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Hamage which will be produced to the manu- to exercise such a power, either directly or infacturing interests of the north by the repeal directly, openly or in disguise. It really appears of that system. Or, to state the proposition in to me, that, in the evil times on which we have a different form, the benefit which the northern fallen, language has lost its meaning, and that manufacturers derive from having high duties the world is governed by a miserable cant of hyand restrictions imposed upon the productions pocricy and deception. and exchanges of the southern planters, cannot You openly and unblushingly perpetrate plunpossihlp be greater than the benefits which the der and consecrate the outrage by callingit proplanters would derive fromthe repealof those du tection! Do gentlemen understand the import ties and restrictions. Now, the benefit which the of words? Protection! Protection, against what? manufacturers receive from this system may be Is there a band of foreign mercenaries threaten. measured by the damage they will sustain by the sing to plunder and lay waste the manufacturing the repeal of it; and if we are to place any re-establishments of the north? If there be any liance on their statements, they will be great and such danger to be apprehended, you have onoverwhelming. Not less overwhelming, then, ly to call upon the generous spirit of the south, would be the tiile of prosperity which would and thousands will rally under your standard, How in and enrich the southern planters, if prepared to shed the last drop of their blood in the barriers which impede their intercourse defending your rights and repelling the insith their natural markets were removed, and vaders. But is no foreign army threatentheir unalienable rights to the free use of the ing invasion: and I again ask, against what is it products of their industry were restored to that the manufacturers clamor so loud for prothem.
tection? But one answer can be truly given to We have, thus far, considered this a question this question: they desire to be protected only as it affects the relative interests of the con- against a fair and equal competition with the "tending parties; let us now examine it in refer- productions of southern industry. Involve it, ence to the infinitely more important considera- mystify it, disguise it as you may, "to this comtion of their rights. And here the difference plexion it must come at last." The real invabetween the claims of the southern planters ders against whom this clamorous uproar
for and the northern manufacturers, is too obvious protection is raised, are the planters of cotton, to escape the dullest perception, No one will tobacco, and rice. These are the true rivals of venture to maintain that the planters claim any the northern manufacturers, and but for them thing to which they have not a natural and in- not a single voice would be heard, from one defeasible right. "They do not ask the Govern- extremity of this confederacy to the other, call'ment to give them any aid of any kind; they ing for protecting laws. only ask that it will let them alone, while hon In a report recently submitted to the House estly employed in the pursuit of happiness, by the Committee on Manufactures, the powe Have they not, for example, a natural right to er of this Government to protect manufactures produce cotton, tobacco, and rice? Have they is placed on a ground entirely new and, originot the same natural right to sell it wherever nal. The power to question, sir, is drawn from they can do it most advantageously, whether at that part of the constitution which authorizes home or abroad? And does not the right to the imposition of taxes for the purpose of “prosell abroad involve the right of bringing home, viding for the common defence." I give you the without hindrance or restriction, the commodi- very words of the report:-"to provide for the ties obtained by that sale? It is clear, it is self. common DEPENCE. Defence against what?against evident, that, in exercising these natural rights, whom? “ Defence against every danger and the planters do not violate the rights of any against every foc: defence against all hostillity, other class of citizens, however directly they and from every evil which may bear upon the may come in conflict with their interests. whole community, and menace the general
Will any gentleman have the goodness to welfare: defence, especially, against all hostillipoint out what right of the manufacturers 1 ty of foreigners, whelher in war or in peace; for violate when I carry my cotton to Europe, ex- the hostility of nations to each other is not conchange it for manufactures, and bring them in- fined to times of war. The common defence to the United States for the purpose of using must be provided for as much against commerthem myself, or of selling them to other peo-cial rivalry as against warlike invasion; for the ple? No, sir, it cannot be done. On the other spirit of traffic, armed with power, as the exhand, there is no difficulty in pointing out the perience of mankind has proved, is more insarights of the planters which you violate when tiate and more grasping than all the Alexanders you sbrackle their exchanges with restrictions, and Cæsars that ambition has inflicted on the and incumber them with taxes, in order to race of man.” Now, sir, to say nothing of the benefit the manufacturers--you violate their solecism of talking about hostility in time of right of property—the right to make the most peace," a thing which I do not exactly comthey can, in a lawful way, by the productions prchend, I cannot recognize that as a part of
the international or moral code of civilized naTo what charter, human or divine, can you tions, which denounces foreign commerce as a appeal for the power of taking away the pro- public enemy in time of peace, against which perty of one man for the purpose of giving it an eternal war of extermination is to be waged, to another? No Guvernment on the face of by all the powers conferred upon this Governthe earth ever had, or ever can have, the right nient, for “the common defence!!”
or their industry,
is not because England excludes American pro-Suppose, then, that the planters of the south ductions, but because she admits them almost were to allege that they labored under great disfree of duty, that the northern manufactures advantages in exchanging their staples
for mandemand protection. This system is not design-ufactures; that they had to go into foreign couned to do so very absurd a thing as to prevent tries, pay heavy expenses in sending their stathose from purchasing English manufactures ples abroad, and in bringing back the manufacwho have not the means of paying for them; tures obtained for them; from all which expenses but it is designed to prevent those from pur- the domestic manufacturers were fortunately exchasing who have the means of paying for them, emped, having their customers almost at their to promote the interest of those who have own doors. And suppose that, to countervail these not.
disadvantages, and to encourage American comI am prepared to maintain, before any tribu- merce, they were to invoke the Government to nal of New England farmers that can be or- permit them to import foreign manufactures ganized, that if England would agree to receive free of duty, while a protecting excise duty of the grain of the United States under a moderate forty per cent. should be levied for their benerevenue duty, it would be impossible for New fit
, upon all the domestic manufactures that England to carry on with Old England a com came in competition with their imports:- this merce consisting of an exchange of the ag- would be demanding precisely the same protecricultural productions of the former for the tion against the manufacturers which the manu. manufactures of the latter. When it is known facturers now demand and enjoy against them. that the price of agricultural labor is much I defy any one to draw a sound distinction behigher in the northern States than it is in any tween them. How, then, would the manufacpart of the European world, does any one sup- turers stand affected by having the rule which pose that grain can be produced by such labor, they have so long applied to others, applied to sent abroad under a revenue duty in foreign themselves? ports, exchanged for foreign manufactures; and All their manufactures that come in competithat these can be brought into the United tion with imports would have to pay into the States under another revenue duty, and sold as Treasury a duty of forty per cent to encourage cheap as doméstic manufactures? No, Sir, if and protect the planting and exporting indusEngland were to abolish her corn laws to-mor- try of the south. Would this be, in any respect, row, such a trade could not be carried on. The more unjust than the present protecting sysnorthern manufacturer could still make goods tem? Would it not be its perfect counterpart? cheaper than the northern farmer could pur- And who would be injured by these protecting chase them abroad. And it is not until the excise duties levied upon northern manufacformer comes in competition with efficient ag-tures? The producers of these manufactures? ricultural labor, operating at 12 cents a day, oh no! We have been a thousand times told and producing one of the most valuable staples that the producer bears no part of the burthen of the earth, that he finds it convenient to have of a duty levied on his productions, but that the his rival put down by act of Congress.
whole burthen falls upon the consumer. If this I speak of what I know experimentally, when be true, the manufacturers would sustain no I say that if the planters of South Carolina were burthen, and have no cause of complaint in concompelled to pay fifty cents a day for the labor sequence of this protecting excise duty. It they employ on their plantations, they could would fall exclusively on the consumers, and be not afford to produce cotton for less than 25 or thus distributed equally all over the Union, as it 30 cents a pound. If I should attempt to culti- is alleged of the import duties. If this doctrine vate it at the present prices, by such labor, my is true in one case, it is undoubtedly true in the
whole capital would be exhausted, and I should other. No rule can be true, as I often heard it --- be utterly insolvent in less than ten years. Then, said when I was studying arithmetic, which will
Sir, it is obvious enough that it is the cheap la- not work both ways. Yet, sir, if we were to apbor of the southern States, and not the cheap ply to the manufacturers the rule which they labor of foreign countries, against which this ex- have applied to the planters; if an excise duty terminating war of prohibition is waged by the of forty per cent. were levied and collected whole confederacy of manufacturing interests. from their productions, as the import duty now
I will now bring the conduct and the claims is from the productions of the south, a clomor of our adversaries to a test by which every would be forthwith raised throughout the manchristian combatant should be willing to be tried. ufacturing States, like that “universal hubbub”, I will only ask that they do unto others what which Milton describes in the infernal regions. they would that others should do unto them. A A million of voices would cry out, “oppression! great deal has been said about compromising desolation! war! vengeance! you have destroythis question. Now, in order to see where the ed our manufactures! you have reduced us to true middle ground lies, upon which the con- beggary!”. And, sir, woe unto that audacious tending parties should meet, I will first show political economist who should dare to stand up you what are the two extremes.
amidst she ruins, and attempt to console the The manufacturers contend that high protect- manufacturers by assuring them, as the southing duties shall be levied, for their benefit, upon ern people have been so often assured, that the productions of the southern planters. This they had no cause whatever to complain as prois one extreme. I will now state the opposite ducers, for that the whole burthen of the duty extreme, wbich, precisely corresponds with it. must necessarily fall on the consumers. Thus,
hence inferred that the manufacturing States ers, I will suppose forty out of every hundred were as much oppressed by the protecting sys- bales of the goods into which they had converttem as any other portion of the Union. Buted their cotton, no one could fail to perceive the people of those States, feeling, and seeing, that the system of protecting duties would be as and knowing, that they were in a state of high unjust, unequal, and oppressive as the wickedprosperity, laughed at these as mere speculative ness of man could make it. Yet, nothing can theories.
be more certain than that the intervention of The truth is, that when a small portion only commercial agents and of money produce no of a certain description of commodities is se- change whatever, either in the extent or the lected for taxation, and a discriminating duty is distribution of the burthens of taxation. I will levied upon that portion, it follows, of necessi- now attempt to make this demonstrably clear, ty, that the greater part of the burthen imposed by analyzing the actual operations of the ex upon these selected and proscribed articles, must changes of our foreign commerce, and w pointfall upon their producers. My own opinion on ing out the influence of our commercial restricthis subject is founded upon a principle that is tions upon the relative value of specie and of perfectly clear; but the precise proportion other commodities. which the consumers and producers respective. It is a very common remark among the advoly bear of the burthens imposed, must be, in cates of the restrictive system, that duties upsome degree, conjectural. One proposition, on imports would be equivalent to duties upon however, may be confidently affirmed—the the exports given in exchange for them, if it amount of the aggregate burthen imposed upon were true that nothing could be obtained all the consumers of cotton goods, foreign and abroad for our exports but the imports which domestic, does not exceed the amount of the are subject to the duties in question. But, it is revenue collected by the Government upon the said, this is not the case, inasmuch as the coteight millions which we import from abroad. ton planter may import specie in exchange for If these eight millions constituted the whole con- his cotton, which is subject to no duty at all
. sumption of the country, it is conceded that, Now, the error and delusion of this view of the even in that case, it would be difficult to trans- subject, consist in supposing that specie has a fer the whole burthen of the duty to the con- fixed and invariable value as compared with
But when these eight millions of tax- other commodities; whereas, in truth, its relaed commodities come into a market where they tive value is quite as subject to the influence of meet the competition of twenty-four millions of commercial restrictions as that of any other arthe same sort of goods which pay no duty at all, ticle of commerce. Supposé, for the purpose the difficulty of making the consumers pay the of illustration, that, under a system of perfectly whole amount of the tax levied is obviously in-free trade, tea and coffee were imported at precreased. But, admitting that they can be made cisely the same price, and that, in this state of to pay it, how will it be distributed? It must be things, a duty of 50 per cent should be laid equally diffused over the whole thirty-two mil. upon tea. In this case, no one would have any millions of cotton manufactures consumed in the difficulty in comprehending the change which country. Four millions of dollars, therefore, would be produced in the relative exchangeable the amount of taxation imposed, will operate as value of these two articles, by subjecting one of a tax of twelve and a half per cent. on all the them to a duty of 50 per cent., and leaving the consumers of the thirty-two millions of cotton other entirely exempted from duty. It is perfabrics in the U. States. As it is obvious that fectly plain that, whereas, one pound of coffee the consumers of imported cotton manufactures would purchase one pound of tea previous to would only bear, in the case stated, a burthen of the imposition of the duty on tea, it would aftwelve and a half per cent., it would seem to terwards require one pound and a half of coffee follow, as a corollary, that the remaining thirty- to accomplish the same object. This remark is seven and a half per cent of the duty paid at as plainly applicable to any other articles, or the custom-house must be paid by the produ- classes of articles, where the one is subjected to cers: for, it may be laid down as a universal rule a duty from which the other is exempted. No ** that wherever a duty is levied upon any pro- one will be found to dispute so obvious a prinduction, whatever part of that duty cannot be ciple, so long as it is confined to the ordinary thrown upon the consumer, must, of necessity, commodities of trade; but the moment you profall on the producer.
pose to apply it to specie, the understanding These views of the subject, which I fear I seems to be confounded and bewildercd, owhave very indistinctly presented, bring me to ing, perhaps, to the habitual association by what I regard as a very important topic in this which a fixed and unalterable value is attached discussion: I allude to the embarrassment and to specie as the universal equivalent for all other confusion which results from estimating the commodities. Amidst all the fluctuations in value of every thing in money, and habitual the relative prices and exchangeable values of confounding of the money price with the change the various articles of commerce, it rarely oc. able value of all commodities. If the cotton curs to any one that a change in the relative va.' planters, for example, were to carry their cot- lue of specie has had any agency in producing ton to Europe themselves, and exchange it for these fluctuations; yet, most assuredly, specie is manufactures without the intervention of com- subject to the same laws in this respect as any mercial agents, and if the Government were to other. If, for example, one hundred dollars in levy the tases in kind by taking from the plant-Ispecie would purchase one hundred yards of