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rotation of products. The capacities of the soil of Massachusetts were undoubted. One hundred bushels of corn to an acre had been repeatedly produced, and other crops in like abundance. But this would not effect the proper ends of a judicious and profitable agriculture, unless we could so manage our husbandry that, by a judicious and proper succession of crops, the land would not only be restored after an exhausting crop, but gradually enriched by cultivation. It is of the highest importance that our farmers should increase their power of sustaining live stock, that they may therefrom obtain the means of improving their farms.
Tho breed of cattle in England was greatly improved, and still improving. He had seen some of the best stocks, and many individual animals from others, and thought them admirable. The short-horned cattle brought to this country were often very good specimens. He said he had seen the flocks from which some of them had been selected, and they were certainly among the best in England. But in every selection of stock, we are to regard our own climate, and our own circumstances. We raise oxen for work, as well as for beef; and he was of opinion that the Devonshire stock furnished excellent animals for our use. We had suffered that old stock, brought hither by our ancestors, to run down, and be deteriorated. It had been kept up, and greatly improved, in England, and we might now usefully import from it. The Devonshire ox is a hardy animal, of size and make suited to the plough, and though certainly not the largest for beef, yet generally very well fattened. He thought quite well, also, of the Ayrshire cows. They were good milkers, and being a hardy race, were, on that account, well suited to the cold climate, and to the coarse and sometimes scanty pasturage, of New England. After all, he thought there- could be no doubt that the improved breed of short horns were the finest cattle in the world, and stxxild be preferred wherever plenty of good feed and some mildness of climate invited them. They were well fitted to the Western States, where there i s an overflowing abundance, both of winter and summer feed, and where, as in England, bullocks are raised for beef only. He bad no doubt, also, that they might be usefully raised m the rich valleys of the Connecticut, and perha ps in some other favored parts of the State. But, tor himself, as a farmer on the thin lands of Plymouth county, and on the bleak shores of the sea. be did not kvl that he could give to aniinab of this breed that entertainment which their iwerrt deserved.
As to sheep, the Leicester were like the short-horned cattle. They must be k?pt w*»ll; they should always be fat: and, pressed by good keeping »o early maturity, they are found very profitable. "rVed well," w*< :be maxim of th<? Jiwi Roman farmer. Cafo; and thj»t short sentence comprises rmicii of ail that belongs to the profitable eosnomy of live stock. The South Dons are a good breed, both for wool and mutton. They crop the grass that grows on the thin soils, over beds of chalk, in Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Dorsetshire. They ought not to scorn the pastures of New England.
When one looks, said Mr. Webster, to the condition of England, he must see of what immense importance is every, even the smallest, degree of improvement in its agricultural productions. Suppose that, by some new discovery, or some improved mode of culture, only one per cent, could be added to the annual results of English cultivation; this, of itself, would materially affect the comfortable subsistence of millions of human beings. It was often said that England was a garden. This was a strong metaphor. There was poor land, and some poor cultivation, in England. All people are not equally industrious, careful, and skilful. But, on the whole, England was a prodigy of agricultural wealth. Flanders might possibly surpass it. He had not seen Flanders; but England quite surpassed, in this respect, whatever he had seen. In associations for the improvement of agriculture, we had been earlier than England. But such associations now exist there. He had the pleasure of attending the first meeting of the National Agricultural Society, and he had found it a very pleasant and interesting occasion. Persons of the highest distinction for rank, talents, and wealth, were present, all zealously engaged in efforts for the promotion of the agricultural interest. No man in England was so high as to be independent of the success of this great interest; no man so low as not to be affected by its prosperity, or its decline. The same is true, eminently and emphatically true, with us. Agriculture feeds us; to a great degree it clothes us; without it we could not have manufactures, and we should not have commerce. These all stand together, but they stand together like pillars in a cluster, the largest in the centre, and that largest is agriculture. Let us remember, too, that we live in a country of small farms and freehold tenements; a country in which men cultivate with their own hands their own fee-simple acres, drawing not only their subsistence, but also their spirit of independence, and manly freedom, from the ground they plough. They are at once its owners, its cultivators, and its defenders. And, whatever else may be undervalued, or overlooked, let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. Man may be civilized, in some degree, without great progress in manufactures, and with little commerce with his distant neighbors. But without the cultivation of the earth, he is, in all countries, a savage. Until he steps from the chase, and fixes himself in some place, and seeks a living from the earth, he is a roaming barbarian. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, MARCH S, 1840, IN ANSWER TO SOME PARTS OF MR. CALHOUN'S SPEECH.
Mr. Webster said it was not his purpose, at present, to enter far into the wide field of debate which was opened by this discussion. Another opportunity would probably present itself for the expression of his opinions upon the general state of the country, and the measures which he thought to be called for by the crisis. My single purpose now, said Mr. Webster, is to make a few remarks upon the speech of the honorable member from South Carolina, delivered some days ago, or, rather, upon some of the topics of that speech. I had not the pleasure of hearing the speech, but I have read it attentively, with the respect due to the subject and to the author; and the remarks which I propose to make upon it I desire to address to the honorable member himself, and his friends who think with him, as well as to the rest of the country. It is an able speech, showing much thought and reflection, as well as much acuteness, and exhibiting, on the whole, a spirit apparently not unkind towards all the great interests of the country. My remarks shall be in the same spirit.
I. In treating of protection, or protecting duties, the first proposition of the honorable member is, that all duties laid on imports really fall on exports; that they are a toll paid for going to market. This, certainly, is not very obvious; but he says it is the received and settled doctrine of the South. He does not argue the point on this occasion; he only states it as the fixed belief of the South. I shall not argue it, but content myself with saying that I have never been able to agree to this doctrine. The question was debated with much ability, some years ago, between my honorable colleague and a distinguished gentleman from South Carolina — both being, at that time, members of the other House. The South Carolina doctrine was then called the " Forty-bale Theory ;" and the result of the discussion certainly left most of us in the North still adhering to the old doctrine, viz., that when duties are laid upon imported articles, it is the consumer who pays; and, of course, that each part of the country pays in exact proportion to what it consumes. We think that the trade outwards has little or nothing to do with the subject. We think the substantial question is, Who consumes the taxed article? I can, indeed, conceive a possible case in which this general truth might be qualified. If one country exported to another a raw material which it could sell nowhere else, and which no other country could furnish, why, then, so far as duties on imports affected the sale of fabrics manufactured from that raw material, or, perhaps, other articles imported into the country producing it as its equivalent in return, so far it might be true that the duties would have an influence to check exportation. But no such case exists with us. The South and the West sell their cotton both at home and abroad. But they are not the sole producers of cotton. They have competitors. There is a market on both continents; and in one of them they find the cotton of South America, Texas, India, and Egypt, in a struggle for prices with their own. Our Southern and Western States have a fair demand; nothing obstructs their sales; as in all other cases, the prices are regulated by the supply and the demand. They pay no duty on going out, and if they can produce as cheaply as others, they can afford to sell as cheap. Their commodity, sold in foreign markets, mingles with the commerce of the world. They have received their price for it, and their connection with it has ceased. Whether it comes back here in a manufactured shape, or goes elsewhere, is no matter to them, as mere raisers and sellers of the article. If any portion of it comes back here, — as douhtless it does,—it is a portion which has been purchased in the general market of Europe, manufactured, and, perhaps, mixed, in the very process, with the cotton of other countries, and reaches our shores as a foreign article for sale. Foreign labor and skill have become incorporated with it, and constitute its chief value. At our custom-house, it is made subject to a duty, which is supposed to raise its price; and, it seems to me, if this be the effect of the duty, it is its whole effect. It reaches no farther. I do not see how it acts back upon the original grower of the article in South Carolina. It no more affects the cottongrower in South Carolina, except so far as he is a consumer, than it affects the cotton-grower in South America, India, or Egypt. The thread of causes and effects in this Case, if there be any such thread, becomes quite too fine and attenuated to be felt or followed, from the higher price paid by the consumer, in consequence of the duty, back, through all the intermediate stages, to the influence of that higher price upon the original cost of the raw material. The same is true in regard to all imported articles not produced from the exported cotton. How Is it possible to say that duties on such articles — iron and woollen cloths, for instance — are a burden or discouragement on the raising of cotton?
But suppose I admit the South Carolina doctrine—suppose I admit that duties on imported merchandise really fall back, and become a charge on the exports of the country; and suppose I admit, what Vol. in. 53
is true, that cotton grown in the Southern States constitutes a great portion of our exports — it does by no means follow from all this that the burden of these duties falls on the South, in proportion 10 the exports which leave its ports. And the reason is this: These exports are not altogether the result of the skill, labor, or capital, of the South. Cotton, though it grows exclusively on Southern field-, is not, in truth, a mere Southern product. Much of the labor of the Middle and Northern States has mingled with it before it becomes an article of export. It is a joint production, to which many parts of the country contribute. The grain-growing States north of the Ohio help to raise and to export cotton, by furnishing provisions to those who cultivate and gather it. Kentucky and Tennessee do the same thing, by the cattle, horses, mules, and swine, upon the foot, which they supply for the use of the cotton plantations. New England does the same by the furniture, clothing, and other manufactured articles, which she supplies for the like purpose. All these contribute to this export of cotton. So that, if it were true that duties at the custom-house on imported goods are a tax on exports, that tax would not fall exclusively on the South.
The value of this export, again, in the foreign market, is enhanced by the cost of transportation. Freight has become incorporated with it, and makes part of its price. At present prices, freight to Europe is probably equal to one eighth of the cost of the article at New Orleans or Mobile. This freight is a Northern earning; and to this extent, therefore, the navigating interest contributes to the value of the exported article. So that duties, if they were a tax on exports, would not fall exclusively on the South, but would affect the grain-growing, the provision-raising, the stock-raising, the hemp-raising, the manufacturing, and the navigating interests.
But the more we trace this branch of the business of the country, or any other, through all its processes, and all its ramifications, the more clearly we shall see, I think, that the old rule is the true rule, and that duties on imported goods are paid by different parts of the country, exactly in proportion to their consumption.
II. Another opimon of the honorable member is, that increased production brings about expansion of the currency, and that every such increase makes a further increase necessary.
His idea is, that if some goods are manufactured at home, less will be imported; if less goods be imported, the amount of exports still keeping up, the whole export being thus not paid for by the import, specie must be brought in to settle the balance; that this increase of specie gives new powers to the banks to discount; that the banks thereupon make large issues, till the mass of currency become redundant and swollen; that this swollen currency aug