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only the milder feudal lords who were content with the tribute of merchants. The more ravenous descended from their fortresses to pillage the wealthy traveler, or shared in the spoil of infe. rior plunderers, whom they both protected and instigated. Such a state of society would be peculiarly fitted to the development of home industry-secure against foreign competition.
If it costs two dollars to send a barrel of four from Chicago to New York, and fifty cents additional to Liv. erpool, the reasons are just four times stronger why we should cease to send to New York rather than Liverpool. Now, as New England only raises wheat enough to support her popula. tion six weeks in the whole year, and New York about three months, we take it that these regions are by no means solicitous of breaking up the Western trade, but so far from it, they are ready to adopt any measures to secure it; and a policy which enables them to purchase Western breadstuffs at less than the Liverpool rates, and pay for them in wares and merchandise at twice the Liverpool rates, is one which is exceed ingly agreeable to them. This policy never received the deliberate sanction of the whole country; but the monopolists, taking advantage of the with drawal of the Southern representatives and the outbreak of the war, succeeded in placing it in the statute-book.
If any Western man doubt that its practical operation is to levy a tribute on his industry, let him study the operations of trade.
Here in Chicago we have a temple erected to Ceres, known as the Chamber of Commerce. It is a magnificent structure, almost faultless in proportions, and decorated with lavish art. Here repair each day the worshipers of the goddess, to offer up corn and wheat-or, rather, some of the worshipers who deal in these articles are offered up. Take your position in the corridor;
look down upon an assemblage of a thousand men or more, moving about, examining samples, and comparing notes. Scan their features, their keen eyes, their shrewd expression. The mallet falls; the hum is hushed; and the secre. tary, a man of good proportions and commanding voice, announces the telegrams from Liverpool. The real business of the day then begins. The operator, knowing to a fraction the cost of transportation to that distant market, and weighing the probabilities of a rise or fall, elects whether to buy or sell. In such a crowd, & greenhorn has no business. He will be “scalped " in the twinkling of an eye, and laid out "cold as a wagon-tire." If he watches the fluctuations of the market, he will soon find that those fluctuations originate not in New York, not in the interior, but over the water; and are, like a great tidal-wave, propagated westward until they lose themselves in the Far West.
Now as to the gist of the thing. Let him select from the price-current of Chicago and Liverpool, on any given day in the year, the relative price of wheat, one of our most prominent artiticles of export, and of railroad iron, one of our most prominent articles of import, and he will find that the Liverpool price of wheat is the Chicago price, with the cost of transportation added; and the Chicago price of railroad iron is the Liverpool price, with about 100 per cent added. So that the result is that, by the operation of this system called protection, the Western farmer is forced to sell in a market where he encounters the competition of the world, and buy in a market where he pays two prices -exchanging, in fact, a dollar's worth of wheat for fifty cents' worth of iron.
That the blessings of protection might be
“Circumambient as the air we breathe," Congress has laid a small duty on
wheat, and perhaps placed some re. hungry troop came around and sought straint on the importation of cattle, to nibble at the rind, the old fellow this was at a time when rinderpest would rush out and insist on being let was feared, and these services in the alone, that he might give up his time interests of agriculture were performed, to pious meditations. In the conduct we believe, by an ex-representative of of men, it matters much which party the Chicago district; but we are com- has got inside the Cheshire cheese. pelled to confess that to these acts of What is the meaning of the word national beneficence the Western farmer Tariff? It has not the classical moduis sublimely indifferent. The old storylation of the Greek or Latin, nor the of throwing a tub to a whale to amuse sturdy vigor and bluntness of the Anglohim while the harpoon was getting Saxon; but is a sibilant, uncouth sound, ready, need not be repeated. Then, as though it were of barbarous origin. too, there was the see-saw game be. And so it is. tween the wool-grower and the wool. “If you turn," says Dean French, in manufacturer, from which great results his “Study of Words,” “to a map of were to follow; but the wool-grower Spain, you will take note, at its southern got the heavier end of the plank, and point, and running into the Straits of there he sticks.
Gibraltar, of a promontory which, from Setting aside all the platitudes about its position, is admirably adapted for protecting American industry, creating commanding the entrance of the Media home-market, and developing the re. terranean Sea, and watching the exit sources of the country, and writing and entrance of all ships. A fortress “Bosh!” opposite the high-sounding stands on the promontory, called now, resolutions which the monopolists are as it was also called in the times of the in the habit of passing, preliminary to Moorish domination in Spain, "Tarifa.' a raid upon the industry of the coun. The name, indeed, is of Moorish origin. try, in which "equal protection is to be It was the custom of the Moors to watch extended” to agriculture, manufac- from this point all merchant ships going tures, mining, and commerce — always into or coming out of the Mediterranean giving agriculture precedence — let us Sea; and, issuing from this stronghold, say that the Western farmer can not be to levy duties according to a fixed scale deluded by these glittering generalities; on all merchandise passing out of the that in order to bring him to appreciate Straits, and this was called from the the beauties of the “American system,” place where it was levied 'tarifa' or it must be shown how, by a process of tariff, and this is the way we have legislation, his products, like those of acquired the word.” the manufacturer, can be made to bring How pleasing to the philological 70, 80 and 100 per cent. more than student to find that this word "tariff," they can command in the markets of through all the mutations of time, since the world. It must not be the result of those grim old Moors perched in their a process of reasoning, of theoretical rocky eyrie, from which they swooped deduction, but a practical, tangible down on the commerce of the world, reality, expressed in dollars and cents. has remained unchanged in its meaning If the manufacturer found that this and significance! Nations may change, bounty was to be made up out of his governments be overturned and others particular industry, we imagine he would founded on their ruins, but the disremonstrate, like the gray old rat that position of man to prey upon the inensconsed himself inside a good plump dustry of his fellow.man changeth not. Cheshire cheese. When the lean and There were two acts in the British
policy towards this country, before the colonists declared their independence, which were peculiarly objectionable, and against which they repeatedly remonstrated. One was the navigation act, by which Great Britain endeavored to monopolize the trade of all the colonies; the other was her attempt to restrict settlement to the Atlantic slope. And such we conceive to be the practical effect of a prohibitory tariff. It compels the West, virtually, under heavy penalties, to exchange her products for the wares and merchandise of the East, and it appropriates the penalties thus exacted to the maintenance of a class of people in Eastern workshops and factories who would otherwise seek homes in the West - thereby retarding settlement. Would it not be better for that class of people, now clustered in the cities and villages, and living in over. crowded tenements, if each head of a family were settled on a quarter section of land, and held a patent therefor stamped with the broad seal of Uncle Sam? We have not found it necessary, as was recently done in the enlightened State of Massachusetts, to organize a commission to inquire into the condition of children of tender years, and to enact statutes to rescue them from life-ex. hausting toil. The parents themselves would not be subject to an almost prison discipline, but would be the controllers of their own actions.
But, say the protectionists, if all our people were to turn agriculturalists there would be such a surplus of food that prices would be ruinously low, and much of it would rot for the want of consumers. We will admit the force of this argument when they will point to a single example, in all history, where, in the absence of commercial restrictions, provisions have rotted for the want of human mouths to eat them. This thing of demand and supply may be safely entrusted to private sagacity. Congress oversteps its powers when it
undertakes to regulate the private pursuits of the people. It is none of their business. We distrust their capacity; we have no confidence in their integrity. Are not the daily and multifarious wants of a great city like New York better supplied by private enterprise than they would be if regulated by Congress ? Individual sagacity finds out just what is needed and provides for it. It determines when to import potatoes from the Bermudas, oranges from Sicily, figs from Smyrna, teas from China, coffee from Rio, and sugars from Cuba. Is the city ever threatened with famine ? Do the redundant provisions ever go to waste ? Emphatically, no! As with a great city, so with a nation. Its commerce and its respective branches of industry require no protection farther than the security of personal freedom. When, in its progress, a nation has arrived at a certain stage, certain branches of industry will spring up as if spontaneously, and individual sagacity will determine when that stage is attained.
It is a singular fact that Massachusetts, whose prosperity is so indissolubly linked with manufactures, should furnish three of the ablest champions of commercial freedom – Mr. Perry, a professor in Williams College; Mr. Amasa Walker, who has acquired a fortune in the boot and shoe trade; and Mr. Edward Atkinson, who is largely interested in cotton manufac. tures.
How can the interests of the West be subserved by protection? She has a soil of unsurpassed fertility, and a climate most favorable for the display of physical energy. Of the vast area included in the eight Northwestern States, less than one-fifth has been subdued and brought under cultivation. On the other four-fifths the sod has not been disturbed, and awaits the arrival of the hard-fisted immigrant. Here is room for one hundred millions of the human family, and, within the memory of living men, twelve millions have found homes. From the absence of materials for construction, it is necessary that railroads and settlement should advance with equal pace. Is it necessary for our development that we should pay two prices for our railroad iron, and that that iron should be exclusively furnished by American, that is to say, by Pennsylvanian mills? Was this bribe necessary to secure the assent of that State before she would accede to the union, by an iron girdle, of the Pacific slope and the Mississippi Valley?
Such is the surface condition of our soil, that very many of the processes of agriculture can be performed by laborsaving machinery. In no region of the world can the cereal crops be raised so cheaply. Lands intersected by rail. roads, and accessible to stations, can be purchased at about the annual rental of the best agricultural lands of Eng. land and Scotland. The greatest boon that the government can conter upou the West is to let her alone – to adopt such a commercial policy as shall permit her products to seek the markets of the world encumbered with as few restrictions as possible, and bring back in exchange such articles as she requires for consumption, charged with such du. ties only as are necessary for revenue. The etfect of the protective system is the same, whether the duties be exacted on the outgoing or the returning cargo. It attaches to every thing which the farmer buys — to the hoe and plough with which he stirs the soil, to the woolens and cottons with which he clothes himself and family, and to every bushel of corn which he sends to mar.
nished the materials for ship-building; but, at this time, hardly an American ship spreads her sails on the ocean, and every ship-yard on the land is closed. We are urging a claim for a good round sum against England for actual and constructive damages inflicted on our commerce by the Alabama, but those damages are insignificant compared with those inflicted by the Morrill tariff. Under its operation, every bolt, every piece of cordage, every plate of sheathing, and every sail to catch the wind, costs two prices. The ship-builders apply to Congress for relief. In one respect their application is just; but, if relief is granted, it must be at the ex. pense of some other industry. But they might as well suffer until the coun. try is aroused to the iniquity of the Morrill tariff, and demands a thorough revision of the whole system.
We are seeking to enforce what was centuries ago known among Europeans as the “Mercantile System,” which has become exploded by every enlightened nation- a system based, not upon a reciprocity of exchanges, which is the foundation of all commerce, but on the narrow policy of selling abroad as much as possible and buying as little as possible. It is hardly necessary to add that the ability of a nation to buy depends upon its ability to sell, and that a one-sided commerce can not be of long continuance.
It is a humiliating fact that, while most European nations are gradually relaxing those restrictions which origin. ated in an unenlightened age, before the true sources of wealth were understood, or were imposed for the benefit of monopolists, that in this country we should have a body of men, numerous and powerful in influence, ready to levy prohibitory duties, and appeal to these antiquated restrictions as the foundation of the greatness and prosperity of the nations which adopted them; aud that China, rather than Great Britain or
This artificial system has been perfectly destructive to commerce. The people of the sea-board are naturally a maritime people, and nature, in the magnificent forests with which she has clothed the Atlantic slope, has fur.
France, should be held up as an example for our guidance. We have grown to greatness, not by reason of protection, but in spite of it. Our prosperity is due to the abundant elements of natural wealth, and the skill and energy of our people in developing those ele. ments. Sidney Smith once described a laborer of very superior character and understanding to his fellow-laborers, who, by the exercise of these qualities, bad amassed a considerable fortune. It happened, however, that he had long been troubled with stomachic pains, from which he could obtain no relief, and which, in fact, had been the bane and torment of his life. Now, said he, if my excellent laborer were to send for a physician and to consult him respect ing his malady, would it not be very singular language if our doctor were to say to him, “My good friend, you surely will not be so rash as to attempt to get rid of these pains in your stomach! Have you not grown rich with these pains in your stomach? Have you not risen under them from poverty to progperity? Has not your situation since you were first attacked been improving every year? You surely will not be so foolish and so indiscreet as to part with the pains in your stomach!” Why, what would be the answer of the rustic to this nonsensical monition? “Monster of rhubarb!” he would say, "I am Dot rich in consequence of the pains in my stomach, but in spite of the pains in my stomach; and I should have been ten times richer and fifty times happier if I had never had pains in my stomach at all." Protection has caused the pains in our stomach, and we should have been richer and greater without it.
It is proper that the government should derive a portion of its revenue from imports to meet its enormous indebted ness. To this mode there can be no reasonable objection; but when it in. terferes with the legitimate pursuits of individuals, by prohibitory duties on
one article and no duties on another, so adjusted as to build up a losing trade and to depress one that is remunerative, using the power of taxation, not for the increase of the revenue, but for the benefit of particular classes, it inflicts a grievous wrong on the community. It has no right to invest any body of men with all the privileges of those old Moors of Tarifa. The right to import is just as sacred as the right to manufacture. They both stand on the same basis in every thing that relates to taxation. The people are the best judges of what conduces to national prosperity. Capi. tal instinctively flows into the most remunerative channels without legislative aid. All that the people ask, all that capital should require, is that government maintain order and afford personal security. In this country particularly, where we recognize to the full extent the democratic principle, the people ought to be left free to follow their own instincts.
And yet what a spectacle is presented at each meeting of Congress! Vast schemes have been matured by which the profits of one industry shall be conferred on another industry. A portion of the press has been subsidized to publish whatever sophistry or ingenuity can devise to lull public suspicion; a well-paid lobby throng the aisles of the Capitol, and are allowed to thrust themselves on the floors of legislation; and even amongst the legislators, acting under the sanctity of an oath, are men who are to share largely in the results. Ben. Wade once remarked, in reference to an ex-member of Congress, "Whenever old G- puts one hand on his heart and raises the other aloft, appeal. ing to God, look out for a big lie." So, when we find certain members urging additional protection to certain branches of industry, look out for a big steal.
Representatives from manufacturing districts have, of course, no apologies to make, and their acts are regarded by