« AnteriorContinuar »
He stated that the South had cheerfully paid the enormous burdens of duties on imports when Northern manufacturers were young, and the Government weak; they had continued to pay them sixteen years; the manufacturers had become rich and the Government strong — so strong that State rights were being merged into its overshadowing power; he therefore demanded a recognition of State rights, and an amelioration of those burdens that the South had so long borne. To the resistance of South Carolina, under his lead, the country owes the compromise tariff of 1832, by Henry Clay.
By this compromise the duties were to undergo biennial reduction, until a common level of 20 per cent. should be reached on all goods in 1842. Before that year financial revulsion made more revenue necessary for the welfare of the Union, and the South again assented to an increase in import duties, making another of Mr. Seward's “concessions of the South.”
The mode of Northern “ concession ” shows itself in the disposition of the territory of Louisiana, on the occasion of the admission of Missouri into the Union. That territory was all slave territory. The North demanded a division of it, so that the Northern half should become free. The South assented. New territory being afterwards acquired, the South proposed a division again, and the North refused the South any share of it. This is called a 6 concession” of the North. Thus Mr. Seward states :
“ In the field of Federal politics, slavery, deriving unlooked-for advantage from commercial changes, and energies unforeseen from the facilities of combination between members of the slaveholding class, and between that class and other property classes, early rallied, and has at length made a stand, not merely to retain its original defensive position, but to extend its sway throughout the whole Union. It is certain that the slaveholding class of American citizens indulge this high ambition, and that they derive encouragement for it from the rapid and effective political successes which they have already obtained. The plan of operation is this: by continued appliances of patronage, and threats of disunion, they will keep a majority favourable to these designs in the Senate, where each State has an equal representation. Through that majority they will defeat, as they best can, the admission of free States, and secure the admission of slave States. Under the protection of the Judiciary, they will, on the principle of the Dred Scott case, carry slavery into all the territories of the United States now existing and hereafter to be organised. By the action
of the President and the Senate, using the treatymaking power, they will annex foreign slaveholding states. In a favourable conjuncture they will induce Congress to repeal the Act of 1808, which prohibits the foreign slave-trade, and so they will import from Africa, at the cost of only $20 a head, slaves enough to fill up the interior of the continent. Thus, relatively increasing the number of slave States, they will allow no amendment to the constitution prejudicial to their interest; and so, having permanently established their power, they expect the Federal Judiciary to nullify all State laws which shall interfere with internal or foreign commerce in slaves. When the free States shall be sufficiently demoralised to tolerate these designs, they reasonably conclude that that slavery will be accepted by those States themselves."
One has only to compare this with facts to expose its entire untruth.
When we consider that in 1816, at the commencement of the protective system, the Northern States were almost destitute of agricultural products for exportation, that their coal and iron mines were almost unknown, and that they had, comparatively, little commerce except the fisheries and the carrying trade, and from that period their manufacturing and commercial industry have increased and kept pace precisely with the growth of Southern agriculture, we can readily perceive the causes which have produced the great accumulation of wealth in the Northern section of the Union. It has been shown that through the instrumentality of that system the Northern States have secured to themselves great profits on all branches of their industry, and the entire monopoly of Southern commerce, both foreign and domestic.
From these causes principally an astonishing development of manufacturing industry has grown up in the Northern States since the peace of 1815 under the influence of the protective system, which, by imposing high duties on foreign goods, operated as a bounty on all domestic fabrics, and gave to Northern manufacturers control of the Southern market at an average profit of 25 per cent. on the sale of their manufactured goods.
Duties were laid on foreign tonnage coming into the ports of the United States, and foreign vessels were excluded from all participation in the coasting trade ; and, as seamen were necessary to supply the increasing tonnage of the Northern States, large bounties were offered to those engaged in the cod and mackerel fisheries, on the plea that it was neces
sary to establish a nursery or school of seamen for national maritime defence.
The operation of these tariffs was to tax the consumers in the South and West, pro rata, upon what manufactures they purchased of the East, and by so doing, to increase eastern capital at the expense of those other sections. The articles mostly protected, and of which the cost is enhanced to the consumers, in proportion to the duties, are manufactured at the East to the extent of $320,000,000, of which $200,000,000 are sold South and West. This gives an annual drain of $50,000,000 from the consumers of those sections, as a bonus or protection to the capital employed in manufacturing at the North. The claim for this protection is based upon the necessity of protecting home manufactures against the overwhelming capital of England. The manufactures of the South and West have to contend, however, not only against the overwhelming capital of New England, created in manufactures, but against the drain of capital from each locality, caused by the protection to Eastern goods.
The South will not, like the North, however, have provincial markets to supply, but having all within its own border, will annually diminish its purchases from the North. It will have foreign markets for