givon number of individuals; but when we consider that the Island of Britain, nearly commensurate with each of the supposed confederacies, contains about eight millions of people, and when we reflect upon the degree of authority required to direct the passions of so large a society to the public good, we shall see no reason to doubt, that the like portion of power would be sufficient to perform the same task in a society far more numerous. Civil power, properly organized and exerted, is capable of diffusing its force to a very great extent; and can, in a manner, reproduce itself in every part of a great empire, by a judicious arrangement of subordinate institutions.
The supposition, that each confederacy into which the states would be likely to be divided, would require a government not less comprehensive than the one proposed, will be strengthened by another conjecture, more probable than that which prefents us with three confederacies, as the alternative to a general union. If we attend carefully to goographical and commercial considerations, in conjunction with the babits and prejudices of the different states, we shall be led to conclude, that, in case of disunion, they will most naturally league themselves under two governments. The four eastern states, from all the causes that form the links of national sympathy and connection, may with certainty be expected to unite. New-York, situated as she is, would never be unwise enough to oppose a feeble and unsupported flank to the weight of that confederacy. There are obvious reasons, that would facilitate her accession to it. New. Jersey is too small a state to think of being a frontier, in opposition to this still more powerful combination; nor do there appear to be any obstacles to her admission into it. Even Penn