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ing industry in which the resources of per cent. in a few years; and having Belgium mainly consist. From the doubled in the last two years, when supply of 16 millions of people, including modified regulations and improvements Holland and her India possessions, upon the roads have facilitated the East and West, she found her con- transportation of that trade which the sumers reduced to four millions. The improved condition of the German free trade between her and Holland, states, under internal free trade, has which operated to mutual advantage created. The external commerce of under the union, was supposed to be France has increased from 1,595 milinjurious as soon as the governments lions francs in 1835 to 2,496 millions became separated, and protective tariffs francs in 1846, being near 75 per cent. were mutually interposed to preserve in five years. As the French figures home-industry from the supposed de are official, or prices fixed by law to structive effects of that competition value the products, they represent which previously had benefited it. · In quantities in a comparison, and there1833 the government of Belgium fore indicate the real progress of trade projected a uniform and comprehensive in a given number of years. The manusystem of rail-ways, to the construc- facturing and trading interests of the tion of which the surface of Belgium north and west of Europe may, as a is, from its geographical position, whole, be put down as having increased adapted in a most extraordinary degree. 60 per cent. in the last ten years, and The plan finally executed was that of must consequently have produced the taking one point in the centre of the same effect upon the consumption of kingdom, and constructing lines radia- food as has the progress of the same ting from that centre to every side of interests in Great Britain. Manufacthe kingdom. The average cost of tures and trade present attractions in these roads is $42,000 per mile. The their elasticity and profits which agriprincipal lines of these roads were culture in Europe nowhere holds out. opened in 1835, since when the busi- This truth is peculiarly evident in the ness of Belgium has improved as fact, that after a quarter of a century of follows:
profound peace, steady corn-law protection in all the countries of Europe,
and large annual purchases of their Railroad receipts.. ..12,500,000....12,300,000 surplus by England for nine consecuPassengers carried......... 1,275,000.... 3,436,000 tive years, Europe, as a whole, has
failed in the last year to produce more These figures show a most extraor- than enough to feed her own people. dinary increase in the trade of these In the United States the reverse has roads, which were the chief agent in been the case. The population increases developing that extension of commerce in the ratio of 100 per cent. every 20 which the official returns of the king- years, and 80 per cent. of that populadom present. In 1831, when the sepa- tion are active, enterprisin and skilful ration took place, the general imports agriculturists, possessed of all the imand exports of the kingdom amounted provements of the age adapted to the to 202,592,865 francs. In 1835, when most prolific soil ever occupied by man, the principal lines of roads were open- and intersected by works that make the ed, it reached 359,675,121 francs; and cost of time and money in the transin 1845 it reached 676 millions of francs, portation of produce comparatively of or $126,000,000, being 60 per cent. of but little moment. Railroads and the external commerce of the United canals, aided by steam, have brought States. The most interesting feature the great valley of the Mississippi as of this vast increase is that of the transit near to London as a few years since trade, or the passage of goods across was that of the Tweed. Many of the Belgium from the sea to the interior same men who formerly produced food countries of Europe in its vicinity, and in the north of England are now applyvice versa. This trade, previously to ing the same labor, with much greater the construction of rail-roads, amounted success, to the same object in western to but 14 millions francs. In 1845 it America. The labor that served in reached 125 millions francs, being 900 England to raise 18 bushels average,
now suffices for the production of 30 on the worn-out lands bordering the bushels of wheat. The constant im- Baltic, and which yield 6 bushels for provements in the means of transpor- two sown, will successfully compete tation, and the competition of rival with the active and intelligent industry lines, are continually diminishing the of an American farmer on his ground. cost of transportation, and the Imperial which yields 30 bushels of better Parliament has now removed an hith- wheat. Although the peasants of the erto almost insurmountable artificial North of Europe are no longer called barrier to the admission of grain into slaves, they are so in fact, much in the England. From London as a centre, same manner that slavery exists in the cost of transportation will now Mexico. The peasants of Poland hold form the only difference between the a number of acres, usually 35 to 50, wheat of Western America and of the from their lord, for which they are North of England. As an off-set to the bound to work on his land two days advantage of proximity, the former in the week with oxen; if he requires yields nearly double the quantity for them two days more he pays 6 cts. per the same amount of labor, and its pro- day, if the remaining two days of the duce are untaxed, either for rent, week, he pays such a sum as they can Church, or materially for county poor. agree upon. As he requires their In England the taxes for the two last labor usually when their own land most items have been estimated at 15s. ster wants their services, it is any thing but ling per acre, or 18 cts. per bushel of willingly performed. He is bound to wheat, and this alone is equal to the furnish them with oxen in case one cost of producing wheat in the West- dies, and also their ploughs and impleern country. When the settler occu- ments, such as they are. The peasants, pies the prairie, he encounters, the first since their personal liberty was proyear, the expense of fencing and break- mulgated in 1791, may leave the estate, ing up the soil, in addition to the but they must first discharge their debts expense of seed-sowing, cutting and to its lord. This is the same tenure of harvesting. The average expense of liberty as in Mexico, and the result is all these items for the first year is less usually the same, viz, that they are than $8, and the product for the first always in debt, and are always hopeyear averages 20 bushels of sound lessly working on at the bidding of anwheat, which therefore costs 40 cents other. When the freedom of these peasper bushel. After the first year, the ants was first decreed, they were greatly expense of fencing and breaking up” alarmed, because it was viewed only in is not incurred, and the remaining the light of relieving their lords from expense will average $1 50 per acre, the duty of protecting them in old age and the yield 30 bushels, or 15 cts. per and sickness. T'hese people live in bushel, or 5s. 6d. sterling per quarter. thatched wooden huts, in the single This wheat is the producer's own room of which the cattle and inhabitants property. Whatever it brings in mon crowd together. Their food is mostly ey is his own. It is not the property cabbage, potatoes, black bread, &c. of a lordly owner, who must keep up " Whenever the peasant,” says Mr. his state and retinue out of the proceeds. Jacoba " has a small quantity of proIt is the result of the industry of him duce to dispose of in the market town, who conquered the soil and drew forth a portion of the money is first used to its riches by his exertions. purchase salt, the remainder is comWhatever profit the grain yields him monly expended in intoxication.” is the reward of that industry.
This is the country, these the people, It has been alleged that grain is and such their habits, from whom the produced at small cost in the serf American farmer is to apprehend sucdistricts of Europe, because labor is cessful competition in a steady English cheap. Thus, it has been alleged market for wheat. The mere suppothat under free trade in corn, the cap- sition is a libel on the country. ital of England will be transferred to There can be no trade, either internal Europe, where labor can be had at 6d. or external in any country, which is not per day, and that capital employing the based on an interchange of the produce unskilful and unwilling labor of serfs of industry. In the North of Europe,
where the people are not sufficiently upon each other, has been the result of refined to use wheat as an article of government jealousies kept alive by parfood, their wants in all respects are ties who have sought special privileges circumscribed, and they do not require, to theinselves, at the expense of the in exchange for the wheat they raise remaining portion of the people at exclusively as an article of export, those home and abroad.
It has been suparticles of British manufacture which posed that the welfare the state constitute the means of England to pay required its “independence," as it has for food, and which are of first neces been called, of other countries for its sity to the well-being of the American supplies. Yet the nation that has a agriculturists, the refinements and great deal to sell, is as much dependent attainments of whose families are su upon the buyer as the latter is upon perior to many of the rural lords in the producer. The transaction of sale Europe. It is this community of and purchase is a mutual benefit. interests between the Anglo-Saxons Special privileges have only served to of England and those of the United make the government and certain classes States, that under a free system, will rich and powerful at the expense of ensure to the latter the supply of all the the mass of the people. England is an grain of which England may be deficient, eminent example of the working of this and the interchange of commodities theory. Her government and aristocreduces the cost of transportation. If racy combine power and wealth in an a vessel leaves the port of New York extraordinary degree, but the condition with grain, she charges 3d. sterling or of her people is far from enviable. Her 18 cts. per bushel freight, and she power itself is fast becoming nominal. cannot carry less, because she is almost In an actual war she would indeed insure to come back empty, and that 18 flict great and serious injuries upon her cts. covers the expense of two passages. opponent; but her commercial interests, If she had a return cargo, the same on which that power rests, makes the profit would accrue from 9 cts. freight existence of the war impossible. The on a bushel of grain out, which item people of England have discovered that alone would reduce the cost of the peace and commerce are the means of wheat delivered in England 3s. 6d. per their welfare, and not taxes and glory. quarter. The want of this intercom- To extend commerce they have successmunion is the great source of distress fully demanded free trade in corn. at this moment both in England and The idea that to depend upon foreign the states. The chief products of the nations for corn is injurious to the former are manufactures, and of the national welfare, has been pronounced latter, agricultural produce. In both by the popular leaders in Parliament, countries there is an over-production an absurdity, and the national voice has of the staples of each, a glut of mar declared for entire freedom in the trade kets and a most unparallelled depreg. in that article. The United States sion in prices; while in each country are eminently fitted by resources there is a great want of the surplus habits, industry, and position, to supply products of the other. Manufactured the wants of England; and the people goods were never so abundant or so of this country have demanded an low as in England, and produce, partic- abandonment of the obsolete notion of ularly wheat and wheat flour, scarcely protective duties, which, in their operaever presented in any country such tion, mean, practically, an embargo on quantities for so little money, as is now sales of corn to England, by forbidding the case in the United States.
the entry of the returns in products of The farmers of America cannot buy British industry. The state of Texas, goods, either foreign or domestic, be- in its independent condition, could not cause they cannot dispose of their pro- successfully carry on its government, duce. The operatives of England can- and it asked to be annexed to the not buy a sufficiency of that produce, Union. It was so annexed, and prohibecause the glutted market for goods bitive duties on both sides abolished, suspends their labors and wages at the leaving absolute free trade between it same time. This unnatural separation and the other states; and this freedom of interests and mutual injury inflicted of trade is the only manner in which
annexation brings itself home to the according to the admitted principles of people in their individual transactions. trade, be enhanced here and in England. They now derive their supplies from, Why, under that increased demand, and send their produce to, the United will the manufacture be diminished ? States, uncounted and untaxed, and The pretence is evidently without they experience the benefit of it. En- foundation in fact. The only effect will gland now virtually proposes the same be to lessen the profits of the factory annexation. By abolishing her corn monopolists. The demand for an inlaws, she asks to have her 18 millions creased quantity of goods must increase of Anglo-Saxons numbered among the the number of operatives, and, as a conconsumers of western bread-stuffs, and sequence, improve their wages. Mithe conditions are, that the producers chelet,* the able historian of France, of those bread-stuffs shall take their pay describes this operation as follows: in the products of British industry. This is objected to by the makers of “ All who can do nothing else, take to similar goods here, on the plea that the tending of machines, and in proportion England can furnish them “ too cheap;” wretchedness increases. On the other hand,
to their number, their wageslower, and their that unless the monopoly prices that articles, thus cheaply manufactured, are exist here can be sustained, the manu- brought within the reach of the poor, so facture will be abandoned, and the Union that the misery of the machine workman become “dependent" upon England lessens in some degree the misery of the for goods. What then ?
If the vast workmen and peasants, who are, probably, capital, manufacturing skill, and re some seventy times the more numerous. sources of England, become annexed “We had experience of this in 1842. to the United States through the bond The cotton mills were at their last gasp ; of mutual interest, and the people of the warehouses full to bursting, and no
sale. The terrified manufacturer neither this country enjoy a larger quantity of dared work nor stop with these devouring comforts and luxuries for the same la- machines of his ; interest on the money bor that they now bestow, where will he has borrowed does not stop. He kept be the evil ? If the great capitals of the his mills going half days, and heaped goods Lancashire mill-owners come to com on goods. Prices fell; to no purpose.pete with the corporate monopoly mill. They went on falling, until coiton fell to owners here, for the supply of the great three-pence a yard. * A miracle mass of the American people, there may
followed ; that word three-pence operated be fewer overgrown fortunes in the
into an “open sesame.” Millions of purhands of the mill-owners, but there will
chasers of poor folks, who never bought,
started up. It was then found how imbe more comfort diffused through the mense a consumer the people is when set land.
agoing. The warehouses were emptied as It is, however, not true that any if by magic. The machines went to work diminution of manufactures will take like furies. The chimneys vomited smoke. place in consequence of European com
It was a revolution in France, petition; on the contrary, the consump- scarcely noted, but still a great one; a tion of goods must be vastly increased, revolution in the cleanliness and embellishand, as a consequence, the quantity to linen, bed-linen, table-linen, window-cur
ment of the dwellings of the poor-bodybe made must swell in an equal ratio. tains-whole classes acquired these things The free import of corn into England that had never before known what they will ensure cheap bread in England, were since the beginning of the world." and every practical person is aware that in England cheap food is accompanied This was the wonder-working magic by a larger consumption of goods. of that cheapness of price which proThe same cause will produce a steady tectionists held up as a bug-bear to the market for produce, and enhance the people. This cheapness, by which means of the farmers to buy goods ; goods are placed within the reach of while the low prices of those goods will all, is carefully guarded against by the ensure an extensive consumption. By protective policy. Grave statesmen a double process, therefore, the de- and Christian philanthropists raise an mand for manufactured goods must, outcry against the “pauper labor" of
+ " The People." By M. Michelet, author of the History of France. D. Appleton & Co. New-York.
Europe, which hackneyed phrase, if taxed to the utmost of her physical it means anything, means that the pro- powers, to tend three where before two ducts of industry and frugality jeopar- was considered a great task. These dize the profits of indolent possessors three looms then would produce three, of capital. It is not alone against the pieces in the same time that two were foreign artizan resident abroad that this formerly produced. The price allowed cry is directed, but it is applied to the the girl was reduced from 16 cents adopted citizen, who, seeking our shores to 11 cents per piece; she therefore that he may enjoy the whole fruits of received 33 cents for the same length his own industry, is assailed because of time employed as when she received his habits of rigid frugality and perse- 32 cents for producing two pieces. Her vering industry are destructive of cor extra exertion in producing the third porate privileges and_paper money piece is the increased profit
of the millprofits. In relation to English manu owner, who memorialises Congress for factures, the wages of operatives are protection against British “pauper lahigher than in the United States. The bor," because he has increased the report of the Parliamentary factory wages of his own operatives; that is, commissioners state, that the average he pays her 33 cents where he paid labor in England is 69 hours per week 32 cents before! This increased profor 11s., or $2 64. In the United States, duction does not lower the price here, 78 hours for 10s., or $2 40. The ave- because, as soon as the United States' rage in Lowell is $1 50 per week, and markets are overloaded, the goods are $1 25 board, being $2 75, or 118. 6d. exported to China and India, where per week. These figures show that they undersell the English goods at a England has no advantage over the discrimination of 10 per cent. duty in United States in cheapness of labor. favor of the latter. This system is In the last two years a very great re
secure in the hands of monopolists as duction has been made in the prices long as the large capital of England is paid for weaving. The manner of it has debarred from competing with the been thus:-Prior to 1842 a girl tended corporate capital here. It is impossible two power looms, and she received for individuals here to compete with 16 cents per piece for cotton cloth pro- vested capitals of a million dollars and duced; these looms are driven by steam upwards each, and the protection of the or water-power. In 1841–2, the speed people against this oppression is to be at which these looms were propelled found only in the aid of the large capital was reduced, and the girl required to of Lancashire, whose people are now tend three. The most healthy and ac- asking our farmers to sell them their tive girls were selected, and the others surplus flour for their goods. The discharged. As soon as habit enabled practical annexation of the manufacturher to tend the three looms with com- ing interests of England to the agriculparative facility, the speed was increas- tural interests of the United States ed, and still further exertion on her through free trade, again unites the part became necessary. This process Anglo-Saxon race in an indissoluble continued until the old speed was re- bond, and gives a new impulse to the stored, and an active strong girl became prosperity of this glorious Union.