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session of 1816, was the result of his in- of that year, in some of its provisions, was quiries and reflections, and embodies the framed on principles directly adverse to principles which he thought applicable to the declared wishes of the friends of the the subject. It has been said, that the policy of protection. I have heard, withtariff of 1816 was a measure of mere reve- out vouching for the fact, that it was so nue, and that it only reduced the war framed, upon the advice of a prominent duties to a peace standard. It is true that citizen, now abroad, with the view of ultithe question then was, how much and in mately defeating the bill, and with assurwhat way should the double duties of the ances that, being altogether unacceptable war be reduced ? Now, also, the question to the friends of the American system, the is, on what articles shall the duties be re- bill would be lost. Be that as it may, the duced so as to subject the amounts of the most exceptional features of the bill were future revenue to the wants of the govern- stamped upon it, against the earnest rement? Then it was deemed an inquiry of monstrances of the friends of the system, the first importance, as it should be now, by the votes of southern members, upon á how, the reduction should be made, so as principle, I think, as unsound in legislato secure proper encouragement to our do- tion as it is reprehensible in ethics. The mestic industry. That this was a leading bill was passed, notwithstanding all this, it object in the arrangement of the tariff of having been deemed better to take the bad 1816, I well remember, and it is demon- along with the good which it contained, strated by the language of Mr. Dallas. than reject it altogether. Subsequent legHe says in his report:
islation has corrected the error then per" There are few, if any governments, petrated, but still that measure is vehewhich do not regard the establishment of mently denounced by gentlemen who condomestic manufactures as a chief object tributed to make it what it was. of public policy. The United States have Thus, sir, has this great system of proalways so regarded it.
The tection been gradually built, stone upon demands of the country, while the acqui- stone, and step by step, from the fourth of sitions of supplies from foreign nations was July, 1789, down to the present period. In either prohibited or impracticable, may every stage of its progress it has received have afforded sufficient inducement for the deliberate sanction of Congress. A this investment of capital, and this appli- vast majority of the people of the United cation of labor; but the inducement, in its States has approved and continue to apnecessary extent, must fail when the day prove it. Every chief magistrate of the of competition returns. Upon that change United States, from Washington to the in the condition of the country, the preser- present, in some form or other, has given vation of the manufactures, which private to it the authority of his name; and howcitizens under favorable auspices have con- ever the opinions of the existing President stituted the property of the nation, be- are interpreted South of Mason's and Dixcomes a consideration of general policy, to on's line, on the north they are at least be resolved by a recollection of past em- understood to favor the establishment of a barrassments; by the certainty of an in-judicious tariff. creased difficulty of reinstating, upon any
The question, therefore, which we are emergency, the manufactures which shall now called upon to determine, is not be allowed to perish and pass away," &c. whether we shall establish a new and
The measure of protection which he doubtful system of policy, just proposed, proposed was not adopted, in regard to and for the first time presented to our consome leading articles, and there was great sideration, but whether we shall break difficulty in ascertaining what it ought to down and destroy a long established syshave been. But the principle was then tem, patiently and carefully built up and distinctly asserted and fully sanctioned. sanctioned, during a series of years, again
The subject of the American system was and again, by the nation and its highest again brought up in 1820, by the bill re- and most revered authorities.
Are we not ported by the chairman of the committee bound deliberately to consider whether we of manufactures, now a member of the can proceed to this work of destruction bench of the Supreme Court of the United without a violation of the public faith ? States
, and the principle was successfully the people of the United States have justly maintained by the representatives of the supposed that the policy of protecting their people; but the bill which they passed was industry against foreign legislation and defeated in the Senate. It was revived in foreign industry was fully settled, not by a 1824; the whole ground carefully and de- single act, but hy repeated and deliberate liberately explored, and the bill then in- acts of government, performed at distant troduced, receiving all the sanctions of the and frequent intervals. In full confidence constitution, became the law of the land. that the policy was firmly and unchangeAn amendment of the system was proposed ably fixed, thousands upon thousands have in 1828, to the history of which I refer invested their capital, purchased a vast with no agreeable recollections. The bill amount of real and other estate, made per
manent establishments, and accommodated come naturalized in our country; whilst, their industry. Can we expose to utter happily, there are many others who readily and irretrievable ruin this countless multi- attach themselves to our principles and our tude, without justly incurring the reproach institutions. The honest, patient and inof violating the national faith?
dustrious German readily unites with our Such are the origin, duration, extent and people, establishes himself upon some of sanctions of the policy which we are now our fat land, fills his capacious barn, and called upon to subvert
. Its beneficial ef- enjoys in tranquillity, the abundant fruits fects, although they may vary in degree, which his diligence gathers around him, have been felt in all parts of the Union. always ready to fly to the standard of his To none, I verily believe, has it been pre- adopted country, or of its laws, when called judicial. In the North, every where, testi- by the duties of patriotism. The gay, the monials are borne to the high prosperity versatile, the philosophie Frenchman, acwhich it has diffused. There, all branches commodating himself cheerfully to all the of industry are animated and flourishing. vicissitudes of life, incorporates himself Commerce, foreign and domestic, active; without difficulty in our society. But, of cities and towns springing up, enlarging all foreigners, none amalgamate themselves and beautifying; navigation fully and pro- so quickly with our people as the natives fitably employed, and the whole face of the of the Emerald Isle. In some of the viscountry smiling with improvement, cheer- ions which have passed through my im. fulness and abundance.
agination, I have supposed that Ireland
was originally, part and parcel of this conWhen gentlemen have succeeded in their tinent, and that, by some extraordinary design of an immediate or gradual destruc- convulsion of nature, it was torn from tion of the American System, what is their America, and drifting across the ocean, substitute? Free trade! Free trade! The was placed in the unfortunate vicinity of call for free trade is as unavailing as the Great Britain. The same open-heartedcry of a spoiled child, in its nurse's arms, ness; the same generous hospitality; the for the moon, or the stars that glitter in same careless and uncalculating indifferthe firmament of heaven. It never has ence about human life, characterize the inexisted, it never will exist. Trade implies, habitants of both countries. Kentucky, at least two parties. To be free, it should has been sometimes called the Ireland of be fair, equal and reciprocal. But if we America. And I have no doubt, that if throw our ports wide open to the admission the current of emigration were reversed, of foreign productions, free of all duty, and set from America upon the shores of what ports of any other foreign nation shall Europe, instead of bearing from Europe to we find open to the free admission of our America, every American emigrant to Iresurplus produce? We may break down all land would there find, as every Irish emibarriers to free trade on our part, but the grant here finds, a hearty welcome and a work will not be complete until foreign happy home! powers shall have removed theirs. There But I have said that the system nomi. would be freedom on one side, and restric- nally called “free trade," so earnestly and tions, prohibitions and exclusions on the eloquently recommended to our adoption, other. The bolts, and the bars, and the is a mere revival of the British colonial chains of all other nations will remain un- system, forced upon us by Great Britain disturbed. It is, indeed, possible, that our during the existence of our colonial vasindustry and commerce would accommo- salage. The whole system is fully explained date themselves to this unequal and unjust and illustrated in a work published as far state of things; for, such is the flexibility back as the year 1750, entitled “The Trade of our nature, that it bends itself to all and Navigation of Great Britain considered, circumstances. The wretched prisoner in- by Joshua Gee," with extracts from which carcerated in a jail, after a long time be- I have been furnished by the diligent recomes reconciled to his solitude, and regu- searches of a friend. It will be seen from larly notches down the passing days of his these, that the South Carolina policy now, confinement.
is identical with the long cherished policy Gentlemen deceive themselves. It is not of Great Britain, which remains the same free trade that they are recommending to as it was when the thirteen colonies were our acceptance. It is in effect, the British part of the British empire. colonial system that we are invited to
I regret, Mr. President, that one topic adopt; and, if their policy prevail, it will has, I think, unnecessarily been introlead substantially to the re-colonization of duced into this debate. I allude to the these States, under the commercial domin-charge brought against the manufacturing ion of Great Britain. And whom do we system, as favoring the growth of aristocfind some of the principal supporters, out racy. If it were true, would gentlemen of Congress, of this foreign system? Mr. prefer supporting foreign accumulations President, there are are some foreigners of wealth, by that description of industry, who always remain exotics, and never be rather than in their own country? But is
it correct? The joint stock companies of fraudulent invoices and false denominathe north, as I understand them, are no- tion. thing more than associations, sometimes of I plant myself upon this fact, of cheaphundreds, by means of which the small ness and superiority, as upon impregnable earnings of many are brought into a com- ground. Gentlemen may tax their ingemon stock, and the associates, obtaining nuity and produce a thousand speculative corporate privileges, are enabled to prose- solutions of the fact, but the fact itself will cute, under one superintending head, their remain undisturbed. business to better advantage. Nothing This brings me to consider what I apcan be more essentially democratic or bet- prehend to have been the most efficient of ter devised to counterpoise the influence of all the causes in the reduction of the prices individual wealth. In Kentucky, almost of manufactured articles--and that is comevery manufactory known to me, is in the PETITION. By competition, the total hands of enterprising and self-made men, amount of the supply is increased, and by who have acquired whatever wealth they increase of the supply, a competition in the possess by patient and diligent labor. sale ensues, and this enables the consumer Comparisons are odious, and but in defence, to buy at lower rates. Of all human would not be made by me. But is there powers operating on the affairs of manmore tendency to aristocracy in a manu- kind, none is greater than that of compefactory supporting hundreds of freemen, tition. It is action and re-action. It or in a cotton plantation, with its not less operates between individuals in the same numerous slaves, sustaining perhaps only nation, and between different nations. It two white families—that of the master and resembles the meeting of the mountain the overseer?
torrent, grooving by its precipitous motion, I pass, with pleasure, from this disagree- its own channel, and ocean's tide. Unopable topic, to two general propositions, posed, it sweeps everything before it; but, which cover the entire ground of debate counterpoised, the waters become calm, The first is, that under the operation of the safe and regular. It is like the segments American System, the objects which it pro- of a circle or an arch; taken separately, tects and fosters are brought to the con- each is nothing; but in their combination sumer at cheaper prices. than they com- they produce efficiency, symmetry, and manded prior to its introduction, or, than perfection. By the American System this they would command if it did not exist. vast power has been excited in America, If that be true, ought not the country to be and brought into being to act in co-operacontented and satisfied with the system, tion or collision with European industry. unless the second proposition, which I Europe acts within itself, and with Amerimean presently also to consider, is unfound-ca; and America acts within itself, and ed? And that is, that the tendency of the with Europe. The consequence is, the resystein is to sustain, and that it has upheld duction of prices in both hemispheres. Nor the prices of all our agricultural and other is it fair to argue from the reduction of produce, including cotton.
prices in Europe, to her own presumed And is the fact not indisputable, that all skill and labor, exclusively. We affect essential objects of consumption effected by her prices, and she affects ours. This must the tariff, are cheaper and better since the always be the case, at least in reference to act of 1824, than they were for several | any articles as to which there is not a toyears prior to that law? I appeal for its tal non-intercourse; and if our industry, truth to common observation and to all by diminishing the demand for her suppractical men. I appeal to the farmer of plies, should produce a diminution in the the country, whether he does not purchase price of those supplies, it would be very on better terms his iron, salt, brown sugar, lunfair to ascribe that reduction to her incotton goods, and woolens, for his laboring genuity instead of placing it to the credit people? And I ask the cotton planter if of our own skill and excited industry. he has not been better and more cheaply The great law of price is determined by supplied with his cotton bagging? In re- supply and demand. Whatever affects gard to this latter article, the gentleman either, affects the price.
If the supply is from South Carolina was mistaken in sup- increased, the demand remaining the same, posing that I complained that, under the the price declines; if the demand is inexisting duty the Kentucky manufacturer creased, the supply remaining the same, could not compete with the Scotch. The the price advances; if both supply and deKentuckian furnishes a more substantial mand are undiminished, the price is staand a cheaper article, and at a more uni- tionary, and the price is influenced exactly form and regular price. But it was the in proportion to the degree of disturbance frauds, the violations of law of which I to the demand or supply. It is therefore a did complain ; not smuggling, in the com- great error to suppose that an existing or mon sense of that practice, which has new duty necessarily becomes a component something bold, daring, and enterprising element to its exact amount of price. If in it, but mean, barefaced cheating, by the proportion of demand and supply are
varied by the duty, either in augmenting houses are emptied, and the goods are ship, the supply, or diminishing the demand, or ped to America, where, in consequence of vice versa, price is affected to the extent of our auctions, and our custom-house credits, that variation. But the duty never becomes the greatest facilities are afforded in the an integral part of the price, except in the sale of them. Combinations among manuinstances where the demand and the supply facturers might take place, or even the op. remain after the duty is imposed, precisely erations of foreign governments might be what they were before, or the demand is directed to the destruction of our establishincreased, and the supply remains sta- ments. A repeal, therefore, of one protecttionary.
ing duty, from some one or all of these Competition, therefore, wherever exist-causes, would be followed by flooding the ing, whether at home or abroad, is the country with the foreign fabric, surchargparent cause of cheapness. If a high duty ing the market, reducing the price, and a excites production at home, and the quan- complete prostration of our manufactories; tity of the domestic article exceeds the after which the foreigner would leisurely amount which had been previously im- look about to indemnify himself in the inported the price will fall. This accounts creased prices which he would be enabled for an extraordinary fact stated by a Sena- to command by his monopoly of the supply tor from Missouri. Three cents were laid as a of our consumption. What American citduty upon a pound of lead, by the act of izen, after the government had displayed 1828. The price at Galena, and the other this' vacillating policy, would be agaia lead mines, afterwards fell to one and a tempted to place the smallest confidence in half cents per pound. Now it is obvious the public faith, and adventure once more that the duty did not, in this case, enter in this branch of industry? into the price: for it was twice the amount Gentlemen have allowed to the manuof the price. What produced the fall? It facturing portions of the community no was stimulated production at home, excited peace; they have been constantly threatby the temptation of the exclusive posses- ened with the overthrow of the American sion of the home market. This state of System. From the year 1820, if not from things could not last. Men would not con- 1816, down to this time, they have been tinue an unprofitable pursuit; some aban- held in a condition of constant alarm and doned the business, or the total quantity insecurity: Nothing is more prejudicial to produced was diminished, and living prices the great interests of a nation than unsethave been the consequence. But, break tled and varying policy. Although every down the domestic supply, place us again appeal to the national legislature has been in a state of dependence on the foreign responded to in conformity with the wishes source, and can it be doubted that we and sentiments of the great majority of the should ultimately have to supply ourselves people, measures of protection have only at dearer rates? It is not fair to credit the been carried by such small majorities as to foreign market with the depression of prices excite hopes on the one hand, and fears on produced there by the influence of our the other. Let the country breathe, let its competition. Let the competition be with- vast resources be developed, let its enerdrawn, and their prices would instantly gies be fully put forth, set it have tran, rise.
quillity, and my word for it, the degree of But, it is argued that if, by the skill, ex- perfection in the arts which it will exhibit, perience, and perfection which we have will be greater than that which has been acquired in certain branches of manufac- presented, astonishing as our progress has ture, they can be made as cheap as similar been. Although some branches of our articles abroad, and enter fairly into com- manufactures might, and in foreign marpetition with them, why not repeal the kets now do, fearlessly contend with simiduties as to those articles? And why should lar foreign fabrics, there are many others we? Assuming the truth of the supposi- yet in their infancy, struggling with the tion the foreign article would not be intro- difficulties which encompass them. We duced in the regular course of trade, but should look at the whole system, and rewould remain excluded by the possession collect that time, when we contemplate the of the home market, which the domestic great movements of a nation, is very differ, article had obtained. The repeal, therefore, ent from the short period which is allotted would have no legitimate effect. But might for the duration of individual life. The not the foreign article be imported in vast honorable gentleman from South Caroquantities, to glut our markets, break down lina well and eloquently said, in 1824, our establishments, and ultimately to enable “No great interest of any country ever fet the foreigner to monopolize the supply of grew up in a day; no new branch of inour consumption? America is the greatest dustry can become firmly and profitably foreign market for European manufac- established but in a long course
of tures. It is that to which European at- every thing, indeed, great or good, is matention is constantly directed. If a great tured by slow degrees: that which attains house becomes bankrupt there, its store-l a speedý maturity is of small value, and is
destined to a brief existence. It is the or- 1 of the ocean, large portions of it could der of Providence, that powers gradually never profitably reach the foreign market. developed, shall alone attain permanency But let us quit this field of theory, clear as and perfection. Thus must it be with our it is, and look at the practical operation of national institutions, and national charac- the system of protection, beginning with ter itself."
the most valuable staple of our agricul. I feel most sensibly, Mr. President, how ture. much I have trespassed upon the Senate. But if all this reasoning were totally My apology is a deep and deliberate con- fallacious if the price of manufactured viction, that the great cause under debate articles were really higher, under the involves the prosperity and the destiny of American system, than without it, I should the Union. But the best requital I can still argue that high or low prices were make, for the friendly indulgence which themselves relative-relative to the ability has been extended to me by the Senate, to pay them. It is in vain to tempt, to and for which I shall ever retain senti- tantalize us with the lower prices of Euroments of lasting gratitude, is to proceed pean fabrics than our own, if we have with as little delay as practicable, to the nothing wherewith to purchase them. If, conclusion of a discourse which has not by the home exchanges, we can be supbeen more tedious to the Senate than ex- plied with necessary, even if they are hausting to me. I have now to consider dearer and worse, articles of American the remaining of the two propositions production than the foreign, it is better which I have already announced. That than not to be supplied at all. And how
would the large portion of our country Secondly. That under the operation of which I have described be supplied, but the American System, the products of our for the home exchanges? A poor people, agriculture command a higher price than destitute of wealth or of exchangeable they would do without it, by the creation commodities, has nothing to purchase forof a home market; and by the augmenta- eign fabrics. To them they are equally tion of wealth produced by manufacturing beyond their reach, whether their cost be industry, which enlarges our powers of a dollar or a guinea. It is in this view of consumption both of domestic and foreign the matter that Great Britain, by her vast articles. The importance of the home wealth-her excited and protected industry market is among the established maxims --is enabled to bear a burden of taxation which are universally recognized by all which, when compared to that of other writers and all men. However some may nations, appears enormous; but which, differ as to the relative advantages of the when her immense riches are compared to foreign and the home market, none deny theirs, is light and trivial. The gentle. to the latter great value and high conside- man from South Carolina has drawn a ration. It is nearer to us; beyond the lively and flattering picture of our coasts, control of foreign legislation; and undis- bays, rivers, and harbors; and he argues turbed by those vicissitudes to which all that these proclaimed the design of Proviinternational intercourse is more or less dence, that we should be a commercial exposed. The most stupid are sensible of people. I agree with him. We differ the benefit of a residence in the vicinity of only as to the means. He would cherish a large manufactory, or of a market town, the foreign, and neglect the internal trarle. of
a good road, or of a navigable stream, I would foster both. What is navigation which connects their farms with some without ships, or ships without cargoes ? great capital. If the pursuits of all men By penetrating the bosoms of our mounwere perfectly the same, although they tains, and extracting from them their prewould be in possession of the greatest cious treasures; by cultivating the earth, abundance of the particular produce of and securing a home market for its rich their industry, they might, at the same and abundant products; by employing the time, be in extreme want of other neces- water power with which we are blessed; Bury articles of human subsistence. The by stimulating and protecting our native uniformity of the general occupation would industry, in all its forms; we shall but preclude all exchanges, all commerce It nourish and promote the prosperity of is only in the diversity of the vocations of commerce, foreign and domestic. the members of a community that the
I have hitherto considered the question means can be found for those salutary ex- in reference only to a state of peace ; but changes which conduce to the general a season of war ought not to be entirely prosperity. And the greater that diversity, overlooked. We have enjoyed near twenthe more extensive and the more animat- ty years of peace; but who can tell when ing is the circle of exchange. Even if the storm of war shall again break forth ? foreign markets were freely and widely Have we forgotten so soon, the privations open to the reception of our agricultural to which, not merely our brave soldiers produce, from its bulky nature, and the and our gallant tars were subjected, bu distance of the interior, and the dangers the whole community, during the last