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Chapter. The fact therefore that food is still habitually exported may suffice, instead of any historical illustration, to prove that the means, by which the progress of population is naturally regulated in the states of society treated of in this Chapter, are sufficient still to preserve it within the limits of the actual supply of food, which was first raised in the purely agricultural state. We will proceed then to apply very briefly to this portion of the argument the fundamental principles stated at the outset of the treatise, (vide ch. iii.)— Population being, throughout the whole course treated in this chapter, preserved within the limits of the actual supply of food, it is evident that every conclusion tends clearly to establish the two first principles. For, first, population cannot exceed the powers of the soil to afford it subsistence, so long as a large surplus of food is actually derived from that soil; nor, secondly, can the existence of such surplus consist with a mischievous pressure of population against the actual supply of food. With respect to the third and fourth principles, which are conversant principally with the conduct and condition of individuals, there can be no doubt but that the folly of a government, or the vices of the people, may introduce much want and misery notwithstanding the overflowing state of the national resources. The political constitution of the United States of America, leading to anarchy and idleness among some of the lower ranks, and the recent political conduct of their government, have actually introduced into that country a baneful interference with the comfort and happiness of many orders of society. I doubt not that some excellent individuals are to be found among them; but to an English mind it does certainly appear, that their principles of “Religion” are superficial, their “Morality” exceedingly low, their “Liberty” verging to licentiousness, consequently not very “rational;” and that their persons and property,though secure against the government, are very liable to danger from the mob. One of their own writers thus describes the progress of their politics since the period of their independence.—“No people had ever greater cause to be proud, none had before them a fairer promise to be happy. After many years of sanguinary trouble, to pass into a state of peace, security, and rest;-to be relieved from unspeakable hardships and privations;– to rise from dependance upon another and a far distant country, with all its subjections and restraints, into a state of self-government and exemption from foreign control;-and to be left to the free choice of its own government, laws, and institutions;—was a condition in which no enlightened people had ever before been found; and was not only sufficient to fill them with immediate exultation and joy, and with the most happy forebodings of the future, but might naturally be expected to push their hopes and their pride a little beyond the bounds of moderation. To men of unexercised minds, of little reflection, and of superficial knowledge, all around seemed lovely and felicitous; and to the people, with very few exceptions, nothing seemed more impossible than that their harmony should be interrupted, that their happiness should be endangered for ages, or that any thing could arise to deprive them of the benefits and blessings they had obtained with the revolution. Thus thought the many, and thus it was natural for the many to think. They imagined that the supreme

power being now at the disposal of a jealous people, from whom it could not be wheedled by fraud or flattery, nor wrested by force, would follow the na. tural course of the human heart, and find its way into the hands of the most deserving : and at the outset of the republic it was so. But time unfolded new views to the multitude. Every day gave them a stronger sense of their own power, and greater inclination to evince it by abuse. It was soon perceived that that which was unappropriated to any might be aspired to by all; and the lower classes of ambitious men, and vulgar politicians, who felt themselves excluded by want of desert from all participation in power, resolved to make up their deficiency in merit by fraud and imposition; and to disturb and pollute the stream of public opinion, which, so long as it continued to roll in its natural purity, would run in favour of the most meritorious citizens.” (Memoirs of T. Jefferson, New York, 1809, vol. i. p. 12, et seq.) The licentious principles established by the French revolution, and previously disseminated no where with greater diligence than in the United States, lent great facilities to such a system of corruption. Nor was the early and absolute treachery of France sufficient to stem the torrent. Another American writer (Brief View of the Policy and Resources of the United States. Philadelphia, 1810,) asserts, that the folly and passion in which the misfortunes of America have had their rise, are the inseparable concomitants of popular government,founded on thesuffrages of the multitude; who though honest are ignorant; whose impressions are excited by feeling, not created by thought; and least of all by the peculiar depth of reasoning, or elevation of view, which is indispensable to the attainment of political truth. In such governments we behold the passions which give rise to the keenest resentment, but not the wisdom or moderation requisite for the discovery or pursuit of the only means which can lead to redress. The genuine patriot deplores these evils, resulting from an excess of that democracy, which, under due modification, is the best foundation of government. (P. 26.) It appears from these passages that although the laws of the United States are professedly founded on the principles of religion, morality, rational liberty, and security, they obtain only a very imperfect influence. It is still however sufficient to carry the country triumphantly through the purely agricultural state of society, which presents so many natural facilities. But as the difficulties incident to the commercial and manufacturing stages begin to arise, if a general improvement in the important respect just alluded to do not accompany them, it is easy to foresee the divisions and calamities which will befal the United States of America. America has been said by one of her own advocates to be a new and rising country, whose progress, which is unprecedently rapid, may be retarded but cannot be stopped; therefore whatever bad consequences may result from her internal or external policy, they will be but momentary. She may suffer most severely in the first instance, but the consequences can be only transitory. I must beg leave to limit the truth of these positions, by confining the application of them to the present condition of society in America. Even now, in the midst of general prosperity, individual industry is interfered with, notwith

standing all its natural advantages. Individual suffering is already the result; and the conflicting interests of commerce are daily aggravating the evil. But it is evident that by the adoption of the fourth principle, and in proportion as the obstacles to the perfect influence of the blessings just enumerated are removed, in such will individual suffering be diminished, and a permanent progress in public prosperity be secured.—Nor can the actual or probable evils be lessened, nay, they cannot be otherwise than materially aggravated, by any other scheme of remedy. It is surely superfluous to go about to prove, that in proportion as men are quiet, industrious, and moral in their private conduct; and charitable and considerate towards others; and as their government acts upon similiar principles; in the same degree will the happiness and comfort of individuals be increased, and the progress of population promoted:—and, as in the states of society here treated of the quantity of food must always exceed its proportion to the wants of the people, there can be no doubt that the increase of their numbers will be sound and healthy, and that they will not be driven into a state of vice and misery through any want of food: therefore every artificial impediment thrown in the way of the natural increase of population, or of any other spontaneous arrangement of the society, is not only unnecessary in point of policy, but also detrimental to the general spread of public and private happiness. We have no right to expect in this condition of mankind to meet with any marks of high refinement; it would therefore be absurd to complain of their absence. As the agricultural state is not favourable to works of genius, so neither is it productive of exalted

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