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The bills, therefore, ceased to circulate, and the government ceased to issue them. Then commenced the public suffering, which had before been averted by the army subsisting on the labour of the country, in virtue of a fiction. The consolidation of the “contimental money,” which had been paid to the army, afterwards went to form our “funded debt.”
THE importance of manufactures to the wealth and comfort of a nation can well be appreciated by us, who have so intensely suffered from their want, through two long and perilous wars. A dependence of this kind was very near frustrating the achievement of our independence, in the struggle of the revolution; and as near covering us with subjugation and dismay, during the last war. On both occasions our sufferings and anguish have proved the best admonishers of our duty.
"Of all sources of wealth, manufactures are the most copious and rapid. All raw material is cheap, and of inferior worth, because natural agents combine with labour in their production. But the labour of manufactures is a source of compound value, that multiplies wealth with amazing rapidity. The economy of time, too, confers incalculable superiority on manufactures, . as a means of wealth to a nation. The agriculturist must wait his seasons, and his time, and for one half of the year is doomed to idleness. But the manufacturer has all times and all seasons at his command. Nothing interrupts his labour; and he multiplies industry a thousand fold, where the argiculturist augments it once. Hence it is that manufacturing countries become so superior in wealth, to nations which are purely agricultural, pastoral, or commercial.
Labour saving machinery, or compound labour, is a powerful agent in the production of these riches. Ma
chines requiring no clothing, no food, attended with little or no expense, produce a hundred, or five hundred sold the profit of human labour. Hence nations which possess the most perfect machinery, will become the most opulent and powerful; thus demonstrating that LABour is the source of all national greatness, as well as individual happiness. This subject is not less interesting than important, and opens to our inspection the eventful volume of history, to enlighten and sustain us in the protective policy adopted by the government. Every country that has become distinguished for its manufacturing industry, presents us with traces of policy and legislation, exclusively selfish, and systematically directed to the great aim of home production. Let us take a brief review of the rise of English manufactures. The exclusive system of protection adopted by the Hanse towns, is a matter of too general notoriety, to need a special detail or reference; but we must not overlook the fact, that while the Hanse towns monopolized the trade of the world, owing to their tariff and navigation laws, the rest of the nations of Europe, who had no commerce, and no manufactures, had no such laws and regulations ! The first start given to English trade, was an opposition to the monopoly of the Hanse towns by Queen Elizabeth. We cite the whole passage from Hume, vol. v. p. 24, as interesting, and relevant to this argument, “The merchants of the Hanse towns complained loudly in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, of the treatment which they had received in the reigns of Edward and Mary. She prudently replied, that as she would not innovate any thing, she would still protect them in Z
the immunities and privileges, of which she found them possessed. This answer not contenting them, their commerce was soon after suspended for a time, to the great advantage of the English merchants, who tried what they could themselves effect for promoting their commerce. They took the whole trade into their own hands, and, their returns proving successful, they divided themselves into staplers, and merchant adventurers; the former residing constantly at one place, the latter trying their fortunes in other towns and states abroad, with cloth and other manufactures. This success so enraged the Hanse towns,” that they tried all the methods which a discontented people could devise, to draw upon the English merchants the ill opinion of other nations and states. They prevailed so far as to obtain an imperial edict, by which the English were prohibited all commerce in the Empire. The queen, by way of retaliation, retained sixty of their ships, which had been seized in the river Tagus, with contraband goods of the Spaniards. These ships the queen intended to have restored, as desiring to have compromised all differences with those trading cities; but when she was informed that a general assembly was held at Lubec, in order to concert measures for distressing the English trade, she caused the ships and cargoes to be confiscated.” At that period the manufactures of England were in the lowest stage; nor was it until the persecutions against the protestants of France and the Low Countries drove their artisans and manufacturers into that country for an asylum, that their importance was ap
*How perfectly analogous to the present anger and resentment of the English and their agents against us!
preciated, and their ingenuity and labour fostered by the protecting hand of government. “In a remonstrance of the Hanse towns to the Diet of the Empire, in 1582, (says Hume,) it is affirmed that England exported annually about 200,000 pieces of cloth. This number seems to be much exaggerated.” One of the most wise and judicious of the measures of Queen Elizabeth, was to grant a charter to these merchant adventurers, who proved such troublesome competitors and rivals to the merchandise of the Hanse towns. By some intrigues, however, of the wily Dutch, Elizabeth was induced to rescind this grant of trading privilege;—but the pernicious effects that attended the opening of the trade, soon compelled her to restore their charter; which operated in respect to foreign manufactures precisely as our tariff now does. A general tariff would have been more productive of encouragement to her artisans; but at that early period, trade had not been matured into a system, or digested upon principles of science; hence it depended entirely for its progression, upon the expedients suggested by the collisions, accidents, and wants of the day. The progress of England, therefore, in her great manufacturing system was extremely slow. Political economy, and the science of government, were wholly unknown; and nations were left to grope their way in the dark, by instinct, to such regulations as experience struck out. In the reign of James the First, England was still in subjection to the superior trading faculties and manufacturing ingenuity of the Hanse towns. The following passage from Hume, will show the state of her manufactures at this time. . “Almost all the more elaborate and curious arts were only cultivated abroad, particularly in Italy, Holland, and the Netherlands.