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appeared in a domestic suit before the first congress, under the new constitution; their second act, as stated above, was a law "for the encouragement and protection of domestic manufactures ;" and fifteen members of that body, with James Madison at their head, were also members of the convention that framed the constitution, who could not be ignorant of its great purpose, when they assisted in passing this law. The continued action of the government, therefore, upon this subject, for fifty years, as shown without any apparent diversity of opinion-certainly with great unanimity was a natural consequence of such a beginning, stimulated by such powerful causes, derived from the experience of the people.
But the personal strifes of aspirants for the presidency, who have been more concerned for their own success than for the public weal, have, within twenty years, introduced a new era in the political character and tendencies of the country, and put in peril the grand purpose of the American revolution and of American independence. We have witnessed the strange spectacle of public men, occupying the position of leaders, wheeling to the right and to the left, and right about face, and turning somersets, on the most grave and momentous questions of public policy, drawing their devoted followers in their train, without any reason to be accounted for, except that of personal ambition; because such a total change of opinion, so suddenly transpiring, on questions the aspects of which have not changed, may be set down as a moral impossibility with sagacious and far-seeing minds, except in cases where "the wish is father to the thought." Public and ambitious men, seeing that they could not accomplish their ends in one way and by one set of means, would seem to have come to the conclusion to try another way and another set of means, without regard to the good of the country.
The government and institutions of the United States, as we have seen, started into being on the basis of the protective policy -were begotten by it. This policy was the native genius of the people; it was the natural growth of their position, of their struggles, and of their original and subsequent relations. It was a necessity imposed upon them by Providence, from which they could not escape with impunity. It was the natural suggestion of their instincts, as impressed upon them by their history and experience. They were forced into it, and they never could get out of it, except by violence and sacrifice. Everything in nature, everything
in morals, and everything in human prudence and foresight, pointed that way. For this, they were forced into the revolution; for this, they were forced out of the confederation; to secure this, they adopted the federal constitution; for this, they continued to legislate on that platform for fifty years; and behold, in ten years, from 1830 to 1840, this mighty fabric, which had cost rivers of blood, and mountains of wealth, after having occupied more than two centuries in building-for it dates back to the first settlements of the country was all leveled with the ground! It was rebuilt in 1842, and in 1846 is again overthrown! Such is the history of the protective policy in the United States.
Ile does not see that his definifron is in a circle, por indepen
THE DESTINY OF AMERICAN FREEDOM
means here free he prides himself upon this definitions! CHAPTER IX.
THE DESTINY OF AMERICAN FREEDOM NOT YET ACHIEVED.
The general Desire for Freedom, before and after the Discovery and Settlement of America.-American Independence an Epoch of Freedom.-" An American System" means much. It is a "Commercial System"-" Political" the Shadow, "Commercial" the Substance. The Responsibility of a Nation that has Freedom in Trust for Posterity and for Mankind.-Faith as a Power in Man for the Attainment of Freedom-The Advocates of Freedom are in general practically Right, though often theoretically Wrong.Freedom yet in its Cradle.-The vacillating Policy of the Country in regard to the Means of Freedom-Seventy Years of the Era of American Freedom gone, and yet Freedom was to be Defined.-The People have much to Learn on this Subject-What Great Britain and Europe Desire.-The Jeopardy of American Freedom.-Free Trade would throw it away - would Sell It.
HAVING shown, in Chapter VII., that freedom consists in the enjoyment of commercial rights, and in the independent control of commercial values fairly acquired, we propose, in this chapter, to call to mind the historical facts, that society in Europe, had been tending for centuries toward freedom, before an outlet of its unsatisfied population was opened in the discovery of the New World; that hopes and designs of political emancipation, for the most part, lay at the foundation of the movements of immigrants to this quarter; and that the American colonies, especially in the north, were founded in this spirit. And we refer to these facts for the purpose of showing, that freedom is progressive, and is never gained fully at a single leap.
The royal charters, so far as the influence of those who obtained them could effect it, were studiously framed for the security of rights held dear by the colonists; and the political history of the early settlements is one of perpetual struggle between royal prerogatives and popular claims. The cause of freedom continued to advance, in the minds and hearts of the people of this new world. Events were constantly ripening in North America for an epoch, which ultimately found its date in the establishment of American independence. It was literally, and in the most emphatic sense of the term, an EPOCH OF FREEDOM. It was not an accident of the day; but it was the event of centuries of preparation. All its seeds were transplanted from Europe. Society there had long been laboring for this birth. There was no safety, in that quarter, for the cradle of freedom, in such an enlarged sense; nor could its
since all men exechange, they
all men are free.
It is amusing to see how the fello prispares entry living for his the riff - the flower of freedom
swaddling clothes be prepared here, till ages had rolled away.
An American system supposes relations to something foreign; and it hardly need be said, that these relations, for the most part, have respect to a state or to states of things, in those quarters whence these new and independent legislators came; that is, from the European world. And as a new and peculiar system, it also supposes a new and peculiar state of society-commercial society, be it observed, not meaning, however, anything other thereby than political; for it is both, and in both identical. But having explained the sense in which we use the term, commercial, in this connexion, it is expedient to adhere to it, in the present train of reasoning, that we lose not sight of the fundamental doctrine established in Chapter VII., to wit, that freedom consists in the enjoyment of commercial rights. It is the substance, and not the shadow, which we wish to follow up.
It is the interest of labor alone that claims to be considered in the formation of an American commercial system. Labor, in every part of the world, is the primary and fundamental power of states; and the question, in public economy, is, whether its benefits shall accrue to the laborer himself, in the shape of compensation, or to other parties that absorb it to themselves by oppression and wrong, in allowing labor only a bare subsistence. The latter alternative is the European system; the former is intended to be the American; and whether it shall be maintained, depends entirely on the maintenance of the difference in the price of labor, by an American commercial system, in relation to foreign parts. It is exclusively a commercial question, determined by a commercial principle, which governs the whole commercial world, and is defined with all the accuracy of figures. It is simply, whether the power of one, in trade, is equal to the power of three; in other words, whether American labor, which costs three, can stand, in the same market, against European labor, which costs one; for that is about the average difference.
It is not pretended, as stated elsewhere, that it is necessary for an American system to afford an average protection to American labor, equal to this difference, because it is understood and known, that the very design of the European system, in depriving labor of its fair reward, is to appropriate the wages kept back to aggrandize the usurpers, and that the aims of such usurpation would be disappointed, if the wide margin of this difference were all absorbed in a commercial competition. A very small fraction of it will ordinarily answer the purpose of such a strife; and the smallest possible fraction by which one producer can undersell another, will always secure the market. It is the fact of this difference, and the immense power which it gives to European labor over American, which claims the consideration of American statesmen, that their eyes should ever be open to the points on which this power may be brought to bear, and to the amount of it that may be employed in any given direction. For American statesmen to forget, to deny, or not to see, that this adverse power exists, and that, in the hands of those who wield it, it is ever on the alert to embrace its opportunities to assail the vulnerable points of the American system, is one and the same thing as to withdraw the shield of American freedom, and leave it entirely at the mercy of those from whom it was purchased with so much blood and treasure, and by ages of strife and agony. The vulnerability will be found at every