Графични страници
PDF файл

of Naples, at an advanced period of his age, been summoned to appear before the Congress at Leybach, with an intimation that his refusal to obey the mandate would be considered as just cause of war: he has indeed accepted the invitation, but first proclaimed to the world the only basis on which he would consent to treat with his brother kings; he will support the letter and spirit of that constitutional charter which he has so solemnly sworn to protect. Ferdinand too has received an invitation to repair to the congress; whereby it is plainly perceived that the blow which is directly aimed at Naples is also indirectly levelled at the cortes of Spain. And is it thus the energies of a people are to be suppressed, and their fond hopes blasted, after all they have suffered, and all they have achieved ? And shall they be told by the monarchs of the day, that the liberty they are in search of and the privileges they demand, are inconsistent with the security of empires, and opposed to the preservation of the public good; that they are terms whose import they cannot understand, and whose reality they have not capacity to enjoy-mere phantoms of the imagination, which faction would embody to suit its own worst purposes and to restore the reign of revolution and terror? Is Europe yet to learn the advantage resulting to a nation, from the operation of a press, which, guarded by the wholesome restraints of law against licentiousness and abuse, shall be free for the interchange of opinions, and the dissemination of truths, as important to the duty of kings as essential to the interests of states ? Are they yet to learn the value of that system of representation which shall confer on the people the privilege of a voice in the councils of the nation; and which, guarding against an undue encroachment on their part, shall preserve within its proper sphere that prerogative and influence which they may still think necessary to the crown? Is there nothing real in the possession of a constitutional charter, where the rights of the people shall be recognised and defined, and their privileges recorded beyond the power of a monarch's will to alter, or his mandate to annul? We have a well grounded hope that the people of Europe, at the present day, are sufficiently enlightened to know their own interests, and persevering enough to pursue and maintain them. They probably wish not lo war with the name of royalty, nor excite unnecessary prejudices against the established institutions of society; but they are equally sensible of the difference between that tame submission and passive obedience, which may be exacted from debased and degraded subjects, and that respectful deference for the laws and the constituted authorities, which is paid in willing obedience, by the honest feeling of an intelligent people. They must know that wealth and talent will form an aristocracy in every community, and that its existence, to a certain extent, can

never be prejudicial to society; for that a perfect equality in this respect is what nature never intended. They must hold in equal dread the terrors of that revolution which levels all distinctions, destroys the connexion between right and wrong, and uproots the foundations of civil society; which takes authority from the hands of those who abuse, to place it in the hands of those who destroy it; and which sets in active operation the worst and basest passions of mankind, to triumph over the ruin of virtue and social order. Such was the effect of that revolution which France presented in all its dreadful reality; where the people, unenlightened by the experience and information that have since been diffused throughout the world, were driven to desperation by a continued and persevering system of cruelty and oppression.

Such is not the change that would meet the views or satisfy the hopes and expectations of an enlightened age. It is that moral revolution which has already taken place in the minds of men; that change in sentiment and opinion, resulting from the experience of the last five-and-twenty years; a revolution which will be strengthened by the talents and aided by the influence of the most conspicuous and zealous defenders of their country's rights, which will have for its support the liberal and the enlightened, the wise and the good. Arbitrary power may still succeed in suppressing a little longer the rising emotions of liberty, and checking, for a moment, the progress of a flame that cannot be extinguished : But it will proceed with a step " sure as the approach of fate, and steady as the march of time," and the people will eventually obtain by force of arms that freedom, which they would now receive at the hands of their rulers with gratitude and joy. The elements of the gathering tempest will increase, with time, in strength and activity. Already the clouds are seen lowering in the distant horizon, threatening, with portentous aspect, the peace of empires and the existence of thrones. Should the allied sovereigns, however, be influenced by juster sentiments and guided by nobler aims; if they are aware of their own true interests and those of their subjects, which should ever be identified, they may yet avert the impending storm. Without wishing to submit to their guardianship or iotrust to their special protection the “ repose of the world,” which they assure us shall be their constant" aim and motive," we would commit to their guidance, and commend to their unceasing care and attention, the best interests and welfare of the people of their respective states. Let them strictly adhere to their own solemn declaration, wherein “ they formally acknowledge, that their duty towards God, and towards the people they govern, prescribe to them to give the world, as much as in them is, the example of justice, concord, and moderation ; happy in being able henceforth to consecrate all their efforts to the protection of the arts of peace;

to increasing the internal prosperity of their states, and awakening those sentiments of religion and morality, the influence of which has been weakened but too much by the misery of the times.” Let them do this in spirit and in truth, and they will discover that the security of rulers will be proportioned to their zealous efforts to protect the rights and advance the happiness of their subjects; that the real sources of the strength and stability of empires are to be found in the intelligence and virtue of the people; whose loyalty will be strengthened by those ties of reciprocal interest, which spring from a sense of mutual obligation, due alike from the government and the governed : and they will find that their best defence against danger from without, and their surest safeguard against licentiousness and faction from within, will be found in that confidence, to which iheir own conduct shall have given them a well founded claim, in the affections of a grateful people.

An Examination of the new Tariff proposed by the Hon. Henry

Baldwin, a representative in Congress, By ONE OF THE PEOPLE. 8vo. pp. 268. Gould and Banks. New-York.

We have in this country a sect of political economists, who confidently assert that the importation of foreign goods is rapidly bringing the country to ruin, and that nothing can arrest our fatal progress but legislative interference. The arguments by which this opinion is supported are, that European ports are closed to our exports, while our importations from that quarter are extensive. The balance of trade is consequently against us, and the foreign debt must be paid in specie, or be met in beggary. The only possible way in which this impending evil can be averted is, we are told, to lay such duties on foreign manufactures as shall enable those of our own country to drive them out of the home market: This measure will give excitement and activity to labour-raise the value of manufacturing capital—improve the price of agricultural products-offer a new and profitable field for internal commerce and make us independent of Europe. Influenced by the laudable object of securing to the nation benefits so extensive, Mr. Baldwin, a member of congress from the state of Pennsylvania, was induced, last winter, to lay before the house of representatives the plan of a tariff founded on these principles.

The book before us is a very sensible examination of the soundness of this policy, and of the truth of the facts by which it is supported; and, although the measure was not adopted at the session of congress at which it was proposed, still this work will

be valuable, so long as the subject it discusses is open to inquiry. The general sentiments of the writer, on the subject of manufactures, assimilate so entirely with our own, that we cannot avoid quoting them with unqualified approbation.

• There, perhaps, never was a nation so admirably formed by nature for the encouragement of manufactures, or assisted by so many powerful circumstances. The United States of America are rich in ihe raw materials required for all manufactures necessary to a people : they are separated by an ocean of three thousand miles from every manufacturing country : the articles of necessity reach them with a heavy addition of charges upon the price of the manufacture: they enjoy in the highest degree, the blessings of a free government, furnishing to the nations of the earth the best inducement to abandon the home of their ancestors and settle among them ; their citizens sprang from, and speak the language of a nation unrivalled in manufactures : they annually receive from that nation and the other manufacturing countries of Europe a supply of artisans skilled in every manufacture : these people follow the business which they have learned at home and understand ; and generally find here capital and enterprise to set them at work : and the population of the United States is increasing astonishingly, thereby annually adding to the number of customers for the manufacturer.'

The preliminary fact to be ascertained in the opening of this question is, whether we are regularly importing and exporting to a loss ?—whether the whole amount of our foreign investments is not sufficient to liquidate our foreign debts? In other words, whether we, as a nation, have the same relative situation to Europe, that a farmer bears to a merchant, when the whole crop of the former, comprising all his annual income, is sold to the latter for five hundred dollars, while he purchases yearly a thousand dollars in goods ? If this question be answered in the affirmative, there is an end to the argument on both sides. On the one hand, no one can conțend that commerce ought to be pursued on terms so disadvantageous; and, on the other hand, it is idle to suppose that legislative interference is required to put a stop to it. If the merchant had pursued this mode of doing business for two or three years, neither he nor the farmer would require an act of congress to compel him to discontinue it. In the familiar illustration we have given, there is one consideration that can never apply to national traffic. The merchant may continue to trust on the credit of the farm, and if he is not prevented by fraud or preference, he may in the end sell the farm and turn the tenant out of doors. It is different with foreign traders : they have long since discovered, that when an American debtor cannot, or will not, place property in their hands to the amount of their claims, little benefit results from attempting coercion. It is a fact, that among extensive cominercial failures, nine out of ten

have taken from foreigners a vast amount of capital, that has been consumed in this country. The admission may be mortifying, but it is nevertheless true, that the state of our insolvent laws, and the want of a national bankrupt act, have effectually destroyed any belief among foreigners that we may be compelled to discharge our engagements. There is little danger that Europeans will suffer us to run in debt to a ruinous extent, or that we will be so conscientious as to beggar ourselves in paying them.

It is true our commerce is not entirely carried on in cash, or immediate exchanges; but when we cease to have investments placed abroad to meet the claims against us, European prudence will anticipate any law of ours to stop the intercourse. When sandal wood is no longer sought for in the Fegee Islands, the monarch of that territory need not prohibit the admission of iron hoops and glass beads. We are told, however, that so strong commercial cupidity and the spirit of speculation, that we do persist in buying, and that foreigners do persist in selling to us, more than our exports can pay for—that this fact appears from the debts our citizens labour under, from the balance of trade being against us, and from the amount of the national debt and United States bank shares daily sold to foreigners. As to the sales of our stock abroad, we think the less said about that the better. We hope, however, that every sale, quoted from English papers in ours, may have been a bona fide transfer, and show the actual value of our stock in that country.

That we are in debt among ourselves cannot be denied; at the same time, it would be more correct and fair for an English politician to attribute the debts the subjects of that country owe to each other, to the balance of trade being against them, than for us to attribute a similar fact to the balance of trade being against us. This is a subject of serious and painful examination. The following are the judicious remarks of our author upon it.

• After the storms of thirty years, which have shaken the very foundations of industry, trade and morals, throughout the world, mankind have a moment's pause ; and seem much astonished at the consequences of a sudden relief from the horrors and uncertainties of war.

We are in a general calm, but the delirium of the fever which is just leaving us, still disturbs our fancy with strange dreams ; each man undertakes to account for the general distress, and each one seizes on the circumstances around him, and ascribes all his misfortunes to them ; one attributes all to Banks ; another to want of specie capital ; a third to cash duties and lending the government's money to Englishmen ; and a fourth ascribes all to a ruinous system of revenue, which must be “

radically changed.” What will all these

« ПредишнаНапред »