Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

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 themselves, 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 of 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 Id. 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 depres- in that article. The United States sion in prices ; while in each country 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

are

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;" to their number, their wages lower, and their that unless the monopoly prices that wretchedness increases. On the other hand, exist here can be sustained, the manu- brought within the reach of the poor, so

articles, thus cheaply manufactured, are 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 cotton 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 chasers of poor folks, who never bought,

open sesame."

Millions of purhands of the mill-owners, but there will 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. iť 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; á 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

*

into an

* “ 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 la higher 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 $275, or 11s. 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 four 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.

MODERN ARMS AND ARMIES.

as

In modern times the maturity of the Frenchmen at bay, because they were art military has been productive of better armed, better mounted and better singular effects in the concentration of exercised; but a hundred Frenchmen great power in a small body of men. were a match for a like number of A handful of troops, drilled, disciplined Mamelukes, and 1000. French could and armed according to scientific rules, easily beat 1500 Mamelukes. The and guided by experienced and skilful cavalry generals, Murat, Leclerc, and officers, may be productive of the most Lasalle, formed in three lines; when important results, and even change the the Mamelukes attacked the first line, destiny of nations. A marked example the second came to its assistance on the of this has been exhibited during the right and left. The Mamelukes wheellast few years in the case of China. ed to turn the flanks of the new line; That nation, some two centuries since, at that moment the third charged them, was overrun by the warlike Tartars of and they were always broken. Such the north, and the Manchow dynasty is the effect of tactics and evolutions. established. Under the policy adopted The difference between tactics and by that government, she remained se- strategics was but indifferently well cluded from the rest of the world down understood until fully developed by to 1843, and the population had reach- Napoleon. The difference between ed 300 million souls ; at that time the them may be stated in saying that the British government having difficulties mixing of colors, preparing canvass and with China, sent 4000 soldiers under choosing brushes, are the tactics of a Sir Gordon Bremer to tlockade Canton. painter. Strategics are how to paint. A nation occupying the islands of the The former received great improveNorth Sea, and numbering some 26 ment connected with modern million of inhabitants, attacked the weapons, from the king of Prussia. ancient nation of China, outnumbering The true principle of the latter was the them 13 times, with a force of a few discovery which Napoleon was born to thousand men, and that little army was make, and he conquered the European sufficient to enable its leaders to dictate continent in developing it. It had terms to so mighty a nation. A small always been assumed that what was polished axe in the hands of a skilful true of the relative position of troops in woodman, will at a few well applied actual combat, was also true of armies strokes bring down the sturdiest oaks. at a great distance from each other. In a similar manner, that small bighly That is to say, since the invention of disciplined band of Englishmen, in a few fire-arms forces have necessarily been weeks shook a power that had been drawn up in long thin lines ; therefore, if undisturbed for ages, and by bringing it an army was attacked upon one or both within the intercourse of nations, laid of its flanks it was almost sure to be the foundation of a mighty revolution. defeated. The reason was, that in So great are the results flowing from such a position no effectual resistance the application of science to the direc- could be offered until a change in front tion of force. Nor are all armies alike. was made to correspond with that of We have recently seen an army com the enemy, and making this change posed of 2000 Americans, utterly de- under the pressure of his attack was feat, in two successive engagements, impossible without disorder. It was three times their number of Mexicans, always assumed, therefore, that an army under skilful leaders. These great between two others, no matter how disresults flow from the superiority of skill tant, was also in a dangerous position. and intellect in the direction of masses. Napoleon saw at once that if the armies Napoleon, in his memoirs, informs us were distant from each other, this centhat two Mamelukes kept three tral position was the strong and not the

weak point. As long as the central victory.” The great war minister had army had time to concentrate upon one so arranged the campaigns that the enemy before the other arrived, the armies were of necessity victorious. chances were all in favor of the central The new principles of war illustrated position. This general principle, com- by the French arms, and the terrible bined with other causes, was the source vehemence with which they were exof his success, and he was in the latter ecuted, occasioned many changes in years combatted by the allies in the old notions ; among others, the truth only manner that he could be resisted became apparent that fortified places successfully, which was by systemat- had lost very considerably of the value ically retiring when he advanced upon they formerly held either in the imagiany one force. It was the application nation of mankind or in reality. In of the highest order of intellect to mile modern war the use of fortresses is itary affairs, at a time when the com- reduced nearly to their simple effects binations of Europe against republican upon communications. A fortress which France offered the broadest field for secures exclusively to the possessor a the developement of genius. The pro- certain passage of a river or a mountain gress of the art of war was illustrated pass, is valuable, as a gate is valuable by the conquest of Europe. It was the which keeps one man out and lets exclamation of Wellington, on hearing another in. In this sense a fort is called of the masterly operations of Napoleon a “key," and like a key is of imporaround Ratisbon, in 1809, that "the art tance only when it is the key to someof war never was perfected until then." thing. The idea that fortresses in an Subordinate to the vast field of strate- open country will check an invading gics are the tactics of armies, or the army for fear of the operations of the organization and preparation of those garrison on its rear, is obsolete. If a different arms which, in a master hand, force retires before a larger one, it will, are the instruments of great results. by throwing garrisons into forts, weaken There are many able tacticians, who itself still further. The effect of forthave but little notion of strategy. resses, in the present state of affairs, is Thus Napoleon remarked of the heroic reduced to the degree in which they Lannes, that "no officer could so may promote operations against men, skilfully handle 20,000 men in the and therefore the importance of them field;" but at the time of his death at has become secondary to the organizaEssling, he was just beginning to have tion of the army. a notion of strategics. Again, the great The countries of Europe have all genius of the French emperor was dis- large standing armies kept up in time played as much in following up a of peace, from the supposed necessity victory as in gaining it. To this end of being always prepared for war, in he extended those branches of military order to avert attack. Whenever diforce that are most efficient in improv- plomacy takes an angry turn, a great ing victory. At one time the French expenditure is usually incurred in cavalry numbered 90,000 men; of arraying and raising men, building ships, these in one instance 30,000 men, after &c. To assist diplomatic bargains, helping to defeat the enemy as infantry, movements of troops and a great clatter were mounted on horses taken from in the arsenals is thought necessary. him, to complete his defeat. This sub- It would appear that a nation is not sequently caused a controversy to spring thought strong unless her people are up among the martinets, tacticians and hept always with arms in their hands, adjutants, as to whether a cavalry re as if those men would be incapable of cruit was better or not for having learned becoming soldiers when occasion calls to act on foot. The great principle by for their services. Thus the United which the best application of force to States have been sneered at because suit the occasion was made never occur their army is small and their governred to them. The success which the ment economical. The leading journals undisciplined armies of revolutionary of Europe scarcely regard us as a France obtained over neighboring states power, because there are but 8000 men was not because of the excellence of in the army. Yet recent events have their materials, but because, as Napoleon shown that one-fourth of that army expressed it, “ Carnot had organized was sufficient to protect our southern

« AnteriorContinuar »