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can preserve, in full vigor, the harmony of the whole union. The south entertains one opinion, and imagines that a modification of the existing policy of the country, for the protection of American industry, involves the ruin of the south. The north, the east, the west, hold the opposite opinion, and feel and contemplate, in a longer adherence to the foreign policy, as it now exists, their utter destruction. Is it true, that the interests of these great sections of our country are irreconcilable with each other? Are we reduced to the sad and afflicting dilemma of determining which shall fall a victim to the prosperity of the other? Happily, I think, there is no such distressing alternative. If the north, the west and the east, formed an inde. pendent state, unassociated with the south, can there be a doubt that the restrictive system would be carried to the point of prohibition of every foreign fabric of which they produce the raw material, and which they could manufacture ? Such would be their policy, if they stood alone; but they are fortunately connected with the south, which believes its interest to require a free admission of foreign manufactures. Here then is a case for mutual concession, for fair compromise. The bill under consideration presents this compromise. It is a medium between the absolute exclusion and the unrestricted admission of the produce of foreign industry. It sacrifices the interest of neither section to that of the other; neither, it is true, gets all that it wants, nor is subject to all that it fears. But it has been said that the south obtains nothing in this compromise. Does it lose any thing ? is the first question. I have endeavored to prove that it does not, by showing that a mere transfer is effected in the source of the supply of its consumption from Europe to America; and that the loss, whatever it may be, of the sale of its great staple in Europe, is compensated by the new market created in America. But does the south really gain nothing in this compromise ? The consumption of the other sections, though somewhat restricted, is still left open by this
bill, to foreign fabrics purchased by southern staples. So far its operation is beneficial to the south, and
prejudicial to the industry of the other sections, and that is the point of mutual concession. The south will also gain by the extended consumption of its great staple, produced by an increased capacity to consume it in consequence of the establishment of the home market. But the south cannot exert its industry and enterprise in the business of manufactures ! Why not? The difficulties, if not exaggerated, are artificial, and may, therefore, be surmounted. But can the other sections embark in the planting occupations of the south? The obstructions which forbid them are natural, created by the immutable laws of God, and therefore unconquerable.
Other and animating considerations invite us to adopt the policy of this system. Its importance, in connexion with the general defence in time of war, cannot fail to be duly estimated. Need I recall to our painful recollection the sufferings, for the want of an adequate supply of absolute necessaries, to which the defenders of their country's rights and our entire population were subjected during the late war? Or to remind the committee of the great advantage of a steady and unfailing source of supply, unaffected alike in war and in peace? Its importance, in reference to the stability of our union, that paramount and greatest of all our interests, cannot fail warmly to recommend it, or at least to conciliate the forbearance of every patriot bosom. Now our people present the spectacle of a vast assemblage of jealous rivals, all eagerly rushing to the seaboard, jostling each other in their way, to hurry off to glutted foreign markets the perishable produce of their labor. The tendency of that policy, in conformity to which this bill is prepared, is to transform these competitors into friends and mutual customers; and, by the reciprocal exchanges of their respective productions, to place the confederacy upon the most solid of all foundations the basis of common interest. And is not government called upon, by eve
ry stimulating motive, to adapt its policy to the actual condition and extended growth of our great republic? At the commencement of our constitution, almost the whole population of the United States was confined between the Alleghany mountains and the Atlantic
Since that epoch, the western part of New York, of Pennsylvania, of Virginia, all the western states and territories, have been principally peopled. Prior to that period we had scarcely any interior. An interior has sprung up as it were by enchantment, and along with it new interests and new relations, requiring the parental protection of government. Our poliсу
should be modified accordingly, so as to comprehend all, and sacrifice none. And are we not encouraged by the success of past experience, in respect to the only article which has been adequately protected? Already have the predictions of the friends of the American system, in even a shorter time than their most sanguine hopes could have anticipated, been completely realized in regard to that article; and consumption is now better and cheaper supplied with coarse cottons, than it was under the prevalence of the foreign system.
Even if the benefits of the policy were limited to certain sections of our country, would it not be satisfactory to behold American industry, wherever situated, active, animated and thrifty, rather than persevere in a course which renders us subservient to foreign industry? But these benefits are twofold, direct and collateral, and in the one shape or the other they will diffuse themselves throughout the union. All parts of the union will participate, more or less, in both. As to the direct benefit, it is probable that the north and the east will enjoy the largest share. But the west and the south will also participate in them. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Richmond, will divide with the northern capitals the business of manufacturing. The latter city unites more advantages for its successful prosecution than any other place I know; Zanesville, in Ohio, only excepted. And where the direct benefit
does not accrue, that will be enjoyed of supplying the raw material and provisions for the consumption of artisans. Is it not most desirable to put at rest and prevent the annual recurrence of this unpleasant subject, so well fitted by the various interests to which it appeals, to excite irritation and to produce discontent? Can that be effected by its rejection ? Behold the mass of petitions which lie on our table, earnestly and anxiously entreating the protecting interposition of Congress against the ruinous policy which we are pursuing. Will these petitioners, comprehending all orders of society, entire states and communities, public companies and private individuals, spontaneously assembling, cease in their humble prayers by your lending a deaf ear? Can you expect that these petitioners, and others, in countless numbers, that will, if you delay the passage of this bill, supplicate your mercy, should contemplate their substance gradually withdrawn to foreign countries, their ruin slow, but certain and as inevitable as death itself, without one expiring effort? You think the measure injurious to you; we believe our preservation depends upon its adoption. Our convictions, mutually honest, are equally strong. What is to be done? I invoke that saving spirit of mutual concession under which our blessed constitution was formed, and under which alone it can be happily administered. I appeal to the south-to the high-minded, generous, and patriotic south-with which I have so often co-operated, in attempting to sustain the honor and to vindicate the rights of our country. Should it not offer, upon the altar of the public good, some sacrifice of its peculiar opinions ? Of what does it complain? A possible temporary enbancement in the objects of consumption. Of what do we complain ? A total incapacity, produced by the foreign policy, to purchase, at any price, necessary foreign objects of consumption. In such an alternative, inconvenient only to it, ruinous to us, can we expect too much from southern magnanimity? The just and confident expectation of the passage of this bill has flooded the
country with recent importations of foreign fabrics. If it should not pass, they will complete the work of destruction of our domestic industry. If it should pass, they will prevent any considerable rise in the price of foreign commodities, until our own industry shall be able to supply competent substitutes.
To the friends of the tariff, I would also anxiously appeal. Every arrangement of its provisions does not suit each of you; you desire some further alterations; you would make it perfect. You want what you will never get. Nothing human is perfect. And I have seen, with great surprise, a piece signed by a member of Congress, published in the National Intelligencer, stating that this bill must be rejected, and a judicious tariff brought in as its substitute. A judicious tariff'! No member of Congress could have signed that piece; or, if he did, the public ought not to be deceived. If this bill do not pass, unquestionably no other can pass at this session, or probably during this Congress. And who will go home and say that he rejected all the benefits of this bill, because molasses has been subjected to the enormous additional duty of five cents per gallon? I call, therefore, upon the friends of the American policy, to yield somewhat of their own peculiar wishes, and not to reject the practicable in the idle pursuit after the unattainable. Let us imitate the illustrious example of the framers of the constitution, and always, remembering that whatever springs from man partakes of his imperfections, depend upon experience to suggest, in future, the necessary amendments.
We have had great difficulties to encounter. First, the splendid talents which are arrayed in this House against us. Second, we are opposed by the rich and powerful in the land. Third, the executive government, if any, affords us but a cold and equivocal support. Fourth, the importing and navigating interests, I verily believe from misconception, are adverse to us. Fifth, the British factors and the British influence are inimical to our success. Sixth, long established habits and