Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

6

about the work of reconstruction and restora-[considered, each House which adopted, and tion. The Republican' Secretary of the the President which signed it, were strongly Treasury, Alexander J. Dallas, reported to of the Republican' faith. It was a measure Congress that nothing but a National Bank of that party, so far as it was the act of any would bring order out of the subsisting chaos. party, so supported and opposed, and so reHis views were seconded by the great majority garded by the Country.

of the Republicans' in Congress-by Mr. This Bank went immediately into operaCLAY, whom five years' bitter experience tion; but the sanguine anticipations of public had fully convinced of the necessity of a advantage from its action were not immeBank; by Mr. CRAWFORD, as aforesaid; by diately realized. The whole Country was JOHN C. CALHOUN, the young and energetic overwhelmed with Debt, public and private; champion of the Republican' faith, who the Currency was in a most deplorable conhad entered Congress about the beginning of dition; and all our Manufacturing Interests the War, and had rapidly risen to the respon- were just breaking down, under the pressure sible etation of Chairman of the Committee of of Two Hundred Millions' worth of Foreign Ways and Means, in which capacity he re-fabrics poured in upon us at the restoration ported, ably advocated, and carried through of Peace, and rattled off at any price. The the House, the bill chartering the late Bank Bank attempted to sustain and restore every of the United States. thing by affording facilities of business and This bill passed the House by Eighty Yeas exchange; but this, under the circumstances, to Seventy-one Nays, and the Senate by was impossible. The attempt, daringly perTwenty-two Yeas to Twelve Nays. Of the sisted in, came near stopping the Bank itself. Yeas, more than two-thirds were 'Republi-Time and a more efficient Tariff were required cans; of the Nays, about three-fourths were to bring about the restoration of soundness in Federalists. Among the votes for the bill the local Currency, however efficient the cowere those eminent Republicans' Messrs. operation of the Bank. Soon, however, the Calhoun, Middleton, and Lowndes, of S. C.; Bank was placed under better management; S. Smith and Pinkney, of Md.; Taylor, the Tariff was raised, and the Country began Wilkin and Throop, of N. York; Barbour, to emerge from its embarrassments. From? (J.) Mason and Gholson, of Va. Among the 1819-20 the Currency steadily improved until Federalists' in the negative were Messrs. it became, and continued for years down to Dana and Pitkin, of Conn.; Webster and 1834, the best practical Currency in the Mason, of N. H.; Tichenor and Langdon, of world, yielding every assistance to the busiVt.; Christopher Gore, Timothy Pickering ness of the Country.

"

and J. Reed, of Mass.; Rufus King, D. Gen. Jackson was elected President in? Cady and Gold, of N. York; Hopkinson, of 1828. During the canvass which preceded Pa.; Goldsborough, of Md.; Sheffey, of Va. that result his election was urged on every &c. &c. It was almost a party division plausible or imaginable ground, yet no man -the men who about the same time nomina-whispered that the overthrow of the United ted JAS. MONROE for President and DAN'L D. States Bank was one of the ends to be accomTOMPKINS for Vice President generally voting plished by that elevation. Mr. Adams's Adfor the bill; those who opposed them nearly ministration was blamed for the cupidity of all opposing the Bank. But many of those Great Britain in shutting her West India? who voted against the bill were favorable to ports against us, for not permitting the Cheroa Bank. Thus Gen. Root of this State, and kee Indians to be robbed and exiled, for every Mr. Webster of N. H. (now of Mass.) both unwelcone occurrence-even the failure of voted against the bill from hostility to the the harvests in particular localities was adprovision of the Charter which authorized duced as evidence that nothing could flourish subscriptions in stocks of the United States under such rule-but no man complained of (which were then below par)-they insisting the Currency, or demanded a radical change that a Bank should be based upon nothing in our Banking system. But Gen. Jackson but cash. They voted Nay to arrest the bill was inaugurated, and soon involved himself? and throw it back into Committee, where in a controversy with the management of the they hoped to have the obnoxious feature ex-United States Bank. His Secretary of the punged, and then vote for the bill. Others Treasury demanded the removal of the Presivoted Nay on the same or similar grounds.dent* of the Branch Bank at Portsmouth, N. Mr. Madison, who had repeatedly urged Con- H. as a man obnoxious to the friends of the gress to do something for the restoration of Administration in the neighborhood of that soundness to the Currency and Finances, Branch; but this demand was unaccompapromptly gave his assent to the bill. nied by any allegation of misconduct or inca

Thus was the second Bank of the United pacity on the part of that officer, and compliStates chartered, and this time clearly by the ance was necessarily declined. The whole 'Democratic' party. It was solely Demo- * Jeremiah Mason, formerly U. S. Senator, now of cratic in its origin, and each Committee which Boston.

[ocr errors]

A NATIONAL BANK.

33

*

*

country was thereupon surprised by the ap-is so justly entitled, from the eminent station and high
pearance in Gen. Jackson's Annual Message, character of the citizen by whom it is entertained, the
that the rechartering of the Bank was a ques- but decided dissent from it.
Committee are constrained to express their respectful
tion which must soon demand the attention wisdom has never effected in any other country, a
Human
of Congress, and should meantime be consid-nearer approach to uniformity in currency than that
ered by the Country, and that both the Con- therefore, it can be shown that the bills of the United
which is made by the use of the precious metals. If,
stitutionality and expediency of such an insti-States are of equal value with silver at all points of the
tution had been well questioned.'
Union, it would seem that the proposition is clearly
The por-made out, that the Bank HAS accomplished the great
tion of the Message containing this assertion end of establishing a uniform and sound currency.
was committed by the House to its Commit- * For all the purposes of the revenue, it (the)
tee of Ways and Means, of which Hon. formity, that ideal perfection, to which a currency of
Bank gives to the National Currency that perfect uni-
GEORGE MCDUFFIE of S. C. was Chairman gold and silver, in so extensive e country, could have?
-the House, the Committee and its Chair-no pretensions. * * * When it is, moreover, con-
man being all stanch supporters of Gen. lous punctuality, the stipulation to transfer the funds of
sidered, that the Bank performs, with the most scrupu-
Jackson. This Committee gave a deliberate the Government to any point where they may be wanted,
consideration to the whole subject, and made free of expense, it must be apparent that the Commit-
a long and able Report, of which the spirit Bank has furnished both to the Government and to the
tee are correct, to the very letter, in stating that the
and the conclusions may be seen by the fol- people, a currency of absolutely uniform value in all
lowing extracts-the first in reference to the places, for all the purposes of paying the public con-
President's intimation that the Constitution-
tributions, and disbursing the public revenue.
ality of such a Bank was doubtful:

*

"Upon the whole, then, it may be confidently asserted, that no country in the world has n circulating Go-medium of greater uniformity than the United States; and that no country of any thing like the same geographical extent has a currency at all comparable to that of the United States on the score of uniformity. *)

"If the concurrence of all the Departments of
vemment, at different periods of our history, under every
Administration, and during the ascendency of both the
great political parties into which the country has been
divided, soon after the adoption of the present Consti- * "But the salutary agency of the Bank of the
tution, shall be regarded as having the authority to United States, in furnishing a sound and uniform cur-
such sanctions by the common consent of all well regu-which consists of its own bills. One of the most impor-
is not confined to that portion of the currency
lated communities, the constitutional power of Con-
gress to incorporate a Bank may be assumed as a pos complish, and which, it is confidently believed, no other
Itant purposes which the Bank was designated to ac-
tulate no longer open to controversy. In little more
than two years after the Government went into opera- human agency could have effected under our federative
tion, and at a period when most of the distinguished system of government, was the enforcement of speciel
members of the Federal Convention were either in the payments on the part of numerous local Banks deriving
Executive or Legislative Councils, the act incorpora-their charters from the several States, and whose paper,
ting the first Bank of the United States, passed both irredeemable in specie, and illimitable in quantity, con-
branches of Congress by large majorities, and received the stituted the almost entire currency of the country.
deliberate sanction of President Washington, who had
then recently presided over the deliberations of the Con- ted States in their currency:
Alike is the present condition of these Uni-
vention. The constitutional power of Congress to pass
this act of incorporation, was thoroughly investigated, local institutions left without its restraining influence, &
"If the Bank of the United States were destroyed, and
both in the Executive Cabinet and in Congress, under the currency would almost certainly relapse into a state
circumstances, in all respects, propitious to a dispas of unsoundness. The pressure which the present Bank?
sionate discussion. There was, at that time, no or-in winding up its concerns, would compel them either to
ganization of political parties, and the question was, curtail their discounts, when most needed, or to sus-
therefore, decided by those, who from their knowledge pond specie payments. It is not ditiicult to predict which
and experience, were peculiarly qualified to decide cor-
rectly; and who were entirely free from the influence of these alternatives they would adopt, under the cir
leumstances in which they would be placed. * *
of that party excitement and prejudice, which would in this view of the subit, it does appear to the Com-
justly impair, in the estimation of posterity, the au-mittee, that none of the institutions of the country, not
thority of a legislative interpretation of the constitu- excepting the Army or Navy, is of more vital impor
tional Charter. No person can be more competent to tance than a NATIONAL BANK. It has this decided ad-
give a just construction of the Constitution, than those
who had a principal agency in forming it; and no advantage over the Army and Navy; while they are of
ministration can claim a more perfect exemption from scarcely any value, except in war, the Bank is not less
all those influences, which sometimes prevent the judge, like the Army or Navy, theit should cost the na-
in peace. It has another advantage still greater. If
ment, even of the most wise and patriotic, than that of ton millions aonually to sustain it, the expediency of
the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY during the first term of ful than either of them in war, and is also useful
his service."
the expenditure might be doubted. But when it actu-2
Progressing in the Report with such rea-ally saves to the Government and to the country more
soning, the Committee further say:
millions annually than are expended in supporting both
the Army and Navy, it would seem that, if there was
one measure of national policy upon which all po
litical parties of the country should be brought to
unite, by the impressive lessons of experience, it is
that of maintaining a NATIONAL BANK.

“Indeed, Bank credit and Bank paper are so extensively interwoven with the commercial operations of society, that, even if Congress had the constitutional power would be utterly impossible to produce o entire a change in the monetary system of the country, as to abolish the agency of Banks of discount, without involving the community in all the distressing embar rassments usually attendant on great political reco butions, subverting the titles of private property

Of a National Bank founded on the credits of the Government and its revenues as Gen. Jackson recommended, the Committee in conclusion discourse thus:

point of a free Government is the absorbing tendency of "Deeply impressed with the connection that the weak

executive patronage, and sincerely believing that the

Let the bitter and sad experience of our country answer these plain and sensible truths. But the Report continues: "The Chief Magistrate, in that part of his message proposed Bank (on the funds of the nation) would inwhich relates to the Bank of the United States, ex-vest that branch of the Government with a weight of presses the opinion, that it has failed in the great end money influence more dangerous in its character, and of establishing a uniform and sound currency.' After more powerful in its operation, than the entire mass of giving to this opinion all the consideration to which it its present patronage, the Committee have feit that? 8mm

*

they were imperiously called upon, by the highest con- Treasury Circular in that year; the expan-) siderations of public duty, to express the views they sion of the Paper Currency under the stimu

have presented with a frankness and freedom demanded by the occasion."

""

lus given to State Banking by the distribution

This Report was concurred in by Congress, of the Public Moneys among them consequent and the subject so dismissed for the time.on the Removal of the Deposites; the excesBut Gen. Jackson continued to press upon sive speculations, importations, foreign and the attention of Congress, and at length, in domestic indebtedness which ensued, result1832, a bill was reported by a Jackson Com-ing in heavy exportations of Specie, and a mittee of the Senate and passed through both general prostration of Business and Currency Houses of a strongly Jackson Congress, re-in the stoppage of Specie Payment by nearly chartering the United States Bank. Its lead-all the Banks in 1837; the Extra Session of ing champions were George M. Dallas, Wil-Congress in that year, and the recommendaliam Wilkins, and Henry Horn-all leading tion of the Sub-Treasury project by Mr. Van Jackson men-and of the Jackson Delegation Buren at the opening of that Session, are well from Pennsylvania only one man (Adam known to the whole Country. The struggles King) voted against the bill, and he was beat-which ensued; the passage of the Sub-Treaen directly after in a strongly Jackson Dis-sury in 1840, and the signal defeat of Mr. Van trict. The Jackson Legislature of Pennsyl- Buren at the close of that year; the Inauguvania had previously passed, in response to ration and Death of Gen. Harrison; the sucGovernor Wolf, resolutions unanimously re-cession of Vice President Tyler to the Presicommending the Recharter. dency; the Extra Session of Congress, and Gen. Jackson vetoed the bill, but in his the passage therein of two successive Bank Veto explicitly affirmed that if he had been bills, both defeated by the Vetoes of Mr. Tyapplied to, he would have furnished the plan ler-these are too familiar to be dwelt on, and of a Charter which would have been Consti- bring down the history of our Financial politutional. His authority, therefore, stands ex-cy to the present time. At present, the Reveplicitly in favor of the Constitutionality of a nues of the Government are collected through National Bank, though not of the late one.-and kept on Deposite in State Banks-a poliHe also, after having repeatedly urged Con-cy condemned as unsound in principle and gress to take up and pass upon the question unsafe in practice by the great majority of of Recharter, so that the Country could know the People of all parties. This policy canwhat to expect, and accommodate itself to the not, in the nature of things, endure; the Counpolicy decided on, now most strangely repre-try will resolve to return to the system of hended Congress for acting on the subject Washington and Madison, under which Four prematurely, while the Bank had yet several Hundred Millions of Dollars have, through years of its first Charter unexpired!-An at- forty years, been collected and disbursed tempt to pass the bill over the head of the without loss or charge to the Government; or Veto failed in the Senate, receiving a majority it must fall back on the Sub-Treasury system of the votes, but not the two-thirds required of Van Buren, and enforce the collection of by the Constitution. Gen. Jackson was soon all Duties, Land Payments and Postages in after re-elected, and then was distinctly Specie exclusively, to the destruction, so far made known that he would consent to no Re-as the Government can effect it, of all Paper charter of that Bank on any terms. So it Currency whatever. If a return to the old was determined that the National existence policy should be resolved on, doubtless great of that Bank should terminate in the year 1836. modifications, improvements and safeguards The subsequent proceedings in regard to would be devised; but the essential principle the Bank-the arbitrary Removal of the De-of making the collection and keeping of the posites from it in 1833; the consequent con- Public Revenues assist and facilitate, not devulsion and pressure of 1834; the State Char-press and embarrass, the Business and Exter of the Bank of Pennsylvania in 1836; the changes of the Country, is one which ought exaction of Specie for all Public Lands by a never to be lost sight of.

PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Inaug

1825

1829

Born.
.Feb. 22, 1732
.Oct. 19, 1735
April 2, 1743
.March 5, 1751
.April 2, 1759

189 JOHN Q. ADAMS,.
1797 ANDREW JACKSON,.
1801 MARTIN VAN BUREN,.
1809 WILLIAM H. HARRISON.... ..Feb. 9, 1773
1817 JOHN TYLER,[by death of H.).. Mar. 29, 1790

1837
1841

1841

It is remarkable that every President down to J. Q. Adams finished his term in the 66th year of his age, and if Mr. A. had been re-elected, he would have retiried in his 66th year.

VICE-PRESIDENTS

Inaugurated.

Inaugurated.

GEORGE WASHINGTON,...
JOHN ADAMS,

HOMAS JEFFERSON,. JAMES MADISON,.. JAMES MONROE,

JOHN ADAMS,

THOMAS JEFFERSON..
AARON BURR..
GEORGE CLINTON,.
ELBRIDGE GERRY..

1781 DANIEL D. TOMPKINS,
1797 JOHN C. CALHOUN,
1801 MARTIN VAN BUREN,
1805 RICHARD M. JOHNSON..
1818 JOHN TYLER,

Born.

...July 11, 1761
.March 15, 1767
..Dec. 5, 1782

Inaug

1817

ITS EXPEDIENCY AND NECESSITY.

BY HON. CHARLES HUDSON, OF MASS.

In a former essay, I attempted to show that the expediency, there can be no doubt of the the doctrine of protection was designed not so constitutionality of protection. much for the rich, as for the poor-not for the The propriety of sustaining our own intercapitalist, but for the laborer; and that this ests, and fostering our own industry, is so obdoctrine was interwoven with our institutions, vious, that little need be said upon the subso that the object for which our government ject, further than to answer some of the prinwas formed could not be secured without its cipal objections which have been made against exercise. I also attempted to show, and I this policy. But before we consider these obthink succeeded in showing, that this doctrine jections, it may be well to take a passing nowas free from all constitutional objections. tice of the doctrine of "free trade," which is? It was there seen that the power to "lay du- put forth at the present day with some degree ties" was restrained by nothing but the "gen-of confidence. And what is this boasted doceral welfare" of the country, and that this trine of free trade? If it means anything general welfare required the exercise of the which is intelligible, it means that all duties protective principle. It was also clearly on imports should be removed; and that all shown that the phrase, "to regulate com-laws and treaties which secure any advantage merce," engrafted upon the constitution, was to our own commerce and shipping, over that understood by the people to include the power of other nations, should be annulled. In a "to encourage manufactures;" that this mean-word, this doctrine goes on the ground that ing of the phrase was settled by the usage of an American Congress should cease to legisall nations, and particularly by the usage of late for the American people, and legislate the States under the confederation; and that, for the world. I do not say that the advowhen this power was granted to Congress, it cates of free trade avow this, or that this is was understood by the framers of the consti-their design; but I do say that their princitution, and by the people who ratified it, that ples involve this idea-and if they were carthe commercial power thus granted included ried out to their full extent, such would be the power to foster our own industry, and the practical result. The doctrine of free protect our manufacturing interests. It was trade also implies "direct taxation; and the further shown that the first Congress which advocate of it must, to be consistent, maintain assembled under the constitution, composed that all the burdens of the government should of many of the distinguished statesmen who be borne by a direct tax upon the people. framed the constitution, and who were mem- Now who is prepared for this? Who 18) bers of the state conventions where that in-willing that all restrictions should be removed) strument was ratified--that this Congress from our commerce, and that no preference were unanimous in the opinion that the con- should be given to American, over foreign stitution gave full power in the premises; and productions? The most numerous class of that they passed a protective tariff bill, set-free trade men will probably be found among ting forth, in the preamble, that duties were our merchants, and those engaged in the naimposed "for the discharge of the debt of the vigating interest. They maintain that all reUnited States, and for the encouragement and strictive tariffs impair our commerce, and protection of manufactures." It was like- hence should be removed. But while they wise shown that this cotemporaneous con-are pleading for free trade for others, they are? struction of the constitution, given by its au- enjoying protection for themselves. From the thors, had been acquiesced in by all depart-establishment of the government to the prements of the government, for more than half sent time, a preference has been given to a century; that every President and every American shipping. A duty on tonnage, for Congress had given it their support; and that the express purpose of securing our own carthere had never been a moment, since the rying trade to our own shipping, was imposed passage of the first tariff by the first Congress, by the first Congress; and other provisions when protection had not been the law of the have been added, from time to time, seeking land. the same end. We are far from objecting to From this view of the argument, I think it these provisions; we contend that they are will be seen that whatever may be thought of wise and proper-that, in our navigation and

min

coasting trade, there should be a preference attempt to adopt it would be destructive of given to American bottoms. But it is totally our best interests.

inconsistent for those who are enjoying this Suppose we should at once repeal our tariffs protection to advocate free trade. It would of duties, and blot from our statute-book every seem, however, that, like many other theo-act which gives a preference to American rists, they hate the doctrine for others-not shipping--would this constitute free trade? for themselves. Great Britain, since the days Take our commerce with England for exam-2 of Adam Smith, has been for free trade in ple. We open all our ports to her, and retheory; but whenever she has been called ceive her commodities free of duty. What upon to carry this doctrine into practical ef- treatment do we receive from her in return? fect, she has always felt herself "free" to Does she open her ports, and admit our staadopt such regulations as were the most pro-ples free of duty? No-in her revised tariff ductive of her own interests, regardless of the of 1842, she imposes a duty which, if carried interests of other nations. And so of our out ad valorem, would amount to the followour commercial men, who advocate free trade. ing rates: Salted beef, 59 per cent; bacon, They demand protection for themselves, but 109 per cent; butter, 70 per cent; Indian deny it to others. Is it not so? Are those corn, average, 30 per cent; flour, average, 30 concerned in navigation willing that all laws per cent; rosin, 76 per cent; sperm oil, 33 per imposing duties on foreign tonnage should be cent; sperm candles, 33 per cent; tobacco, repealed, and that foreigners be permitted to unmanufactured, 1000 per cent; tobacco, mancompete with them for our carrying and coast-ufactured, 1200 per cent; salted pork, 33 per ing trade? Are the ship-builders disposed to cent; soap, 200 per cent; spirits from grain, yield the protection which is extended to 500 per cent; spirits from molasses, 1,600 per them? Until they are disposed to give up the cent.

advantages which they derive from our legis- Here is the free trade which Great Britain) lation, the cry of "free trade" comes from extends to us. She imposes such duties as them with an ill grace. her own iuterest requires. It is an absurdity There is another class of free trade men, to talk of free trade, unless it is reciprocated. who shrink from the necessary corollary, di- Opening our ports to Great Britain, and adrect taxation. They would have all duties mitting her commodities duty free, while she on imports repealed, and hence all revenue pursues her present policy, is far from con. from that source cut off; but, at the same stituting what can with any propriety be time, they would not consent to impose a di-called free reciprocal commerce. But there rect tax upon the people! Now I should like is a sort of looseness in the phrase, "free to know what such men would have? If they trade," which renders this discussion emare in favor of free trade, let them come up to barrassing. The advocates of this doctrine the work like men, and provide the means for do not tell us with sufficient precision what carrying on the government by a direct tax. they mean by the phrase. If they mean that But they tell us that they are in favor of a we should take off all restrictions from comtariff for revenue; that they go for a 20 per merce, whether other nations do or not, it is cent horizontal rate of duty. But what can one thing; but if they mean that we should be more absurd than this? Opposed to all do it towards those nations which will reciprestrictions upon commerce, and at the same rocate the favor, is quite another thing. But time in favor of a duty of 20 per cent upon all ar- the phrase must imply a trade which ticles! This is as far removed from free trade, tually beneficial, or it must not. If it does as our present system. During the last com-not imply a trade that is mutually unrestrictmercial year, the free articles imported into ed and mutually beneficial, that is a good the country exceeded $66,000,000-being but reason for rejecting it. I have not made sufa fraction short of one-half of our foreign im- ficient proficiency in the science of political ports; and if to these we add the articles pay-non-resistance, to advocate a system of trade ing less than 20 per cent, it would amount to which enriches other nations by impoverishconsiderably more than one-half of our entire ing us. I cannot consent to open our ports, imports. Now, according to this notion of duty free, to those nations which throw every unrestricted commerce, one-half of all our embarrassment in the way of our commerce. imports which are now free, or nearly so, are My political creed does not require me to love to be embarrassed by a duty of 20 per cent; other nations better than my own. But if and this is called "free trade!" free trade implies a trade mutually advan

mu

I mention these things, to show the ex-tageous, I am willing to adopt it; but this can tremes into which the advocates of free trade never be done by taking off all commercial are compelled to go. Beginning with a sys-restrictions. If the trade is to be mutually tem which is totally impracticable, they are beneficial, it must not only imply a reciprocompelled to have recourse to almost every city in commercial relations, but a similarity subterfuge to defend it. The fact is, free trade in condition. The position of one nation may is impossible in the nature of things; and angive her such an advantage, that the removal

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »