Imagens das páginas


lions, and the duties charged $47,794,- ticular were aggrieved by it. The in133, or 21 per cent. average. The fuential New-England interests were protective system having once started, then commercial, and they were sufcontinued rapidly to grow; because fering under the oppression that they it is its nature to “ make the meat it endured for the benefit of the manufeeds on." The protection afforded facturers. They took measures by the tariff of 1816 was soon thought, oppose the progress of the protective by incompetent and unskilful experi- principle. In the year 1820 the leadmenters in manufactures, to be insuffi- ing men of Boston called meetings at cient; and in 1818 a new tariff was Faneuil-Hall, the old “cradle of libenacted, which continued six years in erty;" and at an adjourned meeting, force, and under it the imports were held Oct. 3, 1820,* the whole princi$465,530,539, and the duties $128,- ple of protection was denounced, as 192,685, or 28 per cent., being about hostile to the true interests of the the same average taxation as during country, oppressive to all manufacturthe war. The operation of these on ers of small capital, and inconsistent erous taxes was soon found to be inju- with the principles of the constitution rious in the extreme to all other inte- and sound policy. At that meeting

The commercial classes in par- the Hon. Daniel Webster made a most


Boston, October 3, 1820. "Ne Tariff:-Yesterday an adjourned meeting, on the subject of the proposed tariff, was held at Faneuil Hall, Hon. William Gray, Chairman, and William Foster, Esq., Secretary.

A long and interesting report was read from the respectable committee appointed at a former meeting, which concluded with the following resolves :

Resolved, That we have regarded with pleasure the establishment and success of manufactures among us, and consider their growth, when natural and spontaneous, and not the effect of a system of bounties and protection, as an evidence of general wealth and prosperity.

Resolved. That relying on the ingenuity, enterprise, and skill of our fellow citizens, we be. lieve that all manufactures adapted to our character and circumstances will be introduced and extended as soon, and as far, as will promote the public interests, without any further protection than they now receive.

Resolved, That no objection ought ever to be made to any amount of taxes equally appor. tioned, and imposed for the porpose of raising revenue necessary for the support of government; but that taxes imposed on the people for the sole benefit of any one class of men, are equally inconsistent with the principles of our constitution and

with sound policy. Resolred, That the supposition that, antil the proposed tariff, or some similar measure, be adopted, we are, and shall be, dependent on foreigners for the means of subsistence and defence, is, in our opinion, altogether fallacious and fanciful, and derogatory to the character of the nation.

Resolved, That the high bounties on such domestic manufactures as are principally benefited by that tariff, favor great capitalists rather than personal industry, or the owners of small capital, and that therefore we do not perceive its tendency to promote national industry.

Resolved, That we are equally incapable of discovering its beneficent effects on agriculture, since the obvious consequence of its adoption would be, that the farmer must give more than be now does for what he buys, and receive less for what he sells.

Resolred, That the imposition of duties which are enormous, and deemed by a large por. Lion of the people, to be unequal and unjust, is dangerous, as it encourages the practice of smuggling.

Resolved, That in our opinion the proposed tariff, and the principles upon which it is avow. edly founded, would, if adopted, have a tendency, however different may be the motives of those who recommend them, to diminish the industry, impede the prosperity, and corrupt the morals of the people.

James T. Austin, Esq., and the Hon. Daniel Webster, addressed their fellow-citizens, in favor of the report and the resolves, in speeches, which were distinguished for closeness of argument, variety of illustration, and abundance of fact.

The report was then accepted, and the resolves recommended by the committee unanimously passed.

A role of thanks to the Hon. Mr. Otis, of the Senate, and to those members from this state, in the House of Representatives of the United States who opposed the new tariff, was unanimously agreed to."

The names of the committee were-
William Gray,
William Shimmin, John Cotton,

Lot Wheelwright,
James Perkins, Thomas W. Ward, Daniel Webster, Caleb Loring,
John Dorr,
William Harris, Natban Appleton,

Samuel A. Wells,
Nathaniel Goddard, George Hallet, Abbot Lawrence,

George Bond,
Benjamin Rich, Joseph Knapp, Joseph Sewall, S.P. Gardner,
Israel Thorndike, jr. Winslow Lewis, Jonathan Phillips,

Isaac Winslow,
Thomas Wigglesworth,

John Parker,

William Sturgis.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

unanswerable speech upon the uncon "And, after all, how few of all the members stitutionality and inexpediency of the

of society are to be benefited by this system, protective policy. Upon the first head Certrinly not all manufacturers, nor all me

so artificially and elaborately constructed. he spoke as follows:

chanics--but a particular class only.

" Manufactaring capital comes, in the end, "He thought it, therefore, quite unjustifia.

to be owned but by few. It does not, thereble, that those who could not sapport the pro. fore, encourage industry, like capital employposed tariff, should be charged with hostility ment in some other pursuits. The case of the to domestic indastry. There was power in establishment mentioned in the Report was in names, and those who had pressed the tariff point to this argument. Half a million of dol. on Congress, and on the country, had repre. sented it as immediately, and almost exclu; those principally women and children. Now,

lars gives employment 10 265 persons, and sively connected with domestic industry and what employment of that sum, in almost any National Independence. In his opinion, no

other pursuit, could fail to demand and require measure conld prove more injurious to the in

more human labor? If vested in agriculture, dustry of the country, and nothing was more the sum would command good and productive fanciful, than the opinion (that National Inde

land sufficient to employ, he might almost say, pendence rendered such a measure necessary.

all the cotton-spinners in the United States. He certainly thought it might be doubted, whether Congress would not be acting some. what against the spirit and intention of the These sound principles were continuConstitution, in exercising a power to control ed to be advocated by New-England essentially the pursuils and occupations of in interests and Mr. Webster as theirorgan, dividuals in their private concerns-a power

up to the passage of the tariff of 1824. to force great and sudden changes, both of occupation and property, upon individuals, not

On the occasion of the discussion of as incidental to the exercise of any other pow. that tariff, Mr. Webster, in the Senate, er, but as a substantive and direct power. If ably opposed the protective system, such changes were wrought incidentally only; but evidently more in relation to expeand were the necessary consequence of such imposts as Congress, for the leading purpose diency than in support of principles. of revenue, should enact, then they could not In relation to the cotton manufacturer, be complained of. But he doubted whether he stated, Congress fairly possessed the power of turn. ing the incident into the principal, and instead " Ag to cotton manufactures, it is agreed, I of leaving manufacturers to the protection of believe, that they are generally successful. It such laws as should be passed, with a prima is anderstood that the present existing duty ry regard to the revenue, of enacting laws, operates pretty much as a probibition over with the avowed object of giving preference those descriptions of fabrics to which it ap. to particular manufactures, and without an en- plies* * 'I consider the cotton manufacture not tire disregard to all the considerations of reve only to have reached, but to have passed the nue; and, instead of laying such imposts as point of competition. I consider their success would best answer the purpose of raising a as certain," revenue, with the least burden on the public, carrying the impost on certain articles to a barthensome excess, with a full knowledge

Also in regard to iron, he remarked, that the increase of duty will diminish the “ The bill proposes to raise the duty amount of revenue raised.

from $15 to $22 50 per ton, which would • It would hardly be contended, that Con. be equal to a tax of $1,125,000 on the gress possessed that sort of general power by whole annual consumption. So that, supwhich it might declare that particular occupations sho be pursued in ociety, and that pose the point of probibition which is aim. others should not. If such power belonged to

ed at by some gentlemen to be attained, any Government in this country, it certainly the consumers of the article would pay did not belong to the General Government. this last mentioned sum every year to the The question was, therefore, and he thought prolucers of it, over and above the price it a very serious question, whether, in laying at which they could supply themselves duties under the authority to lay imposts, ob with the same articles from other soirces. viously given for the purpose of revenue, Congress can, reasonably and fairly, lose sighi There would be no mitigation of this bur. of those purposes entirely, and levy duties for dea, except from the prospect, whatever other objects. Congress may tax the land; that miglit be, that iron would fall in value, but, it would be a strange proposition, if Con- by doinestic competition, after the importgress should be asked to lay a land tax for ation should be prohibited. It will be the direct purpose of withdrawing capital easy, I think, to show that it cannot fall; from agriculture, and sending those engaged and supposing for the present that it shall 'in it to other pursuits. The power, however, not, the result will be, that we shall py erists in one case as much as in the other. " For his own part, he had sapposed that

annually a sum of $1,125,000. constantly restrictions on trade and commerce, in order ang meuted, too, by increased consumption to benefit particular classes of manufactures of the article, to support a business that were now very generally understood to be cannot support itself." mischievons, and inconsistent with just no. tions of political economy.

The tariff of 1824 passed and con


tinued in operation four years, during growing power of a manufacturing oliwhich the imports were $349,308,444, garchy, had aroused popular indignaand the duties $115,637,962, or 31 per tion. The annual average of taxation cent. ; or bigher than ever before. In had swollen from 10 to 40 per cent., the mean time, notwithstanding this and the manufacturers were as clamorenormous protection, which had been ous as ever for more protection. The enjoyed for 10 years, great failures took point of non-intercourse with the rest of place among the manufacturers. Im- the world was rapidly approximating. mense buildings and costly machinery The "incident" had long been “substiwere sold out at great sacrifice. Influ- tuted forthe principle," and the constituential New-England men invested in tional power to regulate” trade was these works, and the result was, the construed as authority to crushit. Atthis adhesion of New-England to the pro- juncture, Mr. Webster was the defentective principle; and Mr. Webster der of the constitutionality of protection. declared in the Senate, May 9, 1828, New-England had long surrendered

her views of the expediency, and now “Nothing was left to New-England, after of the power where it had been pushed

she contended for the constitutionality the Act of 1824, but to conform herself to the will of others. Nothing was left to her

to abuse. Mr. Webster, January 21, but to consider that the government had 1833, in the Senate, alluding to the fixed and determined its own policy; and debate, in the first Congress, on the that policy was protection.

tariff of 1789, remarked, " I believe, sir, almost every man from New-England, who voted against the law

“And, sir, how did this debate termiof 1924, declared, that if, noiwithstanding nate? What law was passed? There it his opposition to that law, it should still stands, sir, among the statutes, the second pass, there would be no alternative but to law in the book. It has a preamble, and consider the course and policy of the that preamble expressly recites, that the government as then settled and 6xed, and duties which it imposes are laid "for the to act accordingly. The law did pass, and support of government; for the discharge a vast increase in manufacturing establish- of the debts of the United States, and the ments was the consequence.”

encouragement and protection of manu

factures. Until this early legislation, thus Here was a complete abandonment coeval with the Constiiution itself, thus of the statesmanlike principles avowed full and explicit, can be explained away, in 1820. “ The unsound policy,” “the

no man can doubt of the meaning of that

instrument." unconstitutional exercise of power,” “the immoral tendency of manufac This quibble on words is but a feeble turing," "the oppression of small manu answer to the above extract from the facturers for the benefit of large ones," speech of 1820. More particularly were all adhered to, because certain when we remember the fact, that the gentlemen in Massachusetts had chang- duties laid by the law of 1789, made no ed their investments. The law of 1828 discrimination for protection. They passed, and continued in operation two imposed but 5 per cent. on manufacturyears. The imports under it were ed goods. The act of 1832 was passed $145,369,447, and the duties $56,078,- and continued one year, during which 206, or 40 per cent.! In 1830 a law the imports were $108,118,311, and reducing the duties on tea, coffee, salt, the duties $24,177,578, or 28 per cent. and molasses was passed, and the imports In December, 1833, the compromise for the two years to 1832, were $204,- tariff, so called, took effect. That tariff 220,390, and the duties $65,937,294, greatly increased the list of free artior 32 per cent. The diminution of the cles, but clung to discrimination less average arose from the reduction of for revenue than protective purposes. duties mentioned. Tea had paid 334 The latter principle continued to be cents in 1829, and 14 cents in 1832. fully recognised and acted upon.

The Salt was reduced from 20 to 10; Mo- law, however, provided for its final lasses from 10 to 5; and coffee from abandonment; inasmuch as that it 5 to 1. These four articles yielded allowed of a general biennial reduction $5,595,567 duties in 1829, and $2,807,- of duties, indiscriminately, on all arti112 in 1832. This outrageous and op- cles; that is to say, on the 1st of Jan., pressive taxation, with the continually 1834, there was to be deducted from

all duties one-tenth of the excess over poses ; and at the same moment that 20 per cent. ; another tenth, making want of revenue was urged as a reason one-fifth of the excess, to be remitted for taxes, a law was passed taking the January 1, 1836; still another, making land revenue from the Treasury, for three-tenths, to be taken off January, distribution among the states. This 1838; on the 1st of January, 1840, law was so profligate in its very nature another reduction of one-tenth took that it could not pass without a proviso, place; of the remaining six-tenths one that it should be inoperative when the half came of January, 1842, and the wants of government required the imremainder June, 1842; by which position of duties higher than 20 per means all duties would be reduced to cent. upon imports. The law of 1812 the uniform rate of 20 per cent., which was passed solely through the operation was not thereafter to be exceeded of this proviso : that is to say, statesand credits on the payment of duties to men voted for the iniquitous tariff of be abolished. The compromise" 1842, in order that it might repeal the effected by this law consists in the iniquity of distribution. They avowedly giving manufactures ten years notice, did wrong that good might come of it. and time to prepare for the final aban- The law of Sept. 1841 continued in donment of the principle, and a return operation one year, simultaneously with to the "incident" of protection. This the last reductions under the tariff of they claimed as a right, to protect 1833. That is, it taxed 20 per cent. investments, into which they pretended goods, before free, while the latter reto have been tempted by the govern- duced the higher taxes.' In that year ment; and which they alledged would the imports were $100,162,087, and the be ruined by low duties. Under the duties $16,622,746, or 164 per cent. descending scale of this act the average The tariff of 1842 took effect Sept. duties upon all imports ranged from 1, 1842; and in the first nine months 144 to 16 per cent. ; and at the lowest of its operation, the whole imports rate the amount of revenues was larger were but $64,753,799, of which about than ever before or since; and under 24 millions only were dutiable goods, those low duties the manufactures throve paying near 36 per cent. average duty. more than ever. The financial revulsion The first effect of this sudden duty, which burst on the commercial world imposed without notice, was to crush in 1837, emanating from London, and trade. In the next two years of its reverberating in the distant countries of operation the imports were $225,689,the Indian ocean, leaving its desolating 599, and the duties $60,188,774, or 27 effects in every city of Europe, was per cent., being a return to the old also felt here ; and the moment of war tax. The great natural wealth of greatest depression, 1841-2, was seized the country has increased in a wonupon to infringe the compromise, and derful degree, through the industry of restore the protective principle. The the people, and the constant accession ten years notice that was given to to their numbers 'naturally creates a manufactures in reducing duties, was continued enhancement of the demand utterly disregarded in relation to the for goods, which of itself would greatly commercial interests, in raising the dun increase the business of the manufacties. By the act of Sept. 30th, 1841, turers ; as thus in 1789 the imports 20 per cent. was laid upon all free were 23 millions, among 3,500,000 pergoods, without any notice. Goods sons, or $64 per head. If in 1846 the ordered as free were met by a 20 per amount consumed per head was the cent. tax on their arrival. In the fol- same, the demand would be 130 millowing year the pretence of want of lions of imports. The probability is revenue was skilfully used to restore that, from the increased wealth of the the protective principle, which had been country, the consumption is $10 per abandoned by the compromise act. head; which would give 200 millions, Instead of keeping the want of revenue or double the actual import. The desolely in view, as a reason for increase mand for domestic goods has, thereof taxation, and pleading incidental fore, increased by 100 millions in acprotection in justification of the tax, as cess of the proportion of those goods under the first administration, prohi- taken in 1789. We annex a recapitulabitive taxes were laid for revenue pur- tion of all the tariffs, and their practical

operation.* The manifest evils arising erably. That, however, may have been from this high taxation, of course in- the average since 1791, in which case sured its repeal as soon as the reaction the sum paid to protect iron, amounts to from the financial revulsion took place. $60,750,000, or the amount of the debt The new tariff once more returns to at the close of the revolution ! The the constitutional doctrine of taxation protection to iron works, cost as much as the principle, and protection as the as our national independence! and we incident. Yet after 54 years of the are told that they are as far off from operation of this progressive protec- being established as ever! That, altion, the manufacturer and politician though they prospered in 1791 under a allege, as stoutly as ever, that they will ? per cent. duty, a 30 per cent. duty be ruined under a protection of 25 to in 1846 will ruin them! 30 per cent. Hamilton declared, in The demand for iron now cores from 1791, that they were prosperous under 20,000,000 persons against 3,500,000 in a 5 a is duty. Webster declared in 1781 ; yet after 54 years protection this 1824, twenty years ago, that they increased demand will not sustain the were beyond competition. After 20 works without a special tax. The same years more protection, the same per- reasoning applies to all other manufacson declares, that they cannot exist tures; and the facts stand self-evident, under 30 per cent. duty ! Such is the that it is oot to encouragenational manuprotective theory. The greatest.out- factures that protection is clamored cry has been raised in relation to the for, but in the words of the Boston iron interests of Pennsylvania, which, resolution of 1820,“ to favor great it is said, cannot exist at 30 per cent. capitalists,” to enhance the profits of duty. The pretence for a duty to overgrown wealth at the expense of the encourage the manufacture is, that community. The principle of protecultimately it will make it cheaper. tion is now once more abandoned, and Mr. Hamilton, in his report on manu the deceptive minimum introduced in factures, in 1779, states that “ Iron, 1816, after 30 years of injurious operabefore the revolution, was $64 per tion, is at last excluded. The taxes ton. It is now $80." Similar iron is continue, indeed, high, very high. DOW $77 50. Mr. Webster stated in These may be gradually ameliorated, 1824 that the tax paid by consumers and the rising prosperity of our foreign to miners, was $1,125,000 per annum. trade distribute the national wealth This has since increased very consid- equally through all classes; with the


[ocr errors]

Different Tariff's passed by the United States-date of operation and rate of taxation. Date of passage.


Took effect. Years in Imports. Duties. Duties operation,

pr. ct July 4, 1789, ..general..... ......Aug. 1, 1789....1... 23,000,000.. 2,239,746..10 Aug. 10, 1790,- increase..

...Dec. 1, 1790....2... 60,700,000.. 8,401,666..13 March 3, 1791,..spirit duries increase... June 1, 1791 May 2, 1792,..general increase. ..July 1, 1792. 2... 65,700,000.. 15,186.823..22} June 5, 1794,..

.......July 1, 1794....3...226,571,838.. 37,611,521..16 Jan. 29, 1795,--partial

Mar. 31, 1795 March 3, 1797,..general .......July 1, 1797....3...238,873,516.. 42,657,876..18 May 13, 1900,..

...July 1, 1800....4...337,363,600.. 69,959,912..21 Mar. 26, 1804,.. Mediterranean fund.... 1, 1804

27, 1804...general increase...... 1, 1804....8...720,730,000..141,379,824..20 July 1, 1812,..double duties....

1, 1812....4...295,114,274.. 82,315,140..22 April 27, 1816,.. continued...

1, 1816....2...221,000,000.. 47,794,133..21 20, 1818,..general..

1, 1618....6... 465,530,539..128,192,685..28 22, 1824,..

1, 1824....4...349,308,444..115,637,962..31 19, 1928...

.Sept. 1, 1828....2...145,369,447.. 56,078,206.. 40 May 20, 1830,.. reduce, tea, coffee, salt.Jan. 1, 1831....2... 204,220,390.. 65,937, 294..32 July 14, 1832,..general....

March 1, 1832....l...108,118,311., 24,177,578..22 March 2, 1833, ..compromise 1-10.. ..Jan. 1, 1834....2...276,417,074.. 44,851,432..19 reduce 2-10.

1, 1836....2...330,967,252.. 48,952,459..14 1, 1838....

275,809,436.. 45,257,359.. 16 4-10..

1, 1840.. ..235,087,696.. 35,324,283..15 Sept. 11, 1841,..20 pr.ct. on free goods.. Sept. 30, 1841.......100,162,087.. 16,622,746..161

7-10... ...Jan. 1, 1842

10-10........July 1, 1842 Aug. 30, 1842,..general advance........ Sept. 1, 1842...

....1.... 64,753,799., 10,208,000..16

1, 1842....2.... 225,689,579.. 60,188,774..27 July 31, 1846,.. general..... ... Dec. 1, 1846


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »