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IMPORTANCE OF CANALS.
project shall be accomplished, and a communication actually opened by canals and locks, between Lake Erie and the navigable waters of Hudson's river, and also between Lake Champlain and those waters, the State of New-York will soon become, in itself, a powerful empire.
The completion of the projected canals would secure to the people of the United States the entire profits of this branch of home commerce, and give to the general government the security and influence connected with a thickly settled frontier, and a decided superiority of shipping on the lakes.
The State of New York ought never to rest until it has accomplished this great object, seeing that its accomplishment will speedily multiply all her resources of territory and population. This State contains inexhaustible supplies of salt, gypsum, iron ore, and a vast variety of other valuable materials for manufacturing establishments. Its territory, containing upwards of thirty millions of acres, offers to agricultural industry a rich reward. A river navigation, scarcely paralleled in the world, for nearly two hundred miles, without interruption, and terminating on the seaboard at a port, capacious, healthy, and easy of access, at all seasons of the
year; its interior boundary line passing, more than half its length, through the waters of Erie, Ontario, and Champlain; and the numerous navigable lakes included within its limits, afford the highest commercial capabilities and benefits. But the remote sections of the eastern and western districts lie neighbouring to the British provinces, and are washed by navigable waters, which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through those provinces. Facilitated by the course of their streams, and the declivity of their country, the Americans already contribute largely to their commerce. And, if not prevented, it will become permanent, and number among its agents all those who live beyond the highlands, in which our rivers, running to the north, originate, including what is now the most fertile, and what will soon be the most populous, part of the State.
In addition to recalling to the market of New-York the productions of its own soil, now alienated to Canada, the construction of these canals would draw to this State the trade of the western parts of Vermont, of a great portion of Upper Canada, and of the Northern half of all that vast region of the United States which lies west of the Alleghany mountains. The country south of the great lakes alone includes as many square miles as constitute the whole home territory of some of the first-rate European powers; and is, perhaps, the most fertile part of the globe. That country already contains more than a million of souls, and is increasing in its population with a rapidity utterly inconceivable by the inhabitants of the old and fully peopled districts of Europe. The increase of New-England population, during the last twenty years, has averaged six per cent. annually: and the surplus thousands of this increase are continually migrating to the west. There they are joined by a numerous emigration from the Middle and Southern States, who, together with them, multiply and thrive, in proportion to the means of subsistence produced by their common industry. The projected canals will open to this immense and rapidly augmenting population a cheaper, safer, and more expeditious road to a profitable market, than they can possibly find in any other country; and, eventually, render the city of NewYork the greatest commercial emporium in the world.
The United States then exhibit a mighty empire, covering a greater extent of territory than all Europe, and held together by twenty separate State sovereignties, watching over and regulating, in their executive, legislative, and judicial departments, all its municipal and local interests; with a Federal head, a general government, preserving and directing all its national concerns and foreign relations; with a soil, rich in all the productions of prime necessity, of convenience, and luxury, and capable of sustaining five hundred millions of people; a line of seacoast more than two thousand miles in extent, and a natural internal navigation, in itself excellent, and capable of still further
improvement, by the construction of canals, at a comparatively trifling expense ; affording within its capacious bosom an asylum sufficient to receive all the distressed of Europe, and holding out the sure means of ample subsistence and perfect independence to every one who unites in his own character and conduct the qualities of industry, sobriety, perseverance, and integrity. For the best mode of location in the boundless regions of the Western States and Territories, and for the disposition of the public lands, held by the government in trust for the people of the United States, the reader may, profitably, consult Mr. Mellish's “ Geographical Description of the United States;" Mr. Brown's “Western Gazetteer, or Emigrant's Directory," and Mr. Darby's “ Geographical Description of the State of Louisiana, the Southern part of the State of Mississippi, and Territory of Alabanja:" and for the inland navigation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, see “ Resources of the British Empire,” pp. 216-223, both inclusive,
Commerce, &c. of the United States.
Some few years since, a theory prevailed in this country that the United States would becoine a more prosperous and happy nation, if they would forego, altogether and for ever, all foreign commerce; and, as a practical commentary upon this text, the general government, at that time wielded by Mr. Jefferson, and at his special recommendation, laid an embargo on all the American trade with other countries, in the month of December, 1807; and continued it with various regulations and enforcements, affecting internal commerce also, until the spring of 1809, a period of eighteen months. These restrictive energies" (as they were vauntingly called by Mr. Jefferson) not only annihilated the foreign commerce, but also very materially crippled the coasting trade of the United States. The distress, misery, and ruin, produced by this great agricultural scheme, not merely to the merchants, but to the farmers also (whose interests it professed to subserve, but whose property it destroyed by taking away the markets for their produce), was so general, so deep, so intolerable, as to prove the entire fallacy of the theory; and the American people now appear universally to concur in the sentiment publicly pronounced by one of the ablest and most efficient practical statesmen, who now serve as ornaments and bulwarks to the commonwealth; namely, thạt “commerce protected by a navy, and a navy nourished by commerce,” is the policy best calculated to render the United States a prosperous and powerful empire.
AGGREGATE COMMERCE OF THE WORLD.
The aggregate commerce of the world, doubtless, is increased in consequence of the universal peace established in the year 1815; but, as certainly, the respective trade of the United States and Britain has been diminished by that event. Britain has lost her war monopoly, and America has ceased to be carrier for the world. They are each reduced to the level of peace competition ; and must now contend in foreign markets with the skill and ingenuity of France and Italy, the patient industry and perseverance of the United Netherlands, the rival labours of Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and the commercial parts of Germany, to which add the efforts of Spain and Portugal. Hence have arison, during the last three years, both in the United States and in the British Isles, very general and very grievous distress, bankruptcy, and ruin, among
their merchants, manufacturers, and farmers. In Britain the pressure has been more severe, on account of the enormous public expenditure, the confined territory, and crowded population of her home dominions, which allow no out. let for her people; who must, therefore, if not directed by their government, and aided to settle in the North American colonies or the Cape of Good Hope, or New Holland, swarm out hither, to swell the rapid tide of our western emigration. · Nevertheless, so immense is her capital, so excellent her manufactures, so persevering the industry of her people, so vigorous and all pervading her government, that her foreign trade is rapidly improving, more parti. cularly with the Brazils, the Baltic, Italy, and the EastIndies. In the most prosperous days her foreign com. merce did not make an eleventh part of her home and colonial trade. For the gradual progress and amount of the British trade, alike in the Isles, the colonies, and all the quarters of the world, for the last hundred
years, see the “ Resources of the British Empire,” pp. 122 -140, both inclusive; and pp. 399-450.
In the United States the pressure has been less severe than in Britain, although the bankruptcies amor:g our merchants and manufacturers have been sufficiently