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in disguise, as above shown, and this is the only way in which the prices of American agricultural labor can be sustained at home and abroad. Let American agriculture find a market in American manufactures, by an adequate system of Protection, and it has the market of the world at its feet, which otherwise it could never havenor the smallest part of it-at remunerating prices. It will be of no use for American farmers to raise corn for Europe and other foreign parts, when the return of favorable seasons shall bless them with good crops again, so long as labor is lower there than they are willing to work for. They must soon get sick of that. Immutable laws have decided against it. But there is not a single manufacturing or mechanic art, if adequately protected, in which American skill can not equal that of Europeans, in a course of time. And if Americans can equal them in skill, they can equal them in all things else, and gradually obtain their proper share of the market of the world; for European, and all foreign nations, labor under disadvantages, inherent in their institutions, from which the people of the United States are exempt. Even under the slender and inadequate protection extended to American arts heretofore, Americans, in some things, have entered into competition over the wide world, with the boasting mistress of the arts, that boasts of being mistress of the seas, and were rapidly gaining upon her under the tariff of 1842. That is conclusive evidence of what can be done. In this way, and in no other, can the prices of American labor be sustained. That devoted to agriculture would be kept up, because the policy supposes that it would, as near as convenient, have in view only the supply of the home market, which is always best, most uniform, and most secure. The prices of manufacturing and mechanical labor would be kept up, first, because experience proves it; next, because it could be afforded; and thirdly, because labor would occupy a position to demand it. And lastly, the prices of manufactured articles would be kept down, and reduced still lower, first, because experience proves that, too, as shown in these pages; and next, because they must be reduced, in order to compete with the manufactured products of Europe. It is in a home market only, that American agricultural labor can ever be secure of its reward; and the experience of Great Britain proves, as shown in this chapter-all experience proves that the market for agricultural products in a great manufacturing system, like that of England, and like that which might be erected in the United States, under an adequate system of Protection, is indefinite, boundless.
THE EFFECTS OF A PROTECTIVE SYSTEM ON THE INTERESTS OF COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION.
Departments of Labor interested in Navigation.-Ship Builders, Mechanics, and Sailors. all require Protection.-Ship-Owners require it -What would be the Effects of abol ishing our Navigation Laws-Navigation and Commerce two Interests-Statistical Proofs of the different Effects of Free Trade and Protection on these two Interests.The Position and Interests of Importing Merchants hostile to the Interests of the Country-Statistics continued, with a Variety of Facts, mixed with Doctrine-Commercial and Reciprocity Treaties all bad, as proved by Experience.-Reciprocity necessarily embodies the Principles of Free Trade-Foreign Commerce, under a Protective System, may be made to supply all the Wants of Government, without taxing the People.
THE interests of navigation proper, as the instrument of commerce, comprehend a very large department of labor—the labor of constructing the craft, of producing, collecting, and forming the materials, and the adventurous tasks of those who use and guide these instruments of commerce on the bosom of the deep. These are distinct branches of labor, employing a large portion of every commercial community. The materials of ship-building nearly all come originally, either from the forest, or from the culture of the soil, or from the mines, and consist chiefly of timber, hemp, iron, copper, &c. Sundry manufactures and a variety of the mechanic arts enter into the formation of these materials, and are required to adapt them to their ultimate design and use. It will be found that all these materials, and all the manufacturing and mechanic arts thus employed, as much require protection in their progress, from beginning to end, as anything else; inasmuch as there is no kind of labor put in requisition in preparing the materials for ship-building, and in the construction of ships, which does not have to encounter the antagonism of low-priced foreign labor, which would impair its rights, and drive it from the field, without the shield of protection. Nor does this prove, as Free Trade continually asserts, that ships would cost less without a protective system. For the same great principle applies here as to all other branches of American labor, viz., protect it, and although its own prices, as labor, are higher, yet its products of manufacture and art will be cheaper than the imported products of foreign low-priced labor, if we are dependent upon them. This has been abundantly proved
in another chapter, and in application to the most important materials and parts of ship-building, timber, iron, hemp, cordage, copper, &c.
It is true, indeed, that ships can be and are built on the shores of the Baltic at a cost very much less than in the United States, and it might seem, at a first view, to be for the interest of American ship-owners and merchants engaged in navigation to order and import their ships already built and equipped. So it might seem to be for their interest to man them from abroad, inasmuch as foreign sailors do not get but about half the wages of American sailors. We say it might seem to be for their interest. But the advocates of Free Trade always fall into a fatal error, and others are in danger of being drawn along with them, by assuming that American consumers of the products of foreign low-priced labor can profit by it; whereas, the moment we allow ourselves to be dependent, we find everything costs more than when we are independent under a protective system. This has been proved in a former part of this work. In the same manner, if American ship-owners and merchants were permitted to buy and man their ships from abroad, and to trade in foreign bottoms, till American shipyards should be closed for want of work, as they doubtless would be, the same consequences would naturally, not to say necessarily, follow, as in all other cases to which Free Trade leads: first, the employment of American labor, and the use of American arts, are suppressed; next, these being suppressed, and foreign labor and arts having the monopoly, and being in great demand, they could command their own prices; thirdly, and consequently, it would instantly be found, in all such cases, as always before in all other similar cases, that prices would rise, and the same things would cost more than at home under a system of protection.
But the navigation-laws of the United States very properly forbid such a course to American ship-owners and merchants, and it is therefore out of the question. They are forced to build and buy at home; and it was for purposes of protection that these laws were enacted. They are among the strongest statutes ever foisted into a protective code, and are universally conceded to be important and indispensable. But for these laws, there would scarcely be an American bottom entering our ports from foreign parts, and our coasting-trade itself would be monopolized by foreign craft. For how could our own craft, which costs so much more, and our own sailors whose wages are so much higher than those of foreign
sailors, compete with such an opposition, on the basis of Free Trade? It would be impossible. And it is seldom considered that Free Trade strikes at the root, at the foundation, of our entire system of navigation, and that it would be totally destructive of all its interests of all the interests of ship-builders, of all the providers of materials for ship-building, of all the manufacturers, mechanics, and artists, engaged in the various parts of work required for building and equipping ships, and of all the American sailors and navigators employed in our commercial marine. Not one of them could subsist in the reign of Free Trade applied to navigation and to the building of navigating craft, except as their wages should be reduced to the level of the wages of foreigners engaged in the same employments; which, indeed, would be the unavoidable result. In other words, foreigners having once monopolized the business, in all its branches, would keep it at their own prices.
That those engaged in the pursuits connected with navigation, and in navigation itself, should expect to escape these consequences of Free Trade, as they bear on themselves, is a delusive hope, if Free Trade is to have full scope: and why should it not, if the doctrine be sound? Such immunity would be a partiality which other classes of the community would hardly tolerate. All must stand under Protection, or fall under Free Trade, together. The theory of Free Trade knows no distinction or exception of pur
The interests of navigation, as must be seen, are distinct from those of commerce, though both are often combined in the same parties. Navigation is the instrument or agent of commerce, and the carrying-trade is the source of its profits. Apart from the influence of extraordinary events, such as the scarcity of provisions in Europe and other foreign parts, as in 1846 and 1847,* one of the surest rules of determining the effects of a protective system or the want of it, on the interests of navigation, is the comparative amount of tonnage employed in the carrying-trade, under these two states of things, respectively. It may, indeed, be called an infallible rule. Look, then, at the following facts :
It appears, by the United States treasury documents, that, in 1840, when Free Trade had brought down the country to the low
The secretary of the treasury, in his annual report of December 9, 1847, has made an unjustifiable use of the increase of tonnage required to transport American bread-stuffs to Europe, in consequence of short crops in that quarter in 1846–7. He has also forced results on this point from other assumed data, which are inconsistent with his own official tables.
est depths of commercial ruin, still running down, the total tonnage of the United States amounted to 2,180,764 tons; in 1841, to 2,130,744; and in 1842, to 2,092,300 showing a falling off in three years, before the passage of the tariff of 1842, of 88,464 tons, instead of a gradual increase, as it ought to have been. After the enactment of the tariff of 1842, the tonnage rose, in 1843, to 2,158,601 tons; in 1844, to 2,280,095; and in 1845, to 2,417,002 being a gain in three years, under the tariff of 1842, of 258,401 tons. The tonnage built in the United States, in 1845, was greater by 28,000 tons than the average of the three preceding years, showing an increasing demand.
From the same official records it appears that the tonnage which entered the ports of the United States, and cleared, in 1841, was 4,639,458 tons; and in 1842, when the duties were down to the lowest ebb, 4,519,841 tons. But in 1844, two years after the passage of the tariff of 1842, it had risen to 5,812,168; and in 1845, to 5,930,303. These figures show a falling off from 1841 to 1842, when duties were lowest, of 219,617 tons; and an increase in one year, from 1844 to 1845, under what are called high duties, of 118,135 tons. The tonnage which entered and cleared in 1845, was 1,410,462 tons more than in 1842, before the tariff of that year, dated August 30, had begun to take effect. These, as can not be denied, are strong facts, and directly to the point. They are, indeed, conclusive.
The explanation of this result is, that a Free-Trade system increases the amount of manufactured imports, which are not only of great and ruinous cost to the country, by depriving home labor of employment, and drawing away money, but which employ the least amount of tonnage, and thus injure the interests of navigation. Free Trade also diminishes those imports-such as raw materials for home manufacture-which employ the greatest amount of tonnage, and benefit navigation; whereas, a protective system produces a directly contrary effect in all these particulars, viz.: diminishes imports of manufactured products, which are of little benefit to navigation; increases those imports which make the profit of navigation, and give employment and profit to home labor; and farther employs and encourages home labor, by securing to it the manufacture of those articles the import of which is discouraged by protection.
There was perhaps never presented a more condensed, and at the same time full, view of this argument, than that which was ex