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people, of their institutions, of the government; and from the foundation to the top stone of the social edifice, it is a perfect contrast to the state of society in Europe. And Americans can afford it; it is in their power to be independent. Ages, all time may roll away, before it is likely that one American will be able to force another into his service, from the necessity of the latter, and dictate his wages.
It must be obvious, that such a state of society can not be thrown out of consideration, in the construction of a system of public economy for it, if it is to be adapted to it; nor can it be said, that these are not elements. They are fundamental elements. All the British and other European economists begin with these very things, in forming the foundations of their respective systems; or rather with the things which occupy these places-different, indeed, from those found in the United States, as can well be imagined. Here, laboring men work for themselves in all cases, and for wages in which they have an equal voice, and can refuse without starving, or being reduced to want; for there is always some alternative open before them. They can always retire on the unoccupied lands of the West, and be independent. This chance for ever secures their independence. But, for the most part, in the United States, the working men are found cultivating their own lands; or working in their own shops; or husbanding pursuits, in which they are masters and proprietors; and most of those who work on hire, for wages, do it not only to acquire capital to set up for themselves, and on such terms as will enable them to do it. Whether working on wages, or on their own estates, they are independent. They are lords of their own position and destiny. It is this independent position of the American people which constitutes one of the most important elements of a system of public economy adapted to them, in the same manner as European economists have deemed it pertinent and imperative to go back to the foundation of society, and take things as they find them in their origin and history.
It would appear that Adam Smith himself recognised, at least in principle and in some degree, this fundamental difference of society in Europe and America, when he speaks of "planters in America as being generally both farmers and landlords, where rent is consequently confounded with profit."
No such state of society as that for which Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say wrote, is found in the United States, and it would not be tolerated here for a moment. It is, indeed, that very state of things
that was forsworn in the American revolution, and against which the new government, institutions, and laws, set up at that epoch, and afterward matured and permanently established, were expressly framed to guard, and guard for ever, with jealous care, that they should never obtain footing again on American soil. This new and reformed state of society, commonly and not inaptly called republicanism, rejects with indignation and scorn the idea of those relations which constitute the basis of the system of Smith, Ricardo, Say, M'Culloch, and others of that school. It was natural enough, it may be said it was necessary, at least apparently unavoidable, that they should take such premises as they were furnished with, on which to erect their edifice. It is evident what those premises were, because they are distinctly laid down, as observed in the foregoing citations from them; and it is also evident that a system built upon such premises, must also correspond with them. But the American system is directly the opposite of this. There is no resemblance in the premises, and none in the structure raised upon them, if it be properly built.
Nor does it avail to say, that we make more, in our argument, of the social state, than we are entitled to make, on such a subject as that of public economy, which it will, perhaps, be said, is of a commercial rather than of a social character. For it may be observed in reply, that these Free-Trade economists do themselves start on the social relations as a basis, and very properly so, because out of these relations come these commercial results, the causes, combinations, and course of which, it is the main design of public economy to expound. On this great theme, it is in vain to attempt to separate the moral from the physical, and the social from the commercial. Certainly there is no demand for it, since no party in this debate has ever set the example. It is the original frame, and the subsequent legislation of a commonwealth, that make it prosperous or otherwise; and prosperity, used in such a connexion, it is not denied, is a commercial term.
What we have to say, then, in elucidation of the American system, as it appertains to this point, and in contradistinction from the system of the economists above cited, is, that the former is opposed to the latter opposed in the original elements of the social state; opposed in the organization of those elements; opposed in the main objects of such organization; and opposed in its grand results, moral, political, and commercial. As it can not be denied, that the commercial results are the ultimate objects which most concern all par
ties, as well as that they are the great aims of public economy, so neither can it be denied, that they are influenced and controlled by social organization; and it is this controlling power which renders it necessary to erect an American system of public economy on the American basis.
After the descent of the barbarians of the north, on the west and south of Europe, the old state of society was broken up, and remained in confusion for several centuries; but finally settled down into the feudal system under the usurpation of chiefs or leaders, as lords of the territory, marked out by consent, or determined by strife. Out of this state of things grew up a more audacious usurpation, in the shape of the present comprehensive estates of Europe, called monarchies, kingdoms, and empires-most of which, indeed, existed contemporaneously with feudalism, though not with so absorbing an influence as subsequently.
"This original engrossing of uncultivated lands," says Adam Smith, "though a great, might have been a transitory, evil. They might soon have been divided again, and broken into small parcels, either by succession, or by alienation. The law of primogeniture hindered them from being divided by succession; and the introduction of entails prevented their being broken into small parcels by alienation... In those disorderly times, every great landlord was a sort of petty prince. His tenants were his subjects. He was their legislator and judge in peace, and their leader in war. . . The right of primogeniture still continues to be respected, and as of all other institutions it is the fittest to support the pride of family distinctions, it is still likely to endure for many centuries. In every other respect, nothing can be more contrary to the real interest of a numerous family, than a right which, in order to enrich one, beggars all the rest of the children. Entails are the natural consequence of the law of primogeniture. They were altogether unknown to the Romans. . . In the present state of Europe, when small as well as great estates derive their security from the laws of their country, nothing can be more completely absurd. They are founded upon the most absurd of all suppositions, viz., that every successive generation of men have not an equal right to the earth, and to all that it possesses; but that the property of the present generation should be restrained and regulated according to the fancy of those who died, perhaps, five hundred years ago.
"In the ancient state of Europe, the occupiers of the land were all tenants at will. They were all, or nearly all, slaves. They were
supposed to belong more directly to the land, than to their master.. They could, therefore, be sold with it, but not separately. They could marry, provided it was with the consent of their master. If he maimed or murdered any of them, he was liable to some penalty, though generally but to a small one. They were incapable of acquiring property. Whatever they acquired, was acquired to their master, and he could take it from them at pleasure. They could acquire nothing but their daily maintenance. This species of slavery still subsists in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, and in other parts of Germany."
It is easy enough to see, that this kind of slavery, though changed in form, and in many particulars mitigated, still subsists in western, southwestern, and southern Europe, as well as in the parts above mentioned by Adam Smith. The spirit and practical operation of society do not change with the change of forms, till ages, sometimes centuries, have rolled away. It is from such a state of things that European society, as a whole, has come down, and it still exhibits almost everywhere like elements, often the same in substance..
How happens it that in Europe, they who have done all the work, have little or no property, external to their own persons, not always that; and that they who have done little or no work, have nearly all the property-nearly all the wealth of society? The, inference is natural, that there is something wrong in this. Proprietorship seems to have passed from the natural proprietor to the unnatural one, and the order of nature and of Providence-for how can they disagree?-seems to be reversed. This perversion, this violence that has crept into and incorporated itself with the social fabric of the old world-which has been one of the great perversions of the social state from time immemorial-is being rectified in the constitution and career of American society, and they who work can not only call themselves but all their fair earnings, their own. It is well that this reform should be gradual; that this renovation of society should be effected by a new construction on a more just basis; that this violence should be removed without violence. Restore to man his rights, and he will make his own way to the rectification of the errors of the species. But how can he have his rights, except under a just and equitable system of public economy?
EDUCATION AS AN ELEMENT OF PUBLIC ECONOMY IN THE UNITED STATES.
Education a Thing of Commercial Value.—The American People the Original Statesmen of the Country.-The American Republic an Experiment for the World -Difference between the European and American Theory of Society.-Knowledge makes the Distinction between Freemen and Slaves-Character of the First Settlers of this Country.They were Men of high Culture.-General Education made the Basis of their New State of Society.-Education the Power that achieved American Independence.—It is the most Important of all the Elements of an American System of Public Economy.— A System of Universal Education may not at first Produce Examples of the highest Culture. The American System gives Equal Chances to All-System of American Schools and Colleges.-A Protective System of Public Economy indispensable to the American System of Education.-Education and Virtue Concomitants in a Nation.Comparative Condition of European and American Population, Physical and Moral.— Education makes the Difference.
IT has already been shown that the rights of the people fall within the range of public economy, because there is a commercial value in them; that it is on account of this value that they become important and worthy of being asserted and maintained; that it was commercial value alone that constituted the ground of controversy between the American fathers and the British crown; and that, but for this species of value, wrested from the colonists and appropriated by the crown, there would never have been any controversy. It has also been shown, that these rights are not sordid or less worthy of respect on that account; but, on the contrary, that no rights in political society, which are of any consequence, can be shown to have any intrinsic or palpable value which is not of this kind. Even the honorary rights of monarchical and aristocratical forms of society, such as those of Great Britain, lose all their importance, and become contemptible, when stripped of the commercial values which sustain them in their position, such as the estates of the nobility.
It is for the same reason that education becomes one of the most important elements of public economy in the United States-of so great importance as to make it worthy of a separate and special consideration.
It is an old and well-recognised maxim, running back to the earliest date of our history, that a republican or democratic state