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moment. I may add that the endowment of public charities, the contributions to objects of general benevolence, whether foreign or domestic, the munificence of individuals towards whatever promises th benefit the community, are all so many proofs of national prosperity. And, finally, there is no desalcation of revenue, no pressure of taxati n.
The general result, therefore, of a fair examination of the present condition of things, seems to me to be, that there is a considerable depression of prices, and curtailment of proft: and, in some parts of the country, it must be admitted, there is a great degree of pecuniary embarrassment, arising from the difficulty of pai ing debts which were contracted when prices were high. With these qualitications, the general state of the country may be said to be prosperous; and these are not sufficient to give to the whole face of affairs any appearance of general distress.
Supposing the evil, then, to be a depression of prices, and a partial pecuniary pressure, the next inquiry is into the causes of that evil; and it appears to me that there are several-and, in this respect, I think, too much has been imputed, by Mr. Speaker, to the single cause of the diminution of exports, Connected, as we are, with all the commercial nations of the world, and having observed great changes to take place elsewhere, we should consider whether the canses of those changes have not reached us, and whether we are Dot suffering by the operation of them, in common with others. Undubtedly, there has been a great fall in the price of all commodities throughout the commercial world, in consequence of the restoration of a state of peace. When the Allies entered France in 1814, prices rose astonishingly fast, and very high. Colonial produce, for instance, in the ports of this country, as well as elsewhere, sprung up suddenly from the lowest to the highest extreme. A new and vast demand was created for the commodities of trade. These were the natural consequences of the great political changes which theu took place in Europe.
We are to consider, too, that our own war created new demand, and that a government expenditure of 25,000,000, or 30,000,000, a year, had the usual effect of enhancing prices. We are obliged to add, that the paper issues of our Banks carried the same effect still further. A depreciated currency existed in a great part of the country; depreciated to such an extent as that, at one time, exchange between the centre and the north, was as high as 20 per cent. The Bank of the l'nited States was instituted to correct this evil; but, for Causes which it is not necessary now to enumerate, it did not for grme years, bring back the currency of the country to a sound state. 'This depreciation of the circulating currency, was so much, of course, added to the nominal prices of commodities, and these prices thus unpaturally high, seemed, to those who looked only at the appearance, to indicate greal prosperity. But such prosperity is more specious than real. It would have been better, probably, as the shock would have been less, if prices had fallen sooner. At length, however, they fell; and, as there is little doubt that certain events in Europe had an influence in determining the time at which this fall should take place, I will advert shortly to some of the principal of those events.
reproach. They have held out, however, for three campaigns; and that, at least, is something. Constantinople and the northern provinces have sent forth thousands of troops;—they have been defeated. Tripoli, and Algiers, and Egypt, have contributed their marine contingents;--they have not kept the ocean. Hordes of Tartars have crossed the Bosphorus;-they have died where the Persians died. The powerful monarchies in the neighbourhood have denounced their cause, and admonished them to abandon it, and submit to their fate. They have answered them, that, although two hundred thousand of their countrymen have offered up their lives, there yet remain lives to offer; and that it is the determination of all, “ yes, of ALL," to persevere until they shall have established their liberty, or until the power of their oppressors shall have relieved them from the burden of existence.
It may now be asked, perhaps, whether the expression of our own sympathy, and that of the country, may do them good? I hope it may. It may give them courage and spirit, it may assure them of public regard, teach them that they are not wholly forgotten by the civilized world, and inspire them with constancy in the pursuit of their great end. At any rate, sir, it appears to me, that the measure which I have proposed is due to our own character, and called for by our own duty. When we shall have discharged that duty, we may leave the rest to the disposition of Providence.
I do not see how it can be doubted, that this measure is entirely pacific. I profess my inability to perceive that it has any possible tendency to involve our neutral relations. If the resolution pass, it is not, necessarily, to be immediately acted on. It will not be acted on at all, unless, in the opinion of the President, a proper and safe occasion for acting upon it shall arise. If we adopt the resolution to-day, our relations with every foreign state will be to-morrow precisely what they now are. The resolution will be sufficient to express our sentiments on the subjects to which I have adverted. Useful to that purpose, it can be mischievous to no purpose. If the topic were properly introduced into the Message, it cannot be improperly introduced into discussion in this House. If it were proper, which no one doubts, for the President to express his opinions upon it, it cannot, I think, be improper for us to express ours. The only certain effect of this resolution is to express, in a form usual in bodies constituted like this, our approbation of the general sentiment of the Message. Do we wish to withhold that approbation?
The Resolution confers on the President no new power, nor does it enjoin on him the exercise of any new duty; nor does it hasten him in the discharge of any existing duty.
I cannot imagine that this resolution can add anything to those excitements which it has been supposed, I think very causelessly, might possibly provoke the Turkish government to acts of hostility. There is already the Message, expressing the hope of success to the Greeks, and disaster to the Turks, in a much stronger manner than is to be implied from the terms of this resolution. There is the correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Greek Agent in London, already made public, in which similar wishes are expressed, and a continuance of the correspondence apparently in
vited. I might add to this, the unexampled burst of feeling which this cause has called forth from all classes of society, and the notorious fact of pecuniary contributions made throughout the country for its aid and advancement. After all this, whoever can see cause of danger to our pacific relations from the adoption of this resolution, has a keener vision than I can pretend to. Sir, there is no augmented danger; there is no danger. The question comes at last to this, whether, on a subject of this sort, this House holds an opinion which is worthy to be expressed?
Even suppose, sir, an Agent or Commissioner were to be immediately sent,-a measure which I myself believe to be the proper one, there is no breach of neutrality, nor any just cause of offence. Such an agent, of course, would not be accredited; he would not be a public minister. The object would be inquiry and information; inquiry, which we have a right to make; information, which we are interested to possess. If a dismemberment of the Turkish empire be taking place, or has already taken place; if a new state be rising, or be already risen, in the Mediterranean, who can doubt, that, without any breach of neutrality, we may inform ourselves of these events, for the government of our own concerns ?
The Greeks have declared the Turkish coasts in a state of blockade; may we not inform ourselves whether this blockade be nominal or real? And, of course, whether it shall be regarded or disregarded? The greater our trade may happen to be with Smyrna, a consideration which seems to have alarmed some gentlemen, the greater is the reason, in my opinion, why we should seek to be accurately informed of those events which may affect its safety.
It seems to me impossible, therefore, for any reasonable man to imagine, that this resolution can expose us to the resentment of the sublime Porte.
As little reason is there for fearing its consequences upon the conduct of the Allied Powers. They may, very naturally, dislike our sentiments upon the subject of the Greek Revolution; but what those sentiments are, they will much more explicitly learn in the President's Message than in this resolution. They might, indeed, prefer that we should express no dissent upon the doctrines which they have avowed, and the application which they have made of those doctrines to the case of Greece. But I trust we are not disposed to leave them in any doubt as to our sentiments upon these important subjects. They have expressed their opinions, and do not call that expression of opinion, an interference; in which respect they are right, as the expression of opinion, in such cases, is not such an interference as would justify the Greeks in considering the powers as at war with them. For the same reason, any expression which we may make, of different principles and different sympathies, is no interference. No one would call the President's Message an interference; and yet it is much stronger, in that respect, than this resolution. If either of them could be construed to be an interference, no doubt it would be improper, at least it would be so, according to my view of the subject; for the very thing which I have attempted to resist in the course of these observations, is the right of foreign interference. But neither the Message nor the resolution has that character. There is not a power in Europe that can suppose, that, in expressing our opinions on this occasion, we are governed by any desire of aggrandizing ourselves, or of injuring others. We do no more than to maintain those established principles, in which we have an interest in common with other nations, and to resist the introduction of new principles and new rules, calculated to destroy the relative independence of states, and particularly hostile to the whole fabric of our own government.
I close, then, sir, with repeating, that the object of this resolution is, to avail ourselves of the interesting occasion of the Greek revolution, to make our protest against the doctrines of the Allied Pow. ers; both as they are laid down in principle, and as they are applied in practice.
I think it right too, sir, not to be unseasonable in the expression of our regard, and, as far as that goes, in a ministration of our consolation, to a long oppressed and now struggling people. I am not of those who would in the hour of utmost peril, withhold such encouragement as might be properly and lawfully given, and when the crisis should be past, overwhelm the rescued sufferer with kindness and caresses. The Greeks address the civilized world with a pathos, not easy to be resisted. They invoke our favor by more moving considerations than can well belong to the condition of any other people. They stretch out their arms to the Christian communities of the earth, beseeching them, by a generous recollection of their ancestors, by the consideration of their own desolated and ruined cities and villages, by their wives and children, sold into an aceursed slavery, by their own blood, which they seem willing to pour out like water, by the common faith, and in the Name, which unites all Christians, that they would extend to them, at least some token of compassionate regard.
UPON THE TARIFF; DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE UNITED STATES, APRIL, 1824.
MR. CLAIRMAN, I will avail myself of the present occasion to make snme remarks on certain principles and opinions which have been recently advanced, and on th se considerations which, in my. judgment, ought to govern us in deciding upon the several and respective parts of this very important and complex measure. I can tuly say that this is a painful duty. I deeply regret the necessity, which is likely to be imposed upon me, of giving a general affirmative or negative vote on the whole of the Bill. I cannot but think this mode of proceeding liable to great objections. It exposes both those who support, and those who oppose, the measure, to very unjust and injurious misapprehensions. There may be good reasons for favoring s me of the provisions of the Bill, and equally strong reasons for opposing others; and these provisions do not stand to each other in the relation of principal and incident. If that were the case, those who are in favor of the principal might forego their opini Ds upon in ridental and subordinate provisians. But the Bill proposes enactments entirely distinct, and different from one an ther, in chara ter and tendency. Some of its clauses are intended merely for revenue; and, of those which regard the protection of home manufactures, one pa't stands upon very different grounds from those of other parts. So that probably every gentleman who mav ultimately support the bill will vote for much which his judge ment does not approve; and those who oppose it will oppose something which they would very gladly support.
Being intrusted with the interests of a district highly commercial, and deeply interested in manufactures also, I wish to state my opinions on the present ineasure; not as on a whole, for it has no entire and homogeneous character; but as on a collection of differ. ent enactments, some of which meet my approbation, and some of which do got.
And allow me, sir, in the first place, to state my regret, if indeed I ought not to express a warmer sentiment, at the names, or desig. nati ns, which Mr. Speaker has seen fit to adopt, for the purpose of describing the advocates and the opposers of the present Bill. It is a question, he says, between the friends of an “ American policy,"