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considering; that a country shall produce more than is necessary for its own consumption ere it can become rich by a commerce with foreign nations, and that the greater its home production, the more certain, and extended, and profitable will be its foreign commerce. The prohibition, by tariff, of a foreign manufacture, in such a country as ours, creates a home manufacture of the same. By the introduction of this new species of industry, either a new population is introduced from abroad, increasing the market of the agriculturalist, or the same number of persons is withdrawn from agricultural and other occupations, leaving of course a smaller number engaged in these, and consequently securing to them not only a larger market, but a larger profit in that market. If one man supplies an entire village with food produced upon his own land, he will become the most important man in it, and other things being equal, the wealthiest. The smaller the proportion of population engaged in agriculture, other things being equal, the larger the profits of the agriculturalist; indeed, nothing could be a greater proof of the stupidity and dullness of the agricultural population generally, than their opposition to the introduction of manufactures. By the most stupid jealousy they mar their own fortunes.
Unless the capitalist is protected against | the foreigner, he will not lay out his wealth to the advantage of the country in which he is; he will spend his surplus in the purchase of foreign luxuries and conveniences, which the poor man, having no employment to which he can turn his hand, that will yield him any profit, contents himself with cultivating a small farm, just sufficient for his own maintenance and that of his family. As soon, however, as the capital of the wealthy is forced to remain at home, and employ itself for the benefit of home industry, a positive increase begins to be perceived in the productive power of the country; population increases with greater rapidity; a distribution of employment ensues; numbers engaged in agriculture, quit that employment for manufacture; the consequence being that those who remain upon their farms find themselves able to produce more, and at better prices. The distribution of employment tends invariably to the increase of productive power and of production. Every new mode of industry, which makes the proportion of agriculturists or food producers smaller in proportion to the whole, augments their profits, and gives them opportunities of disposing of a larger surplus. Let us imagine a community composed of one thousand men, with their families, employed in agriculture. They produce enough for themselves and their fam- The ability to export will be measured ilies, and, having no market, their wealth by the ability to produce; the ability to does not increase; add to that community produce will depend upon the variety of a thousand more, with their families, em- occupation assisted by the economy and ployed as artizans, in various trades, that industry of the population. An economicommunity will shortly become rich. The cal and industrious population, working at agricultural part of them have found a a variety of employments, will produce market for their surplus, and the artizans everything out of the earth, in such a counat the same time, have found a market for try as ours, (that is to say, if they are well their wares. A healthy man is always able protected,) everything that is necessary to produce more than is enough for his own for sustenance, clothing, and habitation. immediate necessities, in any occupation; For these purposes they will require no and therefore it is that free and orderly foreign assistance. The raw material of communities become wealthy when a mar- iron and steel, of copper, zinc, tin, and ket is opened to them for a sale for the lead, and other valuable metals used in the products of their industry. arts; every species of timber; every maWe have said that the commercial pow-terial used for the manufacture of clother of a country depends upon two circumstances; that the first of these is its ability to produce, and the second its ability to command a market; for the first is needed an industrious and frugal population; for the second, a naval armament; but it is the first necessity that we are at present
ing, rough cloth, cordage, and felts; every kind of grain and serviceable fruit, all kinds of animals employed in the economy of the farm,-there is, in short, nothing that can be esteemed absolutely necessary
First shown by H. C. Carey.
to a civilized existence, which is not easily | tion, but to legislate for the good of the and abundantly procured in the temperate people-for the good of the greatest numclimate of the North American Continent. ber. If every want of the people, nay every comfort, is not fully and effectually provided for, it is because of some serious error, or some wilful perversion in the mind of the governing power; that is to say, of that portion of the people who make government and its offices their peculiar care; to which may be added, those whose fortune or whose ability gives them power over the prejudices of that nameless multitude whose opinions are all prejudice.
When every thing has been produced and wrought up-when the last degree of value has been communicated by agriculture and manufacture to the material which the earth offers to the industry of man-when the iron has been wrought into steel, and the steel into implements-when the wool, the flax and the cotton have been made into cloth, and the hemp into cordage-when the copper and its kindred metals have been wrought up into utensils and ornaments; in short, when every possible value has been communicated to the raw material -when the home market is supplied with these, it then becomes advantageous to a country to export its surplus to foreign countries, and not before. During the famine in Ireland, two years ago, grain was exported from Cork and from Dublin; that exportation, although profitable to the merchants who engaged in it, was injurious to Ireland. The exportation of food from England at the present time, to a country where food happened to be dearer than in England, might indeed bring fortunes to a few grain producers and exporters, but it would be highly injurious to the English artizan who starves when grain rises beyond a certain price. Political economy, after the school of Malthus and Ricardo, regards all laws against exportation as a mere absurdity-as contrary to the laws of trade-as an interference with the natural and indefeasible right of free trade. Humanity and common sense may sometimes, it seems, array themselves against our political economists; a prohibition of exportation may sometimes be absolutely necessary to the safety of a people, and so may a prohibition of importation. The rule of common sense and of true statesmanship is to legislate, not from a theory, either of free trade or of protec
The ability to export is measured by the ability to produce a surplus for exportation; it is also measured by the value of that surplus. If it is the raw material, the ores of metals, the first substance of cloth, or the like, it is not, and it never will be a profitable exportation: the risk and the expense of its conveyance will fall upon the producer; that this is the fact may be easily shown from the history of the cotton trade. It has been demonstrated, in the previous number of this journal, that the expense of exporting the raw material of manufacture is far greater, in proportion to its value, than the expense of exporting the manufactured article. The expense of transporting a rod of iron worth only one dollar is greater than the expense of transporting a case of surgical instruments worth one hundred dollars, and so of other articles; the higher the value communicated to them by the industry of artizans, the less the expense to the producer and manufacturer of bringing them to market.
Because the supply in general exceeds the demand, or very nearly equals it in most branches of trade, the producer is continually seeking a market; that is to say, the commerce of the country is eagerly and assiduously extending itself, seeking new customers in every quarter of the globe, and sending out ships of war to establish its markets in foreign ports, to open new channels of commerce with barbarous nations-to negotiate treaties for the advantage of home industry, and sometimes to make conquests for the establishment of mercantile colonies.
It is thus absolutely shown by the conduct of all trading nations, from the earliest periods of time, that it is, in general, the producer and the manufacturer who bear the cost of transportation, who send out their products in their own ships, and defend their commerce by expensive naval armaments. That it is on the producer that all risks fall, or if not all, the greater part of risks, may be seen in the trade between any manufacturing town and its neighboring great city, to which it sends its merchandize. It is chiefly the manufacturer who loses, and not the commission merchant, by fluctuations of the market. It
America, who have engaged in the production of grain for the European markets. An unusually fine harvest in France and in England will have the same result. Fifty millions of English capital turned into the improvement of agriculture in that country and in Ireland, as two years ago it was turned into rail-roads, and before that into cotton mills, would have the same result. It is clear that this trade in bread-stuffs is subject to the most alarming contingencies; and it is well known to be the most speculative and irregular department of com
The reason of this latter peculiarity is not to be sought only in the fluctuations of a foreign market; we may find it as well in the destructibility of the material. A cargo of flour cannot be carried across the Equator with safety; a cargo of meal is very apt to turn sour before it reaches Liverpool. Another reason is, that the natural profit on raw material is necessarily small, and that, under ordinary circumstances, the food of life cannot be made an article of commerce between distant nations. It is a dreadful necessity which compels one great nation to purchase food of another, and is always a token of destitution and suffering in the country which receives it.
The commerce of a country depending on its ability to produce and its ability to command a market, successful and profitable commerce will be that which commands the widest and the most universal market; that can send the same cargo to many different ports; that has its choice of markets, and is not shut up to one or two; it is therefore absolutely certain that an exportation of grain or of any species of raw material or first product of the earth, can never be as sure or as safe, or as continuous and steady, as an exportation of manufactured articles. When the European markets are shut, there is no corn trade; but the same corn that would have been exported to England, being used for the food of artizans at home, may be exported in the shape of cloth or cutlery, to almost any part of the world:* if one market is closed, another is opened; if England will not receive our cloths, France, or Germany, or Holland, will perhaps receive them; or they can be sent into the Mediterranean, or to the South Sea Islands, or to South America, or to many other places; or, if there is no foreign market, they can be laid up at home and bide their time. The expense of their transportation is comparatively small; their durability under allergy, directed by ingenuity and ability, of its climates makes them always insurable; the profits on their sale are the profits of agriculture on the food which feed the workmen who were employed in making them, and those upon the ores and other raw material, used for the machinery and fabric all these profits being concentrated in the manufactured article; a consideration which ought to show the agriculturalist that it is rather a commerce in manufactured articles which he should support by his vote and his influence, than a commerce in grain.
Very slight circumstances occasion an over production of grain or of raw material of any kind, and for the time, render it profitless. The closing of the European markets against American bread-stuffs will throw an indisposable surplus upon the hands of the farmer; a vote of parliament will ruin the hopes of tens of thousands in
* H. C. Carey.
The commerce of a country is sustained by its productive energy. Not by the richness of its soil, but by the productive en
inhabitants. Its productiveness is measured not by the quantity of fruits, grain, ores, or other raw material which it produces, but by the value which it has communicated to these raw products previous to their exportation. The steel instrument, worth one dollar and weighing a few ounces, has concentrated in it the value of a bushel of corn worth one dollar and weighing many pounds. The one almost imperishable; saleable in all markets, easily transported at a very trifling cost, through all climates, over all seas- -the other, occupying a large space, difficult of transportation, destroyed by a very moderate rise of temperature, or by the slightest dampness, saleable only in countries where the poorer class are perishing of hunger. The one, intrinsically worth nothing, and having all its value imparted to it by the ingenuity of artizans, a thing created out of dirt, and stones, and rubbish-the rubbish of the ground; the
other an almost spontaneous product of the earth, requiring but one species of labor for its production with but moderate ability, and therefore yielding but little profit to him who produces it, and still less to him who sells it. These are the instances which we must look at, and carefully consider, before we begin to turn the forces of government to the extension of our commerce. We must know, before we move in such a matter, upon what ground we move, and never suffer our senses to be deceived by the lying arithmetic of statisticians.
When our own wants are supplied, the surplus of our industry is the material of a profitable commerce; but who would send seed corn to mill?
The seed corn which we foolishly send to mill, is the raw material of our industry, and the mill is in England. We legislate away our seed corn-we write, speak, and vote it away-we deprive ourselves of every opportunity of wealth, of that valuable material of commerce, that product of the most refined and concentrated industry; concentrating all that the farmer and the artizan can do we deprive ourselves of this by legislation by a farrago of closet theory supported by a lying statistic, and the prejudices of the ignorant served up with senatorial sophisms.
The commerce of such a country as ours must be a commerce for luxuries, and not
for the necessaries of life. It is we who must supply nations inferior to ourselves in fortune and ability, with what they need, and they must give us in exchange the luxuries which we do not need but only desire, and which our superior industry and ability have given us a right to use and to enjoy.
We do not mean to say that commerce must be exclusively for luxuries; the products of other climates: drugs, medicines, dye-stuffs, peculiar kinds of food which grow only in the tropics, certain valuable metals, and some manufactures, of an undesirable character to be produced at home; in short, a vast variety of articles, not properly luxuries, will always furnish out a vast commerce, and open a market for the products of our own industry.
It appears from all that has been presented to our view in the course of this argument, that the legislation of a country like ours should be directed not to the production of an unprofitable surplus of raw material, liable at any moment to be thrown back upon its producers, but to the introduction and the building up of as many new species of industry as possible, in order that no one department may be overdone, and that a surplus may be produced that can be made the staples of a truly safe and valuable commerce.
It is beginning to be predicted by the more observing class of speculators, that a commercial catastrophe awaits those who are building upon expectations raised by the gold of California. We have several times before alluded to the state of things in that country, and have predicted the defeat of all extravagant expectations. The time has not yet come, but it is probably not far distant. The first symptom of its approach which we have to notice, is the fall in the price of provisions, of clothing, and of shipping, in the harbor of California. We learn that the fine ship Edward Everett, which sailed from Boston
some six months ago, has been sold at San Francisco for $15,000. At the so called California prices, the same vessel should have brought $100,000. One would think that the mere timber would have brought more money than was given for the vessel. Startling as the conclusion may appear, we are compelled to admit that California is not destined to have a commerce. of property in California will not invest money in shipping. That department of commerce which is called shipping interest, may be said in California to have no existence.
The population of California being, as
of 50,000 persons, living at an expense of something more than $500 a year. Cali
yet, a small one, not exceeding that of a third rate city, a very moderate coasting trade 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 and $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 of the luxuries, of life. The prices of many of these commodities has already fallen below that which they bear in New York, which, considering the prodigious cheapness of gold, shows an alarming depreciation. When these effects come to be generally felt and known, commerce will gradually withdraw itself from the ports of California, and commodities will have a permanent value, measured by the necessities of the population, the immediate presence of the precious metals, the monopoly of the trade, which must fall into the hands of a few adventurers, and the character of the population which, in all gold countries, will be more or less reckless and unthrifty.
When the more superficial diggings are exhausted, and it becomes necessary for several men to combine for the employment of labor and capital in the opening of deep mines, a result which may be expected in a few years, it will be found that the price of labor, always severe in mining, will bring the profits of such adventurers within very moderate limits. Expensive machinery will have to be constructed and transported across the Isthmus, or carried about Cape Horn; salaried gold hunters, engineers, and miners, will have to be employed at a great expense; constant failures, and a vast waste of labor, will strike away a large proportion of the profits. In time, a share in a gold company in California, will become fancy stock in Wall street.
Long before this time the population, instead of increasing, may be expected to diminish, having first reached its maxi
Let us suppose that the actual proceeds of the mines in California amount to about $2,000,000 monthly-$24,000,000 annually; if the whole sum is expended in procuring food and clothing, it will pay, from year to year, the expenses of a population
It is certain that far more has been taken to California in the shape of clothing, shipping, provisions, luxuries, and money, than has, as yet, been brought out of it in the shape of gold. If a California outfit cost $500, or thereabouts, one hundred men, going to California, take with them $50,000; this is $50,000 and the labor and enterprise of an hundred men taken directly out of the country where they belong and which they enrich, and transported to California. $50,000, and the labor of an hundred men, skillfully employed in manufactures, or farming, in a civilized community, would double itself in a few years, besides providing subsistence for an hundred families, creating rich farms and a thriving village, and securing to its owners and employers all the moral and physical advantages and comforts of civilization.
Let us see now how this same money and labor are employed in California. There is no combination in California; each man is for himself; combination has been found to be impossible. Two or three may combine together to work at a digging, or to speculate in lands, but there can be no companies, no joint enterprises, for the advantage of a number. Of the hundred men who have taken each a capital of $500, and of which they have expended $400 before they arrive in California, and in such a way that it creates nothing, yields nothing for themselves or for their country, but is literally thrown into the sea, a third, perhaps, or more likely a fourth, will find themselves strong enough and possessed of sufficient fortitude to engage in mining-a species of toil which is compared only to stone breaking, well digging, or the laying of heavy walls. Twenty-five of the hundred have engaged in this terrible labor. Of the remaining seventy
What have "balance of trade" theorists to say to that?