« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
is the miller who loses by a fall in the price America, who have engaged in the producof flour, and behind him the farmer in tion of grain for the European markets. whose hands the miller's notes are pro- An unusually fine harvest in France and tested.
in England will have the same result. Fifty The commerce of a country depending millions of English capital turned into the on its ability to produce and its ability to improvement of agriculture in that country command a market, successful and profita- and in Ireland, as two years ago it was ble commerce will be that which commands turned into rail-roads, and before that into the widest and the most universal market; cotton mills, would have the same result. that can send the same cargo to many dif- It is clear that this trade in bread-stuffs is ferent ports ; that has its choice of markets, subject to the most alarming contingencies; and is not shut up to one or two; it is
and it is well known to be the most specutherefore absolutely certain that an expor- lative and irregular department of comtation of grain or of any species of raw merce. material or first product of the earth, can The reason of this latter peculiarity is never be as sure or as safe, or as continu- not to be sought only in the fluctuations of ous and steady, as an exportation of manu- a foreign market; we may find it as well in factured articles. When the European the destructibility of the material. A cargo markets are shut, there is no corn trade ; of four cannot be carried across the Equabut the same corn that would have been tor with safety; a cargo of meal is very exported to England, being used for the apt to turn sour before it reaches Liverfood of artizans at home, may be exported pool. Another reason is, that the natural in the shape of cloth or cutlery, to almost profit on raw material is necessarily small, any part of the world :* if one market is and that, under ordinary circumstances, the closed, another is opened ; if England will food of life cannot be made an article of not receive our cloths, France, or Ger- commerce between distant nations. It is many, or Holland, will perhaps receive a dreadful necessity which compels one them; or they can be sent into the Medi- great nation to purchase food of another, terranean, or to the South Sea Islands, or and is always a token of destitution and to South America, or to many other places; suffering in the country which receives it. or, if there is no foreign market, they can The commerce of a country is sustained be laid up at home and bide their time. by its productive energy. Not by the richThe expense of their transportation is com- ness of its soil, but by the productive enparatively small; their durability under allergy, directed by ingenuity and ability of its climates makes them always insurable; the inhabitants. Its productiveness is measured profits on their sale are the profits of ag- not by the quantity of fruits, grain, ores, riculture on the food which feed the work or other raw material which it produces, men who were employed in making them, but by the value which it has communicaand those upon the ores and other raw ma- ted to these raw products previous to their terial, used for the machinery and fabric- exportation. The steel instrument, worth all these profits being concentrated in the one dollar and weighing a few ounces, manufactured article; a consideration which concentrated in it the value of a bushel of ought to show the agriculturalist that it is corn worth one dollar and weighing many rather a commerce in manufactured articles pounds. The one almost imperishable; which he should support by his vote and saleable in all markets, easily transported his influence, than a commerce in grain. at a very trifling cost, through all climates,
Very slight circumstances occasion an over all seas—the other, occupying a large over production of grain or of raw mate- space, difficult of transportation, destroyed rial of any kind, and for the time, render by a very moderate rise of temperature, or it profitless. The closing of the European by the slightest dampness, saleable only in markets against American bread-stuffs will countries where the poorer class are perishthrow an indisposable surplus upon the ing of hunger. The one, intrinsically hands of the farmer; a vote of parliament worth nothing, and having all its value imwill ruin the hopes of tens of thousands in parted to it by the ingenuity of artizans, a
thing created out of dirt, and stones, and * H. C. Carey.
rubbish-the rubbish of the ground; the
other an almost spontaneous product of the for the necessaries of life. It is we who earth, requiring but one species of labor for must supply nations inferior to ourselves in its production with but moderate ability, and fortune and ability, with what they need, therefore yielding but little profit to him and they must give us in exchange the who produces it, and still less to him who luxuries which we do not need but only desells it. These are the instances which we sire, and which our superior industry and must look at, and carefully consider, before ability have given us a right to use and to we begin to turn the forces of government enjoy. to the extension of our commerce. We We do not mean to say that commerce must know, before we move in such a mat- must be exclusively for luxuries; the proter, upon what ground we move, and never ducts of other climates : drugs, medicines, suffer our senses to be deceived by the ly- dye-stuffs, peculiar kinds of food which ing arithmetic of statisticians.
grow only in the tropics, certain valuable When our own wants are supplied, the metals, and some manufactures, of an unsurplus of our industry is the material of desirable character to be produced at a profitable coinmerce ; but who would send home ; in short, a vast variety of articles, seed corn to mill?
not properly luxuries, will always furnish The seed corn which we foolishly send out a vast commerce, and open a market to mill, is the raw material of our industry, for the products of our own industry. and the mill is in England. We legislate It appears from all that has been preaway our seed corn—we write, speak, and sented to our view in the course of this vote it away-we deprive ourselves of eve- argument, that the legislation of a country ry opportunity of wealth, of that valuable like ours should be directed not to the promaterial of commerce, that product of the duction of an unprofitable surplus of raw most refined and concentrated industry; material, liable at any moment to be thrown concentrating all that the farmer and the back upon its producers, but to the introartizan can do—we deprive ourselves of this duction and the building up of as many by legislation by a farrago of closet the new species of industry as possible, in order ory supported by a lying statistic, and the that no one department may be overdone, prejudices of the ignorant served up with and that a surplus may be produced that senatorial sophisms.
can be made the staples of a truly safe and The commerce of such a country as ours valuable commerce. must be a commerce for luxuries, and not
It is beginning to be predicted by the some six months ago, has been sold at San more observing class of speculators, that a Francisco for $15,000. At the so called commercial catastrophe awaits those who California prices, the same vessel should are building upon expectations raised by have brought $100,000. One would think the gold of California. We have several that the mere timber would have brought times before alluded to the state of things more money than was given for the vessel. in that country, and have predicted the Startling as the conclusion may appear, we defeat of all extravagant expectations. are compelled to admit that California is The time has not yet come, but it is not destined to have a commerce. Owners probably not far distant. The first symp- of property in California will not invest tom of its approach which we have to no- money in shipping. That department of tice, is the fall in the price of provisions, commerce which is called shipping interest, of clothing, and of shipping, in the harbor may be said in California to have no existof California. We learn that the fine ship ence. Edward Everett, which sailed from Boston The population of California being, as yet, a small one, not exceeding that of a of 50,000 persons, living at an expense of third rate city, a very moderate coasting something more than $500 a year. Calitrade from South America and the Sand-fornia produces nothing but gold; it must wich Islands, and especially from Oregon, therefore, pay for every thing in gold.* will easily supply it with provisions. A Gold, being the largest commodity in quansingle manufacturing village in New Eng-tity, is cheapened by its own abundance; land could furnish it with clothing. The ard $500 will be found insufficient for the commerce in luxuries will never be large, support of a single adult individual living until its population becomes domestic and by provisions and clothes brought to him thriving. The market is already over- across the ocean, stocked with all the necessaries, and many It is certain that far more has been taken of the luxuries, of life. The prices of to California in the shape of clothing, shipmany of these commodities has already ping, provisions, luxuries, and money, than fallen below that which they bear in New has, as yet, been brought out of it in the York, which, considering the prodigious shape of gold. If a California outfit cost cheapness of gold, shows an alarming de- $500, or thereabouts, one hundred men, preciation. When these effects come to going to California, take with them $50,be generally felt and known, commerce will 000; this is $50,000 and the labor and gradually withdraw itself from the ports of enterprise of an hundred men taken diCalifornia, and commodities will have a rectly out of the country where they belong permanent value, measured by the ne- and which they enrich, and transported cessities of the population, the immediate to California.
to California. $50,000, and the labor presence of the precious metals, the mo- of an hundred men, skillfully employed nopoly of the trade, which must fall into in manufactures, or farming, in a civilized the hands of a few adventurers, and the community, would double itself in a few character of the population which, in all years, besides providing subsistence for an gold countries, will be more or less reck- hundred families, creating rich farms and less and unthrifty.
a thriving village, and securing to its owners When the more superficial diggings are and employers all the moral and physical exhausted, and it becomes necessary for advantages and comforts of civilization. several men to combine for the employment Let us see now how this same money of labor and capital in the opening of deep and labor are employed in California. mines, a result which may be expected in There is no combination in California; a few years, it will be found that the price each man is for himself; combination has of labor, always severe in mining, will bring been found to be impossible.
Two or the profits of such adventurers within very three may combine together to work at a moderate limits. Expensive machinery digging, or to speculate in lands, but there will have to be constructed and transport can be no companies, no joint enterprises, ed across the Isthmus, or carried about for the advantage of a number. Of the Cape Horn; salaried gold hunters, engi- hundred men who have taken each a capneers, and miners, will have to be employed ital of $500, and of which they have at a great expense; constant failures, and expended $400 before they arrive in Calia vast waste of labor, will strike away a large fornia, and in such a way that it creates proportion of the profits. In time, a share nothing, yields nothing for themselves or in a gold company in California, will be for their country, but is literally thrown income fancy stock in Wall street.
to the sea, a third, perhaps, or more likely Long before this time the population, a fourth, will find themselves strong enough instead of increasing, may be expected to and possessed of sufficient fortitude to endiminish, having first reached its maxi- gage in mining--a species of toil which is
compared only to stone breaking, well digLet us suppose that the actual proceeds ging, or the laying of heavy walls. Twenof the mines in California amount to about ty-five of the hundred have engaged in this $2,000,000 monthly-$24,000,000 annu- terrible labor. Of the remaining seventyally; if the whole sum is expended in procuring food and clothing, it will pay, from
* What have "balance of trade" theorists to year to year, the expenses of a population say to that?
five, perhaps one half will assist their more community of an hundred adult persons
in laborious brethren as carriers, tool makers, a civilized state, at the rate of $500 a coiners, house builders, and the like occu- year. I have taken small numbers for this pations. They must be paid very liberally. ideal estimate, larger numbers would not They are the friends and the countrymen serve better to show the ratios. of the miners, and their labor is worth The result of all this is that the producmore than that of foreigners. The twen- tion of $50,000 of clear gain in Califorty-five men who engaged in mining, the nia, requires the expenditure and sinking thirty or forty who engaged in other labor, of $100,000; that in this process an availand the thirty or forty who wander about able capital of $50,000, and the labor of after their arrival as marauders, idlers, or an hundred men-civilized and educated beggars, have all to be supported. The men-is withdrawn from the community gold diggers must support all these. Such where they were born, and to which they is the law of communities. No man would belong; that a property, at first equally be permitted to starve or go naked in so distributed among an hundred persons, is liberal a country as California, where gold concentrated in the hands of a few peris so abundant. Every man, too, will do sons, that the morals and manners of the something, under the pretext of earning great majority are impaired, or quite ruinhis bread. They will dig a little, work a ed; that many have perished of malaria little, trade a little, just enough to keep and hard labor, who would otherwise have body and soul together. They will em- lived to a good old age; that some have ploy their best abilities in the art of living become gamblers and sots; that many easy upon the industry of others. The have given up excellent business and twenty-five gold diggers have to dig gold good hopes, to engage in an unprofitable enough among them, not only for their own and dangerous adventure ; and finally, support, but, whatever may be their own that of those who successfully bring home intentions, for the support of the remaining fortune from beyond the seas, suffering the seventy-five, who are a part of the same intoxication of too sudden a success, and community. To get back their first ex- by too desperate a means, the greater part penses, and that of their comrades, they will soon lose unluckily at home, what they have to dig, in the course of the year, have luckily got abroad ; to say that two $50,000 worth of gold, beside enough to out of the original hundred will certainly pay their current expenses. But they can benefit themselves and others by the advenwork during only one half the year. They ture, is saying more than is prudent. have to dig more than $8,200 the month, Such, when they come to be written, for six consecutive months; but as only will be found to be the average history of one half of them will more than support California adventure. It is true, immense themselves during that time, the remainder fortunes have been made, and a few who (a large proportion) being the lucky ones, went there poor have come back rich, notthese lucky ones must clear $8,200 the withstanding all of which we still aver that month, over and above their expenses, to such in future will be found to be the hispay costs, and replace the capital invested; tory of California adventures. for it must never be forgotten that Califor- We have said that California can never nia produces nothing but gold. Unless have a commerce ; it is a gold producing gold is produced, nothing is produced, and country; it will by and by become, to a the money expended in and upon
certain extent, agricultural, and possibly try is lost.
a few manufactures may be introduced; In six months twelve men have earned but, for the first, it cannot enter into comabout $50,000. This money is to be di- petition with Oregon or Chili; nor for the sevided between them, but not equally; the cond with the United States and England. least of the lucky ones will have but $1,000 There is no reason to believe, that for many of this money, and the most lucky will have ages, California will export manufactures perhaps $20,000. During the year ex- or agricultural products; the population pended in the replacement of the original will consequently consist almost exclusive$50,000, these twelve men will have dug ly of miners and those who employ them; gold enough, beside all this, to support a it will, therefore, be a limited population ;
it will not grow beyond the necessity | more than it is worth, both in the war that created by the operation of capitalists in was made for it, and in the money and its mining regions ; its property will be labor that has been carried into it. As an owned chiefly by persons residing in Eng- investment of labor and capital it is already land and in the United States; they will a total failure. send money and machinery, and receive But if California can never become a gold in return. The commerce of Benecia seat of trade, and is, as a speculation, in and San Francisco will consequently be itself unprofitable; if its effect is to demoextremely limited.
ralize the entire community by creating an Commerce is centered in a region by its unnatural thirst for gold, and a love of forbecoming either a mart for the exchange eign adventure, if it is to continue to withof commodities, like Samaracand or New draw capital, labor, and talent, the ready York; or by its being like Babylon or Bos- capital, the free labor, and the adventurous ton, a centre for the production of manu- talent of the hardiest portion of our popufactures. The city of Babylon, in which lation from fields where they are most needat one period, the trade of the East was con- ed, and where their value is alone apprecentrated, was, at the epoch of its greatest ciated, with what favor can the public ecoglory, nothing more than an assemblage of nomist regard this new acquisition of a gold manufacturing villages, surrounded by a region ? 'The most sanguine calculators range of artificial hills, called walls, to have not yet shown that the product of the shut out the neighboring barbarians. The country in precious metals will sustain its city of Boston owes its commercial impor- population, or pay the cost of its purchase tance, in great part, to its being the trading and colonization. centre of manufacturing interests in New These then, we conceive, are to be the England.
advantages which are to accrue to us as a It is impossible, in the nature of things, nation by the conquest of California, and that California should become a trading the discovery of its placers. First, it has centre, as it neither produces anything to directed our attention upon the western create a commerce, or to ensure a steady borders of our continent; it has already growth of population. For the same reason drawn us nearer in thought, to the Asiatic it can never become a port of deposit or of side of the globe ; it has opened the way exchange. The badness of its harbors will for a commerce with Asia ; it has created alone prevent that result.
a necessity for the establishment of a free Let us now make enquiry of the bene- and rapid communication between the Atfits, real or imagined, which are to be se- lantic and the Pacific ; it has brought us cured to this country by the addition of nearer, by the space of several centuries, California. That these benefits are to arise to our ultimate destiny as the civilizers, from the addition of a certain amount of and perhaps masters of Asia. The exisgold coin to the circulation of the entire tence of the state of California on the world, no one will perhaps pretend. The shore of the Pacific, has made it necessary value of the precious metals is diminished for us to establish a communication beas their quantity increases ; to have that tween the two sides of the continent. quantity largely increased would be an in- When this communication is established, afconvenience, as it would add nothing to fairs in California will take another turn; a the wealth of the world; nothing to the railroad will pass from the Mississippi River comforts of life, and would disturb the perhaps to the Columbia. At Puget Sound, coinage of governments. The benefit to if we prophecy truly, there will be estabbe derived from the finding of gold consists lished an entrepot for the commerce bein the good fortune of those few lucky in-tween the United States and Asia ; the gold dividuals who make fortunes by the adven- of California will pass first into Oregon beture. The capital hitherto invested, and fore it is distributed to the East and West. effectually sunk and annihilated, far ex- Or if it is resolved that the great internaceeds the largest anticipated returns. On tional railroad shall go to California first, the whole, regarded as a commercial spe- still we may predict for it the same conseeulation in which the entire country is in- quences, that it will become a route of comterested, California has already cost much mercial enterprise between America and