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have a similar arrangement with Sweden, in consequence of which, as stated by the same document, she had entered on our China trade, in the case of the Swedish ship Albion, and was likely to trespass further on American navigation. Nothing has proved more deceptive, or more injurious to the navigating interests and commerce of the United States, than these commercial treaties, professedly based on principles of reciprocity—a mock reciprocity. The great commercial nations, such as England, France, Russia, Sweden, Portugal, Holland, and Belgium, have loaned their craft to the flags of the small states, such as Denmark, Hamburg, Bremen, Prussia, Brazil, Tuscany, Rome, and Greece, which had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by arrangements of this kind with the United States. Thus the larger commercial powers have stolen the benefit, and escaped from the obligation of reciprocity.
The importance of protecting American navigation and commerce does not end with the interests of the parties engaged in these pursuits, nor with its influence on the general wealth of the country. The commercial marine of a great maritime nation is the great and only school of training for its public marine-for its navy. For this sole purpose, it has been thought best to enact bounties for our fisheries, which are still continued. Is it consist ent to tax the people for such bounties with one hand, while the other is stretched forth, in the form of commercial and reciprocity treaties, not only to rob the nation of ten, or fifty, or a hundred times of the same kind of benefit purchased by these taxes for bounties, but to tax the people indirectly, by robbing them of a navigation and commerce worth millions? That item of six millions of dollars' worth of commerce lost to our navigation by British legislation after the convention of London, in 1815, can not have been diminished, but must have greatly augmented, under the reciprocity treaty of 1830. But setting aside these interests of navigation and commerce, thus sacrificed, the consequent sacrifice to the public marine of the nation, in such a large abridgment of the only school of preparation, is no trifling consideration as it relates to public economy. In whatever point of view, therefore, these commercial and reciprocity treaties are regarded, and in all their bearings on private and public interests, they seem to have nothing in them but elements of great injury to the nation, as they have hitherto been constructed.
Foreign commerce, under a protective system, may be made to
supply all the wants of the government, in a time of peace, without taxing the people. That it may be made to supply all the wants of the government, in a time of peace, is proved by the tariff of 1824, 1828, 1832, and 1842; and that it will not tax the people, is proved from the fact, already established in this work, that protective duties are not only not taxes at home, but that they are a rescue from an enormous system of foreign taxation. These points being established-as they are beyond controversy-it is clear that a protective system, properly adjusted, without imposing duties on foreign articles that can not be produced at home, might be made to supply all the wants of government, in a time of peace; and therefore without taxation, since protective duties are not taxes.
Much more than this is probably true-though it can not be asserted with so much confidence-viz., that a protective system, without imposing duties on articles which can not be produced at home-except, perhaps, some luxuries, and other articles not indispensable to the poorer classes-might be so adjusted as to liquidate a very heavy national debt, in addition to defraying the ordinary expenses of government-all, of course, without a tax upon the masses, since protective duties are not taxes. Such are the resources of the country, such the amount of its home products and home trade, and such the ingenuity, skill, industry, enterprise, and physical ability, of the people, that, under an adequate system of protection, there are no assignable limits to the possible increase of the general wealth, or to the ability of the people to consume foreign products, subject to protective duties. Protect the people, let them grow rich, and they will buy largely from abroad, to raise an indefinite amount of revenue-enough, probably, to meet any future contingent wants of the government, even though a war debt should be run up to one or two hundred millions—all, of course, for the reasons before stated, without a tax in any form, direct or indirect, since protective duties are not taxes.
THE EFFECTS OF A PROTECTIVE SYSTEM ON THE HOME TRADE.
The Home Trade the Basis of the Fortunes of the Country - Agriculture, Manufactures. and Commerce," the American Coat of Arms-Home Trade has always made the Fortunes of all great Continental Nations-Insular Nations an Exception.-The Domestic Resources of the United States incalculable.-We have all Climates deemed good. and all Physical Elements of Wealth -The Country and the People fitted for each other.The Country a World in Itself.—Care. Work, and Frugality. at Home. the same for a Nation as for a Private Individual.-" Far Fetched, dear Bought."—Home Trade does not diminish, but enlarges the Amount of Commerce, as ten Miles is only Half of Twenty, and can be gone over twice for once of the latter.-The thriving Man works on his own Estate-Difference in Results of Trade between Parties to a Nation and Nations as Parties. The comparative Amount of Home and Foreign Trade -Statistics.-Amount of the Products of Labor in the Country.-Amount of Internal and Coasting Trade.Statistics.-Adam Smith on Home Trade.
OUR home trade is, and must for ever be, the basis of our fortunes. In foreign trade, we have almost always been losers, and the loss, as before seen, has been immense. Individuals have profited, at the expense of the public. Hence the seductions of foreign traffic, and the necessity of taking care of it, that the state receive no damage. The branches of foreign commerce are like the tenders of a fleet, the scouting-parties of an army, the roving agents of a great commercial house. If licensed with privileges, care should be taken that they serve, not injure, the main bodies. Every merchant in the foreign trade sails under the flag of his country. It is loaned to him, protects him, secures to him all his benefits. Besides being a merchant, wherever he goes beyond the bounds of his country, he is a public political agent.*
Mr. Laing, an eminent British authority, says: "In every country, the home market is the great and steady basis of its prosperity. Commerce itself, if it be not founded on home consumption if it be merely a carrying-trade between distant producers and distant consumers, has proved itself, as in the Hanse-Towns, in Genoa, Venice, and Holland, to be unstable, evanescent, and unattended with any well-being and improvement in the condition of the mass of the people. The export trade is but the overflowings of the cup of our industrial production. Its fulness is all within its own rim."
The "Southern Planter" says: "Commerce has as deep an interest in securing the home market and supply as manufacturers can have. Commerce has no patriotism in it, when based upon foreign supplies. All its profits are incidental, and have reference to its basis and support. Like the light of a satellite, the profits of commerce are borrowed and reflected, not inherent as the centre sun of business not creative, as the producers are."
Having descended from a great commercial nation, the people of the United States very naturally imbibed the spirit of their ancestry; and being favorably situated for external and foreign commerce, it has always been one of their favorite and great pursuits. "Agriculture, manufactures, and commerce," have ever been the three comprehensive words which represent the interests of this country. It is too late, therefore, to raise any abstract question. about the utility of foreign commerce, although much might be said of a country that is a world in itself, and that has no disjunct and remote dependencies, in favor of a policy chiefly domestic. the history of the past, it will be found that nations which have flourished the longest, and attained to the greatest wealth and to the most imposing grandeur, eschewed foreign commerce, and chiefly devoted themselves to domestic arts and trade; and that as soon as they changed this policy, they began to decline, steadily going downward as they multiplied their commercial connexions abroad. China, Hindostan, and ancient Egypt, are of this class. The exceptions to this rule, apparently, are cities and states in an insular and confined condition, as Tyre, Venice, and Great Britain. There would at least seem to be enough in history and reason to show that the interest, or estate, or commonwealth, which is not sound and strong at home, will only be weakened and dissolved the sooner by stretching out its arms abroad. Foreign and remote connexions of a state, either commercial or political, are always interests of great delicacy and precariousness in the hands of statesmen, and require consummate wisdom and great practical tact for a care and management which shall bring profit to home interests, and equal advantages to all parties.
It can not but be seen, from the ground already gone over in this work, that the United States, from the beginning down to this time, have blundered and stumbled along, at great hazard and immense loss, and with innumerable bruises, in the management of our foreign policy and commerce. And what is our foreign commerce worth, as compared with our home interest and trade?A due consideration of the facts to be presented in this chapter, will answer this question.
The resources of the United States are literally beyond estimate, speaking only of what they are, independent of the capabilities of the people, to which they lie in abeyance, and by which they have been in part, and are to be more fully, developed. There is no necessity of man or of society that is not to be found, or which can
not be produced, here. The United States and territories comprehend the finest belt of this western continent, stretching from ocean to ocean, and from the icy north to torrid climes. The country has all the climates that could be desired by man, and is capable of all productions of the soil necessary to man. There is scarcely a plant, or vegetable, or shrub, or tree, on the habitable earth, which is not either indigenous or capable of being cultivated here. It is not within the memory of man, nor in the records of known history, when, if, by unpropitious seasons, there was a scarcity of the necessaries of life in one or more parts of this wide domain, there was not a plenty in others, sufficient for all demands. Nature, in this field, is everywhere bounteous in her gifts, and abundantly rewards the labors of man. The bordering seas, the lakes, and rivers, teem with supplies of every fish known to the waters, and good for food. As the forests disappear before the advancing strides of civilization, the mineral world unfolds the exhaustless wealth of its bosom. The leaping streams and plunging rivers, found in every quarter, supply a power of motion that could never be used up, even if coal and steam were not likely to supersede a moiety of their purposes. The great natural bosoms, arteries, and veins, of inland trade, aided by a network of artificial communications, easily cut or built, have brought and are bringing the remotest parts of the land into one neighborhood. The soils are indefinitely capable of all imaginable productions, and the foundations of the hills and mountains are not laid deeper or broader than the mines of wealth which they contain. Much as has been already developed of the resources of this vast field of nature, by the enterprise, labor, and arts, of the people, in the brief term of their history as a nation, and much as has been realized of its prolific and deep beds of wealth, all this presents only the superfices of the profound and exhaustless treasures that lie undiscovered beneath. The United States and territories under its jurisdiction are a world which the labor and industry of a thousand generations could not fully explore, or begin to exhaust of its capabilities-a world that challenges cultivation and research, with a promise of reward not elsewhere to be found a world which, the more it is used, the more it presents that is profitable for use, developing new sources of wealth with every stage of improvement. In a word, there is nothing wanting here to make those now tenants of these territories, and those that may come after them, independent of all the world—nothing but the purpose to make it so; and besides