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in every pursuit throughout the land, in the two periods under con-
The secretary also says: "When the number of manufactories
Wages for Dec. 1842. Dec. 1845.
Wages for Dec. 1842. Dec. 1845.
"Mr. R. FISHER: Sir-In answer to your queries on the subject of labor in the
Female Weavers.....$11 12
..... 11 16
The Price of Wages per Day, for Masons and Laborers, in the Month of May, in
the following Years:-
66 8 66
1832.. Masons, 13 shillings.
"In addition to the rise in the wages, from 1842 to 1845, there have been em-
ployed from 50 to 75 per cent. more men than there were from 1838 to 1842.
66 8 66
After the great fire in New York.
Great expansion of the currency.
Mechanics in the City
of New York.
Here is a double assumption, involving two untruths. If manufactures were monopolies, as they are sometimes falsely called, that is, if they had exclusive privileges-for nothing else can be a monopoly-then there might possibly be some foundation for such But the more manufactories are encouraged, multiplied, and extended, under a protective tariff, and the more capital there is vested in them, so much greater are the chances of labor, and so much greater is its relative power. When the manufactories are few, and the competition between them small, their power relative to labor is greater; but when they become numerous as competitors, and rich in capital, their rivalship with each other is all for the advantage of labor. In the former case, labor pays court to them, and is obliged to receive terms: in the latter, labor dictates terms, and becomes the object of courtship.
The effect of low wages is to demoralize, to debase, to degrade man, and render him unfit to aspire to freedom, and unfit to enjoy it. Working ever for a bare subsistence, and hardly that, without hope of a better condition, leaves no place for pride, self-respect, and ambition. That debasement of mind, which is everywhere observable among the laboring classes of Europe, whose task is hard, and whose prospect of an improvement in their condition is hopeless, is the necessary effect and uniform concomitant of such a doom. Reduce those dependent on labor in the United States-which comprehends a majority of the people—to such low wages, by the establishment of Free Trade, which would be the inevitable result, and the moral effect would be the same. The character of the people would be entirely changed. The government would be changed-all would be changed. Labor would then be the agent of power, and not an independent agent.
The power of foreign pauper labor over the labor of American freemen, is not vested in itself, but in the arm of its oppressors. It is a mere agent of the latter. Nor can that power be abated, except by a change of political society in those quarters, for the emancipation of labor. So long as political society is the same there, and the same here, there can never be a time when "the protected arts" in the United States, "shall have acquired such strength and perfection as will enable them subsequently, unaided, to stand up against foreign competition." No matter what strength, no matter what perfection they may acquire, they will never be strong enough, never perfect enough, to employ free labor at a fair
price, in a field of competition with the same arts worked by forced labor at a price which barely supports existence.
The question, then-the great, practical, momentous question -is, shall European capital and labor, in a field of open and Free Trade, be permitted to bring American capital and labor, that is, American society, down to the same level? Or shall American society, by the American government, protect American capital and labor, and maintain the position to which the cost of American freedom has elevated them?
The great battle of the world is between freedom and despotism; and more than in anything, or all things else, the form under which that contest is now carried on, is between European capital and labor on one side, and American capital and labor on the other. On this pivot turns the destiny of nations. SUSTAIN the position of American capital and labor, that every man may be secure of the fair reward of his exertions, however humble his birth and calling, and freedom will prevail all the world over. The American people, united and resolved in this great emprise, can beat the worldthe whole world-and crumble into dust the bulwarks of despotic sway. BUT, let European capital and labor, in the hands of European despots, PREVAIL against American capital and labor, for want of protection to the latter, and there is an end of freedom, till another cycle of ages, with its sad round of experience, shall burst the chains again, and they who succeed shall better appreciate their duty and their chances.
The battle for American freedom was only begun in the establishment of American independence. The commercial systems of Europe are more to be feared than all the power of European arms. It is much to say, yet it may be true, that a perpetual war would be less expensive and less perilous than the effects of this occult, silent, insinuating, all-pervading power, if unresisted.
THE EFFECTS OF A PROTECTIVE SYSTEM ON THE INTERESTS
Not true that Agriculture has no Share in the Benefits of a Protective System.-Facts and Statistical Evidence on this Point.-Breadstuffs, in ordinary Seasons, cheaper in Europe than in the United States.-The Effect of Indirect Protection of Agriculture -Protection of Slave grown Staples -Slave Labor in the United States needs Protection more than Free Labor.-All Nations can and intend to supply their own Mouths.-Great Britain the greatest Exporter of Agricultural Products, of any Nation in the world— Evidence of William Brown, Esq., on this Point.-The Importance of this Fact in a System of Public Economy-Statistics showing that Europe is Independent of the United States for Breadstuffs.-The Problem as to whether American Indian Corn will find a permanent Market in Europe.-European Agricultural Labor will always beat American Agricultural Labor in Market, because of its Low Price-The Effect of a Protective System in sustaining and raising Prices of Agricultural Labor and Products.Showing of the Effects of certain Items of the Tariff of 1846 on the Interests of American Agriculture.
THE influence of a protective system on agriculture, has been, in no small degree, already set forth in these pages. Nevertheless, it is a point of too much importance to be passed over, so long as other evidence, of an equally impressive character, remains to be considered.
It is sometimes erroneously supposed and maintained, that farmers and agriculturists have no share in the benefits of a protective system. If, indeed, what is thus falsely asserted, were so far true, as that they should receive no direct protection, it will yet appear, that the protection they receive indirectly, under such a system, is not only most important to them, but would in itself be an abundant compensation for the sacrifices which, it is alleged, are imposed upon them, but which, however, as will be seen, are no sacrifices at all. But it will appear that the direct protection provided for agriculturists, under the system, is on an average as great, or greater, than that which is afforded to manufacturers and mechanics. For example, the direct protection granted by the tariff of 1842, to the following articles, wool, hemp, beef, pork, hams, bacon, cheese, butter, lard, potatoes, flour, wheat, and raw cotton, was an average of about fifty per cent., which is at least equal to, and somewhat above, the average protection granted to any other class, manufacturers, mechanics, or whatever; and protection to most of these products of agriculture is very important, when the crops are good
and other of these articles are abundant in all parts of the world. Before the potato-rot fell upon Ireland, an impost of ten cents a bushel could not keep this vegetable from being imported into the United States in considerable quantities; and the secretary of the treasury estimated an increase of its importation, by the reduction of the duty in the tariff of 1842, by that of 1846, from 36 to 20 per cent., .so as to add to the revenue $150,000. The annual average of our imports of wheat, from 1831 to 1844, inclusive, was 425,442 bushels; and in 1837, we imported 4,000,000 of bushels, and 2,389,102 bushels in excess of our exports. And the aggregate excess of exports of wheat over imports, for these fourteen years, was only 5,065,390 bushels. [See Fisher's National Magazine, for April, 1846.]
The importance of direct protection for wheat and other grains, will appear from the facts that, in years of ordinary plenty, they are cheaper in Europe than in the United States, and that the cost of transportation from Europe to our ports, is less than from the west of our country to the east. The average price of wheat per bushel, at the following places in Europe, from 1830 to 1843, inclusive, viz., at Dantzic, was 91 cents; at Hamburg, 90 cents; at Amsterdam, 99 cents; at Antwerp, 98 cents; and at Odessa, 64 cents. The average price at the seaports of the United States, for the same years, was $1.25. The cost of transportation from Michigan to New York, is 30 cents per bushel; and from Europe, not over ten, sometimes down to six cents. From the Mediterranean, it costs from 12 to 16 cents per bushel. The average cost of transportation of wheat from the western country to New York, may be put down at 3 to 1 of the cost from Bremen to the same point. In 1836 and '37, years of short crops in the United States, large quantities of barley were imported on commission for brewers in New York, Albany, and other towns on the Hudson, at a cost, including all expenses, of 55 cents per bushel, when the market price here was about one dollar; and large quantities of rye were imported for the same object, at a cost of 63 cents, when the price here was $1.25. [See National Magazine, for January, 1846, pp. 709-'10.]
Hence the importance of protective duties to agriculture. The years of famine in Europe can not be expected to continue. Alas that American farmers should be obliged to rely on such a cause for a market and good prices! Providence may yet force us, in our turn, to go to Europe for bread. As already seen, though