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THE UNITED STATES.
The Task attempted in this Work-The Doctrine of Free Trade Economists not a Science. -This false Pretension a Stolen Shield-On common Ground, Free-Trade Economists bave done some Good - This Work a System for the United States.-The New Features of this Work not Novelties.-The proper Functions of Hypothesis.-Free Trade Econ omists have made an unjustifiable Use of Hypothesis-It leads to no Result-Mill's, Compte's, Newton's, and Reid's Views of Hypothesis-Reasons for the limited Scope of this Work-Reasons for changing the name of the General Subject - Politics and Political Economy.-The Comprehensiveness of this Work, and the Unity of its Plan.
Ir will be seen that the author of this work has had to confront authorities of no mean consideration - authorities which, strange as it may seem, have occupied the theatre of debate on the leading topic of these pages, for nearly a century, without ever having been encountered, face to face, in their main positions. It has been claimed for them, that they could not be answered; that they had settled the question; and that, henceforth, time only was required to establish the universal triumph of Free Trade.
Though facts, in abundance, had been arrayed against these pretensions, nevertheless they seemed still to command attention and respect. The doctrine of Free Trade had taken up the position, and asserted the prerogatives, of a SCIENCE, composed, in all that belonged to it properly, of uniform propositions in all places, and in all time; from the deductions of which, conceding the claim, there was no appeal. But its claim to be ranked among the sciences, was a stolen shield. So long as such a weapon of defence was
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awarded to it by consent, it was impossible to reason with or against it, inasmuch as a deduction of science is justly regarded as too formidable for oppugnation. No other answer was required from them, except this: It is contrary to the theory. The theory, averred to be a science, was the charm that dissolved all arguments-the stronghold within which a retreat could always be covered. But this claim will be found to be untenable; and divested of this, there is nothing left to it but certain loose reasonings, in the shape of empirical laws nothing but the ingenious fabrications of great abilities, based on hypotheses, and forced into currency by the authority of great names.
The author of this work has no objection to the use of the term science in this application; nor does he deny, but on the contrary maintains, that the elements of public economy embody the materials of a science of a very high order and of great importance. But it is one thing to have the elements of a science in hand, and another to have constructed the science. Nor do we mean by this to admit, that the Free-Trade economists have the elements; it will appear in the next chapter that they have not. We have there marked the distinction between empirical laws and those of a science, and shown that the doctrines of Free Trade are composed entirely of the former. By arrogating the name and authority of a science for their dogmas, the Free-Trade economists had interposed an effectual bar to investigation by scientific rules, and covered themselves with an impenetrable shield, in the presence of all who conceded the claim. It will be found, that the ejection of these pretenders from this stronghold, opens the whole field anew to fresh explorations, and that the old charts, proved to be erroneous in very important particulars, must be used with extreme circumspection. It is not denied, that the European economists of the Free-Trade school have done some service, where they were at home, in a field directly under their eye; or that they have recognised and settled principles which are common to all parts of the world, and to every state of society. But it is not allowed, that they were competent to lay down rules for countries and states of society with which they had no acquaintance, and of the peculiarities of which they had not the faintest conception.
With these views of the standard lights of a science, "falsely so called," the author has endeavored to construct a system of economy for the United States, and to show wherein the principles of European economists are entirely inapplicable here. He has not
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The author has been forced to observe, that hypothesis is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the reasoning of Free-Trade tr economists; that is to say, they have no other proof of the truth as of their doctrine, than its assumption. This being a very important point, it is proper here to say a few words on the nature and functions of hypothesis, in scientific investigations. "An hypothesis," says John Stuart Mill, in his system of logic, "is any supposition which we make, in order to deduce from it conclusions in accordance with facts which are known to be real. . . There are no other limits to hypothesis, than those of the human imagination... Hypotheses are invented to enable the deductive method [of reasoning] to be earlier applied to phenomena. In order to discover the cause of any phenomena, by the deductive method, the process must consist of three parts: induction, ratiocination, and verification. . . Now, the hypothetical method
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