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2. At about the same time when these became so extensive as to afford a suitable field for domestic manufactures, the mother country imposed a rigorous prohibition upon the exercise of this branch of industry, which remained in full force until the declaration of independence.
3. When the country had obtained its independence, and began to recover from the exhaustion of the revolutionary war, the circumstances of the world were such as to hold out great inducements for the investment of capital in commerce and agriculture. This state of things continued until the commencement of the series of political embarrassments which preceded the war with England.
It appears therefore that from the date of the first settlements up to the very recent period just alluded to, there has always been some powerful cause of an accidental or artificial character in operation, tending to prevent the growth of manufactures. Before the last of these causes had ceased to produce its effects, the wealth and population of the country had risen to such a height, that the absence of domestic manufactures had come to be a sort of practical solecism in our economical condition; and no sooner was the obstacle removed, than they in fact started into being with a kind of violent impulse, which, though compressed for the moment by the inundation of British goods, that overwhelmed our markets at the renewal of peace, and more recently again by other accidental causes, is yet far from being lost. No circumstance within the reach of present foresight, supposing our internal union and tranquillity to be preserved, can prevent or materially delay the growth of manufactures. Whether protected by government or not, they must and will thrive, and, at no distant period, reach a point of perfection, which will secure them from foreign competition, far more effectually than the highest duties or the most rigorous prohibitions. This is thought by some to be a reason why legislative encouragement is unnecessary and inexpedient; but we confess that we cannot agree in this view of the subject. We deem it, on the contrary, the precise character of all wise and useful legislation to follow and aid the operation of natural causes. If the country were not ripe for the establishment of manufactures, the attempt to force them by law could not possibly succeed, and would produce nothing but positive mischief. But however favorable may be the circumstances under which they are established, and however certain their ultimate success
with or without protection, it by no means follows that protection is superfluous. Infant institutions of every description, however judiciously planned, are liable to be injured by accidents which would not affect them in a mature state. In the present case, by permitting foreign fabrics to enter freely into competition with our own, we bring ourselves within the reach of those tremendous fluctuations in the course of trade, which in the present diseased state of society in England are almost perpetual, and which plunge everything, that has not the iron stamp of maturity on it, into remediless ruin. Although nothing can prevent our manufactures from ultimately thriving, a single revulsion of this description may consign a generation of manufacturers to bankruptcy. To secure our rising industry from such disasters is in our opinion the policy and duty of a wise and patriotic government. To say with the Reviewer that the legislation, which is intended to effect this purpose, is an attempt to force manufactures, is about as reasonable as it would be to say, that the planters of Louisiana and Georgia force their sugar and cotton, because they employ the most approved methods for raising them in perfection. To force a product is to obtain it with extraordinary labor and expense, from a soil and under circumstances not naturally adapted to it. To employ the means necessary for obtaining it from a congenial soil and under favorable circumstances is not to force but to cultivate it; and we know that without judicious cultivation the most precious shoots run to waste, and the richest ground produces nothing but brambles. If we doubted the capacity of the United States to supply their own wants in the way of manufactured articles, we should then doubt the expediency of a protecting policy; but on this head we cannot allow ourselves for a moment to entertain the slightest scruple. When we reflect upon the variety and excellence of the natural products, animal, vegetable, and mineral, that enrich the different parts of our magnificent and almost boundless territory; the cotton, the sugar, the rice, the tobacco, the corn, the hemp, the flax, that cover our plains; the flocks and herds that feed upon our pastures; the groves and forests of oak, live-oak, cedar, pine, maple, and every other useful and ornamental tree, that overshadow the tops of our mountains; the wealth of really precious metals and other fossils, the iron, the lead, the coal, the salt, the granite, the marble, that fill with inexhaustible and incalculable treasures their hitherto almost unexplored recesses ;-
when we reflect on this unexampled abundance of materials, and consider at the same time the great natural advantages we possess for turning them to account, in the number and opportunity of our rivers and water-courses, which furnish at once the cheapest power for moving machinery and the happiest facilities for communication between the different sections of the country; in the intelligence, enterprise, and industry, and we may venture to add, temperance, patience, perseverance, and generally high moral character of our citizens; above all, in that singular blessing of Providence, by-the effect of which it has happened, in recompense perhaps for the rare virtues which distinguished our fathers, that in this favored region, and this alone upon the wide face of the earth, the individual is permitted to enjoy the fruits of his labor undiminished either by the arbitrary violence or exorbitant legal exactions of government; when we reflect on this extraordinary combination of favorable circumstances, we cannot hesitate to affirm that our situation is eminently auspicious for the establishment of almost every branch of industry. We should deem it a libel on our countrymen to suppose that they must painfully carry their rich natural products to other countries, four or five thousand miles distant, in order to have them fashioned for use; and we are well satisfied, as we remarked before, that no accidental causes or want of legislative protection can much longer prevent us from supplying ourselves with most of the articles which we now receive from Europe. With these convictions, and believing also at the same time that, although the ultimate success of our manufacturing establishments cannot be questioned, they are liable while yet in an infant state to suffer by the effect of foreign competition occasional blights, which, if comparatively unimportant to the community, are yet fraught with ruin to individuals, to families, and even to whole classes of citizens, we regard the situation of the country as that in which a judicious protecting legislation may be applied with the best results to its appropriate purpose of aiding the healthy operation of natural causes, and averting accidental and temporary evils. We therefore cannot hesitate in giving it the support, however feeble, of our concurrence and express approbation.
It is time, however, to draw this article, already of a length which could only be justified by the importance of the subject, to a close. We cannot conclude without expressing a hope that the policy of the government, on this subject, will never be
affected by the progress or results of any of the ephemeral struggles for place and power, that have divided and may hereafter divide the citizens. The duty of encouraging and protecting our own industry should, and will, we trust, be regarded by all the parties that may successively predominate as too high, too vitally important,-too sacred, we might almost. say, to be overlooked in deference to any suggestions of imme diate interest; and, what is perhaps a still better security for its future observance, its very importance and the consequent general popularity of all measures taken in fulfilment of it, will always render it the immediate interest of our statesmen, however divided on minor points, to unite in pursuing such a course. The protecting system has in fact become already the settled policy of the country. It was recommended and sanctioned at the outset of the government by the powerful mind of Hamilton, a name which stands higher, both abroad and at home, for skill in practical legislation, than almost any other that adorns our political history, and is nearly sufficient of itself to give authority to any opinion. It survived and flourished through all the various turns of the long contest for power, in which that statesman and his contemporaries were afterwards engaged. At the close of the war with Great Britain, which finally terminated these ancient feuds, the protecting policy was resumed with renovated interest and vigor by the united community, and has ever since been constantly gaining upon the general favor. During the late struggle for the Presidency it was professed with equal zeal, and probably with equal conviction, by a decided majority of the friends of all the candidates; and the great states, whose powerful influence contributed mainly to the elevation of the successful one, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, have always been its warmest adherents and principal supporters. The President himself has given in print, both before and since his election, satisfactory indications of the concurrence of his sentiments on this subject with those of the people. We have a right to suppose therefore, that the influence of the administration will be exerted in future, as it has hitherto been ever since the foundation of the government, in favor of this policy. A strong disapprobation of it has no doubt been manifested by a considerable, and every way respectable portion of the planters of the Southern, and the navigators of the Northern states; but longer experience will convince even them, that it is not less.
beneficial to their interests than to those of the rest of the community; and we confidently trust, that Congress, unmoved by any temporary burst of opposition, and especially unmoved by the declamations, the sophistry, or the sneers of interested foreigners, will exhibit, in their future proceedings on this subject, the uniformity, steadiness, and wisdom, which have characterized those of all their predecessors. We mean not to intimate an opinion, that they should make no alteration whatever in the details of the existing Tariff, which may be, and probable is, in some parts, susceptible of improvement. We only mean, that all the legislation on economical matters, however modified in particular points, should display throughout the grand and leading features of a real American System.
ART. VII.-Lafayette en Amérique en 1824 et 1825 ; ou Journal d'un Voyage aux Etats-Unis. Par A. LEVASSEUR, Secrétaire du Général Lafayette pendant son Voyage. Orné de onze Gravures et d'une Carte. En deux Vol
umes. 8vo. Paris. 1829.
We have been agreeably disappointed in this work. We feared, that the general familiarity with its subject, at least on the part of its American readers, would take from it all the interest of novelty, and that, from the nature of the case, it must want that of variety. We have found, on trial, that, in both respects, our apprehension was ill-founded. Although we certainly watched the progress of the nation's guest through the country, with the most willing and unabated attention, yet we find, that the details of his progress, in the remote sections of the union, were not, as it was not to be expected they should be, transferred to the public journals in this quarter. A corresponding remark, no doubt, would hold true of any other district of the United States; and we are well persuaded, that wherever the work is taken up, a good portion of the contents will be substantially new to the reader. This will of course be strictly the case with all those parts of the two volumes which relate to matters of a character not to come before the public at the time, or not from any other source than the General himself, or some person directly connected with him ;