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ment, and so injurious to those whose labour gives them all the real value they possess. Chiefly, however, are they to be deplored, because they create wealth independent of merit or industry, and so far tend to unhinge government from its only true and substantial foundation, by creating an aristocracy, whose origin is the royal patent for lands they never saw and can never till. When we know that the inequality of wealth is the cause of misery to thousands, this identity of condition, on our part, to that of England, must at once lead to reflections that inspire as much of degradation, as they tend to stimulate to reform. It must ever form a subject of amazement and regret to succeeding generations, that at the era of the Declaration of Independence, or at that of the adoption of the Federal constitution, the common law of England, and the royal grants and titles to land, were not instantly and totally abolished, as of no force and virtue, under the new government. Such a measure, more than all others now in the power of the people, would have established society on the true basis of merit and labour in the citizen, and tended, by its own weight, to equalize property on a scale of equity and comfort, and to adjust the wages of labour in a manner conducive to the general happiness. Next in magnitude, as one of the parents of that unequal distribution of property, and that unjust principle of distribution which now prevail, was the establishment of the FUNDING SYSTEM-another fungus of the corrupt institutions of a kingdom, from which we had declared a nominal independence, at the same time that we retained with obstinate infatuation, all her moral, civil, and political cancers, under the false impression that descent, propinquity, a common origin, and a common language, ought to excite a sympathy, and an emulation, that would blind us to their vices, and so consecrate their errors, as to make it the duty of a kind of filial affection, to adopt them without examination—resting satisfied with the uncontested fact, that their English character alone fully entitled them to our implicit approbation. Whilst I feel no disposition to deprecate, or detract from a proper feeling of amity towards a foreign kingdom, once the fountain of the blood that circles and plays in our own veins, yet that feeling ought never to sanction English error, or lead us to adopt English corruptions. The duty imposed on us now, is that of self-happiness, as well as self-government, terms that ought to be synonymous—duties that ought to mix and blend into one—ends that only are attained, when both are accomplished: and to carry them into fruition, no pseudo partiality ought to be permitted to interfere. Unhappily, and to our eternal detriment, it was permitted at the very commencement of the government. Our great statesman, Jefferson, has boldly avowed, that it was for the purpose of assimilating our institutions to those of that monarchy, and erecting a throne on the ruins of our republic: but I should rather refer this abuse to blind admiration, than to deliberate treason—to unappeasable cupidity in a penurious aristocracy, rather than to the frenzied designs of insatiable ambition. In itself, or its consequences, the funding system, of all the perversions of this equitable government, is especially oppressive to the children of labour. If it did not create a fiscal necessity, it at least afforded a plausible pretext for the BANKING SYSTEM–that fruitful mother of unutterable affliction to the sons of industry— which brought us, at one fatal step, into the vortex of of English aristocracy—overgrown fortunes and hopeless poverty—taxation through all the elements of existence—and speculation to the utter grinding down of the producer, to pamper the fortunes of the rich, and swell the hoard of the speculator. The banking system and the funds are, in the fiscal world, precisely what the royal grants were in the landed interest. They created even a greater inequality of fortune, by means more nefarious, as well as more pernicious; for they levied a tax directly upon every commodity produced by labour; which tax became immediately absorbed into the pocket of the capitalist. So that what England did through her royal charters and grants, antecedent to the Revolution, our own aristocracy deliberately committed through the funding and banking systems; whose results upon the happiness and comfort of an industrious and free people, must be estimated fully as calamitous in respect to labour, as the consequences that would attend the subjugation of the country by a foreign king, who should partition the property of the conquered people among his chiefs and followers, in large and princely domains—thus creating a monopoly of land and capital which would extort labour upon their own terms of bare subsistence. Thus far, then, we perceive our constitution of equal rights, to be the merest untenanted skeleton of liberty, that the imagination of man can conceive; which by its operation creates aristocracy, privileges, extortion, monopoly, and overgrown fortunes—and which, by its letter, declares that equality of rights shall be guaranteed to all, and the pursuit of happiness be a common boon, secured to industry by the equity of her principles and the simplicity of her laws. Such are the defects of organic law, practical governC

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ment, and property, which are thrown as obstacles into the path of the working man. In themselves these are formidable enough to intimidate the most intrepid champion of reform. But when are superadded to these, the obstacles of opinion, prejudice—the long descended prejudice of antiquity, flinging the odium of servility upon the head of labour—it extorts a doubt of success, even in the very moment it excites the soul to dare all perils in so laudable a task. ANTIquity | The word excites the most pleasing and sublime associations; but on this subject it gives rise to the most humiliating and degrading thoughts. Happily Aristotle knew little of the true principles of political economy; and we may pardon the ignorance of a people on that score, whose occupation was war, and whose recreation was pleasure; who spent their hours in alternate devotion to the muses, or sacrifices to their gods ! From the earliest epochs of civilized society, after its maturity, from the pastoral to the commercial state, the producers of wealth have, with few exceptions, and little variation, been degraded to the condition of slaves, serfs, vassals, or servants; and this degradation has even extended up to the present age. In Greece, the mechanics and artisans, with the exceptions of those branches intimately connected with literature and science, such as sculpture and painting, were mostly slaves. The same degrading custom was also peculiar to Rome, in her first ages, until the practice of manumission, and the rewards and honours decreed to valour in the field, gradually wore out some of the stain and ignominy attempted to be put upon those, whose lives were devoted to useful labour in the state. All barbarous nations, or those just emerging from the dark era to the twilight of civilization, have been remarkable for the same confinement of labour to the class that was held in bondage. The Germans, the Gauls, and the Britons, had their serfs, to whom were confined the duties of all servile labour, from the drudgery of the work-shop, to the more blightsome toils and cares of agriculture. To be a gentleman, and to work, was utterly as incompatible, as to aspire to rank, and possess the faculty of writing; an ignorance of which in the middle ages was generally confounded with servile labour. Idleness, the pleasures of the chase, and the havoc of war, or the perils of personal combat, were then, as now, considered as the peculiar occupation of the nobles and gentry. To be useful, was to be degraded; and when we consider that even writing was considered a disgrace, because it required labour, we may conceive upon what whims of opinion, and customs of tyranny, rested the whole system of ranks, titles, and distinctions. Writing was then confined to the lower order of monks, who were termed clerks—a term which is even yet consider. ed derogatory, as associating ideas of meanness and servility; but now writing, however, when separated from the last mentioned degradation, is considered not only creditable, but is boasted of as a mark of distinction and honour—which shows upon what frivolous grounds the whole system of rank rests. To labour for another, even among us of the 19th century, is held as disreputable; whilst to labour for ourselves, wipes away the stigma of reproach. In this distinction, we behold the cause and origin of that ignominy and depression which has been cast upon the working classes. In all countries, except this, they are the slaves, serfs, or servants, or the descendants of that class—stamped with the features of hard toil and hard usage—mental ignorance—brutal passion—and stinted nourishment;

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