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in the money price of the staples of exporta- same burthen in consequence of this duty. tion in the United States, almost exactly pro- But the southern shoemakers, it is obvious, portioned to the duties, while the money price would pay taxes to the amount of one million of the protected articles would remain un- six hundred thousand dollars, while those of changed. The unchangeable value of the sta- the north would pay none at all. Here, then, ples of exportation would be no more diminish- would be a specific tax of one million six huned than it is now, but it would be more obvi- dred thousand dollars levied on the producers ous, from being indicated by a fall in the mo- of shoes in south, diminishing the annual . ney price of these staples, instead of a rise in income of that section of the Union precisely the money price of protected manufactures. to that extent, as compared with the income
For the purpose of embodying these princi- derived by the northern section from the same ples in a practical illustration, and of demon- quantity of the same kind of labor. The course strating that partial and discriminating duties of reasoning which I have applied to shoes, upon a portion only of the national consump- will equally apply to every other article; and, tion must operate as taxes upon production, I it will follow, that the grand aggregate of this will
suppose that one-third part of each and ev-scheme of partial and discriminating excise duery article consumed in the United States were ties, would be to throw the entire burthen of produced south of the Potomac, and the other federal taxation upon the southern States, two-thirds north of that river. I will, more though the consumers of both sections would over, suppose that a political economist were to be equally affected by it. It would be exclurise up in the north, and propose that the whole sively a tax upon the producers, and would be amount of the federal taxes should be levied by in no respect less unjust and oppressive than excise duties upon that third of the various ar- if the same sum were levied, by a poll tax, upticles of our consumption which was produced on the shoemakers, and the various other prosouth of the Potomac. He would be at no loss ducing classes of the southern States. for arguments to sustain this proposition, as a Now, Mr. Chairman, if that scheme of adjust and equal scheme of taxation, if it be true justing the tariff should prevail, which proposes that the whole burthen of indirect taxes falls to repeal all the duties on unprotected articles upon the consumers. He could truly allege and levy the whole federal revenue by import that it would be much more economical to col- duties upon those articles which are obtained lect the duties from one-third part of the Union from abroad in exchange for cotton, tobacco, than from the whole, inasmuch as only one and rice, we shall have the very system which third of the number of rerenue officers would I have described, to all substantial intents and be required; and if it would be an equal and purposes the only difference will be in the just system, its economy should be decisive in name. In the one case as in the other, the enits favor.
tire burthen of federal taxation will be thrown Let us now dispassionately examine its true upon the southern States, as certainly as if the operation, assuming that the productions of the revenue were exclusively raised by an excise south amounted to sixty millions, and those of duty upon cotton, tobacco, and rice, at the mo- } the north to one hundred and twenty millions, ment of their passing from the warehouse of the and that an excise duty of forty per cent. should planters. be levied on the former, yielding an annual re I
pronounce it to be utterly impossible for yenue of twenty-four millions of dollars. Tak- the ingenuity of man to devise a plan of raising the article of shoes as an example, and as-ing revenue more unjustand unequal in its opesuming that twelve millions of pairs should be ration upon the exporting States of this conannually consumed in the United States, aver- federacy. aging the value of one dollar each, it would fol Such are the views I have deemed it proper low, from the supposition, that the southern to present of inequality of the protecting duties, States would produce four millions of these as a system of taxation and contribution. I will pairs, and that the southern shoemakers would now briefly advert to the still greater inequalipay excise duties to the amount of one million ty which exists in the disbursements of this Gosix hundred thousand dollars. Now, it is vernment; a circumstance which greatly aggramaintained, that all duties fall upon the con- vates the oppressiveness of the system, and sumers, and consequently that the southern makes it absolutely desolating to the planting producers of shoes would have no more cause States. This, sir, is comparatively a new deto complain of these partial duties than any partment of political economy. The tremenother class of people, as all must be equally the dous influence of Government disbursements in wearers and consumers of shoes. It is evident the distribution of national wealth, seems to that the consumers of the south would be sub- have been overlooked by the ablest men in Euject to no greater burthen, as consumers, than rope, until the termination of the wars which chose of the north, for the price of southern grew out of the French revolution. The great made shoes could not be any higher than that distress which was produced in England by the of nothern made shoes in the same common transition from war to peace, and the consemarket; there could not be two prices for the quent curtailment of the annual loans and dis same quality of shoes. The whole result would bursements of the Government, to the extent on consequently be, that the consumers of the something like one hundred millions of dollars, north and of the south would pay the very disclosed to the statesmen of that country the same price for shoes, and be subject to the very true secret of the immense financial resources
At the close of the late war with Great Britain,
I have, hererofore, adverted to the extraordievery thing in the political and commercial nary fact that the wages of agricultural labor changes, resulting from the general peace, in- are four times as high in the manufacturing dicated unparalleled prosperity to the southern States as they are in the planting States; and I States, and great embarrassment and distress to will now repeat what I said here two years ago those of the north. The nations of the conti- that there is not a country upon the face of the nent had all directed their efforts to the busi- earth where the labors of agriculture are perness of manufacturing; and all Europe may be formed exclusively by freemen, that would said to have converted their swords into machi. have submitted to this system of oppression hall nery, creating an unprecedented demand for so long as it has been endured by the people cotton, the great staple of the southern States. of the south. The great pressure of the system There is nothing in the history of commerce has been upon the planters; men naturally liber that can be compared with the increased de- al, public spirited, and patriotic. Feeling no mand for this staple, notwithstanding the per. actual suffering, they have too long and too panicious restrictions by which this Government tiently submitted to this injustice and oppres has limited that demand. As cotton, tobacco, sion amidst the decay of every thing around and rice, are produced only on a small portion them, while the price of labor has been graduof the globe, while all other agricultural staples ally sinking from fifty to twelve and a half are common to every region of the earth, this cir- cents a day, and the profits of capital in proporcumstance gave the planting States very great tion. Sir, I am sure if the tables had been advantages. To cap the climax of the commercial turned upon New England, she would not have Edvantages opened to the cotton planters, Eng- submitted to this process half so long as the land, their great and most valuable customer, re- southern States have submitted to it. The genceived their cotton under a mere nominal duty. tleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. ADAMS,) has On the other hand, the prospects of the northern informed us that during the embargo and nonStates were as dismal as those of the southern intercourse laws, New England was almost driStates were brilliant. They had lost the car
ven to rebellion. Sir, I will do New England rying trade of the world, which the wars of Eu- the justice to say, that if she had been the vicrope had thrown into their hands. They had tem of such a nefarious scheme of legislative lost the demand and the high prices which our plunder as this, tending rapidly to reduce the own war had created for their grain and other wages of her free laborers from fifty to twelve productions; and, soon afterwards, they also and a half cents a day, before they had descendlost the foreign market for their grain, owing ed half way down the scale, her whole popular partly to foreign corn laws, but still more to tion, if they could have found no other remedy, other causes. Such were the prospects, and would have risen up as one man in glorious resuch the well founded hopes of the southern bellion. States at the close of the late war, in which But, Sir, amidst the distress of the southern they bore so glorious a part in vindicating the people, they are occasionally favored with some freedom of trade. But where are now those scraps of consolation from those philanthropic cheering prospects and animating hopes? Blast-persons who assume to understand their condied, Sir; utterly blasted, by the consuming and tion and their interests better than they do themwithering course of a system of legislation which selves. It is stated in the speech of a distinwages an exterminating war against the bless guished statesman, which I have now before ings of commerce, and the bounties of a merci- me, that the cotton planter can make five bales ful Providence, and which, by an impious per- of cotton to the hand, upon an average, and a version of language, is called “protection.” profit of twenty per cent. on his capital. Now,
Yes, Sir, the very Government which is un-Sir, I am myself a cotton planter, and I know der every obligation, human and divine, to pro- that the average production of skilful and effitect our commerce, from all foreign aggression, cient planters in South Carolina does not exbecomes itself the aggressor, and directs the ceed three bales of upland cotton, of three hun. whole power of its legislation to sweep it en- dred pounds weight, to each hand; and, taking tirely from the face of the ocean. And where, the general average, I do not believe it is more Sir, are the dismal prospects of the northern than half as much; I am also confident that the States? The same power which has blasted the average profits of capital does not exceed three fair prospects of the south, has, by the same per cent. act, brightened those of the north. While you While I am noticing the speech of this gensee nothing but ruined cities and deserted vil- tleman, I will say a word in relation to lages from the Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico, an anecdote which í happened to hear him reyou behold the most animating spectacles of ci- peat concerning myself individually. Allading ties, towns, and villages, rising up like a bright to the great excitement which existed in South exhalations,” and as if by magic, throughout the Carolina in 1828, he was pleased to say that I whole region of the manufacturing States. But, had contributed to produce it, and to induce the Sir, there is no magic in all this, but the injus- people to adopt resolutions that they would not tice of human legislation; which, by a process, purchase Kentucky pork. He added, in illus. silent, unperceived, and, for a long time, un- tration, I suppose, of the evanescent ebullitions known even to its devoted victims, has been of our patriotism in South Carolina, that he had steadily drawing away the very life-blood of understood that I applied to one of my neightheir prosperity, and transfusing it into that of bors to lay in my supply of pork, and that whene their oppressors.
any other purpose than to produce revenue. I would give so great a shock to our manufacturfrankly admit, however, that the power to "re-ing establishments as the repeal of the English gulate commerce with foreign nations," confer- corn laws. It is easy to perceive, that, if the red by another clause, may be constitutionally food of the English operatives were reduced carried into effect by import duties, carried to one half its present price, it would be much even to the point of prohibition, provided they more difficult for our manufacturers to maintain be imposed, in good faith, for the purpose of the competition with those of England, than it . regulating foreign commerce, and for causes is now. While the repeal of the corn laws, which give this government jurisdiction over therefore, would injure the domestic manufacthat subject. This power was evidently con- turers, it would be of very little benefit to the fided to the federal government, principally for farmers of the north. The prices current show the purpose of protecting and defending our fo- that grain is generally higher in the ports of the reign commerce against all aggressions committed United States than it is in those of the continent on it by foreign powers, or sanctioned by their of Europe. Even if the ports of England, thereauthority. The cusus foederis, without which fore, were thrown open to receive foreign grain this power cannot be rightfully exercised, in under a mere revenue duty, our farmers could my opinion, to restrict, suspend, or destroy not hold competition with those of Poland and any branch of foreign commerce, is a violation other corn countries. It is very certain that by some foreign power of the rights of the United British manufactures could not be imported to
States, or of their citizens, as secured either by any extent, under a system of revenue duties, in , treaty or the law of nations. This is strictly exchange for the grain of our northern States.
an international power, having reference to in Thus much, Sir, for the constitutional pow. ternational rights and interests. If any of these er of Congress on this subject, and the prerights are violated by a foreign power, as to texts upon which the assumption of that power one branch of commerce, all other branches of has been attempted to be justified. The avowcommerce may be suspended or restricted for ed and undisguised object of the protecting systhe purpose of vindicating the violated right, or tem is to destroy, permanently, one great branch of inducing the foreign power to restore it. It of our commerce, vital to the prosperity of sewas upon this principle, only, that the embar- ven States of this Union, for the uninst and ungo and non-intercourse laws can be held to have constitutional purpose of building up, on the been constitutional. If a foreign nation should ruins of that commerce, the prosperity of ceradopt an internal regulation which impairs the tain manufactures, for the exclusive benefit of commercial interests of one part of the Union, other States. and one branch of our commerce, without vio But the great and radical objection to the lating any commercial right, I do not think this protecting system, is not, that it is unequal in will authorize Congress to impose restrictions on its operation, or even that it is unconstitutional, another branch of our commerce, and injurious but that, by throwiug the great pecuniary interto another part of the Union, whatever may be ests of the manufacturing and planting States the purpose of such restrictions. But most as-into direct and irreconcileable hostility, it ensuredly, if Congress may constitutionally inter- tirely destroys the security which the represenfere in such a case, it can only be for the bona tative principle was designed to provide, and fide purpose, and in the reasonable expectation converts the majority of Congress into an irreof inducing the foreign power to rescind the in- sponsible despotism, not only as it regards the jurious regulation. if some of our productions power of taxation itself, but as it regards all the are excluded from foreign countries by domes- interests that can be directly or indirectly aftic regulations which they have a right to make, fected by it
. The fundamental principle of Engand which constitute their established policy in lish liberty, which our ancestors brought with regard to other nations as well as the U. States, them when they emigrated to this continent, this gives Congress no right whatever to im- and which they waged the war of the revolupose restrictions on other branches of our com-tion to vindicate and maintain, is that taxes are
voluntary grants from the people, and that conIf England, for example, excludes our grain sequently no power can rightfully impose taxes by her corn laws, this gives Congress no more but the representatives of those who pay them. right to impose restrictions upon our commerce In a system of taxation which is essentially equal, in other staples, than if our grain were exclud- an income or property tax, for example, this ed from England by the fertility of her soil, the principle must operate in in its full vigor. If our improvements of her agriculture, or any similar present revenue were raised by a law which made
every citizen in the Union contribute in exact It is, indeed, the most idle and empty of all proportion to his income, I should feel that the pretexts, to allege that the English corn laws power of taxing property of my constituents are the foundation of our protecting system; or might be safely entrusted to the representatives that it is the purpose or desire of the authors of of any other State, because the very same burtha: system to induce England to repeal these then which they imposed upon my constituents, laws.' I have no where heard them so extra- they would necessarily impose upon their own. vagantly eulogized for their wisdom as in the The responsibility of the representative body in' United States; and certain it is, that nothing this case, not only, to a majority of the Union, short of the repeal of our protecting duties but to every part of it, however small, would be