« AnteriorContinuar »
Jan. 26, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
tional interests in 1789; and the encouragement or pro- amount. The imported commodity, with this increased tection of it, both then and in 1816, and of all other inte price brought into the market, encouraged the home prorests comprehended in the general welfare, was neither ducer to labor for the supply of that market, in the hope inconsistent with the constitution, nor adverse to that or of receiving a price equally increased for his own proany other great interest of the South.
duct. No, sir, the cotton-growing interest of the South, in Did not impost produce that effect under the law of its youthful progress, received the cherishing encou- 1789? Cotton was then imported into the United States ragement of Congress as an affectionate child receives from Surinam; and was sold at not less than two shillings the care and kindness of a parent, with a gratitude warm New England currency, equal to thirty-three and a third and apparently sincere. Why, then, is the nation, like cents a pound. Impost, at the rate of three cents a pound, the good old Lear, “whose frank heart gave all,” now was, by that law, placed on imported cotton. Such cotleft by that South to feel “ how much sharper than a ser- ton immediately rose in the market three cents, equal to pent's tooth is filial ingratitude?” That interest has grown nine per cent. on its value in the domestic, and about to a sturdy manhood, has reached the age of independence; twelve per 'cent. ad valorem on the price in the foreign and, like those savages who destroy the parent to relieve market. A duty of six cents a pound was, by impost, the child from the burden of his support, now wages a placed on manufactured tobacco; of ten cents a pound on most unnatural war with the nation, because no longer in snuff. Did not these duties raise the price of these comwant of encouragement and protection.
modities, and so encourage home production to hasten Was the manufacture of cotton an interest unknown to into the market and obtain these increased prices? This Congress in 1789? No, sir, it was coeval in its com- increased price was intended to be the effect, and has been mencement here with the growth of that plant itself. the effect of all laws made for the encouragement of doThe papers read by one of the Ways and Means Com- mestic industry. How else could such laws give such enmittee date the commencement of that manufacture in couragement Such encouragement has been the effect, 1799; but this mistake of eleven years in the age of this and will be the effect of all impost on imported comgreat and absorbing interest of our country is but one modities, so long as imported commodities are so abunamong volumes of error collected and reported in those dant in your market as to regulate the price of such papers. An event in my life, never to be forgotten by commodities, whether foreign or domestic. If the imme, brought me to a knowledge of the origin of this in- porter set the price, and can command that price, he will terest, which enables me to correct this error. Permit charge whatever his imported commodity has cost abroad, me to speak as a witness concerning the commence with the cost of importation added, and the duty in addiment of a manufacture now not less important to the con- tion to the whole. If the domestic producer place a sumption than the production of our country.
commodity equally good in the market by the side of the In the spring of 1791 I turned my back on the summer foreign, he will get the same price; and the whole duty delights of the plough and the sickle, and on the winter will be so much encouragement to his labor and capital, amusements of the cooper's adze and driver; and, in the in supplying the market. April of that spring, I left the scene of the sports and Impost was irtended to operate as encouragement, and labors of twenty-one years for the school of the Rev. in this manner upon domestic production, until, by its Dr. Williams, for the purpose of collecting some know-long continuance and increased amount, such production ledge of those languages, by the mere scraps and frag- had, by its increased amount, obtained the control of the ments of which, scattered in this hall the other evening, domestic market. Then impost, which had, by raising the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. WILDE] so instructed price, operated as encouragement, begins to produce this committee. My first day's travel brought me at even- competition among domestic producers, and to operate as ing to Shephard's tavern, in the town of Wrentham. At protection operates. This competition reduces price; and this place I found a cotton mill of a few spindles en if impost be raised and sustained at the point of perfect in full operation. This miniature of what has since ap- protection, giving and securing the whole domestic marpeared in our country was a little slip planted here the ket to the domestic producers, competition will have its preceding summer, but taken from the parent stock, perfect effect, and reduce price to its lowest rate. which had been planted two years before at Pawtucket Has not this effect of impost, placed on imported comfalls, in the State of Rhode Island. The next year, pass-modities, been produced?' Was it not expected, and ining on the road from the school of Dr. Williams to Protended to be produced, when the law of July 4, 1789, vidence, I went through Pawtucket, and there, for the went into operation? first time, saw the first cotton mill ever set up in the Unit. Machinery was then imperfect; competition, not only ed States. This had, as I understood, been in operation in the United States, but in Europe, and between this more than three years. It is, therefore, known to me, country and Europe, has perfected all the old patterns, that the editor of these papers has, from carelessness or and invented and finished many new ones. design, mistaken the age of the cotton manufacture in our of invention, set to work by competition, produced the country, at least ten if not eleven years.
cotton-gin, and more than doubled the productive powers Let no man, deceived by these papers, pretend that of labor in raising and sending that staple to market. this great interest did not commence in the United States Our abundant and cheap lands render this principle less , until
lon years after the commencement of our system of efficient in other parts of agriculture; but in this country, encouragement and protection. It was in existence be- Wood's cast iron plough, and in England the scarifier, fore the meeting of the first Congress; and if the law of the drill, and the threshing machine, have greatly abridgJuly 4, 1789, embraced in its provisions every interest then ed labor, and cheapened production. in the country, this interest is eininently entitled to all The great improvements of the age have, under the their benefits.
influence of this competition, been made in machinery, What effects have been produced by this system of en- put in motion by water or by steam, to facilitate manufaccouraging and protecting policy, which were not intend- turing, transportation, and travelling. Every effort in ed to be produced by its operation? It was intended, 1st, these improvements seems to have had but one object, to encourage, and thereby increase, the amount of do- and that the diminution of cost, in every possible manmestic production. To effect this encouragement, by im- ner, by the diminished use of labor and capital in every post placed on imported commodities, the price of such production. Your attention, sir, will not be called by commodities must be raised in the domestic market by me, at this time, to any of the wonders effected by coma sum either equal to such impost, or to some smaller petition in any of the facilities given to travelling or
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The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 26, 1833.
transportation. Permit me for a moment to illustrate the system of encouragement and protection because it gives, effects of competition on the production of fabrics manu- and gives abundantly, and gives cheaply, food, and clothfactured from cotton.
ing, and shelter to the labor as well as to the wealth and At the commencement of our great system of policy, the leisure of our country? The owner of the slave comfor encouragement and protection, the cotton was, at a plains, because--ay, sir, because of what? Because of the cost of six or seven cents a pound, picked and prepared diminished price, not of clothing, not of bread, not of for the card, entirely by the labor of the hand. This la- provisions, not of sugar, not of iron, but of cotton. Sir, bor, if now expended on the eighty million pounds of this is the great, the continuing, the increasing injury cotton wrought into cloth in the United States, would cost wrought by our policy of encouragement and protection not less than five millions of dollars. To save this cost, a upon the owners of slaves. It awakens universal compecotton picker has been invented. This performs the tition, and crowds the markets of our country with all work at so little expense, that it does not equal what was kinds of commodities at the smallest rate of cost, at the formerly paid for carrying out the cotton to be picked by most diminished amount of price. Cotton, the product hand, and bringing it back when the work was done. of their peculiar capital, has felt the effects of competi
Cloth was, at first, woven in the hand loom, and six lion, and, with every other product in the trading world, cents a yard paid for the plainest and coarsest fabrics. has been reduced in market price. Shall this system, for The power loom was invented; and such cloths now cost this cause, be destroyed? It was established to enable a smaller number of mills for the weaving than the num- our country to supply its wants at the cheapest rate with ber of cents once paid for that work.
the most abundant quantity of all those commodities which Twenty years ago cloths were bleached in this coun- labor, and skill, and capital can produce. The system try by the sides of rivers, in fields, by the application of has hitherto performed this great work, and the accusawater and sunshine. This operation cost one-half the tions of its enemies are so many demonstrations that the price of weaving. Bleaching is now a chemical process, hopes of its friends have not been disappointed in its and the whole expense of it very inconsiderable. operations.
The same principle of competition has been applied It was intended, i grant, by the encouragement and to the production of machinery itself, though its opera- protection of manufacturing production, if not to augment tion here has effected a less saving of cost in this than in the price, yet mightily to extend the market for agriculthe fabrics produced by it; yet those who commence tural production. Ilas the system failed, or disappointed manufacturing now do realize from this cause a wonder- any of our hopes in this? Is not the agricultural market ful advantage over those who began ten years ago. At of our country extended, and extended too by the calls that time, one million spindles, with their accompanying made in that market for its products by encouraged and preparation, would have cost eighteen millions of dollars. protected manufacturing labor and capital? That number of spindles, and that quantity of preparation, Does not the manufacturing East make in this market may now be had for perhaps less than fourteen millions. a very efficient demand for the agricultural as well as mi
This competition, in this race of labor, which seems to neral products of almost every State in the Union? Does be the very spirit of our age, has set every power of hu- not the manufacturing labor, in working the capital of that man invention at full work to apply all physical agents in region, call efficiently on Virginia for tobacco and flour; aid of the human band. Streams which, at the com-on North Carolina for lumber and corn; on South Caro. mencement of our system, were either idle and babbling lina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi for cotton and brooks, or wild, ungovernable torrents, are brought up to rice; on Louisiana for sugar; on Kentucky, Ohio, and labor, or broken into the work, and move forward in the Indiana for beef, pork, hams, lard; on Illinois and Misservice like powerful animals trained to the harness, and souri for lead; on Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York for obedient to the voice of the driver. They require no wool; on Tennessee, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for forage to keep them in working condition; and when you iron? Look into every State wherever manufacturing have been at the expense of keeping their gear in repair, labor is permitted to set a foot, or to erect a workshop, you have saved all other cost of their employment. What and the operations of these establishments immediately has produced the skill, the perfected art, in every departo create in that place a new and efficient demand for the ment of manufacturing production, so much superior and products of the fields, the mines, the forests, and the fishso much less expensive than any thing known, either in eries of our country. this country or Europe, when our system of encourage This manufacturing labor brings into this market, in ment and protection was begun by the law of 1789? Sir, exchange for all these products of all our other labor, all all these wonders have been effected by competition; by its own various fabrics, cheapened by their reduced cost competition put in operation by that system in this country, and abundant quantity, under the ceaseless operation of and by a like system, first of all in England, and after- that spirit of competition first created and now kept alive wards adopted in France. Such has been the astonishing in our country by our great policy of encouragement and effect of this principle on skill, labor, physical agents, protection. machinery, and capital, in this and in other countries, that Sir, is there no benefit peculiar to our country found in commodities which we now export and import at a cost a market at our own door, so supplied with domestic maof seventy-five millions of dollars, would, in 1789, have nufactured fabrics, and thus offered in exchange for the cost two hundred and fifty millions of dollars if the labor products of the land, and labor of our country in all our . of the world could then have supplied them for human other employments? It was not forgotten in 1789, when consumption.
we began our system of encouragement and protection, Sir, who complains of this diminished cost of produc- that our country was distant three thousand miles from tion in those necessaries of life, which enables the laborer the looms and workshops of all Europe. Our supply of to feed as well, and to dress better than any peer of the manufactured fabrics, if brought over such a distance, realm at any time during the wars of the white and red must of necessity be charged with all the cost expended rose in England? Not the poor man. No, sir; but poor in the several voyages made for that purpose. It was men make no complaint; nor middling interest men; nor believed by statesmen of that homely period of our hisany of all those freemen who do the work, and fight the tory that if we travelled three thousand miles to purchase wars of the world. Neither, sir, does involuntary labor our shoes and stockings, many of us would, for want of complain, as I presume; for that labor may have some the wherewithal, be compelled to go barefooted. Should interest in the cheapness of some commodities. Who, our country carry abroad to Europe raw hides, wool, iron, then, does complain? Who wages war against our great and cotton, to be manufactured for our consumption, we
Jan. 26, 1833. }
The Tariff Bill.
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must ourselves pay the expense of this exportation. market for these great staples of our country, whenever Freight, charges, and insurance against the perils the the policy of Europe should exclude them from the marseas would only be equal to fifteen per cent.
kets of those countries. The wisdom of that provision if we export other raw materials, or breadstuffs and can be equalled by nothing but by that folly which shall provisions, to pay the labor of Europe for this manufac- now destroy it. ture, these would come to the constimption of that labor It was likewise foreseen that, without such a market, at a cost augmented by a like amount of freight, charges, it would not be possible to preserve that independence and insurance. If labor be one-third part in the cost of wbich had then so lately been achieved. The staff of manufactured products, then one-third part of this aug- bread is the staff of power; and any nation which can demented cost would fall on their products manufactured fend her own fields, can control every nation which must for us: this would add five per cent. more to their cost. be fed from them. What has been the fate of those naThe cost of importations, at least fifteen per cent. more, tions which, without lands to supply their people with must be added to the whole amount; and thus, at all times, food, have striven for wealth' and power by commerce in the most peaceable condition of the world, and when alone? Ancient Tyre, Carthage, Venice, and Genoa, have trade was perfectly free with all nations, the whole con- given lessons to the world on this question; and by Engsumption of our country in foreign manufactured fabrics lish statesmen those lessons have been deeply studied; must, by our distance from Europe, forever have been and they have carried the learning derived from those encumbered with thirty-five per cent. charged on the lessons into the policy and legislation of their own counwhole amount, for the cost, charges, and perils of trans- try. Although that nation controls the ocean, and might, portation. To this must also be added the war perils by her fleets, safely convoy her corn from Hindostan or of this transportation. There has not been more than New Holland, yet never will she make it a part of her one year of peace in every two years since the establish- policy to draw her bread from any fields beyond the ment of this Government. During three years of the shores of her own glorious island. When population time, our own country was engaged in war, and, in every presses hard on subsistence, she will send out citizens to other year, such was the character of belligerent contro- other nations, colonies to other countries. It is her poliversy among the nations of Europe, that our commerce cy to export men; but it is not, and never will be, her poon the ocean was, while war existed between them, ex- licy to import corn. posed to almost every kind and degree of belligerent In the early stages of society, independence for bread peril. A premium covering the perils of war between is more indispensable than independence for clothing: for the United States and any part of Europe is not less than man, in a savage state, may subsist, unsheltered and unfifteen per cent.; and if we admit war to have existed but clad, but he cannot continue life without food. Advancone-third of the time since 1789, the insurance against alled in civilization as we are, and with so many corporeal its risks on all our exports, and all our imports, would be wants other than that of food, what independence, in poat least five per cent. This adds ten per cent. more to litical power, could this nation retain while dependent on the cost of manufactures, paid for by exported raw mate other nations for those clothes which are wrought into rials, and imported for our consumption,
the every day garments of the people? Would those It is, therefore, manifest that our distance only from nations hold no influence in making our laws? no power Europe must, in the ordinary condition of nations, and in in the management of our elections? If England held in a state of perfectly free trade, charge not less than forty her hand our hats, now so needful to the very forms of per cent. on our whole imported consumption of manu- legislation in this hall, and our other garments, not only factured fabrics. To preserve our country from a cost in name, but in fact, indispensables, would not the Ameso onerous to our future consumption, was one great pur. rican people have some cause to doubt the independence pose of our system of encouragement and protection. No of our enactments, thus made by us bareheaded and sans policy, either free or friendly, established by other nations culottes? Sir, next to that dependence, felt by the nation in relation to the United States, could ever relieve us when fed on the feeding nation, must ever be that dependfrom this burden. It was the glorious allotment of those ence, which the American people would have felt, on the who first put this Government in motion, to devise a great power and legislation of England, had that people drawn scheme of policy, which, in its progress, should feed, our whole needful wearing apparel from the labor and the and clothe, and shelter, and accommodate every man, looms of that island. woman, and child in the nation by our own labor, and the We have been told by the South, in voluminous disuse of those agents of production placed by the Creator course on this floor, that such a mutual intercourse would within the limits of our own country, and in the reach of produce the most amiable and christian relations and feel. our own hands.
ings between the two nations. How may this be done? This system relieved our consumption from that bur- The people of England will never cross the Atlantic to den of expenditure, and it moreover opened a market, look for their bread in any ovens here in these United and provided a full supply of those fabrics in our own States. If then we were wise enough to cross the same country, and thereby secured to our agriculture the per- ocean, and walk into their workshops to look for our petual power of exchanging its own products for those clothing, how should we succeed, when we have nothing fabrics. By the removal of this great emporium of ex- but bread to offer them in exchange? Nay, it has been change from Europe to the United States, it is placed often insisted upon, both here and elsewhere in our counwithout the jurisdiction of all the laws, and restrictions, try, that our policy is intended to produce a spirit of inand prohibitions of the Old World; and agricultural and dependence, unsocial in its nature, and hostile to the manufacturing labor may now meet in this great mart of power of both nations. Mutual dependence would, as our country, and exchange their products without per- we are told, unite the two people by a golden chain of mission from the English Board of Trade, and without a commerce. Sir, I would not unite the American people, repeal of one provision in the corn laws of England. by any tie of dependence, to any other nation on earth;
This was one great purpose in the establishment of our nor, for all the countless millions of commercial wealth, system of policy. It was foreseen, in 1789, that the time would I, by even a golden chain, bind this youthful and would come when not only our provisions and the pro- vigorous nation to the foot of the British throne. The ducts of our forests and fisheries would be excluded from very birds of the air would teach us a esson of more England and France, but that our corn, rye, wheat, and wisdom: flour, then received, must also, in time, suffer a like ex “Would the young goldfinch quit hia native briar, clusion. It was the object of our system to provide a
“For the bright cage o'er-arch'd with golden wire?"
It was one of the great purposes of our system of en The same principle which gives employment to all the couraging and protecting policy, to relieve the American labor of a country, by separating that labor into all the people from a dependence on foreign nations still more various trades by which the various wants of a nation may degrading: Those nations generally impose a duty on be supplied, will encourage that labor to acquire the raw materials imported from foreign countries. In 1789, greatest attainable degree of skill. by the English tariff, the impost duty on iron in bars was Our system not only gives employment to the greatest thirty-eight dollars per ton, on wool thirty-three, and on quantity of labor, and produces the greatest degree of cotton twelve per cent. Had not our Government esta- skill in every branch of production, but does, moreover, blished a system of encouraging the manufacture of such call into use all the great agents of production bestowed materials in the United States, they would have been ex- on man by the Creator for his benefit and accommodation, ported; and, after paying these duties into the English These agents are the earth, the water, wind, and steam. treasury, they would, with that payment charged upon Fertility is the great principle of production peculiar to them, have been wrought into fabrics, imported into this the earth. This principle is called into use by a demand country, and we, after reimbursing this English tax, must for food, and is more and more varied in its operations, have quietly worn these English cottons and woollens, and perhaps increased in its powers, as that demand and used this English hardware and cutlery. From the grows more and more urgent by increased population. payment of this degrading tax, in support of the British Men employed in mechanic, manufacturing, or commerGovernment, the framers of our system of national policy cial labors, collect into hamlets, villages, towns, and cities. intended to relieve the American people.
The lands surrounding these congregations of people are The enemies of that policy would now repeal our great cultivated to supply them, first, with bread, then meat, system of encouragement and protection, and thereby in- then vegetables, then fruits and fuel. This gives to the crease and perpetuate that tax. They would destroy face of the country cornfields, meadows, pastures, garmanufacturing labor, skill, and machinery in this country, dens, orchards, groves, and forests. The fruits of the and compel the growers of wool and the makers of iron, earth, consumed on the land which produced them, or in as the producers of cotton in the United States now do, its neighborhood, encourage, nay, increase, its original to send their raw material to England for fabrication into fertility. The sweepings of the city enrich the fields woollens and hardware, that we may feel our dependence around it; and even the smoke of its fires, rising into the on that nation in winter no less than in summer, in the circumambient air, mingles with descending dews and North as well as in the South, when we plough our fields, showers, and gives a more vigorous growth and a deeper or when we sit at our tables and carve and cut up our verdure to the grass of surrounding meadows. food. Let those people, the degenerate descendants of Besides, this various production calls into use the vapatriotic and independent parents, yes, let them, to ob- rious powers of fertility. Instead of exhausting the earth tain British fabrics, submit to the payment of a British by one continued repetition of the same crop, a change tax on their own cotton. Let the wealthy planter feel the from one to another gives rest and refreshment to the soil, comfort of such a garment with such a mark upon it. No and skilful rotations not only preserve, but increase origione would take from him the luxury of this indulgence. nal fertility. Southern beauty and fashion may adorn themselves in the Compare the face of such a country with that of one delawn of foreign looms, wrought from the snowy fleece of voted to the production of cotton and tobacco, grown for their own sea islands. If they can forget their mothers, sale in the markets of distant nations. You will see naked, who, like Roman matrons, would have melted down their sun-burnt, steril old fields which died under the scourge own jewels, the ornaments of their youth and beauty, to of these productions, and are now thrown out in barrendefend the independence of their country; if they do not ness and desolation; but where is the orchard, the garden, now seem to behold those mothers looking on them from the meadow, the pasture, the sheltering grove? You may the realms of their blessedness with the eye of affection- find the waterfall, but without the hamlet of white houses ate rebuke, why, sir, then may the patriotism of these on its banks. Nowhere can you see the village spire, days, so much less devoted and unyielding, well look on and from no hill does your ear catch the sounds of the them without a sigh of regret.
distant city, the echoing hammers in the hundred hands Our great policy of independence will indeed relieve of her labor, or the roar of their thousand wheels. us from this degrading burden of English taxation, if we Nor is fertility alone, of all natural agents, pressed into do not suffer the enemies of our system and the friends of our service under our system of encouragement. The the English system to prevail; and because we have, un- wind, as a stationary power, is but little used in our counder our own system, completed the payments of our own try, so abundant in waterfalls. The wind is, nevertheless, debts, now abolish it, and adopt the English system, that rendered more useful by our labor than merely to blow under it we may be compelled to aid for centuries in pay- "round upon this pendent earth,” purify the air, and reing the debts of England.
fresh the animal and vegetable world. The sails of our In the establishment of our system of encouragement navigation are filled with its powerful volume; and our and protection, in 1789, it was known that such a systein commerce, both coastwise and foreign, is thus transmitted would, in the progress of its operation, call into employ on the wings of the wind, from port to port in our own, ment all the labor of our country. Men labor in any vo- and from region to region in almost all other countries. cation, to supply their own wants; and they will not con A system was once proposed to our nation, by which all tinue their labor beyond that original purpose, unless they our-labor might he recalled from the ocean, and, by cutcan exchange the surplus of their production for that of ting off one great branch of employment, leave the total some other man which they could not produce them- transportation of all our products to the skill and fidelity selves. The markets of the world are supplied by these of foreigners. Our nation was either not wise enough, or surpluses, and it is the certainty of exchanging them that too wise, to adopt this policy; but chose to continue her ensures their production. This principle originates all own factor in the little and the great marts of the woıld. trades, and parcels out all the labor of a nation into all Sir, there may be those who regard rivers as so many kinds of employments. If all cultivate the land, there conduits contrived to carry back to the ocean the waters will be abundance of food. Who would raise corn or raised by evaporation, and sent down in dews and showmake shoes to sell, where every body raises his own corn ers to refresh the earth. By our great system, the weight or makes his own shoes? It is only by the encouragement of these waters has been collected, and turned in their fall of all trades that all trades can live; and by the furnishing upon the wheels of machinery; and in this manner milof all employments alone, that all the labor of the nation lions of instruments, made to facilitate the operations of our can be employed,
Jan. 26, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
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labor, have been put in motion. Where waterfalls cannot for the instruments of war, but for the machines of labor. be found, or could not be applied, steam is generated and if, now, war break out, it is not for plunder; cities are not brought into employment, with like powers, and for the given up to pillage; captives are not sold for slaves; tersame and other purposes.
ritories do not change owners; men return again with These powers applied to machinery do, in effect, mul- eagerness to the habits of peace, and do not look to the tiply the human race, and give to us now the benefit of labors of the camp, but to those of the plough, the loom, the labor of millions not now, and who never will, be in and the sail, for emolument and wealth. No vestige of existence. They multiply the power of the human band, ancient war among independent christian nations now resome twenty, some fifty, and some a hundred fold. Eve- mains, unless it be in those fragments of slavery, which, ry one person laboring with the aid of these machines is perhaps, neither sound policy, nor justice, nor piety itself, equal to fifty persons working with the hands only; every can tear away from the texture of that society where they one hundred to five thousand; and every one hundred are found. if labor, therefore, and not the sword, be the thousand to five millions. Who would not cherish a sys- great staff on which nations lean for support and for wealth, tem which calls into service powers so abundant, but so then should it be their great policy to call their whole labor useless without this system? In the little State of Rhode into employment, improve its skill to the utmost point of Island, with no stream forty miles in length, the water perfection, aid that skill by every kind of machinery which power is believed to be equal to that of 17,000 horses. may save the consumption of labor, and support the ope. The water power of the seven States south of the Poto- rations of that machinery by the power of all those agents mac probably equals the whole animal power of all the placed within our reach by Him who has committed the horses on earth; and, if harnessed to well constructed destiny of every people on earth to their own keeping: machinery, would, in the hands of skilful mechanics, per Wealth is power; and the defence of every nation deform more work than could be done by three hundred pends on its wealth. The wealth of a nation is its labor, millions of people.
its skill, its machinery, its abundant control of all the Sir, it was to employ all our Jabor, elicit all our skill, great agents of nature employed in production. A great perfect all our machinery, and bring into use every agent store of goods, laid up for many years, was the wealth of of production, the power of the earth, the water, of wind, a fool; but such a store is the poverty of a nation. A and of steam, that our great system was begun, and has great annual consumption alone can ensure a great and been carried on towards perfection. Must we, who have augmented annual reproduction. The labor of a nation already barnessed and broke these rude agents of nature can no otherwise be sustained than by a consumption of into the work, must we turn them loose again, in all their its products. The products of human labor, in food and wildness, because men in other parts of the country clothing, like the fruits of the earth, are annual; and God, choose to stand idle on the banks of their native streams, in his wisdom, has adjusted human wants to its powers of and refuse to start these their powerful teams in the production. Like the bread from heaven, that the Giver course of labor and competition with us? God forbid might not be forgotten, the dew of every night produced that industry should be controlled in her labors by indo- the crop, and the labors of every day gathered in the lence; or that this nation should unyoke these our gigan- barvest. tic powers of production, and naked-handed enter into What but a mighty phalanx of labor, an almost boundcompetition with the laborers of the world, aided, as they less power of consumption and reproduction, has defendare, by every agent of nature, instructed by every pro-ed, and now sustains England in all the athletic vigor of cess of science, and made skilful by every improvement the most glorious days of that extraordinary nation! Men of art.
who speculate on the duration of nations seem to assign Sir, in this age of the world, the wealth of nations de to them the several periods of human life-youth, manpends on their labor. There was a time, nay, for many hood, old age, final dissolution. They draw their concluages, plunder was the great resource of nations. The sions from the nations of antiquity, and apply them to first kingdom established on earth was sustained by the those of modern times. They forget that those ancient conquest and pillage of many nations; and “great Baby- nations were like beasts of prey, which find an enemy in lon, the glory of the Chaldean empire,” was built and every living thing, and must be, sooner or later, circumadorned by the spoils of all Asia. The exorbitant wealth vented by stratagem, or overpowered and destroyed by of one nation, thus obtained, gave an example to the force. Producing nothing by their own labor, and conworld, and awakened the ambition, and sharpened the suming all which, by violence, they could plunder from avarice of others; until the Assyrian was conquered and the labors of others, their whole existence was a burden plundered by the Persian, the Persian by the Macedo- to the human race, and they were finally destroyed, as a nian, and he, at last, devoured by the Roman power. common nuisance to mankind. Not so with England: she The wolf which nursed their founder seems to have given is a glorious example of the self-subsisting, the all-proa hunger for prey, insatiable, to the whole nation. Per- ducing, and all-defending powers of labor. With a valor haps there was not a house, nor a temple, between the purely Spartan, she builds no wall against the wars of the Atlantic and the Euphrates, wbich was not plundered by world. Her little island, accessible at a thousand points, some one of that nation of marauders.
and often within gunshot of the embattled fleets of her eneSir, the tide of ages, century after century, had rolled mies, has not, for more than seven hundred years, been over the last fragment of Roman power; the light of stepped upon by a hostile foot. What has enabled her to science dawned on the world, and a knowledge of letters do this? Her untiring labor; her unrivalled skill; her unwas disseminated by the press, before men seemed to be equalled machinery; her exhaustless capital, and unboundlieve that our Creator had, in fact, announced to the first ed control over all the agents of production. Her goods, of our race, that “ by the sweat of his face man should wares, and merchandises are in all the markets of the eat his bread all the days of his life.” It may be difficult world; and wherever she wants a tongue to speak to her to enumerate all the different causes which changed the cause, or a sword to be drawn in her quarrel, if such things character of the nations of Europe. No one cause has can be found in those markets, she can command them. done so much in changing that character from war and This manufacturing nation did, in the last war of Euplunder, as that pure, meek, and quiet philosophy, which rope, exhibit a spectacle never before seen by the world. has taught all men to “ do unto others as they would that she stood alone against the embattled continent; and, others should do unto them.” Rebuked by this divine at last, with her own spindle and distaff, demolished a precept, men have sheathed the sword, and put their despotism, an iron pyramid of power, built on a base of hand io the plough; they have mined the earth, and not all Europe.