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Title: The Slave Trade, Domestic and Foreign

Author: Henry Charles Carey

Release date: April 1, 2005 [eBook #8000]
Most recently updated: March 22, 2015

Language: English


Produced by Andrea Ball, Carlo Traverso, Charles Franks

and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at



Domestic and Foreign:





The subject discussed in the following pages is one of great importance, and especially so to the people of this country. The views presented for consideration differ widely from those generally entertained, both as regards the cause of evil and the mode of cure; but it does not follow necessarily that they are not correct,—as the reader may readily satisfy himself by reflecting upon the fact, that there is scarcely an opinion he now holds, that has not, and at no very distant period, been deemed quite as heretical as any here advanced. In reflecting upon them, and upon the facts by which they are supported, he is requested to bear in mind that the latter are, with very few exceptions, drawn from writers holding views directly opposed to those of the author of this volume; and not therefore to be suspected of any exaggeration of the injurious effects of the system here treated as leading to slavery, or the beneficial ones resulting from that here described as tending to establish perfect and universal freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade.

Philadelphia, March, 1853.






Slavery still exists throughout a large portion of what we are accustomed to regard as the civilized world. In some countries, men are forced to take the chance of a lottery for the determination of the question whether they shall or shall not be transported to distant and unhealthy countries, there most probably to perish, leaving behind them impoverished mothers and sisters to lament their fate. In others, they are seized on the highway and sent to sea for long terms of years, while parents, wives, and sisters, who had been dependent on their exertions, are left to perish of starvation, or driven to vice or crime to procure the means of support. In a third class, men, their wives, and children, are driven from their homes to perish in the road, or to endure the slavery of dependence on public charity until pestilence shall Send them to their graves, and thus clear the way for a fresh supply of others like themselves. In a fourth, we see men driven to selling themselves for long periods at hard labour in distant countries, deprived of the society of parents, relatives, or friends. In a fifth, men, women, and children are exposed to sale, and wives are separated from husbands, while children are separated from parents. In some, white men, and, in others, black men, are subjected to the lash, and to other of the severest and most degrading punishments. In some places men are deemed valuable, and they are well fed and clothed. In others, man is regarded as "a drug" and population as "a nuisance;" and Christian men are warned that their duty to God and to society requires that they should permit their fellow-creatures to suffer every privation and distress, short of "absolute death," with a view to prevent the increase of numbers.

Among these various classes of slaves, none have recently attracted so much attention as those of the negro race; and it is in reference to that race in this country that the following paper has recently been circulated throughout England:—

"The affectionate and Christian Address of many thousands of the Women of England to their Sisters, the Women of the United States of America:

"A common origin, a common faith, and, we sincerely believe, a common cause, urge us at the present moment to address you on the subject of that system of negro slavery which still prevails so extensively, and, even under kindly-disposed masters, with such frightful results, in many of the vast regions of the Western World.

"We will not dwell on the ordinary topics—on the progress of civilization; on the advance of freedom everywhere; on the rights and requirements of the nineteenth century;—but we appeal to you very seriously to reflect, and to ask counsel of God, how far such a state of things is in accordance with His holy word, the inalienable rights of immortal souls, and the pure and merciful spirit of the Christian religion.

"We do not shut our eyes to the difficulties, nay, the dangers, that might beset the immediate abolition of that long-established system: we see and admit the necessity of preparation for so great an event. But, in speaking of indispensable preliminaries, we cannot be silent on those laws of your country which (in direct contravention of God's own law, instituted in the time of man's innocency) deny, in effect, to the slave, the sanctity of marriage, with all its joys, rights, and obligations; which separates, at the will of the master, the wife from the husband and the children from the parents. Nor can we be silent on that awful system which, either by statute or by custom, interdicts to any race of man, or any portion of the human family, education in the truths of the gospel and the ordinances of Christianity.

"A remedy applied to these two evils alone would commence the amelioration of their sad condition. We appeal, then, to you as sisters, as wives, and as mothers, to raise your voices to your fellow-citizens and your prayers to God, for the removal of this affliction from the Christian world. We do not say these things in a spirit of self-complacency, as though our nation were free from the guilt it perceives in others. We acknowledge with grief and shame our heavy share in this great sin. We acknowledge that our forefathers introduced, nay, compelled the adoption of slavery in those mighty colonies. We humbly confess it before Almighty God. And it is because we so deeply feel, and so unfeignedly avow our own complicity, that we now venture to implore your aid to wipe away our common crime and our common dishonour."

We have here a movement that cannot fail to be productive of much good. It was time that the various nations of the world should have their attention called to the existence of slavery within their borders, and to the manifold evils of which it was the parent; and it was in the highest degree proper that woman should take the lead in doing it, as it is her sex that always suffers most in that condition of things wherein might triumphs over right, and which we are accustomed to define as a state of slavery.

How shall slavery be abolished? This is the great question of our day. But a few years since it was answered in England by an order for the immediate emancipation of the black people held to slavery in her colonies; and it is often urged that we should follow her example. Before doing this, however, it would appear to be proper to examine into the past history and present situation of the negro race in the two countries, with a view to determine how far experience would warrant the belief that the course thus urged upon us would be likely to produce improvement in the condition of the objects of our sympathy. Should the result of such an examination be to prove that the cause of freedom has been advanced by the measures there pursued, our duty to our fellow-men would require that we should follow in the same direction, at whatever loss or inconvenience to ourselves. Should it, however, prove that the condition of the poor negro has been impaired and not improved, it will then become proper to enquire what have been in past times the circumstances under which men have become more free, with a view to ascertain wherein lies the deficiency, and why it is that freedom now so obviously declines in various and important portions of the earth. These things ascertained, it may be that there will be little difficulty in determining what are the measures now needed for enabling all men, black, white, and brown, to obtain for themselves, and profitably to all, the exercise of the rights of freemen. To adopt this course will be to follow in that of the skilful physician, who always determines within himself the cause of fever before he prescribes the remedy.



At the date of the surrender of Jamaica to the British arms, in 1655, the slaves, who were few in number, generally escaped to the mountains, whence they kept up a war of depredation, until at length an accommodation was effected in 1734, the terms of which were not, however, complied with by the whites—the consequences of which will be shown hereafter. Throughout the whole period their numbers were kept up by the desertion of other slaves, and to this cause must, no doubt, be attributed much of the bitterness with which the subsequent war was waged.

In 1658, the slave population of the island was 1400. By 1670 it had reached 8000, and in 1673, 9504.[1] From that date we have no account until 1734, when it was 86,546, giving an increase in sixty-one years of 77,000. It was in 1673 that the sugar-culture was commenced; and as profitable employment was thus found for labour, there can be little doubt that the number had increased regularly and steadily, and that the following estimate must approach tolerably near the truth:—

    Say 1702, 36,000; increase in 29 years, 26,500
        1734, 77,000; " " 32 " 41,000

  In 1775, the total number of slaves and other
  coloured persons on the island, was…………….. 194,614
  And if we now deduct from this the number
  in 1702, say…………………………………. 36,000
    We obtain, as the increase of 73 years………… 158,614

  In that period the importations amounted to……… 497,736
  And the exportations to……………………….. 137,114
    Leaving, as retained in the island……………. 360,622 [2]

or about two and two-fifths persons for one that then remained alive.

From 1783 to 1787, the number imported was 47,485, and the number exported 14,541;[3] showing an increase in five years of nearly 33,000, or 6,600 per annum; and by a report of the Inspector-General, it was shown that the number retained from 1778 to 1787, averaged 5345 per annum. Taking the thirteen years, 1775-1787, at that rate, we obtain nearly ……….. 70,000

  From 1789 to 1791, the excess of import was 32,289,
  or 10,763 per annum; and if we take the four years,
  1788-1791, at the same rate, we obtain, as the
  total number retained in that period…………….. 43,000

In 1791, a committee of the House of Assembly made a report on the number of the slaves, by which it was made to be 250,000; and if to this be added the free negroes, amounting to 10,000, we obtain, as the total number, 260,000,—showing an increase, in fifteen years, of 65,386—or nearly 48,000 less than the number that had been imported.

We have now ascertained an import, in 89 years, of 473,000, with an increase of numbers amounting to only 224,000; thus establishing the fact that more than half of the whole import had perished under the treatment to which they had been subjected. Why it had been so may be gathered from the following extract, by which it is shown that the system there and then pursued corresponds nearly with that of Cuba at the present time.

"The advocates of the slave trade insisted that it was impossible to keep up the stock of negroes, without continual importations from Africa. It is, indeed, very evident, that as long as importation is continued, and two-thirds of the slaves imported are men, the succeeding generation, in the most favourable circumstances, cannot be more numerous than if there had been only half as many men; or, in other words, at least half the men may be said, with respect to population, to die without posterity."—Macpherson, vol. iv. 148.

In 1792, a committee of the Jamaica House of Assembly reported that "the abolition of the slave trade" must be followed by the "total ruin and depopulation of the island." "Suppose," said they,

"A planter settling with a gang of 100 African slaves, all bought in the prime of life. Out of this gang he will be able at first to put to work, on an average, from 80 to 90 labourers. The committee will further suppose that they increase in number; yet, in the course of twenty years, this gang will be so far reduced, in point of strength, that he will not be able to work more than 30 to 40. It will therefore require a supply of 50 new negroes to keep up his estate, and that not owing to cruelty, or want of good management on his part; on the contrary, the more humane he is, the greater the number of old people and young he will have on his estate."—Macpherson, iv. 256.

In reference to this extraordinary reasoning, Macpherson says, very correctly—

"With submission, it may be asked if people become superannuated in twenty years after being in the prime of life; and if the children of all these superannuated people are in a state of infancy? If one-half of these slaves are women, (as they ought to be, if the planter looks to futurity,) will not those fifty women, in twenty years, have, besides younger children, at least one hundred grown up to young men and women, capable of partaking the labour of their parents, and replacing the loss by superannuation or death,— as has been the case with the working people in all other parts of the world, from the creation to this day?"

To this question there can be but one reply: Man has always increased in numbers where he has been well fed, well clothed, and reasonably worked; and wherever his numbers have decreased, it has been because of a deficiency of food and clothing and an excess of work.

It was at this period that the Maroon war was again in full activity, and so continued until 1796, when it was terminated by the employment of bloodhounds to track the fugitives, who finally surrendered, and were transported to Lower Canada, whence they were soon after sent to Sierra Leone.

From 1792 to 1799, the net import was 74,741; and if it continued at the same rate to 1808, the date of the abolition of the trade, the number imported in eighteen years would be nearly 150,000; and yet the number of slaves increased, in that period, from 250,000 to only 323,827—being an annual average increase of about 4500, and exhibiting a loss of fifty per cent.

In the thirty-four years, 1775-1808, the number of negroes added to the population of the island, by importation, would seem to have been more than 260,000, and within about 50,000 of the number that, a quarter of a century later, was emancipated.

In 1817, nine years after importation had been declared illegal, the number is stated [4] at 346,150; from which it would appear that the trade must have been in some measure continued up to that date, as there is no instance on record of any natural increase in any of the islands, under any circumstances. It is, indeed, quite clear that no such increase has taken place; for had it once commenced, it would have continued, which was not the case, as will be seen by the following figures:—

In 1817, the number was, as we see 346,150. In 1820, it was only 342,382; and if to this we add the manumissions for the same period, (1016,) we have a net loss of 2752.

In 1826, they had declined in numbers to 331,119, to which must be added 1848 manumissions—showing a loss, in six years, of 9415, or nearly three per cent.

The number shown by the last registration, 1833, was only 311,692; and if to this we add 2000 that had been manumitted, we shall have a loss, in seven years, of 19,275, or more than five per cent. In sixteen years, there had been a diminution of ten per cent., one-fifth of which may be attributed to manumission; and thus is it clearly established that in 1830, as in 1792, a large annual importation would have been required, merely to maintain the number of the population.

That the condition of the negroes was in a course of deterioration in this period, is clearly shown by the fact that the proportion of births to deaths was in a steady course of diminution, as is here shown:—

    1817 to 1820…………. 25,104 deaths, 24,348 births.
    1823 to 1826…………. 25,171 " , 23,026 "
    1826 to 1829…………. 25,137 " , 21,728 "

The destruction of life was thus proceeding with constantly accelerating rapidity; and a continuance of the system, as it then existed, must have witnessed the total annihilation of the negro race within half a century.

Viewing these facts, not a doubt can, I think, be entertained that the number of negroes imported into the island and retained for its consumption was more than double the number that existed there in 1817, and could scarcely have been less than 750,000, and certainly, at the most moderate estimate, not less than 700,000. If to these we were to add the children that must have been born on the island in the long period of 178 years, and then to reflect that all who remained for emancipation amounted to only 311,000, we should find ourselves forced to the conclusion that slavery was here attended with a destruction of life almost without a parallel in the history of any civilized nation.

With a view to show that Jamaica cannot be regarded as an unfavourable specimen of the system, the movement of population in other colonies will now be given.

In 1764, the slave population of ST. VINCENT'S was 7414. In 1787, twenty-three years after, it was 11,853, having increased 4439; whereas, in four only of those years, 1784-87, the net import of negroes had been no less than 6100.[5] In 1805, the number was 16,500, the increase having been 4647; whereas the net import in three only, out of eighteen years, had been 1937. What was the cause of this, may be seen by the comparative view of deaths, and their compensation by births, at a later period:—

Year 1822……………….. 4205 deaths, 2656 births. " 1825……………….. 2106 " 1852 " " 1828……………….. 2020 " 1829 " " 1831……………….. 2266 " 1781 "

The births, it will be observed, steadily diminished in number.

At the peace of 1763, DOMINICA contained 6000 slaves. The net amount of importation, in four years, 1784 to 1787, was 23,221;[6] and yet the total population in 1788 was but 14,967! Here we have a waste of life so far exceeding that of Jamaica that we might almost feel ourselves called upon to allow five imported for every one remaining on the island. Forty-four years afterwards, in 1832, the slave emancipation returns gave 14,834 as remaining out of the vast number that had been imported. The losses by death and the gains by births, for a part of the period preceding emancipation, are thus given:—

1817 to 1820…………….. 1748 deaths, 1433 births. 1820 to 1823…………….. 1527 " 1491 " 1823 to 1826…………….. 1493 " 1309 "

If we look to BRITISH GUIANA, we find the same results.[7]

  In 1820, Demerara and Essequebo had a
  slave population of…………………………. 77,376
  By 1826, it had fallen to……………………. 71,382
  And by 1832, it had still further fallen to……. 65,517

The deaths and births of this colony exhibit a waste of life that would be deemed almost incredible, had not the facts been carefully registered at the moment:—

1817 to 1820…………….. 7140 deaths, 4868 births. 1820 to 1823…………….. 7188 " 4512 " 1823 to 1826…………….. 7634 " 4494 " 1826 to 1829…………….. 5731 " 4684 " 1829 to 1832…………….. 7016 " 4086 "

We have here a decrease, in fifteen years, of fifteen per cent., or 12,000 out of 77,000. Each successive period, with a single exception, presents a diminished number of births, while the average of deaths in the last three periods is almost the same as in the first one.

BARBADOES had, in 1753, a slave population of 69,870. In 1817, sixty-four years after, although importation appears to have been regularly continued on a small scale, it amounted to only 77,493. In this case, the slaves appear to have been better treated than elsewhere, as here we find, in the later years, the births to have exceeded the deaths—the former having been, from 1826 to 1829, 9250, while the latter were 6814. There were here, also, in the same period, 670 manumissions.

In TRINIDAD, out of a total slave population of 23,537, the deaths, in twelve years, were no less than 8774, while the births were only 6001.

GRENADA surrendered to the British forces in 1762. Seven years after, in 1769, there were 35,000 negroes on the island. In 1778, notwithstanding the importation, they appear to have been reduced to 25,021.

In the four years from 1784 to 1787, and the three from 1789 to 1791, (the only ones for which I can find an account,) the number imported and retained for consumption on the island amounted to no less than 16,228;[8] and yet the total number finally emancipated was but 23,471. The destruction of life appears here to have been enormous; and that it continued long after the abolition of the slave trade, is shown by the following comparison of births and deaths:—

1817…………………….. 451 births, 902 deaths. 1818…………………….. 657 " 1070 "

The total births from 1817 to 1831, were 10,144 in number, while the deaths were 12,764—showing a loss of about ten per cent.

The number of slaves emancipated in 1834, in all the British possessions, was 780,993; and the net loss in the previous five years had been 38,811, or almost one per cent. per annum.

The number emancipated in the West Indies was 660,000; and viewing the facts that have been placed before the reader, we can scarcely err much in assuming that the number imported and retained for consumption in those colonies had amounted to 1,700,000. This would give about two and a half imported for one that was emancipated; and there is some reason to think that it might be placed as high as three for one, which would give a total import of almost two millions.

While thus exhibiting the terrific waste of life in the British colonies, it is not intended either, to assert or to deny any voluntary severity on the part of the landholders. They were, themselves, as will hereafter be shown, to a great extent, the slaves of circumstances over which they had no control; and it cannot be doubted that much, very much, of the responsibility, must rest on other shoulders.



In the North American provinces, now the United States, negro slavery existed from a very early period, but on a very limited scale, as the demand for slaves was mainly supplied from England. The exports of the colonies were bulky, and the whites could be imported as return cargo; whereas the blacks would have required a voyage to the coast of Africa, with which little trade was maintained. The export from England ceased after the revolution of 1688, and thenceforward negro slaves were somewhat more freely imported; yet the trade appears to have been so small as scarcely to have attracted notice. The only information on the subject furnished by Macpherson in his Annals of Commerce is that, in the eight months ending July 12, 1753, the negroes imported into Charleston, S. C., were 511 in number; and that in the year 1765-66, the value of negroes imported from Africa into Georgia was £14,820—and this, if they be valued at only £10 each, would give only 1482. From 1783 to 1787, the number exported from all the West India Islands to this country was 1392 [9] —being an average of less than 300 per annum; and there is little reason for believing that this number was increased by any import direct from Africa. The British West Indies were then the entrepôt of the trade,[10] and thence they were supplied to the other islands and the settlements on the Main; and had the demand for this country been considerable, it cannot be doubted that a larger portion of the thousands then annually exported would have been sent in this direction.

Under these circumstances, the only mode of arriving at the history of slavery prior to the first census, in 1790, appears to be to commence at that date and go forward, and afterwards employ the information so obtained in endeavouring to elucidate the operations of the previous period.

  The number of negroes, free and enslaved, at
  that date, was……………………………… 757,263
  And at the second census, in 1801, it was……… 1,001,436

  showing an increase of almost thirty-three per cent.
  How much of this, however, was due to importation,
  we have now to inquire. The only two States that
  then tolerated the import of slaves were South
  Carolina and Georgia, the joint black population
  of which, in 1790, was……………………….. 136,358
  whereas, in 1800, it had risen to……………… 205,555
                                   Increase………. 69,197

  In the same period the white population increased
  104,762, requiring an immigration from the Northern
  slave States to the extent of not less than 45,000,
  even allowing more than thirty per cent. for the
  natural increase by births. Admitting, now, that for
  every family of five free persons there came one
  slave, this, would account for………………….. 9,000
  And if we take the natural increase of the slave
  population at only twenty-five per cent., we have
  further………………………………………. 34,000
    Making a total from domestic sources of………… 43,000
    And leaving, for the import from abroad………… 26,197

Deducting these from the total number added, we obtain, for the natural increase, about 29-1/2 per cent.

Macpherson, treating of this period, says—

"That importation is not necessary for keeping up the stock is proved by the example of North America—a country less congenial to the constitution of the negro than the West Indies—where, notwithstanding the destruction and desertion of the slaves occasioned by the war, the number of negroes, though perhaps not of slaves, has greatly increased—because, since the war they have imported very few, and of late years none at all, except in the Southern States."—Annals, vol. iv. 150.

The number of vessels employed in the slave trade, in 1795, is stated to have been twenty, all of them small; and the number of slaves to be carried was limited to one for each ton of their capacity.

From 1800 to 1810, the increase was 378,374, of which nearly 30,000 were found in Louisiana at her incorporation into the Union, leaving about 350,000 to come from other sources; being an increase of 35 per cent. In this period the increase of Georgia and South Carolina, the two importing States, was only 96,000, while that, of the white population was 129,073, carrying with them perhaps 25,000. If to this be added the natural increase at the rate of 25 per cent., we obtain about 75,000, leaving only 21,000 for importation. It is probable, however, that it was somewhat larger, and that it might be safe to estimate it at the same amount as in the previous period, making a total of about 52,000 in the twenty years. Deducting 26,000 from the 350,000, we obtain 324,000 as the addition from domestic sources, which would be about 32 per cent. on the population of 1800. This may be too high; and yet the growth of the following decennial period—one of war and great commercial and agricultural distress—was almost thirty per cent. In 1810, the number had been 1,379,800.

In 1820 it was 1,779,885; increase 30 per cent. " 1830 " 2,328,642; " 30.8 " " " 1840 " 2,873,703; " 24 " " " 1850 " 3,591,000; " 25 " " [11]

Having thus ascertained, as far as possible, the ratio of increase subsequent to the first census, we may now proceed to an examination of the course of affairs in the period which had preceded it.

In 1714, the number of blacks was 58,850, and they were dispersed throughout the provinces from New Hampshire to Carolina, engaged, to a large extent, in labours similar to those in which were engaged the whites by whom they were owned. One-half of them may have been imported. Starting from this point, and taking the natural increase of each decennial period at 25 per cent., as shown to have since been the case, we should obtain, for 1750, about 130,000. The actual quantity was 220,000; and the difference, 90,000, may be set down to importation. Adding, now, 25 percent, to 220,000, we obtain, for 1760, 275,000; whereas the actual number was 310,000, which Would give 35,000 for importation. Pursuing the same course with the following periods, we obtain the following results:—

Actual Natural Actual Years Number. Increase. Increase. Importation. ——- ———- ————- ————- —————— 1760….. 310,000….. 77,500….. 152,000….. 74,500 1770….. 462,000….. 115,500….. 120,000….. } 1780….. 582,000….. 140,500….. 170,000….. } 34,000 1790….. 752,000, number given by first census.

For a large portion of the period from 1770 to 1790, there must have been a very small importation; for during nearly half the time the trade with foreign countries was almost altogether suspended by the war of the revolution.

If we add together the quantities thus obtained, we shall obtain a tolerable approximation to the number of slaves imported into the territory now constituting the Union, as follows:—

    Prior to 1714………………………………. 30,000
    1715 to 1750……………………………….. 90,000
    1751 to 1760……………………………….. 35,000
    1761 to 1770……………………………….. 74,500
    1771 to 1790……………………………….. 34,000
    And if we now estimate the import
    subsequent to 1790 at even…………………… 70,000
      We obtain as the total number………………. 333,500

The number now in the Union exceeds 3,800,000; and even if we estimate the import as high as 380,000, we then have more than ten for one; whereas in the British Islands we can find not more than two for five, and perhaps even not more than one for three. Had the slaves of the latter been as well fed, clothed, lodged, and otherwise cared for, as were those of these provinces and States, their numbers would have reached seventeen or twenty millions. Had the blacks among the people of these States experienced the same treatment as did their fellows of the islands, we should now have among us less than one hundred and fifty thousand slaves.

The prices paid by the British Government averaged £25 per head. Had the number in the colonies been allowed to increase as they increased here, it would have required, even at that price, the enormous sum of………………………….. £500,000,000

Had the numbers in this country been reduced by the same process there practised, emancipation could now be carried out at cost of less than.. £4,000,000

To emancipate them now, paying for them at the same rate, would require nearly……………. £100,000,000

or almost five hundred millions of dollars. The same course, however, that has increased their numbers, has largely increased their value to the owners and to themselves. Men, when well fed, well clothed, well lodged, and otherwise well cared for, always increase rapidly in numbers, and in such cases labour always increases rapidly in value; and hence it is that the average price of the negro slave of this country is probably four times greater than that which the planters of the West Indies were compelled to receive. Such being the case, it would follow that to pay for their full value would require probably four hundred millions of pounds sterling, or nearly two thousand millions of dollars.

It will now be seen that the course of things in the two countries has been entirely different. In the islands the slave trade had been cherished as a source of profit. Here, it had been made the subject of repeated protests on the part of several of the provinces, and had been by all but two prohibited at the earliest moment at which they possessed the power so to do. In the islands it was held to be cheaper to buy slaves than to raise them, and the sexes were out of all proportion to each other. Here, importation was small, and almost the whole increase, large as it has been, has resulted from the excess of births over deaths. In the islands, the slave was generally a barbarian, speaking an unknown tongue, and working with men like himself, in gangs, with scarcely a chance for improvement. Here, he was generally a being born on the soil, speaking the same language with his owner; and often working in the field with him, with many advantages for the development of his faculties. In the islands, the land-owners clung to slavery as the sheet-anchor of their hopes. Here, on the contrary, slavery had gradually been abolished in all the States north of Mason & Dixon's line, and Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky were all, at the date of emancipation in the islands, preparing for the early adoption of measures looking to its entire abolition. In the islands, the connection with Africa had been cherished as a means of obtaining cheap labour, to be obtained by fomenting discord among the natives. Here, on the contrary, had originated a grand scheme for carrying civilization into the heart of Africa by means of the gradual transplantation of some of the already civilized blacks. In the islands, it has been deemed desirable to carry out "the European policy," of preventing the Africans "from arriving at perfection" in the art of preparing their cotton, sugar, indigo, or other articles, "from a fear of interfering with established branches of commerce elsewhere."[12] Here, on the contrary, efforts had been made for disseminating among them the knowledge required for perfecting themselves in the modes of preparation and manufacture. In the islands, every thing looked toward the permanency of slavery. Here, every thing looked toward the gradual and gentle civilization and emancipation of the negro throughout the world. In the islands, however, by a prompt measure forced on the people by a distant government, slavery was abolished, and the planters, or their representatives in England, received twenty millions of pounds sterling as compensation in full for the services of the few who remained in existence out of the large number that had been imported. Here, the planters are now urged to adopt for themselves measures of a similar kind. The whole course of proceeding in the two countries in reference to the negro having been so widely different, there are, however, difficulties in the way that seem to be almost insuperable. The power to purchase the slaves of the British colonies was a consequence of the fact that their numbers had not been permitted to increase. The difficulty of purchasing them here is great, because of their having been well fed, well clothed, and otherwise well provided for, and having therefore increased so rapidly. If, nevertheless, it can be shown that by abandoning the system under which the negro race has steadily increased in numbers and advanced towards civilization, and adopting that of a nation under whose rule there has been a steady decline of numbers, and but little, if any, tendency toward civilization, we shall benefit the race, it will become our duty to make the effort, however great may be the cost. With a view to ascertain how far duty may be regarded as calling upon us now to follow in the footsteps of that nation, it is proposed to examine into the working of the act by which the whole negro population of the British colonies was, almost at once and without preparation, invested with the right to determine for whom they would work and what should be their wages—or were, in other words, declared to be free.



The harmony of the universe is the result of a contest between equal and opposing powers. The earth is attracted to the sun and from the sun; and were either of these forces to be diminished or destroyed, chaos would be the inevitable result. So is it everywhere on the earth. The apple falls toward the centre of the earth, but in its passage it encounters resistance; and the harmony of every thing we see around us is dependent on the equal balance of these opposing forces. So is it among men. The man who has food to sell wishes to have a high price for it, whereas, he who needs to buy desires to have it cheaply; and the selling price depends on the relation between the necessity to buy on one hand, or to sell on the other. Diminish suddenly and largely the competition for the purchase of food, and the farmer becomes the prey of the mechanic. Increase it suddenly and largely, and the mechanic becomes the prey of the farmer; whereas a gradual and gentle increase in the demand for food is accompanied by a similar increase in the demand for the products of the loom and the anvil, and both farmer and mechanic prosper together, because the competition for purchase and the competition for sale grow together and balance each other. So, too, with labour. Wages are dependent upon the relation between the number of those who desire to buy and to sell labour. Diminish suddenly the number of those who desire to sell it, and the farmer may be ruined. Diminish suddenly the number of those who desire to buy it, and the labourer may become the slave of the farmer.

For almost two centuries, men possessed of capital and desirous to purchase labour had been induced to transfer it to the colonies, and the government secured to them the right to obtain labourers on certain specified terms—such terms as made the labourer a mere instrument in the hands of the capitalist, and prevented him from obtaining any of those habits or feelings calculated to inspire him with a love for labour. At once, all control over him was withdrawn, and the seller of labour was converted into the master of him who was thus, by the action of the government, placed in such a situation that he must buy it or be ruined. Here was a disturbance of the order of things that had existed, almost as great as that which occurs when the powerful steam, bursting the boiler in which it is enclosed, ceases to be the servant and becomes the master of man; and it would have required but little foresight to enable those who had the government of this machine to see that it must prove almost as ruinous.

How it operated in Southern Africa, where the slave was most at home, is shown by the following extracts from the work of a recent traveller and settler in that colony:—[13]

"The chain was broken, and the people of England hurraed to their heart's content. And the slave! What, in the meanwhile, became of him? If he was young and vicious, away he went—he was his own master. He was at liberty to walk to and fro upon the earth, 'seeking whom he might devour.' He was free: he had the world before him where to choose, though, squatted beside the Kaffir's fire, probably thinking his meal of parched corn but poor stuff after the palatable dishes he had been permitted to cook for himself in the Boer's or tradesman's kitchen. But he was fain to like it—he could get nothing else—and this was earned at the expense of his own soul; for it was given him as an inducement to teach the Kaffir the easiest mode of plundering his ancient master. If inclined to work, he had no certain prospect of employment; and the Dutch, losing so much by the sudden Emancipation Act, resolved on working for themselves. So the virtuous, redeemed slave, had too many temptations to remain virtuous: he was hungry—so was his wife—so were his children; and he must feed them. How? No matter."

These people will work at times, but they must have wages that will enable them to play much of their time.

"When we read of the distress of our own country, and of the wretched earnings of our mechanics, we are disgusted at the idea of these same Fingoes striking work (as Coolies) at Waterloo Bay, being dissatisfied with the pay of 2s. a day. As their services are necessary in landing cargo, their demand of 3s. a day has been acceded to, and they have consented to work when it suits them!—for they take occasional holidays, for dancing and eating. At Algoa Bay, the Fingoes are often paid 6s. a day for working as Coolies."

These men have all the habits of the savage. They leave to the women the tilling of the ground, the hoeing of the corn, the carrying of water, and all the heavy work; and to the boys and old men the tending of the cattle, while they themselves spend the year in hunting, dancing, eating, and robbing their neighbours—except when occasionally they deem it expedient to do a few days' work at such wages as they may think proper to dictate.

How it has operated in the West Indies we may next inquire, and with that view will take Jamaica, one of the oldest, and, until lately, one of the most prosperous of the colonies. That island embraces about four millions of acres of land, "of which," says Mr. Bigelow,—

"There are not, probably, any ten lying adjacent to each other which are not susceptible of the highest cultivation, while not more than 500,000 acres have ever been reclaimed, or even appropriated."[14]

"It is traversed by over two hundred streams, forty of which are from twenty-five to one hundred feet in breadth; and, it deserves to be mentioned, furnish water-power sufficient to manufacture every thing produced by the soil, or consumed by the inhabitants. Far less expense than is usually incurred on the same surface in the United States for manure, would irrigate all the dry lands of the island, and enable them to defy the most protracted droughts by which it is ever visited."[15]

The productiveness of the soil is immense. Fruits of every variety abound; vegetables of every kind for the table, and Indian corn, grow abundantly. The island is rich in dyestuffs, drugs, and spices of the greatest value; and the forests furnish the most celebrated woods in the greatest variety. In addition to this, it possesses copper-mines inferior to none in the world, and coal will probably be mined extensively before many years. "Such," says Mr. Bigelow,—

"Are some of the natural resources of this dilapidated and poverty-stricken country. Capable as it is of producing almost every thing, and actually producing nothing which might not become a staple with a proper application of capital and skill, its inhabitants are miserably poor, and daily sinking deeper and deeper into the utter helplessness of abject want.

"'Magnas inter opes inops.'

"Shipping has deserted her ports; her magnificent plantations of sugar and coffee are running to weeds; her private dwellings are falling to decay; the comforts and luxuries which belong to industrial prosperity have been cut off, one by one, from her inhabitants; and the day, I think, is at hand when there will be none left to represent the wealth, intelligence, and hospitality for which the Jamaica planter was once so distinguished."

The cause of all this, say the planters, is that wages are too high for the price of sugar. This Mr. Bigelow denies—not conceding that a shilling a day is high wages; but all the facts he adduces tend to show that the labourer gives very little labour for the money he receives; and that, as compared with the work done, wages are really far higher than in any part of the Union. Like the Fingo of Southern Africa, he can obtain from a little patch of land all that is indispensably necessary for his subsistence, and he will do little more work than is needed for accomplishing that object. The consequence of this is that potatoes sell for six cents a pound, eggs from three to five cents each, milk at eighteen cents a quart, and corn-meal at twelve or fourteen dollars a barrel; and yet there are now more than a hundred thousand of these small proprietors, being almost one for every three people on the island. All cultivators, they yet produce little to sell, and the consequence of this is seen in the fact that the mass of the flour, rice, corn, peas, butter, lard, herrings, &c. needed for consumption requires to be imported, as well as all the lumber, although millions of acres of timber are to be found among the unappropriated lands of the island.

It is impossible to read Mr. Bigelow's volume, without arriving at the conclusion that the freedom granted to the negro has had little effect except that of enabling him to live at the expense of the planter so long as any thing remained. Sixteen years of freedom did not appear to its author to have "advanced the dignity of labour or of the labouring classes one particle," while it had ruined the proprietors of the land; and thus great damage had been done to the one class without benefit of any kind to the other. From a statistical table published in August last, it appears, says the New York Herald, that since 1846—

"The number of sugar-estates on the island that have been totally abandoned amounts to one hundred and sixty-eight, and the number partially abandoned to sixty-three; the value of which two hundred and thirty-one estates was assessed, in 1841, at £1,655,140, or nearly eight millions and a half of dollars. Within the same period, two hundred and twenty-three coffee-plantations have been totally, and twenty partially abandoned, the assessed value of which was, in 1841, £500,000, or two millions and a half of dollars; and of cattle-pens, (grazing-farms,) one hundred and twenty-two have been totally, and ten partially abandoned, the value of which was a million and a half of dollars. The aggregate value of these six hundred and six estates, which have been thus ruined and abandoned in the island of Jamaica, within the last seven or eight years, amounted by the regular assessments, ten years since, to the sum of nearly two and a half millions of pounds sterling, or twelve and a half million of dollars."

As a necessary consequence of this, "there is little heard of," says
Dr. King, "but ruin."[16] "In many districts," he adds—

"The marks of decay abound. Neglected fields, crumbling houses, fragmentary fences, noiseless machinery—these are common sights, and soon become familiar to observation. I sometimes rode for miles in succession over fertile ground which used to be cultivated, and which is now lying waste. So rapidly has cultivation retrograded, and the wild luxuriance of nature replaced the conveniences of art, that parties still inhabiting these desolated districts, have sometimes, in the strong language of a speaker at Kingston, 'to seek about the bush to find the entrance into their houses.'

"The towns present a spectacle not less gloomy. A great part of Kingston was destroyed, some years ago, by an extensive conflagration: yet multitudes of the houses which escaped that visitation are standing empty, though the population is little, if at all diminished. The explanation is obvious. Persons who have nothing, and can no longer keep up their domestic establishments, take refuge in the abodes of others, where some means of subsistence are still left: and in the absence of any discernible trade or occupation, the lives of crowded thousands appear to be preserved from day to day by a species of miracle. The most busy thoroughfares of former times have now almost the quietude of a Sabbath."

"The finest land in the world," says Mr. Bigelow, "may be had at any price, and almost for the asking." Labour, he adds, "receives no compensation, and the product of labour does not seem to know how to find the way to market." Properties which were formerly valued at £40,000 would not now command £4000, and others, after having been sold at six, eight, or ten per cent. of their former value, have been finally abandoned.

The following is from a report made in 1849 and signed by various missionaries:—

"Missionary efforts in Jamaica are beset at the present time with many and great discouragements. Societies at home have withdrawn or diminished the amount of assistance afforded by them to chapels and schools throughout this island. The prostrate condition of its agriculture and commerce disables its own population from doing as much as formerly for maintaining the worship of God and the tuition of the young, and induces numbers of negro labourers to retire from estates which have been thrown up, to seek the means of subsistence in the mountains, where they are removed in general from moral training and superintendence. The consequences of this state of matters are very disastrous. Not a few missionaries and teachers, often struggling with difficulties which they could not overcome, have returned to Europe, and others are preparing to follow them. Chapels and schools are abandoned, or they have passed into the charge of very incompetent instructors."—Quoted in King's Jamaica, p. 111.

Population gradually diminishes, furnishing another evidence that the tendency of every thing is adverse to the progress of civilization. In 1841, the island contained a little short of 400,000 persons. In 1844, the census returns gave about 380,000; and a recent journal states that of those no less than forty thousand have in the last two years been carried off by cholera, and that small-pox, which has succeeded that disease, is now sweeping away thousands whom that disease had spared. Increase of crime, it adds, keeps pace with the spread of misery throughout the island.

The following extracts from a Report of a Commission appointed in 1850 to inquire into the state and prosperity of Guiana, are furnished by Lord Stanley in his second letter to Mr. Gladstone, [London, 1851.]

Of Guiana generally they say—

"'It would be but a melancholy task to dwell upon the misery and ruin which so alarming a change must have occasioned to the proprietary body; but your Commissioners feel themselves called upon to notice the effects which this wholesale abandonment of property has produced upon the colony at large. Where whole districts are fast relapsing into bush, and occasional patches of provisions around the huts of village settlers are all that remain to tell of once flourishing estates, it is not to be wondered at that the most ordinary marks of civilization are rapidly disappearing, and that in many districts of the colony all travelling communication by land will soon become utterly impracticable.'

"Of the Abary district—

"'Your Commissioners find that the line of road is nearly impassable, and that a long succession of formerly cultivated estates presents now a series of pestilent swamps, overrun with bush, and productive of malignant fevers.'

"Nor are matters," says Lord Stanley, "much better farther south—

"'Proceeding still lower down, your Commissioners find that the public roads and bridges are in such a condition, that the few estates still remaining on the upper west bank of Mahaica Creek are completely cut off, save in the very dry season; and that with regard to the whole district, unless something be done very shortly, travelling by land will entirely cease. In such a state of things it cannot be wondered at that the herdsman has a formidable enemy to encounter in the jaguar and other beasts of prey, and that the keeping of cattle is attended with considerable loss, from the depredations committed by these animals.

"It may be worth noticing," continues Lord Stanley, "that this district, now overrun with wild beasts of the forest; was formerly the very garden of the colony. The estates touched one another along the whole line of the road, leaving no interval of uncleared land.

"The east coast, which is next mentioned by the Commissioners, is better off. Properties once of immense value had there been bought at nominal prices, and the one railroad of Guiana passing through that tract, a comparatively industrious population, composed of former labourers on the line, enabled the planters still to work these to some profit. Even of this favoured spot, however, they report that it 'feels most severely the want of continuous labour.' The Commissioners next visit the east bank of the Demerara river, thus described:—

"'Proceeding up the east bank of the river Demerary, the generally prevailing features of ruin and distress are everywhere perceptible. Roads and bridges almost impassable are fearfully significant exponents of the condition of the plantations which they traverse; and Canal No. 3, once covered with plantains and coffee, presents now a scene of almost total desolation.'

"Crossing to the west side, they find prospects somewhat brighter: 'a few estates' are still 'keeping up a cultivation worthy of better times.' But this prosperous neighbourhood is not extensive, and the next picture presented to our notice is less agreeable:—

"'Ascending the river still higher, your Commissioners learn that the district between Hobaboe Creek and 'Stricken Heuvel' contained, in 1829, eight sugar and five coffee and plantain estates, and now there remain but three in sugar and four partially cultivated with plantains by petty settlers: while the roads, with one or two exceptions, are in a state of utter abandonment. Here, as on the opposite bank of the river, hordes of squatters have located themselves, who avoid all communication with Europeans, and have seemingly given themselves up altogether to the rude pleasures of a completely savage life.'

"The west coast of Demerara—the only part of that country which still remains unvisited—is described as showing only a diminution of fifty per cent. upon its produce of sugar: and with this fact the evidence concludes as to one of the three sections into which the colony is divided. Does Demerara stand alone in its misfortune? Again hear the report:—

"'If the present state of the county of Demerara affords cause for deep apprehension, your Commissioners find that Essequebo has retrograded to a still more alarming extent. In fact, unless a large and speedy supply of labour be obtained to cultivate the deserted fields of this once-flourishing district, there is great reason to fear that it will relapse into total abandonment.'"

Describing another portion of the colony—

"They say of one district, 'unless a fresh supply of labour be very soon obtained, there is every reason to fear that it will become completely abandoned.' Of a second, 'speedy immigration alone can save this island from total ruin.' 'The prostrate condition of this once beautiful part of the coast,' are the words which begin another paragraph, describing another tract of country. Of a fourth, 'the proprietors on this coast seem to be keeping up a hopeless struggle against approaching ruin. Again, 'the once famous Arabian coast, so long the boast of the colony, presents now but a mournful picture of departed prosperity. Here were formerly situated some of the finest estates in the country, and a large resident body of proprietors lived in the district, and freely expended their incomes on the spot whence they derived them.' Once more, the lower part of the coast, after passing Devonshire Castle to the river Pomeroon, presents a scene of almost total desolation.' Such is Essequebo!"

"Berbice," says Lord Stanley, "has fared no better: its rural population amounts to 18,000. Of these, 12,000 have withdrawn from the estates, and mostly from the neighbourhood of the white man, to enjoy a savage freedom of ignorance and idleness, beyond the reach of example and sometimes of control. But, on the condition of the negro I shall dwell more at length hereafter; at present it is the state of property with which I have to do. What are the districts which together form the county of Berbice? The Corentyne coast—the Canje Creek—East and West banks of the Berbice River—and the West coast, where, however, cotton was formerly the chief article produced. To each of these respectively the following passages, quoted in order, apply:—

"'The abandoned plantations on this coast,[17] which if capital and labour could be procured, might easily be made very productive, are either wholly deserted or else appropriated by hordes of squatters, who of course are unable to keep up at their own expense the public roads and bridges, and consequently all communication by land between the Corentyne and New Amsterdam is nearly at an end. The roads are impassable for horses or carriages, while for foot-passengers they are extremely dangerous. The number of villagers in this deserted region must be upward of 2500, and as the country abounds with fish and game, they have no difficulty in making a subsistence; in fact, the Corentyne coast is fast relapsing into a state of nature.'

"'Canje Creek was formerly considered a flourishing district of the county, and numbered on its east bank seven sugar and three coffee estates, and on its west bank eight estates, of which two were in sugar and six in coffee, making a total of eighteen plantations. The coffee cultivation has long since been entirely abandoned, and of the sugar estates but eight still now remain. They are suffering severely for want of labour, and being supported principally by African and Coolie immigrants, it is much to be feared that if the latter leave and claim their return passages to India, a great part of the district will become abandoned.'

"'Under present circumstances, so gloomy is the condition of affairs here,[18] that the two gentlemen whom your Commissioners have examined with respect to this district, both concur in predicting "its slow but sure approximation to the condition in which civilized man first found it.'"

"'A district [19] that in 1829, gave employment to 3635 registered slaves, but at the present moment there are not more than 600 labourers at work on the few estates still in cultivation, although it is estimated there are upwards of 2000 people idling in villages of their own. The roads are in many parts several feet under water, and perfect swamps; while in some places the bridges are wanting altogether. In fact, the whole district is fast becoming a total wilderness, with the exception of the one or two estates which yet continue to struggle on, and which are hardly accessible now but by water.'

"'Except in some of the best villages,[20] they care not for back or front dams to keep off the water; their side-lines are disregarded, and consequently the drainage is gone; while in many instances the public road is so completely flooded that canoes have to be used as a means of transit. The Africans are unhappily following the example of the Creoles in this district, and buying land, on which they settle in contented idleness; and your Commissioners cannot view instances like these without the deepest alarm, for if this pernicious habit of squatting is allowed to extend to the immigrants also, there is no hope for the colony.'"

Under these circumstances it is that the London Times furnishes its readers with the following paragraph,—and as that journal cannot be regarded as the opponent of the classes which have lately controlled the legislation of England, we may feel assured that its information is to be relied upon:—

"Our legislation has been dictated by the presumed necessities of the African slave. After the Emancipation Act, a large charge was assessed upon the colony in aid of civil and religious institutions for the benefit of the enfranchised negro, and it was hoped that those coloured subjects of the British Crown would soon be assimilated to their fellow-citizens. From all the information which has reached us, no less than from the visible probabilities of the case, we are constrained to believe that these hopes have been falsified. The negro has not obtained with his freedom any habits of industry or morality. His independence is little better than that of an uncaptured brute. Having accepted none of the restraints of civilization, he is amenable to few of its necessities, and the wants of his nature are so easily satisfied, that at the present rate of wages he is called upon for nothing but fitful or desultory exertion. The blacks, therefore, instead of becoming intelligent husbandmen, have become vagrants and squatters, and it is now apprehended that with the failure of cultivation in the island will come the failure of its resources for instructing or controlling its population. So imminent does this consummation appear, that memorials have been signed by classes of colonial society, hitherto standing aloof from politics, and not only the bench and the bar, but the bishop, clergy, and the ministers of all denominations in the island, without exception, have recorded their conviction that in the absence of timely relief, the religious and educational institutions of the island must be abandoned, and the masses of the population retrograde to barbarism."

The Prospective Review, (Nov. 1852,) seeing what has happened in the British colonies, and speaking of the possibility of a similar course of action on this side of the Atlantic, says—

"We have had experience enough in our own colonies, not to wish to see the experiment tried elsewhere on a larger scale. It is true that from some of the smaller islands, where there is a superabundance of negro population and no room for squatters, the export of sugar has not been diminished: it is true that in Jamaica and Demerara, the commercial distress is largely attributable to the folly of the planters—who doggedly refuse to accommodate themselves to the new state of things, and to entice the negroes from the back settlements by a promise of fair wages. But we have no reason to suppose that the whole tragi-comedy would not be re-enacted in the Slave States of America, if slavery were summarily abolished by act of Congress to-morrow. Property among the plantations consists only of land and negroes: emancipate the negroes—and the planters have no longer any capital for the cultivation of the land. Put the case of compensation: though it be difficult to see whence it could come: there is every probability that the planters of Alabama, accustomed all their lives to get black labour for nothing, would be as unwilling to pay for it as their compeers in Jamaica: and there is plenty of unowned land on which the disbanded gangs might settle and no one question their right. It is allowed on all hands that the negroes as a race will not work longer than is necessary to supply the simplest comforts of life. It would be wonderful were it otherwise. A people have been degraded and ground down for a century and a half: systematically kept in ignorance for five generations of any needs and enjoyments beyond those of the savage: and then it is made matter of complaint that they will not apply themselves to labour for their higher comforts and more refined luxuries, of which they cannot know the value!"

The systematic degradation here referred to is probably quite true as regards the British Islands, where 660,000 were all that remained of almost two millions that had been imported; but it is quite a mistake to suppose it so in regard to this country, in which there are now found ten persons for every one ever imported, and all advancing by gradual steps toward civilization and freedom; and yet were the reviewer discoursing of the conduct of the Spanish settlers of Hispaniola, he could scarcely speak more disparagingly of them than he does in regard to a people that alone has so treated the negro race as to enable it to increase in numbers, and improve in its physical, moral, and intellectual condition. Had he been more fully informed in relation to the proceedings in the British colonies, and in these colonies and states, he could scarcely have ventured to assert that "the responsibility of having degraded the African race rests upon the American people,"—the only people among whom they have been improved. Nevertheless, it is right and proper to give due weight to all opinions in regard to the existence of an evil, and to all recommendations in regard to the mode of removal, let them come from what source they may; and the writer of the article from which this passage is taken is certainly animated by a somewhat more liberal and catholic spirit than is found animating many of his countrymen.

That the English system in regard to the emancipation of the negro has proved a failure is now admitted even by those who most warmly advocated the measures that have been pursued. "There are many," says the London Times, "who think that, with proper regulations, and particularly with a system for the self-enfranchisement of slaves, we might have brought about the entire emancipation of the British West Indies, with much less injury to the property of the planter and to the character of the negro than have resulted from the Abolition Act. Perhaps," it continues, "the warning will not be lost on the Americans, who may see the necessity of putting things in train for the ultimate abolition of slavery, and thereby save the sudden shock which the abolitionists may one day bring on all the institutions of the Union and the whole fabric of American society."

The Falmouth [Jamaica] Post, of December 12, 1852, informs us that, even now, "in every parish of the island preparations are being made for the abandonment of properties that were once valuable, but on which cultivation can no longer be continued." "In Trelawny," it continues, "many estates have been thrown up during the last two years, and the exportation to the United States of America, within a few months, of upward of 80,000 tons of copper, which was used for the manufacture of sugar and rum, is one of the 'signs of the times,' to which the attention of the legislature should be seriously directed, in providing for the future maintenance of our various institutions, both public and parochial. Unless the salaries of all official characters are reduced, it will be utterly impossible to carry on the government of the colony."

Eighty thousand tons of machinery heretofore used in aid of labour, or nearly one ton for every four persons on the island, exported within a few months! The Bande Noire of France pulled down dwelling-houses and sold the materials, but as they left the machinery used by the labourers, their operations were less injurious than have been those of the negroes of Jamaica, the demand for whose labour must diminish with every step in the progress of the abandonment of land and the destruction of machinery. Under such circumstances we can feel little surprise at learning that every thing tends towards barbarism; nor is it extraordinary that a writer already quoted, and who is not to be suspected of any pro-slavery tendencies, puts the question, "Is it enough that they [the Americans] simply loose their chain and turn them adrift lower," as he is pleased to say, "than they found them?"[21] It is not enough. They need to be prepared for freedom. "Immediate emancipation," as he says, "solves only the simplest forms of the problem."

The land-owner has been ruined and the labourer is fast relapsing into barbarism, and yet in face of this fact the land-owners of the Southern States are branded throughout the world as "tyrants" and "slave-breeders," because they will not follow in the same direction. It is in face of this great fact that the people of the North are invited to join in a crusade against their brethren of the South because they still continue to hold slaves, and that the men of the South are themselves so frequently urged to assent to immediate and unconditional emancipation.

In all this there may be much philanthropy, but there is certainly much error,—and with a view to determine where it lies, as well as to show what is the true road to emancipation, it is proposed to inquire what has been, in the various countries of the world, the course by which men have passed from poverty to wealth, from ignorance and barbarism to civilization, and from slavery to freedom. That done, we may next inquire for the causes now operating to prevent the emancipation of the negro of America and the occupant of "the sweater's den" in London; and if they can once be ascertained, it will be then easy to determine what are the measures needful to be adopted with a view to the establishment of freedom throughout the world.



The first poor cultivator is surrounded by land unoccupied. The more of it at his command the poorer he is. Compelled to work alone, he is a slave to his necessities, and he can neither roll nor raise a log with which to build himself a house. He makes himself a hole in the ground, which serves in place of one. He cultivates the poor soil of the hills to obtain a little corn, with which to eke out the supply of food derived from snaring the game in his neighbourhood. His winter's supply is deposited in another hole, liable to injury from the water which filters through the light soil into which alone he can penetrate. He is in hourly danger of starvation. At length, however, his sons grow up. They combine their exertions with his, and now obtain something like an axe and a spade. They can sink deeper into the soil; and can cut logs, and build something like a house. They obtain more corn and more game, and they can preserve it better. The danger of starvation is diminished. Being no longer forced to depend for fuel upon the decayed wood which was all their father could command, they are in less danger of perishing from cold in the elevated ground which, from necessity, they occupy. With the growth of the family new soils are cultivated, each in succession yielding a larger return to labour, and they obtain a constantly increasing supply of the necessaries of life from a surface diminishing in its ratio to the number to be fed; and thus with every increase in the return to labour the power of combining their exertions is increased.

If we look now to the solitary settler of the West, even where provided with both axe and spade, we shall see him obtaining, with extreme difficulty, the commonest log hut. A neighbour arrives, and their combined efforts produce a new house with less than half the labour required for the first. That neighbour brings a horse, and he makes something like a cart. The product of their labour is now ten times greater than was that of the first man working by himself. More neighbours come, and new houses are needed. A "bee" is made, and by the combined effort of the neighbourhood the third house is completed in a day; whereas the first cost months, and the second weeks, of far more severe exertion. These new neighbours have brought ploughs and horses, and now better soils are cultivated, and the product of labour is again increased, as is the power to preserve the surplus for winter's use. The path becomes a road. Exchanges increase. The store makes its appearance. Labour is rewarded by larger returns, because aided by better machinery applied to better soils. The town grows up. Each successive addition to the population brings a consumer and a producer. The shoemaker desires leather and corn in exchange for his shoes. The blacksmith requires fuel and food, and the farmer wants shoes for his horses; and with the increasing facility of exchange more labour is applied to production, and the reward of labour rises, producing new desires, and requiring more and larger exchanges. The road becomes a turnpike, and the wagon and horses are seen upon it. The town becomes a city, and better soils are cultivated for the supply of its markets, while the railroad facilitates exchanges with towns and cities yet more distant. The tendency to union and to combination of exertion thus grows with the growth of wealth. In a state of extreme poverty it cannot be developed. The insignificant tribe of savages that starves on the product of the superficial soil of hundreds of thousands of acres of land, looks with jealous eye on every intruder, knowing that each new mouth requiring to be fed tends to increase the difficulty of obtaining subsistence; whereas the farmer rejoices in the arrival of the blacksmith and the shoemaker, because they come to eat on the spot the corn which heretofore he has carried ten, twenty, or thirty miles to market, to exchange for shoes for himself and his horses. With each new consumer of his products that arrives he is enabled more and more to concentrate his action and his thoughts upon his home, while each new arrival tends to increase his power of consuming commodities brought from a distance, because it tends to diminish his necessity for seeking at a distance a market for the produce of his farm. Give to the poor tribe spades, and the knowledge how to use them, and the power of association will begin. The supply of food becoming more abundant, they hail the arrival of the stranger who brings them knives and clothing to be exchanged for skins and corn; wealth grows, and the habit of association—the first step toward civilization—arises.

The little tribe is, however, compelled to occupy the higher lands. The lower ones are a mass of dense forests and dreary swamps, while at the foot of the hill runs a river, fordable but for a certain period of the year. On the hillside, distant a few miles, is another tribe; but communication between them is difficult, because, the river bottom being yet uncleared, roads cannot be made, and bridges are as yet unthought of. Population and wealth, however, continue to increase, and the lower lands come gradually into cultivation, yielding larger returns to labour, and enabling the tribe to obtain larger supplies of food with less exertion, and to spare labour to be employed for other purposes. Roads are made in the direction of the river bank. Population increases more rapidly because of the increased supplies of food and the increased power of preserving it, and wealth grows still more rapidly. The river bank at length is reached, and some of the best lands are now cleared. Population grows again, and a new element of wealth is seen in the form of a bridge; and now the two little communities are enabled to communicate more freely with each other. One rejoices in the possession of a wheelwright, while the other has a windmill. One wants carts, and the other has corn to grind. One has cloth to spare, while the other has more leather than is needed for its purpose. Exchanges increase, and the little town grows because of the increased amount of trade. Wealth grows still more rapidly, because of new modes of combining labour, by which that of all is rendered more productive. Roads are now made in the direction of other communities, and the work is performed rapidly, because the exertions of the two are now combined, and because the machinery used is more efficient. One after another disappear forests and swamps that have occupied the fertile lands, separating ten, twenty, fifty, or five hundred communities, which now are brought into connection with each other; and with each step labour becomes more and more productive, and is rewarded with better food, clothing, and shelter. Famine and disease disappear, life is prolonged, population is increased, and therewith the tendency to that combination of exertion among the individuals composing these communities, which is the distinguishing characteristic of civilization in all nations and in all periods of the world. With further increase of population and wealth, the desires of man, and his ability to gratify them, both increase. The nation, thus formed, has more corn than it needs; but it has no cotton, and its supply of wool is insufficient. The neighbouring nation has cotton and wool, and needs corn. They are still divided, however, by broad forests, deep swamps, and rapid rivers. Population increases, and the great forests and swamps disappear, giving place to rich farms, through which broad roads are made, with immense bridges, enabling the merchant to transport his wool and his cotton to exchange with his now-rich neighbours for their surplus corn or sugar. Nations now combine their exertions, and wealth grows with still increased rapidity, facilitating the drainage of marshes, and thus bringing into activity the richest soils; while coal-mines cheaply furnish the fuel for converting limestone into lime, and iron ore into axes and spades, and into rails for the new roads needed for transporting to market the vast products of the fertile soils now in use, and to bring back the large supplies of sugar, tea, coffee, and the thousand other products of distant lands with which intercourse now exists. At each step population and wealth and happiness and prosperity take a new bound; and men realize with difficulty the fact that the country, which now affords to tens of millions all the necessaries, comforts, conveniences, and luxuries of life, is the same that, when the superabundant land was occupied by tens of thousands only, gave to that limited number scanty supplies of the worst food; so scanty that famines were frequent and sometimes so severe that starvation was followed in its wake by pestilence, which, at brief intervals, swept from the earth the population of the little and scattered settlements, among which the people were forced to divide themselves when they cultivated only the poor soils of the hills.

The course of events here described is in strict accordance with the facts observed in every country as it has grown in wealth and population. The early settlers of all the countries of the world are seen to have been slaves to their necessities—and often slaves to their neighbours; whereas, with the increase of numbers and the increased power of cultivation, they are seen passing from the poorer soils of the hills to the fertile soils of the river bottoms and the marshes, with constant increase in the return to labour, and constantly increasing power to determine for themselves for whom they will work, and what shall be their reward. This view is, however, in direct opposition to the theory of the occupation of land taught in the politico-economical school of which Malthus and Ricardo were the founders. By them we are assured that the settler commences always on the low and rich lands, and that, as population increases, men are required to pass toward the higher and poorer lands—and of course up the hill—with constantly diminishing return to labour, and thus that, as population grows, man becomes more and more a slave to his necessities, and to those who have power to administer to his wants, involving a necessity for dispersion throughout the world in quest of the rich lands upon which the early settler is supposed to commence his operations. It is in reference to this theory that Mr. J. S. Mill says—

"This general law of agricultural industry is the most important proposition in political economy. If the law were different, almost all the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would be other than they are."

In the view thus presented by Mr. Mill there is no exaggeration. The law of the occupation of the land by man lies at the foundation of all political economy; and if we desire to know what it is that tends to the emancipation of the people of the earth from slavery, we must first satisfy ourselves that the theory of Messrs. Malthus and Ricardo has not only no foundation in fact, but that the law is directly the reverse, and tends, therefore, toward the adoption of measures directly opposed to those that would be needed were that theory true. The great importance of the question will excuse the occupation of a few minutes of the reader's attention in placing before him some facts tending to enable him to satisfy himself in regard to the universality of the law now offered for his consideration. Let him inquire where he may, he will find that the early occupant did not commence in the flats, or on the heavily timbered-land, but that he did commence on the higher land, where the timber was lighter, and the place for his house was dry. With increasing ability, he is found draining the swamps, clearing the heavy timber, turning up the marl, or burning the lime, and thus acquiring control over more fertile soils, yielding a constant increase in the return to labour. Let him then trace the course of early settlement, and he will find that while it has often followed the course of the streams, it has always avoided the swamps and river bottoms. The earliest settlements of this country were on the poorest lands of the Union—those of New England. So was it in New York, where we find the railroads running through the lower and richer, and yet uncultivated, lands, while the higher lands right and left have long been cultivated. So is it now in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. In South Carolina it has been made the subject of remark, in a recent discourse, that their predecessors did not select the rich lands, and that millions of acres of the finest meadow-land in that State still remain untouched. The settler in the prairies commences on the higher and drier land, leaving the wet prairie and the slough—the richest soil—for his successors. The lands below the mouth of the Ohio are among the richest in the world; yet they are unoccupied, and will continue so to be until wealth and population shall have greatly increased. So is it now with the low and rich lands of Mexico. So was it in South America, the early cultivation of which was upon the poor lands of the western slope, Peru and Chili, while the rich lands of the Amazon and the La Plata remained, as most of them still remain, a wilderness. In the West Indies, the small dry islands were early occupied, while Porto Rico and Trinidad, abounding in rich soils, remained untouched. The early occupants of England were found on the poorer lands of the centre and south of the kingdom, as were those of Scotland in the Highlands, or on the little rocky islands of the Channel. Mona's Isle was celebrated while the rich soil of the Lothians remained an almost unbroken mass of forest, and the morasses of Lancashire were the terror of travellers long after Hampshire had been cleared and cultivated. If the reader desire to find the birthplace of King Arthur and the earliest seat of English power, he must look to the vicinity of the royal castle of Tintagel, in the high and dry Cornwall. Should he desire other evidence of the character of the soil cultivated at the period when land abounded and men were few in number, he may find it in the fact that in some parts of England there is scarcely a hill top that does not bear evidence of early occupation,[22] and in the further fact that the mounds, or barrows, are almost uniformly composed of stone, because those memorials "are found most frequently where stone was more readily obtained than earth."[23] Caesar found the Gauls occupying the high lands surrounding the Alps, while the rich Venetia remained a marsh. The occupation of the Campagna followed long after that of the Samnite hills, and the earliest settlers of the Peloponnesus cultivated the high and dry Arcadia, while the cities of the Argive kings of the days of Homer, Mycenae and Tiryns, are found in eastern Argolis, a country so poor as to have been abandoned prior to the days of the earliest authentic history. The occupation of the country around Meroë, and of the Thebaid, long preceded that of the lower lands surrounding Memphis, or the still lower and richer ones near Alexandria. The negro is found in the higher portions of Africa, while the rich lands along the river courses are uninhabited. The little islands of Australia, poor and dry, are occupied by a race far surpassing in civilization those of the neighbouring continent, who have rich soils at command. The poor Persia is cultivated, while the rich soils of the ancient Babylonia are only ridden over by straggling hordes of robbers.[24] Layard had to seek the hills when he desired to find a people at home. Affghanistan and Cashmere were early occupied, and thence were supplied the people who moved toward the deltas of the Ganges and the Indus, much of both of which still remains, after so many thousands of years, in a state of wilderness. Look where we may, it is the same. The land obeys the same great and universal law that governs light, power, and heat. The man who works alone and has poor machinery must cultivate poor land, and content himself with little light, little power, and little heat, and those, like his food, obtained in exchange for much labour; while he who works in combination with his fellow-men may have good machinery, enabling him to clear and cultivate rich land, giving him much food, and enabling him to obtain much light, much heat, and much power, in exchange for little labour. The first is a creature of necessity—a slave—and as such is man universally regarded by Mr. Ricardo and his followers. The second is a being of power—a freeman—and as such was man regarded by Adam Smith, who taught that the more men worked in combination with each other, the greater would be the facility of obtaining food and all other of the necessaries and comforts of life—and the more widely they were separated, the less would be the return to labour and capital, and the smaller the power of production, as common sense teaches every man must necessarily be the case.

It will now readily be seen how perfectly accurate was Mr. Mill in his assertion that, "if the law were different, almost all the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would be other than they are." The doctrine of Malthus and Ricardo tends to make the labourer a slave to the owner of landed or other capital; but happily it has no foundation in fact, and therefore the natural laws of the production and distribution of wealth tend not to slavery, but to freedom.



The first poor cultivator commences, as we have seen, his operations on the hillside. Below him are lands upon which have been carried by force of water the richer portions of those above, as well as the leaves of trees, and the fallen trees themselves, all of which have from time immemorial rotted and become incorporated with the earth, and thus have been produced soils fitted to yield the largest returns to labour; yet for this reason are they inaccessible. Their character exhibits itself in the enormous trees with which they are covered, and in their power of retaining the water necessary to aid the process of decomposition, but the poor settler wants the power either to clear them of their timber, or to drain them of the superfluous moisture. He begins on the hillside, but by degrees he obtains better machinery of cultivation, and with each step in this direction we find him descending the hill and obtaining larger return to labour. He has more food for himself, and he has now the means of feeding a horse or an ox. Aided by the manure that is thus yielded to him by the better lands, we see him next retracing his steps, improving the hillside, and compelling it to yield a return double that which he at first obtained. With each step down the hill, he obtains still larger reward for his labour, and at each he returns, with increased power, to the cultivation of the original poor soil. He has now horses and oxen, and while by their aid he extracts from the new soils the manure that had accumulated for ages, he has also carts and wagons to carry it up the hill; and at each step his reward is increased, while his labours are lessened. He goes back to the sand and raises the marl, with which he covers the surface; or he returns to the clay and sinks into the limestone, by aid of which he doubles its product. He is all the time making a machine which feeds him while he makes it, and which increases in its powers the more he takes from it. At first it was worthless. Having now fed and clothed him for years, it has acquired a large value, and those who might desire to use it would pay him a large rent for permission so to do.

The earth is a great machine given to man to be fashioned to his purpose. The more he works it, the better it feeds him, because each step is but preparatory to a new one more productive than the last—requiring less labour and yielding larger return. The labour of clearing is great, yet the return is small. The earth is covered with stumps, and filled with roots. With each year the roots decay, and the ground becomes enriched, while the labour of ploughing is diminished. At length, the stumps disappear, and the return is doubled, while the labour is less by one-half than at first. To forward this process the owner has done nothing but crop the ground, nature having done the rest. The aid he thus obtains from her yields him as much food as in the outset was obtained by the labour of felling the trees. This, however, is not all. The surplus thus yielded has given him means of improving the poorer lands, by furnishing manure with which to enrich them, and thus has he trebled his original return without further labour; for that which he saves in working the new soils suffices to carry the manure to the older ones. He is obtaining a daily increased power over the various treasures of the earth.

With every operation connected with the fashioning of the earth, the result is the same. The first step is, invariably, the most costly one, and the least productive. The first drain commences near the stream, where the labour is heaviest. It frees from water but a few acres. A little higher, the same quantity of labour, profiting by what has been already done, frees twice the number. Again the number is doubled; and now the most perfect system of thorough drainage may be established with less labour than was at first required for one of the most imperfect kind. To bring the lime into connection with the clay, upon fifty acres, is lighter labour than was the clearing of a single one, yet the process doubles the return for each acre of fifty. The man who needs a little fuel for his own use, expends much labour in opening the neighbouring vein of coal; but to enlarge this, so as to double the product, is a work of comparatively small labour. To sink a shaft to the first vein below the surface, and erect a steam-engine, are expensive operations; but these once accomplished, every future step becomes more productive, while less costly. To sink to the next vein below, and to tunnel to another, are trifles in comparison with the first, yet each furnishes a return equally large. The first line of railroad runs by houses and towns occupied by two or three hundred thousand persons. Half a dozen little branches, costing together far less labour than the first, bring into connection with it half a million, or perhaps a million. The trade increases, and a second track, a third, or a fourth, may be required. The original one facilitates the passage of the materials and the removal of the obstructions, and three new ones may now be made with less labour than was at first required for a single one.

All labour thus expended in fashioning the great machine is but the prelude to the application of further labour, with still increased returns. With each such application, wages rise, and hence it is that portions of the machine, as it exists, invariably exchange, when brought to market, for far less labour than they have cost. There is thus a steady decline of the value of capital in labour, and a daily increase in the power of labour over capital, and with each step in this direction man becomes more free. The man who cultivated the thin soils was happy to obtain a hundred bushels for his year's work. With the progress of himself and his neighbour down the hill into the more fertile soils, wages have risen, and two hundred bushels are now required. His farm will yield a thousand bushels; but it requires the labour of four men, who must have two hundred bushels each, and the surplus is but two hundred bushels. At twenty years' purchase this gives a capital of four thousand bushels, or the equivalent of twenty years' wages; whereas it has cost, in the labour of himself, his sons, and his assistants, the equivalent of a hundred years of labour, or perhaps far more. During all this time, however, it has fed and clothed them all, and the farm has been produced by the insensible contributions made from year to year, unthought of and unfelt.

It has become worth twenty years' wages, because its owner has for years taken from it a thousand bushels annually; but when it had lain for centuries accumulating wealth it was worth nothing. Such is the case with the earth everywhere. The more that is taken from it the more there is to be returned, and the greater our power to draw upon it. When the coal-mines of England were untouched, they were valueless. Now their value is almost countless; yet the land contains abundant supplies for thousands of years. Iron ore, a century since, was a drug, and leases were granted at almost nominal rents. Now, such leases are deemed equivalent to the possession of large fortunes, notwithstanding the great quantities that have been removed, although the amount of ore now known to exist is probably fifty times greater than it was then.

The earth is the sole producer. From her man receives the corn and the cotton-wool, and all that he can do is to change them in their form, or in their place. The first he may convert into bread, and the last into cloth, and both maybe transported to distant places, but there his power ends. He can make no addition to their quantity. A part of his labour is applied to the preparation and improvement of the great machine of production, and this produces changes that are permanent. The drain, once cut, remains a drain; and the limestone, once reduced to lime, never again becomes limestone. It passes into the food of man and animals, and ever after takes its part in the same round with the clay with which it has been incorporated. The iron rusts and gradually passes into soil, to take its part with the clay and the lime. That portion of his labour gives him wages while preparing the machine for greater future production. That other portion which he expends on fashioning and exchanging the products of the machine, produces temporary results and gives him wages alone. Whatever tends to diminish the quantity of labour required for the production of food tends to enable him to give more to the preparation of machinery required for the fashioning and exchanging of the products; and that machinery in its turn tends to augment the quantity that may be given to increasing the amount of products, and to preparing the great machine; and thus, while increasing the present return to labour, preparing for a future further increase.

The first poor cultivator obtains a hundred bushels for his year's wages. To pound this between two stones requires many days of labour, and the work is not half done. Had he a mill in the neighbourhood he would have better flour, and he would have almost the whole of those days to bestow upon his land. He pulls up his grain. Had he a scythe, he would have more time for the preparation of the machine of production. He loses his axe, and it requires days of himself and his horse on the road, to obtain another. His machine loses the time and the manure, both of which would have been saved had the axe-maker been at hand. The real advantage derived from the mill and the scythe, and from the proximity of the axe-maker, consists simply in the power which they afford him to devote his labour more and more to the preparation of the great machine of production, and such is the case with all the machinery of conversion and exchange. The plough enables him to do as much in one day as with a spade he could do in five. He saves four days for drainage. The steam-engine drains as much as, without it, could be drained by thousands of days of labour. He has more leisure to marl or lime his land. The more he can extract from his property the greater is its value, because every thing he takes is, by the very act of taking it, fashioned to aid further production. The machine, therefore, improves by use, whereas spades, and ploughs, and steam-engines, and all other of the instruments used by man, are but the various forms into which he fashions parts of the great original machine, to disappear in the act of being used; as much so as food, though not so rapidly. The earth is the great labour-savings' bank, and the value to man of all other machines is in the direct ratio of their tendency to aid him in increasing his deposites in that only bank whose dividends are perpetually increasing, while its capital is perpetually doubling. That it may continue for ever so to do, all that it asks is that it shall receive back the refuse of its produce, the manure; and that it may do so, the consumer and the producer must take their places by each other. That done, every change that is effected becomes permanent, and tends to facilitate other and greater changes. The whole business of the farmer consists in making and improving soils, and the earth rewards him for his kindness by giving him more and more food the more attention he bestows upon her. All that he receives from her must be regarded as a loan, and when he fails to pay his debts, she starves him out.

The absolute necessity for returning to the land the manure yielded by its products is so generally admitted that it would appear scarcely necessary to do more than state the fact; for every land-owner knows that when he grants the lease of a farm, one of the conditions he desires to insert is, that all the hay that is made shall be fed upon the land, and that manure shall be purchased to supply the waste resulting from the sale of corn or flax from off the land. In order, however, that it may be so supplied, it is indispensable that the place of consumption shall not be far distant from the place of production, as otherwise the cost of transportation will be greater than the value of the manure. In a recent work on the agriculture of Mecklenburgh, it is stated that a quantity of grain that would be worth close to market fifteen hundred dollars would be worth nothing at a distance of fifty German, or about two hundred English miles, from it, as the whole value would be absorbed in the cost of transporting the grain to market and the manure from market—and that the manure which close to the town would be worth five dollars to the farmer, would be worth nothing at a distance of 4-3/4 German, or 19 English miles from it—and that thus the whole question of the value of land and the wealth of its owner was dependent upon its distance from the place at which its products could be exchanged. At a greater distance than 28 German, or 112 English miles, in Mecklenburgh, the land ceases to yield rent, because it cannot be cultivated without loss. As we approach the place of exchange the value of land increases, from the simultaneous action of two causes: First, a greater variety of commodities can be cultivated, and the advantage resulting from a rotation of crops is well known. At a distance, the farmer can raise only those of which the earth yields but little, and which are valuable in proportion to their little bulk—as, for instance, wheat or cotton; but near the place of exchange he may raise potatoes, turnips, cabbages, and hay, of which the bulk is great in proportion to the value. Second, the cost of returning the manure to the land increases as the value of the products of land diminishes with the increase of distance; and from the combination of these two causes, land in Mecklenburgh that would be worth, if close to the town or city, an annual rent of 29,808 dollars, would be worth at a distance of but 4 German, or 16 English, miles, only 7,467 dollars.

We see thus, how great is the tendency to the growth of wealth as men are enabled more and more to combine their exertions with those of their fellow-men, consuming on or near the land the products of the land, and enabling the farmer, not only to repair readily the exhaustion caused by each successive crop, but also to call to his aid the services of the chemist in the preparation of artificial manures, as well as to call into activity the mineral ones by which he is almost everywhere surrounded. We see, too, how much it must be opposed to the interests of every community to have its products exported in their rude state, and thus to have its land exhausted. The same author from whom the above quotations have been made informs us that when the manure is not returned to the land the yield must diminish from year to year, until at length it will not be more than one-fourth of what it had originally been: and this is in accordance with all observation.

The natural tendency of the loom and the anvil to seek to take their place by the side of the plough and harrow, is thus exhibited by ADAM SMITH:—

"An inland country, naturally fertile and easily cultivated, produces a great surplus of provisions beyond what is necessary for maintaining the cultivators; and on account of the expense of land carriage, and inconveniency of river navigation, it may frequently be difficult to send this surplus abroad. Abundance, therefore, renders provisions cheap, and encourages a great number of workmen to settle in the neighbourhood, who find that their industry can there procure them more of the necessaries and conveniences of life than in other places. They work up the materials of manufacture which the land produces, and exchange their finished work, or, what is the same thing, the price of it, for more materials and provisions. They give a new value to the surplus part of the rude produce, by saving the expense of carrying it to the waterside, or to some distant market; and they furnish the cultivators with something in exchange for it, that is either useful or agreeable to them, upon easier terms than they could have obtained it before. The cultivators get a better price for their surplus produce, and can purchase cheaper other conveniences which they have occasion for. They are thus both encouraged and enabled to increase this surplus produce by a further improvement and better cultivation of the land; and as the fertility of the land has given birth to the manufacture, so the progress of the manufacture reacts upon the land, and increases still further its fertility. The manufacturers first supply the neighbourhood, and afterward, as their work improves and refines, more distant markets. For though neither the rude produce, nor even the coarse manufacture, could, without the greatest difficulty, support the expense of a considerable land carriage, the refined and improved manufacture easily may. In a small bulk it frequently contains the price of a great quantity of the raw produce. A piece of fine cloth, for example, which weighs, only eighty pounds, contains in it the price, not only of eighty pounds of wool, but sometimes of several thousand weight of corn, the maintenance of the different working people, and of their immediate employers. The corn which could with difficulty have been carried abroad in its own shape, is in this manner virtually exported in that of the complete manufacture, and may easily be sent to the remotest corners of the world."


"The greater the number and revenue of the inhabitants of the town, the more extensive is the market which it affords to those of the country; and the more extensive that market, it is always the more advantageous to a great number. The corn which grows within a mile of the town, sells there for the same price with that which comes from twenty miles distance. But the price of the latter must, generally, not only pay the expense of raising it and bringing it to market, but afford, too, the ordinary profits, of agriculture to the farmer. The proprietors and cultivators of the country, therefore, which lies in the neighbourhood of the town, over and above the ordinary profits of agriculture, gain, in the price of what they sell, the whole value of the carriage of the like produce that is brought from more distant parts; and they save, besides, the whole value of this carriage in the price of what they buy. Compare the cultivation of the lands in the neighbourhood of any considerable town, with that of those which lie at some distance from it, and you will easily satisfy yourself how much the country is benefited by the commerce of the town."

These views are in perfect accordance with the facts. The labourer rejoices when the market for his labour is brought to his door by the erection of a mill or a furnace, or the construction of a road. The farmer rejoices in the opening of a market for labour at his door giving him a market for his food. His land rejoices in the home consumption of the products it has yielded, for its owner is thereby enabled to return to it the refuse of its product in the form of manure. The planter rejoices in the erection of a mill in his neighbourhood, giving him a market for his cotton and his food. The parent rejoices when a market for their labour enables his sons and his daughters to supply themselves with food and clothing. Every one rejoices in the growth of a home market for labour and its products, for trade is then increasing daily and rapidly; and every one mourns the diminution of the home market, for it is one the deficiency of which cannot be supplied.

With each step in this direction man becomes more and more free as land becomes more valuable and labour becomes more productive, and as the land becomes more divided. The effect of this upon both the man and the land is thus exhibited by Dr. Smith:—

"A small proprietor, who knows every part of his little territory, views it with all the affection which property, especially small property, naturally inspires, and who upon that account takes pleasure not only in cultivating, but in adorning it, is generally of all improvers the most industrious, the most intelligent, and the most successful."

The tendency of the land to become divided as wealth and population increase will be obvious to the reader on an examination of the facts of daily occurrence in and near a growing town or city; and the contrary tendency to the consolidation of land in few hands may be seen in the neighbourhood of all declining towns or cities, and throughout all declining states.[25]



The proximity of the market enables the farmer not only to enrich his land and to obtain from it far more than he could otherwise do, but it also produces a demand for many things that would otherwise be wasted. In the West, men set no value upon straw, and in almost every part of this country the waste arising out of the absence of a market for any commodities but those which can be carried to a distance, must strike every traveller. Close to the town or city, almost every thing has some value. So too with labour, the value of which, like that of land, tends to increase with every increase in the facility of exchanging its products.

The solitary settler has to occupy the spots that, with his rude machinery, he can cultivate. Having neither horse nor cart, he carries home his crop upon his shoulders, as is now done in many parts of India. He carries a hide to the place of exchange, distant, perhaps, fifty miles, to obtain for it leather, or shoes. Population increases, and roads are made. The fertile soils are cultivated. The store and the mill come nearer to him, and he obtains shoes and flour with the use of less machinery of exchange. He has more leisure for the improvement of his land, and the returns to labour increase. More people now obtain food from the same surface, and new places of exchange appear. The wool is, on the spot, converted into cloth, and he exchanges directly with the clothier. The saw-mill is at hand, and he exchanges with the sawyer. The tanner gives him leather for his hides, and the papermaker gives him paper for his rags. With each of these changes he has more and more of both time and manure to devote to the preparation of the great food-making machine, and with each year the returns are larger. His power to command the use of the machinery of exchange increases, but his necessity therefor diminishes, for with each there is an increasing tendency toward having the consumer placed side by side with the producer, and with each he can devote more and more of his time and mind to the business of fashioning the great machine to which he is indebted for food and clothing; and thus the increase of a consuming population is essential to the progress of production.

Diversification of employments, resulting from combination of action, thus enables men to economize labour and to increase production. Increased production, on the other hand, makes a demand for labour. The more wheat raised and the more cloth made, the more there will be to give in exchange for labour, the greater will be the number of persons seeking for labourers, and the greater will be the power of men to determine for themselves the mode in which they will employ their time or their talents. If, therefore, we desire to see men advance in freedom, we must endeavour to increase the productive power; and that, as we see, grows with the growth of the power to improve the land, while it diminishes with every diminution in the power to return to the land the manure yielded by its products. In purely agricultural countries there is little demand for labour, and it always tends to diminish, as may be proved by any reader of this volume who may chance to occupy a purely agricultural neighbourhood. Let him look around him, and he will, without difficulty, find hundreds of men, and hundreds of women and children, wasting more time than would, if properly employed, purchase twice the clothing and twice the machinery of production they are now enabled to obtain. Why, however, he will probably ask, is it that they do so waste it? Because there is no demand for it, except in agriculture; and when that is the case, there must necessarily be great waste of time. At one season of the year the farm requires much labour, while at another it needs but little; and if its neighbours are all farmers, they are all in the same situation. If the weather is fit for ploughing, they and their horses and men are all employed. If it is not, they are all idle. In winter they have all of them little to do; in harvest-time they are all overrun with work; and crops frequently perish on the ground for want of the aid required for making them. Now, it would seem to be quite clear that if there existed some other mode of employment that would find a demand for the surplus labour of the neighbourhood, all would be benefited. The man who had a day's labour to sell could sell it, and, with the proceeds of the labour of a very few days, now wasted, could purchase clothing for his children, if, indeed, the labour of those children, now also wasted, did not more than pay for all the clothing, not only of themselves, but of his wife and himself.

In order that the reader may see clearly how this state of things affects all labourers, even those who are employed, we must now ask him to examine with us the manner in which the prices of all commodities are affected by excess of supply over demand, or of demand over supply. It is well known to every farmer, that when the crop of peaches, or of potatoes, is, in even a very small degree, in excess of the regular demand, the existence of that small surplus so far diminishes the price that the larger crop will not yield as much as a much smaller one would have done. It is also known to them that when the crop is a little less than is required to supply the demand, the advance in price is large, and the farmer then grows rich. In this latter case the purchasers are looking for the sellers, whereas in the former one the sellers have to seek the buyers. Now, labour is a commodity that some desire to sell, and that others desire to buy, precisely as is the case with potatoes; but it has this disadvantage when compared with any other commodity, that it is less easily transferred from the place where it exists to that at which it is needed, and that the loss resulting from the absence of demand on the spot is greater than in reference to any other commodity whatsoever. The man who raises a hundred bushels of peaches, of which only seventy are needed at home, can send the remainder to a distance of a hundred or a thousand miles, and the loss he sustains is only that which results from the fact that the price of the whole is determined by what he can obtain for the surplus bushels, burdened as they are with heavy cost of transportation, that he must lose; for the man that must go to a distant market must always pay the expense of getting there. This is a heavy loss certainly, but it is trivial when compared with that sustained by him who has labour to sell, because that, like other very perishable commodities, cannot be carried to another market, and must be wasted. If he has two spare hours a day to sell, he finds that they waste themselves in the very act of seeking a distant market, and his children may go in rags, or even suffer from hunger, because of his inability to find a purchaser for the only commodity he has to sell. So, too, with the man who has days, weeks, or months of labour for which he desires to find a purchaser. Unwilling to leave his wife and his children, to go to a distance, he remains to be a constant weight upon the labour market, and must continue so to remain until there shall arise increased competition for the purchase of labour. It is within the knowledge of every one who reads this, whether he be shoemaker, hatter, tailor, printer, brickmaker, stonemason, or labourer, that a very few unemployed men in his own pursuit keep down the wages of all shoemakers, all hatters, all tailors, or printers; whereas, wages rise when there is a demand for a few more than are at hand. The reason for this is to be found in the difficulty of transferring labour from the place at which it exists to that at which it is needed; and it is to that we have to attribute the fact that the tendency to depression in the wages of all labour is so very great when there is even a very small excess of supply, and the tendency to elevation so great when there is even a very small excess of demand. Men starve in Ireland for want of employment, and yet the distance between them and the people who here earn a dollar a day, is one that could be overcome at the expense of fifteen or twenty dollars. Wages may be high in one part of the Union and low in another, and yet thousands must remain to work at low ones, because of the difficulty of transporting themselves, their wives, and their families, to the places at which their services are needed. Every such man tends to keep down the wages, of all other men who have labour to sell, and therefore every man is interested in having all other men fully employed, and to have the demand grow faster than the supply. This is the best state of things for all, capitalists and labourers; whereas, to have the supply in excess of the demand is injurious to all, employers and employed. All profit by increase in the competition for the purchase of labour, and all suffer from increased competition for the sale of it.

We had occasion, but a little while since, to visit a factory in which were employed two hundred females of various ages, from fourteen to twenty, who were earning, on an average, three dollars per week, making a total of six hundred dollars per week, or thirty thousand dollars a year; or as much as would, buy five hundred thousand yards of cotton cloth. Now supposing these two hundred females to represent one hundred families, it would follow that their labour produced five thousand yards of cloth per family, being probably three times as much in value as the total consumption of clothing by all its members, from, the parent down to the infant child.

Let us now suppose this factory closed; what then would be the value of the labour of these girls, few of whom have strength for field-work even if our habits of thought permitted that it should be so employed? It would be almost nothing, for they could do little except house-work, and the only effect of sending them home would be that, whereas one person, fully employed, performs now the labour of the house, it would henceforth be divided between two or three, all of whom would gradually lose the habit of industry they have been acquiring. The direct effect of this would be a diminution in the demand for female labour, and a diminution of its reward. While the factory continues in operation there is competition for the purchase of such labour. The parent desires to retain at least one child. A neighbour desires to hire another, and the factory also desires one. To supply these demands requires all the females of the neighbourhood capable of working and not provided with families of their own, and thus those who are willing to work have the choice of employers and employment; while the competition for the purchase of their services tends to raise the rate of wages. If, now, in the existing state of things, another factory were established in, the same neighbourhood, requiring a hundred or a hundred and fifty more females, the effect would be to establish increased competition for the purchase of labour, attended by increased power of choice on the part of the labourer, and increased reward of labour—and it is in this increased power of choice that freedom consists. If, on the contrary, the factories were closed, the reverse effect would be produced, the competition for the purchase of labour being diminished, with corresponding diminution of the power of choice on the part of the labourer, diminution in his compensation, and diminution of freedom.

What is true with regard to the females of this neighbourhood is equally true with regard to the men, women, and children of the world. Wherever there exists competition for the purchase of labour, there the labourer has his choice among employers, and the latter are not only required to pay higher wages, but they are also required to treat their workmen and workwomen with the consideration that is due to fellow-beings equal in rights with themselves: but wherever there is not competition for the purchase of labour, the labourer is compelled to work for any who are willing to employ him, and to receive at the hands of his employer low wages and the treatment of a slave, for slave he is. Here is a plain and simple proposition, the proof of which every reader can test for himself. If he lives in a neighbourhood in which there exists competition for the purchase of labour, he knows that he can act as becomes a freeman in determining for whom he will work, and the price he is willing to receive for his services; but if he lives in one in which there is competition for the sale of labour, he knows well that it does not rest with him to determine either where he will work or what shall be his wages.

Where all are farmers, there can be no competition for the purchase of labour, except for a few days in harvest; but there must be competition for the sale of labour during all the rest of the year. Of course, where all are farmers or planters, the man who has labour to sell is at the mercy of the few who desire to buy it, as is seen in our Southern States, where the labourer is a slave; and in Ireland, where his condition is far worse than that of the slaves of the South; and in India, where men sell themselves for long terms of years to labour in the West Indies; and in Portugal, where competition for the purchase of labour has no existence. Where, on the contrary, there is a diversification of employments, there is a steady improvement in the condition of men, as they more and more acquire the power to determine for themselves for whom they will work and what shall be their reward, as is seen in the rapid improvement in the condition of the people of France, Belgium, and Germany, and especially of those of Russia, where competition for the purchase of labour is increasing with wonderful rapidity. Diversification of employment is absolutely necessary to produce competition for the purchase of labour. The shoemaker does not need to purchase shoes, nor does the miner need to buy coal, any more than the farmer needs to buy wheat or potatoes. Bring them together, and combine with them the hatter, the tanner, the cotton-spinner, the maker of woollen cloth, and the smelter and roller of iron, and each of them becomes a competitor for the purchase of the labour, or the products of the labour, of all the others, and the wages of all rise with the increase of competition.

In order that labour may be productive, it must be aided by machinery. The farmer could do little with his hands, but when aided by the plough and the harrow he may raise much wheat and corn. He could carry little on his shoulders, but he may transport much when aided by a horse and wagon, and still more when aided by a locomotive engine or a ship. He could convert little grain into flour when provided only with a pestle and mortar, but he may do much when provided with a mill. His wife could convert little cotton into cloth when provided only with a spinning-wheel and hand-loom, but her labour becomes highly productive when aided by the spinning-jenny and the power-loom. The more her labours and those of her husband are thus aided the larger will be the quantity of grain produced, the more speedily will it be converted into flour, the more readily will it be carried to market, the larger will be the quantity of cloth for which it will exchange, the greater will be the quantity of food and clothing to be divided among the labourers, and the greater will be the facility on the part of the labourer to acquire machinery of his own, and to become his own employer, and thus to increase that diversification in the employment of labour which tends to increase the competition for its purchase.

It will next, we think, be quite clear to the reader that the nearer the grist-mill is to the farm, the less will be the labour required for converting the wheat into flour, the more will be the labour that may be given to the improvement of the farm, and the greater will be the power of the farmer to purchase shoes, hats, coats, ploughs, or harrows, and thus to create a demand for labour. Equally clear will it be that the nearer he can bring the hatter, the shoemaker, and the tailor, the maker of ploughs and harrows, the less will be the loss of labour in exchanging his wheat for their commodities, and the greater will be his power to purchase books and newspapers, to educate his children, and thus to introduce new varieties in the demand for labour; and each such new variety in the demand for that commodity tends to raise the wages of those engaged in all other pursuits. If there be none but farmers, all are seeking employment on a farm. Open a carpenter's or a blacksmith's shop, and the men employed therein will cease to be competitors for farm labour, and wages will tend to rise. Open a mine, or quarry stone and build a mill, and here will be a new competition for labour that will tend to produce a rise in the wages of all labourers. Build a dozen mills, and men will be required to get out timber and stone, and to make spindles, looms, and steam-engines; and when the mills are completed, the demand for labour will withdraw hundreds of men that would be otherwise competitors for employment in the ploughing of fields, the making of shoes or coats, and hundreds of women that would otherwise be seeking to employ themselves in binding shoes or making shirts. Competition for the purchase of labour grows, therefore, with every increase in the diversification of employment, with constant tendency to increase in the reward of labour. It declines with every diminution in the modes of employing labour, with steady tendency to decline in wages.

If the reader will now trace the course of man toward freedom, in the various nations of the world, he will see that his progress has been in the ratio of the growth of towns at which he and his neighbours could exchange the products of their labour, and that it has declined as the near towns have given way to the distant cities. The people of Attica did not need to go abroad to effect their exchanges, and therefore they became rich and free; whereas the Spartans, who tolerated nothing but agriculture, remained poor and surrounded by hosts of slaves. The towns and cities of Italy gave value to the land by which they were surrounded, and freedom to the people by whom that land was cultivated. So was it in Holland, and in Belgium, and so again in England. In each and all of these land increased in value with every increase in the facility of exchanging its products for clothing and machinery, and with each step in this direction men were enabled more readily to maintain and to increase the power of the land, and to permit larger numbers to obtain increased supplies from the same surfaces. Association thus increased the power of accumulating wealth, and wealth thus diminished in its power over labour, while with augmented numbers the people everywhere found an increase in their power to assert and to defend their rights. Having reflected on the facts presented to him in the pages of history, and having satisfied himself that they are in perfect accordance with the views here presented, the reader will perhaps find himself disposed to admit, the correctness of the following propositions:—

I. That the nearer the market the less must be the cost to the farmer for transporting his products to market and for bringing back the manure to maintain and improve his land.

II. That the nearer the market the less must be the loss of labour in going to market, and the greater the quantity that can be given to the improvement of the land.

III. That the more the labour and manure that can be given to land, the larger will be the product and the greater its value.

IV. That the larger the quantity of commodities produced the greater will be the demand for labour to be employed in converting them into forms that fit them for consumption, and the larger the quantity to be divided among the labourers.

V. That the greater the competition for the purchase of labour the greater must be the tendency toward the freedom of the labourer.

VI. That the freedom of man in thought, speech, action, and trade, tends thus to keep pace with increase in the habit of association among men, and increase in the value of land;—and

VII. That the interests of the labourer and land-owner are thus in perfect harmony with each other, the one becoming free as the other becomes rich.

Equally correct will be found the following propositions:—

I. That the more distant the market the greater must be the cost to the farmer for transporting his products to market, the greater must be the difficulty of obtaining manure, and the more must his land be impoverished.

II. That the more distant the market the greater must be the loss of labour on the road, and the less the quantity that can be given to the improvement of the land.

III. That the less the labour and manure applied to the land the less must be the product, and the less its value.

IV. That the longer this process is continued the poorer must become the land, until at length it ceases to have value, and must be abandoned.

V. That the smaller the quantity of commodities produced the less must be the demand for labour to be employed in their conversion, and the less the quantity to be divided among the labourers.

VI. That the less the competition for the purchase of labour the less must be the power of the labourer to determine for whom he will work, or what must be his reward, and the greater the tendency toward his becoming enslaved.

VII. That the tendency toward slavery tends thus to keep pace with the decline in the habit of association among men, and the loss of value in land;—and

VIII. That thus the labourer and land-owner suffer together, the one becoming enslaved as the other becomes impoverished.

If evidence be desired of the correctness of these propositions, it may found in the history of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mexico, and of every other country that has declined in wealth and population.



The views that have thus been presented are entirely in harmony those of the illustrious author of "The Wealth of Nations." "In seeking for employment to a capital," says Dr. Smith,

"Manufactures are, upon equal or nearly equal profits, naturally preferred to foreign commerce, for the same reason that agriculture is naturally preferred to manufactures. As the capital of the landlord or farmer is more secure than that of the manufacturer, so the capital of the manufacturer, being at all times more within his view and command, is more secure than that of the foreign merchant. In every period, indeed, of every society, the surplus part both of the rude and manufactured produce, or that for which there is no demand at home, must be sent abroad, in order to be exchanged for something for which there is some demand at home. But whether the capital which carries this surplus produce abroad be a foreign or domestic one, is of little importance."

It is thus, in his estimation, of small importance whether the capital engaged in the work of transportation be foreign or domestic—the operations most essential to the comfort and improvement of man being, first, the production, and next, the conversion of the products of the land, by men occupying towns and cities placed among the producers. The nearer the market the less must be, as he clearly saw, the loss of transportation, and the greater the value of the land. If the number or the capital of those markets were insufficient for the conversion of all the rude produce of the earth, there would then be "considerable advantage" to be derived from the export of the surplus by the aid of foreign capital, thus leaving "the whole stock of the society" to be employed at home "to more useful purpose." These views are certainly widely different from those of modern economists, who see in tables of imports and exports the only criterion of the condition of society. Commerce, by which is meant exchanges with distant people, is regarded as the sole measure of the prosperity of a nation; and yet every man is rejoiced when the market for his products is brought home to him, and he is thereby enabled to economize transportation and enrich his land by returning to it the elements of which-those products had been composed.

"According to the natural course of things," says Dr. Smith, "the greater part of the capital of every growing society is, first, directed to agriculture, afterward to manufactures, and, last of all, to foreign commerce."

This, says he, is in accordance with natural laws. As subsistence precedes luxuries, so must the production, of commodities precede their conversion or their exchange.

"Necessity imposes," he continues, "that order of things" which "is in every country promoted by the natural inclinations of man. If human institutions had never thwarted those natural inclinations, the towns could nowhere have increased beyond what the improvement and cultivation of the territory in which they were situated could support; till such time, at least, as the whole of that territory was completely cultivated and improved. Upon equal, or nearly equal profits, most men will choose to employ their capitals rather in the improvement and cultivation of land, than either in manufactures or in foreign trade. The man who employs his capital in land, has it more under his view and command; and his fortune is much less liable to accidents than that of the trader, who is obliged frequently to commit it, not only to the winds and the waves, but to the more uncertain elements of human folly and injustice, by giving great credits, in distant countries, to men with whose character and situation he can seldom be thoroughly acquainted. The capital of the landlord, on the contrary, which is fixed in the improvement of his land, seems to be as well secured as the nature of human affairs can admit of. The beauty of the country, besides the pleasures of a country life, the tranquillity of mind which it promises, and, wherever the injustice of human laws does not disturb it, the independency which it really affords, have charms that, more or less, attract everybody; and as to cultivate the ground was the original destination of man, so, in every stage of his existence, he seems to retain a predilection for this primitive employment.

"Without the assistance of some artificers, indeed, the cultivation of land cannot be carried on, but with great inconveniency and continual interruption. Smiths, carpenters, wheelwrights and ploughwrights, masons and bricklayers, tanners, shoemakers, and tailors, are people whose service the farmer has frequent occasion for. Such artificers, too, stand occasionally in need of the assistance of one another; and as their residence is not, like that of the farmer, necessarily tied down to a precise spot, they naturally settle in the neighbourhood of one another, and thus form a small town or village. The butcher, the brewer, and the baker soon join them, together with many other artificers and retailers, necessary or useful for supplying their occasional wants, and who contribute still further to augment the town. The inhabitants of the town and those of the country are mutually the servants of one another. The town is a continual fair or market, to which the inhabitants of the country resort, in order to exchange their rude for manufactured produce. It is this commerce which supplies the inhabitants of the town, both with the materials of their work and the means of their subsistence. The quantity of the finished work which they sell to the inhabitants of the country, necessarily regulates the quantity of the materials and provisions which they buy. Neither their employment nor subsistence, therefore, can augment, but in proportion to the augmentation of the demand from the country for finished work; and this demand can augment only in proportion to the extension of improvement and cultivation. Had human institutions, therefore, never disturbed the natural course of things, the progressive wealth and increase of the towns would, in every political society, be consequential, and in proportion to the improvement and cultivation of the territory or country."

The demand on the artisan "can augment only in proportion to the extension of improvement and cultivation." Nothing can be more true. The interests of the farmer and the mechanic are in perfect harmony with each other. The one needs a market for his products, and the nearer the market the greater must be the produce of his land, because of his increased power to carry back to it the manure. The other needs a market for his labour, and the richer the land around him the greater will be the quantity of products to be offered in exchange for labour, and the greater his freedom to determine for himself for whom he will work and what shall be his wages. The combination of effort between the labourer in the workshop and the labourer on the farm thus gives value to land, and the more rapid the growth of the value of land the greater has everywhere been the tendency to the freedom of man.

These views were opposed to those then universally prevalent.
"England's treasure in foreign trade" had become

"A fundamental maxim in the political economy, not of England only, but of all other commercial countries. The inland or home trade, the most important of all, the trade in which an equal capital affords the greatest revenue, and creates the greatest employment to the people of the country, was considered as subsidiary only to foreign trade. It neither brought money into the country, it was said, nor carried any out of it. The country, therefore, could never become richer or poorer by means of it, except as far as its prosperity or decay might indirectly influence the state of foreign trade."

It was against this error chiefly that Dr. Smith cautioned his countrymen. He showed that it had led, and was leading, to measures tending to disturb the natural course of things in all the countries connected with England, and to produce among them a necessity, for trade while diminishing the power to maintain trade. "Whatever tends," says he, "to diminish in any country the number of artificers and manufacturers, tends to diminish the home market, the most important of all markets, for the rude produce of the land, and thereby still further to discourage agriculture," and consequently to diminish the power of producing things with which to trade. He nowhere refers to the fact that any system which looks to compelling a nation to export raw produce, tends necessarily to the impoverishment of the land and its owner, and to the diminution, of the freedom of the labourer, and yet that such was the case could scarcely have escaped his observation. The tendency of the then existing English policy was, as he showed, to produce in various countries a necessity for exporting every thing in its rudest form, thus increasing the cost of transportation, while impoverishing the land and exhausting the people. The legislature had been, he said, "prevailed upon" to prevent the establishment of manufactures in the colonies, "sometimes by high duties, and sometimes by absolute prohibitions." In Grenada, while a colony of France, every plantation had its own refinery of sugar, but on its cession to England they were all abandoned, and thus was the number of artisans diminished, to "the discouragement of agriculture." The course of proceeding relative to these colonies is thus described:—

"While Great Britain encourages in America the manufacturing of pig and bar iron, by exempting them from duties to which the like commodities are subject when imported from any other country, she imposes an absolute prohibition upon the erection of steel furnaces and slit-mills in any of her American plantations: She will not suffer her colonies to work in those more refined manufactures, even for their own consumption; but insists upon their purchasing of her merchants and manufactures all goods of this kind which they have occasion for.

"She prohibits the exportation from one province to another by water, and even the carriage by land upon horseback, or in a cart, of hats, of wools, and woollen goods, of the produce of America; a regulation which effectually prevents the establishment of any manufacture of such commodities for distant sale, and confines the industry of her colonists in this way to such coarse and household manufactures as a private family commonly makes for its own use, or for that of some of its neighbours in the same province."

His views, in regard to such measures, are thus given:—

"To prohibit a great people from making all they can of every part of their own produce, or from employing their stock and industry in a way that they judge most advantageous to themselves, is a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind."

Further to carry out this view of compelling the people of the colonies to abstain from manufacturing for themselves, and to carry their products to distant markets, to the exhaustion of the land and to the diminution of the value of labour, bounties were paid on the importation into England of various articles of raw produce, while the export of various raw materials, of artisans, and of machinery, was prohibited. The whole object of the system was, he said, to "raise up colonies of customers, a project," he added, "fit only for a nation of shopkeepers." Indeed, he thought it "unfit even for a nation of shopkeepers," although "extremely fit for a nation whose government was influenced by shopkeepers." He was therefore entirely opposed to all such arrangements as the Methuen treaty, by which, in consideration of obtaining the control of the market of Portugal for the sale of her manufactures, Great Britain agreed to give to the wines of that country great advantage over those of France.

Against all the errors of the system, Dr. Smith, however, raised in vain his warning voice. "England's treasure" was, it was thought, to be found "in foreign trade," and every measure adopted by the government had in view the extension of that trade. With each new improvement of machinery there was a new law prohibiting its export. The laws against the export of artisans were enforced, and a further one prohibited the emigration of colliers. The reader will readily see that a law prohibiting the export of cotton or woollen machinery was precisely equivalent to a law to compel all the producers of wool or cotton to seek the distant market of England if they desired to convert their products into cloth. The inventors of machinery, and the artisans who desired to work it, were thus deprived of freedom of action, in order that foreigners might be made the slaves of those who controlled the spinning-jenny, the loom, and the steam-engine, in whose hands it was desired to centralize the control of the farmers and planters of the world. England was to be made "the workshop of the world," although her people had been warned that the system was not only unnatural, but in the highest degree unjust, and even more impolitic than unjust, because while tending to expel capital and labour from the great and profitable home market, it tended greatly to the "discouragement of agriculture" in the colonies and nations subjected to the system, and to prevent the natural increase of the smaller and less profitable distant market upon which she was becoming more and more dependent.

By degrees the tendency of the system became obvious. Bounties on the import of wood, and wool, and flax, and other raw materials, tended to "the discouragement of agriculture" at home, and bounties on the export of manufactures tended to drive into the work of converting, and exchanging the products of other lands the labour and capital that would otherwise have been applied to the work of production at home. The necessary consequence of this was, that the difficulty of obtaining these raw materials, instead of diminishing with the progress of population, tended to increase, and then it was, at the distance of a quarter of a century from the date of the publication of "The Wealth of Nations," that the foundation of the new school was laid by Mr. Malthus, who taught that all the distress existing in the world was the inevitable consequence of a great law of nature, which provided that food should increase only in arithmetical progression, while population might increase in geometrical progression. Next came Mr. Ricardo, who furnished a law of the occupation of the earth, showing, and conclusively, as he supposed, that the work of cultivation was always commenced on the rich soils, yielding a large return to labour, and that as population increased, men were compelled to resort to others, each in succession less fertile than its predecessor—the consequence of which was that labour became daily less productive, the power to obtain food diminished, and the power to demand rent increased, the poor becoming daily poorer, weaker, and more enslaved, as the rich became richer and more powerful. Next came the elder Mill, who showed that, in obedience to the law thus propounded by Mr. Ricardo, the return to capital and labour applied to the work of cultivation must be "continually decreasing," and the annual fund from which sayings are made, continually diminishing. "The difficulty of making savings is thus," he adds, "continually augmented, and at last they must totally cease." He regarded it therefore as certain that "wages would be reduced so low that a portion of the population would regularly die from the consequences of want." In such a state of things, men sell themselves, their wives, or their children, for mere food. We see, thus, that the modern British theory looks directly to the enslavement of man.

In this manner, step by step, did the British political economists pass from the school of Adam Smith, in which it was taught that agriculture preceded manufactures and commerce, the latter of which were useful to the extent that they aided the former,—to that new one in which was, and is, taught, that manufactures and commerce were the great and profitable pursuits of man, and that agriculture, because of the "constantly increasing sterility of the soil," was the least profitable of all. Hence it is that we see England to have been steadily passing on in the same direction, and devoting all her energies to the prevention of the establishment, in any country of the world, of markets in which the raw produce of the land could be exchanged directly with the artisan for the products of his labour.

For a time this prospered, but at length the eyes of the world were opened to the fact that they and their land were being impoverished as she was being enriched; and that the effect of the system was that of constituting herself sole buyer of the raw products of their labour and their land, and sole seller of the manufactured commodities to be given in exchange for them, with power to fix the prices of both; and thus that she was really acting in the capacity of mistress of the world, with power to impose taxes at discretion. By degrees, machinery and artisans were smuggled abroad, and new machinery was made, and other nations turned their attention more and more to manufacturing; and now it became necessary to make new exertions for the purpose of securing to England the monopoly she had so long enjoyed. To enable her to do this we find her at length throwing open her ports for the free admission of corn and numerous other of the raw products of the earth, free from the payment of any duty whatever, and thus offering to the various nations of the world a bounty on the further exhaustion of their land. The adoption of this measure would, it was supposed, induce Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Denmark, and all America, to devote themselves exclusively to the cultivation of the earth, abandoning all attempts at the creation of nearer places of exchange; and thus that all the world outside of England would become producers of raw materials to be carried to that single and distant market, there to be consumed or converted, and the refuse thereof to be deposited on the land of England. That such was the object of this measure was admitted by all. It was announced as a boon to the agriculturists of the world. How far it was calculated to be so, the reader may judge, after satisfying himself of the truth of the following propositions:—

I. That if there is to be but one place of exchange or manufacture for the world, all the rest of the people of the world must limit themselves to agriculture.

II. That this necessarily implies the absence of towns, or local places of exchange, and a necessity for resorting to a place of exchange far distant.

III. That the distance of the place of consumption from the place of production forbids the possibility of returning to the land any of the manure yielded by its products.

IV. That this in turn implies the exhaustion of the land and the impoverishment of its owner.

V. That the impoverishment of the land renders necessary a removal to new and more distant lands.

VI. That this renders necessary a larger amount of transportation, while the impoverishment of the farmer increases the difficulty of making roads.

VII. That the increased distance of the market produces a steadily increased necessity for limiting the work of cultivation to the production of those commodities which can be obtained from high and dry lands, and that the quantity of products tends therefore to diminish with the increased distance from market.

VIII. That with each step in the progress of exhausting the land, men are compelled to separate more widely from each other, and that there is therefore a steady diminution in the power of association for the making of roads, or the establishment of schools, and that the small towns, or near places of exchange, tend gradually toward depopulation and ruin.

IX. That the more men separate from each other the less is the power to procure machinery, and the greater the necessity for cultivating the poorest soils, even though surrounded by lead, iron, and copper ore, coal, lime, and all other of the elements of which machinery is composed.

X. That with the diminished power of association, children grow up uneducated, and men and women become rude and barbarous.

XI. That the power to apply labour productively tends steadily to diminish, and that women, in default of other employment, are forced to resort to the field, and to become slaves to their fathers, husbands, and brothers.

XII. That the power to accumulate capital tends likewise to diminish—that land becomes from day to day more consolidated—and that man sinks gradually into the condition of a slave to the landed or other capitalist.

XIII. That with this steady passage of man from the state of a freeman to that of a slave, he has steadily less to sell, and can therefore purchase less; and that thus the only effect of a policy which compels the impoverishment of the land and its owner is to destroy the customer, who, under a different system of policy, might have become a larger purchaser from year to year.

That the object of the present English policy is that of converting all the nations of the world into purely agricultural communities will not be denied; but as it may be doubted if the effects would be such as are here described, it is proposed now to inquire into the movement of some of the non-manufacturing communities of the world, with a view to determine if the facts observed are in correspondence with those that, reasoning a priori, we should be led to expect. Before entering upon this examination, the reader is, however, requested to peruse the following extracts from "Gee on Trade," in which is described the former colonial system, and afterward the extract from a recent despatch of Lord Grey, late Colonial Secretary, with a view to satisfy himself how perfectly identical are the objects now sought to be attained with those desired by the statesmen of the last century, and denounced by Adam Smith.


First—"Manufactures in American colonies should be discouraged, prohibited."

"Great Britain with its dependencies is doubtless as well able to subsist within itself as any nation in Europe. We have an enterprising people, fit for all the arts of peace or war. We have provisions in abundance, and those of the best sort, and we are able to raise sufficient for double the number of inhabitants. We have the very best materials for clothing, and want nothing either for use or for luxury, but what we have at home, or might have from our colonies; so that we might make such an intercourse of trade among ourselves, or between us and them, as would maintain a vast navigation. But, we ought always to keep a watchful eye over our colonies, to restrain them from setting up any of the manufactures which are carried on in Great Britain; and any such attempts should be crushed in the beginning, for if they are suffered to grow up to maturity it will be difficult to suppress them."

"Our colonies are much in the same state as Ireland was in when they began the woollen manufactory, and as their numbers increase, will fall upon manufactures for clothing themselves, if due care be not taken to find employment for them in raising such productions as may enable them to furnish themselves with all the necessaries from us."

"I should, therefore, think it worthy the care of the government to endeavour by all possible means to encourage them in the raising of silk, hemp, flax, iron, (only pig, to be hammered in England,) potash, &c., by giving them competent bounties in the beginning, and sending over skilful and judicious persons, at the public charge, to assist and instruct them in the most proper methods of management, which in my apprehension would lay a foundation for establishing the most profitable trade of any we have. And considering the commanding situation of our colonies along the seacoast, the great convenience of navigable rivers in all of them, the cheapness of land, and the easiness of raising provisions, great numbers of people would transport themselves thither to settle upon such improvements. Now, as people have been filled with fears that the colonies, if encouraged to raise rough materials, would set up for themselves, a little regulation would be necessary; and as they will have the providing rough materials for themselves, a little regulation would remove all those jealousies out of the way. They have never thrown or wove any silk, as yet, that we have heard of,—therefore, if a law was made prohibiting the use of any throwing mill, of doubling or throstling silk, with any machine whatever, they would then send it to us raw. And as they will have the providing rough materials to themselves, so shall we have the manufacturing of them. If encouragement be given for raising hemp, flax, &c., doubtless they will soon begin to manufacture, if not prevented. Therefore, to stop the progress of any such manufacture, it is proposed that no weaver have liberty to set up any looms, without first registering at an office kept for that purpose, and the name and place of abode of any journeyman that shall work for him. But if any particular inhabitant shall be inclined to have any linen or woollen made of their own spinning, they should not be abridged of the same liberty that they now make use of, namely to have a weaver who shall be licensed by the Governor, and have it wrought up for the use of the family, but not to be sold to any person in a private manner, nor exposed to any market or fair, upon pain of forfeiture." "That all slitting mills and engines for drawing wire, or weaving stockings, be put down." "That all negroes shall be prohibited from weaving either linen or woollen, or spinning or combing of wool, or working at any manufacture of iron, further than making it into pig or bar-iron. That they also be prohibited from manufacturing hats, stockings, or leather of any kind. This limitation will not abridge the planters of any liberty they now enjoy—on the contrary, it will then turn their industry to promoting and raising those rough materials."

Second—"The advantages to Great Britain from keeping the colonies dependent on her for their essential supplies."

"If we examine into the circumstances of the inhabitants of our plantations, and our own, it will appear that not one-fourth part of their product redounds to their own profit, for out of all that comes here, they only carry back clothing and other accommodations for their families, all of which is of the merchandise and manufacture of this kingdom." "All these advantages we receive by the plantations, besides the mortgages on the planters' estates and the high interest they pay us, which is very considerable, and, therefore, very great care ought to be taken, in regulating all the affairs of the colonists, that the planters are not put under too many difficulties, but encouraged to go on cheerfully." "New England and the northern colonies have not commodities and products enough to send us in return for purchasing their necessary clothing, but are under very great difficulties; and, therefore, any ordinary sort sell with them,—and when they have grown out of fashion with us, they are new-fashioned enough for them."


"If, as has been alleged by the complainants, and as in some instances would appear to be the case, any of the duties comprised in the tariff have been imposed, not for the purpose of revenue, but with a view of protecting the interest of the Canadian manufacturer, her Majesty's government are clearly of opinion that such a course is injurious alike to the interests of the mother country and to those of the colony. Canada possesses natural advantages for the production of articles which will always exchange in the markets of this country for those manufactured goods of which she stands in need. By such exchange she will obtain these goods much more cheaply than she could manufacture, them for herself, and she will secure an advantageous market for the raw produce which she is best able to raise. On the other hand, by closing her markets against British manufactures, or rendering their introduction more costly, she enhances their price to the consumer, and by the imposition of protective duties, for the purpose of fostering an unnatural trade, she gives a wrong direction to capital, by withdrawing it from more profitable employment, and causing it to be invested in the manufacture of articles which might be imported at a cost below that of production in the colony, while at the same time she inflicts a blow on her export trade by rendering her markets less eligible to the British customer." "If the merchant finds that by exporting his goods to Canada, they produce him in return a large quantity of corn, and thus yield a greater profit than they would if exported to any other country, he will of course give the preference to Canada. But if by reason of increased import duties, those goods produce a diminished return the result will be either that the Canadian farmer must submit to a proportionate reduction in the price of his produce, or the British manufacturer must resort to another market. It is, therefore, obvious, that it is not less the interest of Canada herself than of Great Britain, that this tariff of import duties should undergo a careful revision."

The phraseology of the two is different, but the object is the same—that of rendering it necessary to send all the raw products of the land to a market far distant, and thus depriving the farmer or planter of the power to return any portion of the loan made to him by the earth, and which she is always willing to renew, on the simple condition that when the borrower has used it, he shall return to the lender the elements of which it had been composed.



The system described in the last chapter was fully carried out in the West India colonies. Manufactures were so entirely interdicted from the date of their coming under the crown of Great Britain, that the colonists were not permitted even to refine their own sugar, and still less to convert their cotton into cloth. The necessary consequence was that women and children could have no employment but that of the field. This, of course, tended to sink both mother and child far lower in the scale of civilization than would have been the case had the lighter labour of conversion been associated with the more severe one of production. The next effect was, that as all were bound to remain producers of raw commodities, there could be no markets at hand, and no exchanges could be made except at a distance of thousands of miles. Difficulties, too, arose in regard to the diversification of labour, even in agriculture itself. Indigo was tried, but of the price for which it sold in England so large a portion was absorbed by ship-owners, commission merchants, and the government, that its culture was abandoned. Coffee, was extensively introduced, and as it grows on higher and more salubrious lands its cultivation would have been of great advantage to the community; but here, as in the case of indigo, so small a portion of the price for which it sold was received by the producer that its production was about being abandoned, and was saved only by the government agreeing to reduce its claim to a shilling, or twenty-four cents, a pound. This amounted to about a hundred and eighty dollars per acre, the estimated produce being about 750 pounds of merchantable coffee;[26] and very much of it came out of the producer—the poor negro. How enormously burdensome such a tax must have been may be judged by the farmers who feel now so heavily the pressure of the malt duties; and it must always be borne in mind that the West India labourers were aided by the most indifferent machinery of production. By degrees these various taxes rendered necessary the abandonment of all cultivation but that of the sugar-cane, being of all others the most destructive of health, and as the whole population, men, women, and children, were limited to that single pursuit, we shall scarcely err in attributing to this fact the great waste of life recorded in a former chapter.

Commerce, too, was interdicted, except with Great Britain and her colonies; and this led to efforts at a smuggling trade with the Spanish possessions on the continent; but this was brought to a close by the watchfulness of the ships of war.[27] Slaves, however, might be imported and exported, and this traffic was carried on a most extensive scale, most of the demand for the Spanish colonies being supplied from the British Islands. In 1775, however, the colonial legislature, desirous to prevent the excessive importation of negroes, imposed a duty of £2 per head, but this was petitioned against by the merchants of England, and the home government directed the discontinuance of the tax.[28] At this period the annual export of sugar is stated,[29] to have been 980,346 cwt., the gross sales of which, duty free, averaged £1 14s. 8d. per cwt., making a total of £1,699,421,—so large a portion of which, however, was absorbed by freight, commissions, insurance, &e., that the net proceeds, of 775 sugar estates are stated to have been only £726,992, or less than £1000 each. If to the £973,000 thus deducted be added the share of the government, (12s. 3d. per cwt.,) and the further charges before the sugar reached the consumer, it will be seen that its grower could not have received more than one-fourth of the price at which it sold. The planter thus appears to have been little more than a superintendent of slaves, who were worked for the benefit of the merchants and the government of Great Britain, by whom was absorbed the lion's share of the produce of their labour. He was placed between the slave, whom he was obliged to support, on the one hand, and the mortgagee, the merchants, and the government, whom he was also obliged to support, on the other, and he could take for himself only what was left—and if the crop proved large, and prices fell, he was ruined. The consequences of this are seen in the fact that in twenty years following this period, there were sold for debt no less than 177 estates, while 92 remained unsold in the hands of creditors, and 55 were wholly abandoned. Seeing these things, it will not be difficult to understand the cause of the extraordinary waste of life exhibited in the British Islands. The planter could exist, himself, only by overworking his people; and notwithstanding all his efforts, no less than 324 out of 775 estates changed hands by reason of failure in the short space of twenty years. Whatever might be his disposition to improve the condition of the labourer, to do so was quite impossible while receiving for himself and them so small a portion of the price of his commodity.

In the early years of the present century, land had become more valuable. The price of sugar had risen about 80 per cent., and the planters were gradually extricating themselves from their difficulties; and a consequence of this was seen in a considerable amelioration of the condition of the slave, who was now much better fed, clothed, and otherwise provided for.[30] Slaves that had been as low as £34, average price, had risen to £50, at which the 250,000 in the island amounted to £12,500,000, and the real and personal property, exclusive of the slaves, was estimated at £25,000,000.[31] How great, however, were the difficulties under which the planters still laboured, may be seen from the following extract, which, long as it is, is given because it illustrates so forcibly the destructive effects of the policy that looks to the prevention of that association which results from bringing the loom and the anvil to the side of plough and the harrow.

"I have now to enter upon a painful part of my task, a part in which I am under the necessity of stating such circumstances as cannot but reflect disgrace on those who give rise to them, and from which the weakness, I will not use a harsher term, of the legislature, is but too apparent. These circumstances arise from the various modes of agency, such as that of the attorney of estates, mortgagee in possession, receiver in chancery, &c. The first of these characters requires a definition. By the word attorney, in this sense, is meant agent; and the duties annexed to his office are so similar to those of a steward in England, that were it not for the dissimilarity of executing them, and the dignity attendant upon the former, I should pronounce them one and the same, But as this colonial stewardship is the surest road to imperial fortune, men of property and distinguished situation push eagerly for it. Attorneys are of two sorts; six per cent. attorneys, and salaried attorneys; the profits of the former arise from commissions of six per cent. on all the produce of an estate, and various interior resources; the latter are paid a certain stipend by some unincumbered proprietors, who have lately discovered that a steward in Jamaica may be hired like a steward in England, by which several thousand pounds a year are saved, and instead of enriching their agents, are poured into their own coffers. The office of both is to attend to the estates of their employers, and to all their interests in the island, deputed to them that the proprietors themselves may live at home, that is to say, in Europe.

"Of all the evils in the island of Jamaica, which call for a remedy, and by means of which the most unjustifiable practices are continued, the first and most crying is that of the business of a certain description of attorneys of orphans, mortgagees in possession, trustees, executors, guardians, and receivers under the court of chancery; and these evils arise in a great measure from the unjust and impolitic law which allows six per cent. commission on the gross produce of the estates under their charge and direction. The iniquitous practices, screened, if not authorized by that law have long been too glaring to be unnoticed; and attempts have been made to reduce the commission, and to fix it on some more equitable principle; but unfortunately there have always been in the House of Assembly too many of its members interested in benefits resulting from the present law to admit the adoption of the measure. That the interest of attorneys is not always the interest of those whose estates they hold is an undeniable fact, of which I think you will be convinced by the time you arrive at the conclusion of this letter. In many instances, too, this superior collateral interest militates against the happiness and amelioration of the state and condition of the slaves, which is now professed by the colonists to be an object of their most serious attention; and it proves not unfrequently the total ruin of the unfortunate planter, whose involved situation compels him to submit to the condition of consigning his estate to the management of an attorney appointed by his creditor, who is generally his merchant, and who throws the full legal advantages of his debtor's estate into the hands of his own agent in the island, to compensate for the economical bargain he makes for the management of his own concerns; a practice common also to trustees, guardians, &c. The law allowing such enormous commissions for services so inadequate, is also very defective in an important point; for it establishes no data for fixing the charge of this commission, which is never made according to the sales of sugar, for that is not soon, if ever known to the attorney. Hence, in the different accounts, the charges are estimated on sugar at several prices, from 20s. per cwt. to 45s., and even 50s.; and in the same books of one and the same attorney, these charges are found to differ according to his connection with his employer, generally increasing in proportion to the distress of the property and of the proprietor. To form some notion of the advantages attending these appointments, and of their injurious tendency to involved proprietors, and even to their creditors, let us see what a receiver under the court of chancery can do. In the first place, it has not always been the practice to select him from among the inhabitants in the vicinity of the unfortunate estates, or from among the friends of the proprietor; he is frequently a resident in one of the towns, with perhaps as little knowledge of the management of an estate as is possessed by the sweeper of the chancery office; and indeed it would not be inapplicable to distinguish such receivers by the appellation of chancery-sweepers. These gentlemen seldom if ever see the estates which they are to direct, and have no other directions to give than, in a lumping way, to make as much sugar as possible, and to ship it, most likely to their own correspondents. Whatever the estates clear is so much in their hands, and of course the more money the better for them; money takes root in every soil, and propagates itself a thousand ways; not a dollar of it therefore finds its way into the chancery chest, for the receiver having given security, the treasure is, by a common fiction in use, held to be fully as safe in his hands. While the different creditors of the estate are fighting the battle of priority, the receiver continues to direct the management of it, to ship the crop, and to take care of the money. At length a prior debt is established, and the creditor having gained the point, remains for a time satisfied; but finding, though his principal accumulates, that he receives nothing, he becomes clamorous for a sale. This may take place in five or six years time, when all pretexts for delay are worn out, and in the mean time the receiver takes care to have money, adequate to the simple sums received, turned over by his consignee or merchant to another hand, his banker's, to be ready to answer bills to be drawn on his own account, for which he must have a premium of from twelve to seventeen and a half per cent. The estate at last is advertised for sale by a master in chancery, in consequence of an order from the chancellor. The sale, however, is spun out, a year or two longer, till the creditor or his attorney begins to remonstrate with the master: stipulations for an amicable settlement ensue, that is, for an admission of the receiver's accounts such as they may be, and for time allowed him for payment of the mesne profits or balance in his hands; which agreed to, the sale is positively to take place when the next crop is over. The sale then is actually concluded, the accumulations of these annual funds go unperceived to the further propagation of wealth for the receiver; and the purchaser, who is no other than the prior creditor, is put in possession of an estate in ruin, with a gang of negroes dispirited and miserable, who had been long sensible of their situation, conceiving themselves belonging to nobody, and almost despairing of ever falling into the hands of a kind master, interested in their welfare and happiness. Let us now turn to the attorney of a mortgagee in possession, and see what better he offers. The debt of the involved estate is due to a man of large property, or to a merchant; if to the former, he has a merchant to whom the consignment is of considerable value. It is immaterial what the debt is, an estate in possession of a mortgagee is generally made to pay full commissions to the attorney employed for it. In justice to all parties the most is to be made of the property, and it is soon found that the negroes upon it are not equal to the returns it is capable of making, consequently hired negroes are added to the plantation-gangs, to plant, weed, and take off the crop; the works are extended, to be adequate to the proposed increase; more stock, more carts are bought, more white people employed. To keep pace with these grand designs, the poor plantation negroes are of course overworked. What is the result? A great deal of sugar and rum is made, to the credit as well as profit of the attorney, and by which the merchant is benefited, as the consignments are augmented; but six per cent. interest on the principal, six per cent. on that interest by compound arithmetic become principal, six per cent. commissions, with the contingent charges for labour, improvements, stores, etc., absorb the whole produce, and the planter daily sinks under an accumulating debt, till he is completely ruined. The greater the distress, the more the attorney fattens; in a war, for instance, a considerable additional benefit occurs; he becomes lumber-merchant, and having the rum of the estate at his command, and perhaps a little sugar, though in the latter article he is usually restricted, as the disposal of it in the island would interfere with the loading of ships and consignments, he purchases wholesale cargoes, and retails them out to the estate at a large profit. Staves bought by the attorney at £18 per thousand, have been known to be sold to the estate for £45 per thousand; and the cart belonging to the property has carried the rum to pay for them. It is well known that the rum made upon an estate will seldom pay its contingent expenses, and that frequently bills are drawn on Great Britain to the amount of one thousand pounds, and sometimes two thousand pounds, for the excess of the contingencies over and above the amount of the sale of the rum: here the attorney finds another avenue of amassing for himself. Settling the excess from his own means, he appropriates the bills which it enabled him to draw to the purchase of the remainder of a cargo of negroes, after the best have been culled at the rate of from ninety to ninety-five pounds per head: these inferior negroes he disposes of to his dependent overseers, jobbers, doctors, tradesmen, distillers, and book-keepers, at forty or fifty pounds a head profit; nor is it without example, that the very estates on the credit of which some of the bills are drawn, have been supplied with negroes in the same manner, and at the same rate. This manoeuvre indeed is ventured only on estates of minors, whose trustees are merchants in Great Britain, ignorant of such practices; or may be, when they have committed the estates to the attorney, liable to the full advantages to be made of them, to compensate for the moderate allowance they give for the management of their own concerns. An island merchant, or according to the West India appellation, storekeeper, in great business, told a friend of mine, that he had sold a cargo of mules at eighteen pounds per head to an attorney, which were dispersed in separate spells of eight each to several estates, but that at the special instance of the purchaser, he had made out the bills of parcels at thirty pounds per head. This does not speak much in favour of the virtue of the storekeeper, but it must be observed that he would have lost his customer had he demurred, and would probably have been considered as righteous overmuch. There is a variety of smaller advantages enjoyed by the attorney, such as forming connections with butchers who may purchase the fatted cattle, with jobbers of negroes for the purpose of intermingling negroes at a proportionable profit, fattening horses, and a long et cetera. To the attorney the commanders of the ships in the trade look up with due respect, and as they are proper persons to speak of him to the merchant, their good-will is not neglected. To the involved planter their language often is, 'Sir, I must have your sugars down at the wharf directly;' that is, your sugars are to make the lowest tier, to stand the chance of being washed out should the ship leak or make much water in a bad passage. When they address an attorney, they do not ask for sugars, but his favours, as to quantity and time; and his hogsheads form the upper tier."[32]

An examination made about this period proved that these persons, 193 in number, held in charge 606 sugar-works, producing about 80,000 hhds. of sugar, and 36,000 puncheons of rum, which at the selling prices of that day in England yielded about £4,000,000, upon which they were entitled to six per cent., or £240,000. We have here a most extensive system of absenteeism, and absentees must be represented by middlemen, having no interest in the slave or in the plantation, except to take from both all that can be taken, giving as little as possible back to either.

Why, however, did this absenteeism exist? Why did not the owners of property reside on their estates? Because the policy which looked to limiting the whole population, male and female, old and young, to the culture of sugar, and forbade even that the sugar itself should be refined on the island, effectually prevented the growth of any middle class that should form the population of towns at which the planter might find society that could induce him to regard the island as his home. Such was not the case in the French Islands, because the French government had not desired to prevent the weaker class of the population from engaging in the work of manufacture, as has been seen in the case of Grenada, in which sugar was refined until the period of its surrender to the British arms.[33] Towns therefore grew up, and men of all descriptions came from France to make the islands their home; whereas the English colonists looked only to realizing a fortune and returning home to spend it. All this is fully shown in the following extract, in which is given a comparative view of the British and French Islands immediately before the emancipation act of 1832.

"The houses have more of a European air than in our English colonies, and I must notice with praise the existence of four booksellers' shops, as large and well furnished as any second-rate ones in Paris. The sight of books to sell in the West Indies is like water in the desert, for books are not yet included in plantation stores for our islands. The cause is this. The French colonists, whether Creoles or Europeans, consider the West Indies as their country; they cast no wistful looks toward France; they have not even a packet of their own; they marry, educate, and build in and for the West Indies and the West Indies alone. In our colonies it is quite different; except a few regular Creoles to whom gratis rum and gratis coloured mothers for their children have become quite indispensable, every one regards the colony as a temporary lodging-place, where they must sojourn in sugar and molasses till their mortgage's will let them live elsewhere. They call England their home, though many of them have never been there; they talk of writing home and going home, and pique themselves more on knowing the probable result of a contested election in England than on mending their roads, establishing a police, or purifying a prison. The French colonist deliberately expatriates himself; the Englishman never. If our colonies were to throw themselves into the hands of the North Americans, as their enemies say that some of them wish to do, the planters would make their little triennial trips to New York as they now do to London. The consequence of this feeling is that every one, who can do so, maintains some correspondence with England, and when any article is wanted, he sends to England for it. Hence, except in the case of chemical drugs, there is an inconsiderable market for an imported store of miscellaneous goods, much less for an assortment of articles of the same kind. A different feeling in Martinique produces an opposite effect; in that island very little individual correspondence exists with France, and consequently there is that effectual demand for books, wines, jewelry, haberdashery, &c., in the colony itself, which enables labour to be divided almost as far as in the mother country. In St. Pierre there are many shops which contain nothing but bonnets, ribbons, and silks, others nothing but trinkets and toys, others hats only, and so on, and there are rich tradesmen in St. Pierre on this account. Bridge Town would rapidly become a wealthy place, if another system were adopted; for not only would the public convenience be much promoted by a steady, safe, and abundant importation, and separate preservation of each article in common request, but the demand for those articles would be one hundred-fold greater in Bridge Town itself than it now is on the same account in London, Liverpool, or Bristol, when impeded or divided and frittered away by a system of parcel-sending across the Atlantic. Supply will, under particular circumstances, create demand. If a post were established at Barbadoes, or a steamboat started between the islands, a thousand letters would be written where there are one hundred now, and a hundred persons would interchange visits where ten hardly do at present. I want a book and cannot borrow it; I would purchase it instantly from my bookseller in my neighbourhood, but I may not think it worth my while to send for it over the ocean, when, with every risk, I must wait at the least three months for it. The moral consequences of this system are even more to be lamented than the economical, but I will say more about that at some other time."[34]

In another part of the same work, the writer says—

"Schools for the children of the slaves are the first and chief step toward amelioration of condition and morals in every class of people in the West Indies."

Here, however, the same difficulty had existed. For the same reason that no towns could arise there could be no schools, and the planter found himself forced to send his children to England to be educated; the consequence of which was that at his death his property passed into the hands of agents, and his successors having contracted a fondness for European and a dislike for colonial life, remained abroad, leaving their estates to go to ruin, while their people perished under the lash of men who had no other interest than to ship the largest quantity of sugar, molasses, and rum. All this was a natural result of the system that denied to the women and children the privilege of converting cotton into cloth, or of giving themselves to other in-door pursuits. The mechanic was not needed where machinery could not be used, and without him there could grow up neither towns nor schools.

The reader will have remarked, in the first extract above given, that the export of rum generally brought the planter in debt, and yet the price paid for it by the consumers appears to have been nearly a million of pounds sterling—that is, the people of England gave of labour and its products that large sum in exchange for a certain product of the labouring people of Jamaica, not a shilling of which ever reached the planter to be applied to the amelioration of the condition of his estate, or of the people upon it. The crop sold on its arrival at 3s. or 3s. 6d. a gallon, but the consumer paid for it probably 17s., which were thus divided:—

  Government, representing the British people at large… 11.3
  Ship-owners, wholesale and retail dealers, &c………. 5.9
  Land-owner and labourer………………………….. 0.0

If we look to sugar, we find a result somewhat better, but of similar character. The English consumer gave for it 80s. worth of labour, and those shillings were nearly thus divided:—

  Government……………………………………… 27
  Ship-owner, merchant, mortgagee, &c……………….. 33
  Land-owner and labourer………………………….. 20

The reader will now see that Mr. Joshua Gee was not exaggerating when he gave it as one of the recommendations of the colonial system that the colonists left in England three-fourths of all their products,[35] the difference being swallowed up by those who made or superintended the exchanges. Such was the result desired by those who compelled the planter to depend on a distant market in which to sell all he raised, and to buy all he and his people needed to consume. The more he took out of his land the more he exhausted it and the less he obtained for its products, for large crops made large freights, large charges for storage, and enormous collections by the government, while prices fell because of the size of the crop, and thus was he ruined while all others were being enriched. Under such circumstances he could not purchase machinery for the improvement of his cultivation, and thus was he deprived of the power to render available the services of the people whom he was bound to support. Master of slaves, he was himself a slave to those by whom the labours of himself and his workmen were directed, and it would be unfair to attribute to him the extraordinary waste of life resulting necessarily from the fact that the whole people were limited to the labours of the field.

With inexhaustible supplies of timber, the island contained, even in 1850, not a single sawmill, although it afforded an extensive market for lumber from abroad. Yielding in the greatest abundance the finest fruits, there were yet no town's-people with their little vessels to carry them to the larger markets of this country, and for want of market they rotted under the trees. "The manufacturing resources of this island," says Mr. Bigelow, "are inexhaustible;" and so have they always been, but the people have been deprived of all power to profit by them, and for want of that power there was lost annually a greater amount of labour than would have paid, five times over, for the commodities for which they were compelled to look to the distant market. Of those who did not perish, because of the necessity for an universal dependence on field employments, a large portion of the labour was then, as it now must be, utterly wasted. "For six or eight months of the year, nothing," says Mr. Bigelow, (Notes, p. 54,) "is done on the sugar or coffee plantations." "Agriculture," he continues, "as at present conducted, does not occupy more than half their time." So was it fifty years ago, and it was because of the compulsory waste of labour and consequent small amount of productive power that there existed little opportunity for accumulating capital. Population diminished because there could be no improvement of the condition of the labourer who, while thus limited in the employment of his time, was compelled to support not only himself and his master, but the agent, the commission-merchant, the ship-owner, the mortgagee, the retail trader, and the government, and this under a system that looked to taking every thing from the land and returning nothing to it. Of the amount paid in 1831 by the British people for the products of the 320,000 black labourers of this island, the home government took no less than £3,736,113 10s. 6d.,[36] or about eighteen millions of dollars, being almost sixty dollars per head, and this for merely superintending the exchanges. Had no such claim been made on the product of the labour of those poor people, the consumer would have had his sugar cheaper, and this would have made a large consumption, and these eighteen millions would have been divided between the black labourer on the one hand and the white one on the other. It would be quite safe to assert that in that year each negro, old and young, male and female, contributed five pounds—$24—to the maintenance of the British government, and this was a heavy amount of taxation to be borne by a people limited entirely to agriculture and destitute of the machinery necessary for making even that productive. If now to this heavy burden be added the commissions, freights, insurance, interest, and other charges, it will readily be seen that a system of taxation so grinding could end no otherwise than in ruin; and that such was the tendency of things, was seen in the steady diminution of production.

                        Sugar, Rum, Coffee,
                        hhds. puncheons. lbs.
                        ——— ————— ———-
  In the three years
  ending with 1802,
  the average exports
  were, of 113,000 44,000 14,000,000

Whereas those of the three years ending with 1829 were only 92,000 34,000 17,000,000

The system which looked to depriving the cultivator of the advantage of a market near at hand, to which he could carry his products, and from which he could carry home the manure and thus maintain the powers of his land, was thus producing its natural results. It was causing the slave to became from day to day more enslaved; and that such was the case is shown by the excess of deaths over births, as given in a former chapter. Evidence of exhaustion was seen in every thing connected with the island. Labour and land were declining in value, and the security for the payment of the large debt due to mortgagees in England was becoming less from year to year, as more and more the people of other countries were being driven to the work of cultivation because of the impossibility of competing with England in manufactures. Sugar had declined to little more than a guinea a hundred-weight, and rum had fallen to little more than two shillings a gallon;[37] and nearly the whole of this must have been swallowed up in commissions and interest. Under such circumstances a great waste of life was inevitable; and therefore it is that we have seen importations of hundreds of thousands of black men, who have perished, leaving behind them no trace of their having ever existed. But on whom must rest the responsibility for a state of things so hideous as that here exhibited? Not, surely, upon the planter, for he exercised no volition whatsoever. He was not permitted to employ his surplus power in refining his own sugar. He could not legally introduce a spindle or a loom into the island. He could neither mine coal nor smelt iron ore. He could not in any manner repay his borrowings from the land, and, as a matter of course, the loans he could obtain diminished in quantity; and then, small as they were, the chief part of what his commodities exchanged for was swallowed up by the exchangers and those who superintend the exchanges, exercising the duties of government. He was a mere instrument in their hands for the destruction of negro morals, intellect, and life; and upon them, and not upon him, must rest the responsibility for the fact that, of all the slaves imported into the island, not more than two-fifths were represented on the day of emancipation.

Nevertheless, he it was that was branded as the tyrant and the destroyer of morals and of life; and public opinion—the public opinion of the same people who had absorbed so large a portion of the product of negro labour—drove the government to the measure of releasing the slave from compulsory service, and appropriating a certain amount to the payment, first, of the mortgage debts due in England, and, second, of the owner, who, even if he found his land delivered to him free of incumbrance, was in most cases left without a shilling to enable him to carry on the work of his plantation. The slaves were set free, but there existed no capital to find them employment, and from the moment of emancipation it became almost impossible to borrow money on mortgage security. The consequences are seen in the extensive abandonment of land and the decline of its value. Any quantity of it may be purchased, prepared for cultivation, and as fine as any in the island, for five dollars an acre, while other land, far more productive than any in New England, may be had at from fifty cents to one dollar. With the decline in the value of land the labourer tends toward barbarism, and the reason of this may be found on a perusal of the following paragraph:—

"They have no new manufactories to resort to when they are in want of work; no unaccustomed departments of mechanical or agricultural labour are open to receive them, to stimulate their ingenuity and reward their industry. When they know how to ply the hoe, pick the coffee-berry, and tend the sugar-mills, they have learned almost all the industry of the island can teach them. If, in the sixteen years during which the negroes have enjoyed their freedom, they have made less progress in civilization than their philanthropic champions have promised or anticipated, let the want I have suggested receive some consideration. It may be that even a white peasantry would degenerate under such influences. Reverse this, and when the negro has cropped his sugar or his coffee, create a demand for his labour in the mills and manufactories of which nature has invited the establishment on this island, and before another sixteen years would elapse the world would probably have some new facts to assist them in estimating the natural capabilities of the negro race, of more efficiency in the hands of the philanthropist than all the appeals which he has ever been able to address to the hearts or the consciences of men." Bigelow's Jamaica, p. 156.

The artisan has always been the ally of the agriculturist in his contest with the trader and the government, as is shown in the whole history of the world. The first desires to tax him by buying cheaply and selling dearly. The second desires to tax him for permitting him to make his exchanges, and the more distant the place of exchange, the greater the power of taxation. The artisan comes near to him, and enables him to have the raw materials combined on the spot, the producer of them exchanging directly with the consumer, paying no tax for the maintenance of ship-owners, commission merchants, or shopkeepers.

In a piece of cloth, says Adam Smith, weighing eighty pounds, there are not only more than eighty pounds of wool, but also "several thousand weight of corn, the maintenance of the working people," and it is the wool and the corn that travel cheaply in the form of cloth. What, however, finally becomes of the corn? Although eaten, it is not destroyed. It goes back again on the land, which becomes enriched; and the more that is taken from it; the more there is to be returned, the more it is enriched, the larger are the crops, and the greater is the ability of the farmer to make demands on the artisan. The reward of the latter increases with the growth in the value of the land and with the increase in the wealth of the land-owners by whom he is surrounded; and thus it is that all grow rich and free together, and that the community acquires from year to year power to resist attempts at taxation beyond that really needed for the maintenance of the rights of person and property. The greater the power to make exchanges at home, the greater will always be found the freedom of man in relation to thought, speech, action, and trade, and the greater the value of land.

The object of the policy pursued toward the colonies was directly the reverse of all this, tending to prevent any diversification whatsoever of employments, and thus not only to prevent increase in the value of land, but to diminish its value, because it forbade the return to the earth of any portion of its products. It forbade association, because it limited the whole people to a single pursuit. It forbade the immigration of artisans, the growth of towns, the establishment of schools, and consequently forbade the growth of intellect among the labourers or their owners. It forbade the growth of population, because it drove the women and the children to the culture of sugar among the richest and most unhealthy soils of the islands. It thus impoverished the land and its owners, exterminated the slave, and weakened the community, thus making it a mere instrument in the hands of the people who effected and superintended the exchanges—the merchants and the government—the class of persons that, in all ages, has thriven at the cost of the cultivator of the earth. By separating the consumer from the producer, they were enabled, as has been shown, to take to themselves three-fourths of the whole sales of the commodities consumed, leaving but one-fourth to be divided between the land and labour that had produced it. They, of course, grew strong, while the sugar-producing land and labour grew weak, and the weaker they became, the less was the need for regarding the rights of either. In this state of things it was that the landholder was required to accept a fixed sum of money as compensation for relinquishing his claim to demand of the labourer the performance of the work to which he had been accustomed. Unfortunately, however, the system pursued has effectually prevented that improvement of feeling and taste needed to produce in the latter desires for any thing beyond a sufficiency of food and a shirt. Towns and shops not having grown, he had not been accustomed even to see the commodities that tempted his fellow-labourers in the French Islands. Schools not having existed, even for the whites, he had acquired no desire for books for himself, or for instruction for his children. His wife had acquired no taste for dress, because she had been limited to field labour. Suddenly emancipated from control, they gratified the only desire that had been permitted to grow up in them—the love of perfect idleness, to be indulged to such extent as was consistent with obtaining the little food and clothing needed for the maintenance of existence.

Widely different would have been the state of affairs had they been permitted to make their exchanges at home, giving the cotton and the sugar for the cloth and the iron produced by the labour and from the soil of the island. The producer of the sugar would then have had all the cloth given for it by the consumer, instead of obtaining one-fourth of it, and then the land would have increased in value, the planter would have grown rich, and the labourer would have become free, by virtue of a great natural law which provides that the more rapid the augmentation of wealth, the greater must be the demand for labour, the greater must be the quantity of commodities produced by the labourer, the larger must be his proportion of the product, and the greater must be the tendency toward his becoming a free man and himself a capitalist.[38]

As a consideration for abstaining from converting their own sugar and cotton into cloth, it had been provided that their products should enjoy certain advantages in the ports of the mother country; and the understanding at the date of emancipation was that the free negro should continue in the enjoyment of the same privileges that had been allowed to the slave and his master. It was soon, however, discovered that the negro, having scarcely any desire beyond the food that could be obtained from a little patch of land, would not work, and that, consequently, the supply of sugar was reduced, with a large increase of price, and that thus the ship-owner suffered because of diminished freights, the merchant because of reduced consumption, and the government because of reduced revenue. Instead of obtaining, as before, one-fourth of the product, the cultivator had now perhaps one-half, because the taxes did not rise with the rise of price. Nevertheless, the land-owners and labourers of the island were weaker than before, for all power of association had disappeared; and now it was that the trader and the government discovered that if they would continue to draw from the sugar producers of the world their usual supplies of public and private revenue, they must resort again to slave labour, putting the poor free negro of Jamaica, with his exhausted soil, on the same footing with the slave of Brazil and Cuba, on a virgin soil; and this, too, at a moment when the science of Europe had triumphed over the difficulty of making sugar cheaply from the beet-root, and Germany, France, and Belgium were threatening to furnish supplies so abundant as almost to exclude the produce of the cane. They, too, had the sugar-refinery close at hand, whereas the poor free negro was not permitted to refine his product, nor is he so even now, although it is claimed that sugar might still be grown with advantage, were he permitted to exercise even that small amount of control over his labour and its products.

What was the character of the machinery with which they were to enter on this competition will be seen by the following extract:—

"I could not learn that there were any estates on the island decently stocked with implements of husbandry. Even the modern axe is not in general use; for felling the larger class of trees the negroes commonly use what they call an axe, which is shaped much like a wedge, except that it is a little wider at the edge than at the opposite end, at the very extremity of which a perfectly straight handle is inserted. A more awkward thing for chopping could not be well conceived—at least, so I thought until I saw the instrument in yet more general use about the houses in the country, for cutting firewood. It was, in shape, size, and appearance, more like the outer half of the blade of a scythe, stuck into a small wooden handle, than any thing else I can compare it to: with this long knife, for it is nothing else, I have seen negroes hacking at branches of palm for several minutes, to accomplish what a good wood-chopper, with an American axe, would finish at a single stroke. I am not now speaking of the poorer class of negro proprietors, whose poverty or ignorance might excuse this, but of the proprietors of large estates, which have cost their thousands of pounds."[39]

Cuba, too, had its cities and its shops, and these it had because the Spanish government had not desired to compel the people of the island to limit themselves to cultivation alone. Manufactures were small in extent, but they existed; and the power to make exchanges on the spot had tended to prevent the growth of absenteeism. The land-owners were present to look after their estates, and every thing therefore tended toward improvement and civilization, with constantly increasing attraction of both capital and labour. Jamaica, on the contrary, had but a seaport so poor as not to have a single foot of sidewalk paved, and of which three-fourths of the inhabitants were of the black race; and among them all, blacks and whites, there were no mechanics. In the capital of the island, Spanishtown, with a population of 5000, there was not to be found, in 1850, a single shop, nor a respectable hotel, nor even a dray-cart;[40] and in the whole island there was not a stage, nor any other mode of regular conveyance, by land or water, except on the little railroad of fifteen miles from Kingston to the capital.[41]

Such was the machinery of production, transportation, and exchange, by aid of which the free people of Jamaica were to maintain "unlimited competition" with Cuba, and its cities, railroads, and virgin soil, and with Europe and its science. What is to be the ultimate result may be inferred from the following comparative view of the first four years of the century, and the last four for which we have returns:—

                       Sugar, Rum, Coffee,
                        hhds. puncheons. lbs.
                       ——— ————— ———-
  1800 to 1803,
  average export, 124,000 44,000 14,600,000
  1845 to 1848,
  average export 44,000 17,000 6,000,000

The consequence of this is seen in the fact that it requires the wages of two men, for a day, to pay for a pound of butter, and of two women to pay for a pound of ham, while it would need the labour of eighty or a hundred men, for a day, to pay for a barrel of flour.[42] The London Times has recently stated that the free labourer now obtains less food than he did in the days of slavery, and there appears no reason to doubt the accuracy of its information. This view would, indeed, seem to be fully confirmed by the admission, in the House of Commons, that the cost of sugar "in labour and food" is less now than it was six years since.[43]

How indeed can it be otherwise? The object sought for is cheap sugar, and with a view to its attainment the production of sugar is stimulated in every quarter; and we all know that the more that is produced the larger will be the quantity poured into the market of England, and the greater will be the power of the people of that country to dictate the terms upon which they will consent to consume it. Extensive cultivation and good crops produce low prices, high freights, large commissions, and large revenue; and when such crops are made the people of England enjoy "cheap sugar" and are "prosperous," but the slave is rendered thereby more a slave, obtaining less and less food in return for his labour. Nevertheless, it is in that direction that the whole of the present policy of England points. The "prosperity" of her people is to be secured by aid of cheap sugar and high-priced cloth and iron; and the more exclusively the people of India and of Brazil can be forced to devote themselves to the labours of the field, the cheaper will be sugar and the greater will be the tendency of cloth and iron to be dear. What, however, becomes of the poor free negro? The more sugar he sends the more the stocks accumulate, and the lower are the prices, and the smaller is his power to purchase clothing or machinery, as will now be shown.

The London Economist, of November 13, furnishes the following statement of stocks and prices of sugar in the principal markets of Europe:—

                     1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
                     ——- ——- ——- ——-
  Stocks…. cwt.. 3,563,000 2,895,000 3,810,000 3,216,000

  Prices—duty free.
  Havana Brown… 17 to 24s. 20 to 27s. 16 to 22s. 19 to 26s.
  Brazil Brown… 16 to 20s. 18 to 22s. 12 to 17s. 16 to 20s.

The stocks of 1849 and 1852 were, as we see, nearly alike, and the prices did not greatly differ. Taking them, therefore, as the standard, we see that a diminution of supply so small as to cause a diminution of stock to the extent of about 400,000 cwts., or only about three per cent. of the import, added about fifteen per cent. to the prices of the whole crop in 1850; whereas a similar excess of supply in 1851 caused a reduction of prices almost as great. The actual quantity received in Europe in the first ten months of the last year had been 509,000 cwts. less than in the corresponding months of the previous one. The average monthly receipts are about a million of cwts. per month, and if we take the prices of those two years as a standard, the following will be the result:—

  1851…… 12,000,000 cwts. Average 16s. 9d…. £10,050,000
  1852…… 11,500,000 " " 20s. 3d…. 11,643,750
  Gain on short crop ……………………….. 1,593,750
  If now we compare 1850 with 1851,
  the following is the result:—
  1851 as above ……………………………. 10,050,000
  1850…… 11,000,000 cwts. Average 21s. 9d…. 11,971,250
  Now if this reduction of export had been
  a consequence of increased domestic
  consumption, we should have to add the
  value of that million to the product,
  and this would give……………………….. 1,187,500

We have here a difference of thirty per cent., resulting from a diminution of export to the amount of one-twelfth of the export to Europe, and not more than a twenty-fourth of the whole crop. Admitting the crop to have been 24,000,000 of cwts., and it must have been more, the total difference produced by this abstraction of four per cent. from the markets of Europe would be more than six millions of pounds, or thirty millions of dollars. Such being the result of a difference of four per cent., if the people of Cuba, Brazil, India, and other countries were to turn some of their labour to the production of cloth, iron, and other commodities for which they are now wholly dependent on Europe, and thus diminish their necessity for export to the further extent of two per cent., is it not quite certain that the effect would be almost to double the value of the sugar crop of the world, to the great advantage of the free cultivator of Jamaica, who would realize more for his sugar, while obtaining his cloth and his iron cheaper? If he could do this would he not become a freer man? Is not this, however, directly the reverse of what is sought by those who believe the prosperity of England to be connected with cheap sugar, and who therefore desire that competition for the sale of sugar should be unlimited, while competition, for the sale of cloth is to be limited?

"Unlimited competition" looks to competition for the sale of raw produce in the markets of England, and to the destruction of any competition with England for the sale of manufactured goods; and it is under this system that the poor labourer of Jamaica is being destroyed. He is now more a slave than ever, because his labour yields him less of the necessaries and comforts of life than when a master was bound to provide for him.

Such is a brief history of West India slavery, from its commencement to the present day, and from it the reader will be enabled to form an estimate of the judgment which dictated immediate and unconditional emancipation, and of the humanity that subsequently dictated unlimited freedom of competition for the sale of sugar. That of those who advocated emancipation vast numbers were actuated by the most praise worthy motives, there can be no doubt; but unenlightened enthusiasm has often before led almost to crime, and it remains to be seen if the impartial historian, will not, at a future day, say that such has been here the case. As regards the course which has been since pursued toward these impoverished, ignorant, and, defenceless people, he will perhaps have less difficulty; and it is possible that in recording it, the motives which led to it, and the results, he may find himself forced to place it among crimes of the deepest dye.



The first attempt at manufacturing any species of cloth in the North American provinces produced a resolution on the part of the House of Commons, [1710,] that "the erecting of manufactories in the colonies had a tendency to lessen their dependence on Great Britain." Soon afterward complaints were made to Parliament that the colonists were establishing manufactories for themselves, and the House of Commons ordered the Board of Trade to report on the subject, which was done at great length. In 1732, the exportation of hats from province to province was prohibited, and the number of apprentices to be taken by hatters was limited. In 1750 the erection of any mill or other engine for splitting or rolling iron was prohibited; but pig iron was allowed to be imported into England duty free, that it might there be manufactured and sent back again. At a later period, Lord Chatham declared that he would not permit the colonists to make even a hobnail for themselves—and his views were then and subsequently carried into effect by the absolute prohibition in 1765 of the export of artisans, in 1781 of woollen machinery, in 1782 of cotton machinery and artificers in cotton, in 1785 of iron and steel-making machinery and workmen in those departments of trade, and in 1799 by the prohibition of the export of colliers, lest other countries should acquire the art of mining coal.

The tendency of the system has thus uniformly been—

I. To prevent the application of labour elsewhere than in England to any pursuit but that of agriculture, and thus to deprive the weaker portion of society—the women and children—of any employment but in the field.

II. To compel whole populations to produce the same commodities, and thus to deprive them of the power to make exchanges among themselves.

III. To compel them, therefore, to export to England all their produce in its rudest forms, at great cost of transportation.

IV. To deprive them of all power of returning to the land the manure yielded by its products, and thus to compel them to exhaust their land.

V. To deprive them of the power of associating together for the building of towns, the establishment of schools, the making of roads, or the defence of their rights.

VI. To compel them, with every step in the process of exhausting the land, to increase their distances from each other and from market.

VII. To compel the waste of all labour that could not be employed in the field.

VIII. To compel the waste of all the vast variety of things almost valueless in themselves, but which acquire value as men are enabled to work in combination with each other.[44]

IX. To prevent increase in the value of land and in the demand for the labour of man; and,

X. To prevent advance toward civilization and freedom.

That such were the tendencies of the system was seen by the people of the colonies. "It is well known and understood," said Franklin, in 1771, "that whenever a manufacture is established which employs a number of hands, it raises the value of lands in the neighbouring country all around it, partly by the greater demand near at hand for the produce of the land, and partly from the plenty of money drawn by the manufactures to that part of the country. It seems, therefore," he continued, "the interest of all our farmers and owners of lands, to encourage our young manufactures in preference to foreign ones imported among us from distant countries." Such was the almost universal feeling of the country, and to the restriction on the power to apply labour was due, in a great degree, the Revolution.

The power to compel the colonists to make all their exchanges abroad gave to the merchants of England, and to the government, the same power of taxation that we see to have been so freely exercised in regard to sugar. In a paper published in 1750, in the London General Advertiser, it was stated that Virginia then exported 50,000 hhds. of tobacco, producing £550,000, of which the ship-owner, the underwriter, the commission merchant, and the government took £450,000, leaving to be divided between the land-owner and labourer only £100,000, or about eighteen per cent., which is less even than the proportion stated by Gee, in his work of that date. Under such circumstances the planter could accumulate little capital to aid him in the improvement of his cultivation.

The Revolution came, and thenceforward there existed no legal impediments to the establishment of home markets by aid of which the farmer might be enabled to lessen the cost of transporting his produce to market, and his manure from market, thus giving to his land some of those advantages of situation which elsewhere add so largely to its value. The prohibitory laws had, however, had the effect of preventing the gradual growth of the mechanic arts, and Virginia had no towns of any note, while to the same circumstances was due the fact that England was prepared to put down all attempts at competition with her in the manufacture of cloth, or of iron. The territory of the former embraced forty millions of acres, and her widely scattered population amounted to little more than 600,000. At the North, some descriptions of manufacture had grown slowly up, and the mechanics were much more numerous, and towns had gradually grown to be very small cities; the consequence of which was that the farmer there, backed by the artisan, always his ally, was more able to protect himself against the trader, who represented the foreign manufacturer. Everywhere, however, the growth of manufactures was slow, and everywhere, consequently, the farmer was seen exhausting his land in growing wheat, tobacco, and other commodities, to be sent to distant markets, from which no manure could be returned. With the exhaustion of the land its owners became, of course, impoverished, and there arose a necessity for the removal of the people who cultivated it, to new lands, to be in turn exhausted. In the North, the labourer thus circumstanced, removed himself. In the South, he had to be removed. Sometimes the planter abandoned his land and travelled forth with all his people, but more frequently he found himself compelled to part with some of his slaves to others; and thus has the domestic slave trade grown by aid of the exhaustive process to which the land and its owner have been subjected.

The reader may obtain some idea of the extent of the exhaustion that has taken place, by a perusal of the following extracts from an address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle County, Virginia, by one of the best authorities of the State, the Hon. Andrew Stevenson, late Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Minister to England.

Looking to what is the "real situation" of things, the speaker asks—

"Is there an intelligent and impartial man who can cast his eyes over the State and not be impressed with the truth, deplorable as it is afflicting, that the produce of most of our lands is not only small in proportion to the extent in cultivation, but that the lands themselves have been gradually sinking and becoming worse, under a most defective and ruinous system of cultivation?" "The truth is," he continues, "we must all feel and know that the spirit of agricultural improvement has been suffered to languish too long in Virginia, and that it is now reaching a point, in the descending scale, from which, if it is not revived, and that very speedily, our State must continue not only third or fourth in population, as she now is, but consent to take her station among her smaller sisters of the Union."

The cause of this unhappy state of things he regards as being to be found in "a disregard of scientific knowledge" and "a deep-rooted attachment to old habits of cultivation," together with the "practice of hard cropping and injudicious rotation of crops, leading them to cultivate more land than they can manure, or than they have means of improving;" and the consequences are found in the fact that in all the country east of the Blue Ridge, the average product of wheat "does not come up to seven bushels to the acre," four of which are required to restore the seed and defray the cost of cultivation, leaving to the land-owner for his own services and those of a hundred acres of land, three hundred bushels, worth, at present prices, probably two hundred and seventy dollars! Even this, however, is not as bad an exhibit as is produced in reference to another populous district of more than a hundred miles in length—that between Lynchburg and Richmond—in which the product is estimated at not exceeding six bushels to the acre! Under such circumstances, we can scarcely be surprised to learn from the speaker that the people of his great State, where meadows abound and marl exists in unlimited quantity, import potatoes from the poor States of the North, and are compelled to be dependent upon them for hay and butter, the importers of which realize fortunes, while the farmers around them are everywhere exhausting their land and obtaining smaller crops in each successive year.

Why is this so? Why should Virginia import potatoes and hay, cheese and butter? An acre of potatoes may be made to yield four hundred bushels, and meadows yield hay by tons, and yet her people raise wheat, of which they obtain six or seven bushels to the acre, and corn, of which they obtain fifteen or twenty, and with the produce of these they buy butter and cheese, pork and potatoes, which yield to the producer five dollars where they get one—and import many of these things too, from States in which manufacturing populations abound, and in which all these commodities should, in the natural course of things, be higher in price than in Virginia, where all, even when employed, are engaged in the cultivation of the soil. The answer to these questions is to be found in the fact that the farmers and planters of the State can make no manure. They raise wheat and corn, which they send elsewhere to be consumed; and the people among whom it is consumed put the refuse on their own lands, and thus are enabled to raise crops that count by tons, which they then exchange with the producers of the wheat produced on land that yields six bushels to the acre.

"How many of our people," continues the speaker, "do we see disposing of their lands at ruinous prices, and relinquishing their birthplaces and friends, to settle themselves in the West; and many not so much from choice as from actual inability to support their families and rear and educate their children out of the produce of their exhausted lands—once fertile, but rendered barren and unproductive by a ruinous system of cultivation.

"And how greatly is this distress heightened, in witnessing, as we often do, the successions and reverses of this struggle between going and staying, on the part of many emigrants. And how many are there, who after removing, remain only a few years and then return to seize again upon a portion of their native land, and die where they were born. How strangely does it remind us of the poor shipwrecked mariner, who, touching in the midst of the storm the shore, lays hold of it, but is borne seaward by the receding wave; but struggling back, torn and lacerate, he grasps again the rock, with bleeding hands, and still clings to it, as a last and forlorn hope. Nor is this to be wondered at. Perhaps it was the home of his childhood—the habitation of his fathers for past generations—the soil upon which had been expended the savings and nourishment, the energies and virtues of a long life—'the sweat of the living, and the ashes of the dead.'

"Oh! how hard to break such ties as these.

"This is no gloomy picture of the imagination; but a faithful representation of what most of us know and feel to be true. Who is it that has not had some acquaintance or neighbour—some friend, perhaps some relative, forced into this current of emigration, and obliged from necessity, in the evening, probably, of a long life, to abandon his State and friends, and the home of his fathers and childhood, to seek a precarious subsistence in the supposed El Dorados of the West?"

This is a terrible picture, and yet it is but the index to one still worse that must follow in its train. Well does the hon. speaker say that—

"There is another evil attending this continual drain of our population to the West, next in importance to the actual loss of the population itself, and that is, its tendency to continue and enlarge our wretched system of cultivation.

"The moment some persons feel assured that for present gain they can exhaust the fertility of their lands in the old States, and then abandon them for those in the West, which, being rich, require neither the aid of science nor art, the natural tendency is at once to give over all efforts at improvement themselves, and kill their land as quickly as possible—then sell it for what it will bring or abandon it as a waste. And such will be found to be the case with too many of the emigrants from the lowlands of Virginia."

Another distinguished Virginian, Mr. Ruffin, in urging an effort to restore the lands that have been exhausted, and to bring into activity the rich ones that have never been drained, estimates the advantages to be derived by Lower Virginia alone at $500,000,000. "The strength, physical, intellectual, and moral, as well as the revenue of the commonwealth, will," he says,

"Soon derive new and great increase from the growing improvements of that one and the smallest of the great divisions of her territory, which was the poorest by natural constitution—still more, the poorest by long exhausting tillage—its best population gone or going away, and the remaining portion sinking into apathy and degradation, and having no hope left except that which was almost universally entertained of fleeing from the ruined country and renewing the like work of destruction on the fertile lands of the far West."

If we look farther South, we find the same state of affairs. North Carolina abounds in rich lands, undrained and uncultivated, and coal and iron ore abound. Her area is greater than that of Ireland, and yet her population is but 868,000; and it has increased only 130,000 in twenty years, and, from 1830 to 1840; the increase was only 16,000. In South Carolina, men have been everywhere doing precisely what has been described in reference to Virginia; and yet the State has, says Governor Seabrook, in his address to the State Agricultural Society, "millions of uncleared acres of unsurpassed fertility, which seem to solicit a trial of their powers from the people of the plantation States." * * "In her borders," he continues, "there is scarcely a vegetable product essential to the human race that cannot be furnished." Marl and lime abound, millions of acres of rich meadow-land remain in a state of nature, and "the seashore parishes," he adds, "possess unfailing supplies of salt mud, salt grass, and shell-lime." So great, nevertheless, was the tendency to the abandonment of the land, that in the ten years from 1830 to 1840 the white population increased but 1000 and the black but 12,000, whereas the natural increase would have given 150,000!

Allowing Virginia, at the close of the Revolution, 600,000 people, she should now have, at the usual rate of increase, and excluding all allowance for immigration, 4,000,000, or one to every ten acres; and no one at all familiar with the vast advantages of the state can doubt her capability of supporting more than thrice that number.[45] Nevertheless, the total number in 1850 was but 1,424,000, and the increase in twenty years had been but 200,000, when it should have been 1,200,000. If the reader desire to know what has become of all these people, he may find most of them among the millions now inhabiting Alabama and Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas; and if he would know why they are now there to be found, the answer to the question may be given in the words—"They borrowed from the earth, and they did not repay, and therefore she expelled them." It has been said, and truly said, that "the nation which commences by exporting food will end by exporting men."

When men come together and combine their efforts, they are enabled to bring into activity all the vast and various powers of the earth; and the more they come together, the greater is the value of land, the greater the demand, for labour, the higher its price, and the greater the freedom of man. When, on the contrary, they separate from each other, the greater is the tendency to a decline in the value of land, the less is the value of labour, and the less the freedom of man. Such being the case, if we desire to ascertain the ultimate cause of the existence of the domestic slave trade, it would seem to be necessary only to ascertain the cause of the exhaustion of the land. The reason usually assigned for this will be found in the following passage, extracted from one of the English journals of the day;—

"The mode of agriculture usually coincident with the employment of slave labour is essentially exhaustive, and adapted therefore only to the virgin-richness of a newly-colonized soil. The slave can plant, and dig, and hoe: he works rudely and lazily with rude tools: and his unwilling feet tread the same path of enforced labour day after day. But slave labour is not adapted to the operations of scientific agriculture, which restores its richness to a wornout soil; and it is found to be a fact that the planters of the Northern slave States, as, e.g., Virginia, gradually desert the old seats of civilization, and advance further and further into the yet untilled country. Tobacco was the great staple of Virginian produce for many years after that beautiful province was colonized by Englishmen. It has exhausted the soil; grain crops have succeeded, and been found hardly less exhaustive; and emigration of both white and coloured population to the West and South has taken place to a very large extent, The result may be told in the words of an American witness:—'That part of Virginia which lies upon tide waters presents an aspect of universal decay. Its population diminishes, and it sinks day by day into a lower depth of exhaustion and poverty. The country between tide waters and the Blue Ridge is fast passing into the same condition. Mount Vernon is a desert waste; Monticello is little better, and the same circumstances which have desolated the lands of Washington and Jefferson have impoverished every planter in the State. Hardly any have escaped, save the owners of the rich bottom lands along James River, the fertility of which it seems difficult utterly to destroy.'[46] Now a Virginia planter stands in much the same relation to his plantation as an absentee Irish landlord to his estate; the care of the land is in each case handed over to a middleman, who is anxious to screw out of it as large a return of produce or rent as possible; and pecuniary embarrassment is in both cases the result. But as long as every pound of cotton grown on the Mississippi and the Red River finds eager customers in Liverpool, the price of slaves in those districts cannot fail to keep up. In many cases the planter of the Northern slave States emigrates to a region where he can employ his capital of thews and sinews more profitably than at home. In many others, he turns his plantation into an establishment for slave breeding, and sells his rising stock for labour in the cottonfield."—Prospective Review Nov. 1852.

Unhappily, however, for this reasoning precisely the same exhaustion is visible in the Northern States, as the reader may see by a perusal of the statements on this subject given by Professor Johnson, in his "Notes on North America," of which the following is a specimen:—

"Exhaustion has diminished the produce of the land, formerly the great staple of the country. When the wheat fell off, barley, which at first yielded fifty or sixty bushels, was raised year after year, till the land fell away from this, and became full of weeds."—Vol. i. 259.

Rotation of crops cannot take place at a distance from market The exhaustive character of the system is well shown in the following extract:—

"In the State of New York there are some twelve million acres of improved land, which includes all meadows and enclosed pastures. This area employs about five hundred thousand labourers, being an average of twenty-four acres to the hand. At this ratio, the number of acres of improved land in the United States is one hundred, and twenty millions. But New York is an old and more densely populated State than an average in the Union; and probably twenty-five acres per head is a juster estimate for the whole country. At this rate, the aggregate is one hundred and twenty-five millions. Of these improved lands, it is confidently believed that at least four-fifths are now suffering deterioration in a greater or less degree.

"The fertility of some, particularly in the planting States, is passing rapidly away; in others, the progress of exhaustion is so slow as hardly to be observed by the cultivators themselves. To keep within the truth, the annual income from the soil may be said to be diminished ten cents an acre on one hundred million acres, or four-fifths of the whole.

"This loss of income is ten millions of dollars, and equal to sinking a capital of one hundred and sixty-six million six hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars a year, paying six per cent. annual interest. That improved farming lands may justly be regarded as capital, and a fair investment when paying six per cent. interest, and perfectly safe, no one will deny. This deterioration is not unavoidable, for thousands of skilful farmers have taken fields, poor in point of natural productiveness, and, instead of diminishing their fertility, have added ten cents an acre to their annual income, over and above all expenses. If this wise and improving system of rotation tillage and husbandry were universally adopted, or applied to the one hundred million acres now being exhausted, it would be equivalent to creating each year an additional capital of one hundred and sixty-six millions six hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars, and placing it in permanent real estate, where it would pay six per cent. annual interest. For all practical purposes, the difference between the two systems is three hundred, and thirty-three millions three hundred and thirty-three thousand dollars a year to the country.

"Eight million acres [in the State of New York] are in the hands of three hundred thousand persons, who still adhere to the colonial practice of extracting from the virgin soil all it will yield, so long as it will pay expenses to crop it, and then leave it in a thin, poor pasture for a term of years. Some of these impoverished farms, which seventy-five years ago produced from twenty to thirty bushels of wheat, on an average, per acre, now yield only from five to eight bushels. In an exceedingly interesting work entitled 'American Husbandry,' published in London in 1775, and written by an American, the following remarks may be found on page 98, vol. i.:—'Wheat, in many parts of the province, (New York,) yields a larger produce than is common in England. Upon good lands about Albany, where the climate is the coldest in the country, they sow two bushels and better upon an acre, and reap from twenty to forty; the latter quantity, however, is not often had, but from twenty to thirty are common; and with such bad husbandry as would not yield the like in England, and much less in Scotland. This is owing to the richness and freshness of the land.'

"According to the State census of 1845, Albany county now produces only seven and a half bushels of wheat per acre, although its farmers are on tide water and near the capital of the State, with a good home market, and possess every facility for procuring the most valuable fertilizers. Dutchess county, also on the Hudson River, produces an average of only five bushels per acre; Columbia, six bushels; Rensselaer, eight; Westchester, seven; which is higher than the average of soils that once gave a return larger than the wheat lands of England even with 'bad husbandry.'

"Fully to renovate the eight million acres of partially exhausted lands in the State of New York, will cost at least an average of twelve dollars and a half per acre, or an aggregate of one hundred millions of dollars. It is not an easy task to replace all the bone-earth, potash, sulphur, magnesia, and organized nitrogen in mould consumed in a field which has been unwisely cultivated fifty or seventy-five years. Phosphorus is not an abundant mineral anywhere, and his sub-soil is about the only resource of the husbandman after his surface-soil has lost most of its phosphates. The three hundred thousand persons that cultivate these eight million acres of impoverished soils annually produce less by twenty-five dollars each than they would if the land had not been injured.

"The aggregate of this loss to the State and the world is seven million five hundred thousand dollars per annum, or more than seven per cent. interest on what it would cost to renovate the deteriorated soils. There is no possible escape from this oppressive tax on labour of seven million five hundred thousand dollars, but to improve the land, or run off and leave it."—Patent Office Report, 1849

It is not slavery that produces exhaustion of the soil, but exhaustion of the soil that causes slavery to continue. The people of England rose from slavery to freedom as the land was improved and rendered productive, and as larger numbers of men were enabled to obtain subsistence from the same surface; and it was precisely as the land thus acquired value that they became free. Such, too, has been the case with every people that has been enabled to return to the land the manure yielded by its products, because of their having a market at home. On the contrary, there is no country in the world, in which men have been deprived, of the power to improve their land, in which slavery has not been maintained, to be aggravated in intensity as the land became more and more exhausted, as we see to have been the case in the West Indies. It is to this perpetual separation from each other that is due the poverty and weakness of the South. At the close of the Revolution, the now slave States contained probably 1,600,000 people, and those States contained about 120,000,000 of acres, giving an average of about eighty acres to each. In 1850, the population had grown to 8,500,000, scattered over more than 300,000,000 of acres, giving about forty acres to each. The consequence of this dispersion is that the productive power is very small, as is here seen in an estimate for 1850, taken from a Southern journal of high reputation:—[47]

  Cotton……………………….. 105,600,000
  Tobacco………………………. 15,000,000
  Rice…………………………. 3,000,000
  Naval stores………………….. 2,000,000
  Sugar………………………… 12,396,150
  Hemp…………………………. 695,840 138,691,990

  If we now add for food an equal amount, and this
   is certainly much in excess of the truth…… 138,691,990
  And for all other products………………… 22,616,020
     We obtain…………………………….. $300,000,000

as the total production of eight millions and a half of people, or about $35 per head. The total production of the Union in 1850 cannot have been short of 2500 millions; and if we deduct from that sum the above quantity, we shall have remaining 2150 millions as the product of fourteen millions and a half of Northern people, or more than four times as much per head. The difference is caused by the fact that at the North artisans have placed themselves near to the farmer, and towns and cities have grown up, and exchanges are made more readily, and the farmer is not to the same extent obliged to exhaust his land, and dispersion therefore goes on more slowly; and there is, in many of the States, an extensive demand for those commodities of which the earth yields largely, such as potatoes, cabbages, turnips, &c. &c. With each step in the process of coming together at the North, men tend to become more free; whereas the dispersion of the South produces everywhere the trade in slaves of which the world complains, and which would soon cease to exist if the artisan could be brought to take his place by the side of the producer of food and cotton. Why he cannot do so may be found in the words of a recent speech of Mr. Cardwell, member of Parliament from Liverpool, congratulating the people of England on the fact that free trade had so greatly damaged the cotton manufacture of this country, that the domestic consumption was declining from year to year. In this is to be found the secret of the domestic slave trade of the South, and its weakness, now so manifest. The artisan has been everywhere the ally of the farmer, and the South has been unable to form that alliance, the consequences of which are seen in the fact that it is always exporting men and raw materials, and exhausting its soil and itself: and the greater the tendency to exhaustion, the greater is the pro-slavery feeling. That such should be the case is most natural. The man who exhausts his land attaches to it but little value, and he abandons it, but he attaches much value to the slave whom he can carry away with him. The pro-slavery feeling made its appearance first in the period between 1830 and 1840. Up to 1832, there had existed a great tendency in Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky toward freedom, but that disappeared; and the reason why it did so may be seen in the greatly increased tendency to the abandonment of the older tobacco and cotton growing States, as here shown:—

                       1820. 1830. 1840. 1850.
                       ——- ——- ——- ——-
  Total population:
  Virginia……… 1,065,379 1,211,405 1,239,797 1,424,863
  South Carolina….. 502,741 581,185 594,398 668,247

  Ratio of increase:
  Virginia………………… 13.6 2.3 15.2
  South Carolina…………… 15.6 2.3 12.4

With the increase in the export of slaves to the South, the negro population declined in its ratio of increase, whereas it has grown with the growth of the power of the slave to remain at home, as is here shown:—

                       1820. 1830. 1840. 1850.
                       ——- ——- ——- ——-
  Total black
  population: 1,779,885 2,328,642 2,873,703 3,591,000
  Ratio of
  increase……….. 30 30.8 24 25

We see thus that the more the black population can remain at home, the more rapidly they increase; and the reason why such is the case is, that at home they are among their own people, by whom they have been known from infancy, and are of course better fed and clothed, more tenderly treated, and more lightly worked, with far greater tendency toward freedom. It would thence appear that if we desire to bring about the freedom of the negro, we must endeavour to arrest the domestic slave trade, and enable the slave and his master to remain at home; and to do this we must look to the causes of the difference in the extent of the trade in the periods above referred to. Doing this, we shall find that from 1820 to 1830 there was a decided tendency toward bringing the artisan to the side of the ploughman; whereas from 1833 to 1840 the tendency was very strong in the opposite direction, and so continued until 1842, at which time a change took place, and continued until near the close of the decennial period, when our present revenue system came fully into operation. The artisan has now ceased to come to the side of the planter. Throughout the country cotton and woollen mills and furnaces and foundries have been closed, and women and children who were engaged in performing the lighter labour of converting cotton into cloth are now being sold for the heavier labour of the cotton-field, as is shown by the following advertisement, now but a few weeks old:—

SALE OF NEGROES.—The negroes belonging to the Saluda Manufacturing Company were sold yesterday for one-fourth cash, the balance in one and two years, with interest, and averaged $599. Boys from 16 to 25 brought $900 to $1000.—Columbia, (S. C.) Banner, Dec. 31, 1852.

As a necessary consequence of this, the domestic slave trade is now largely increasing, as is shown by the following extract from a recent journal:—

"The emigration to the southern portion of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, during the past fall, has been unusually large, and the tide which flows daily through our streets indicates that the volume abates but little, if any. On the opposite bank of the river are encamped nearly fifty wagons, with probably not less than two hundred and fifty souls. Each night, for a fortnight, there have been, on an average, not less than twenty-five wagons encamped there; and notwithstanding two hand ferry-boats have been constantly plying between the shores, the hourly accession to the number makes the diminution scarcely perceptible."—Little Rock. (Ark.) Gazette, Dec. 3, 1852.

Had the member for Liverpool been aware that a decline in the tendency toward bringing the cotton-mill to the cotton-field was accompanied by increased exhaustion of the land, increased impoverishment, and increased inability to bring into action the rich soils of the older States, and that with each such step there arose an increased necessity for the expulsion of the people of those States, accompanied by an increased sacrifice of life resulting from the domestic slave trade, he would certainly have hesitated before congratulating Parliament on an occurrence so hostile to the progress of freedom.

That the export of negroes, with its accompanying violation of the rights of parents and children, and with its natural tendency toward a total forgetfulness of the sanctity of the marriage tie, has its origin in the exhaustion of the land, there can be no doubt—and that that, in its turn, has its origin in the necessity for a dependence on distant markets, is quite as free from doubt. The man who must go to a distance with his products cannot raise potatoes, turnips, or hay. He must raise the less bulky articles, wheat or cotton and he must take from his land all the elements of which wheat or cotton is composed, and then abandon it. In addition to this, he must stake all his chances of success in his year's cultivation on a single crop; and what are the effects of this is seen in the following paragraph in relation to the wheat cultivation of Virginia in the last season:—

"Never did I know in this State such a destruction of the wheat crop; I have just returned from Albemarle, one of the best counties. The joint-worm, a new enemy of three year's known existence there, has injured every crop, and destroyed many in that and other counties both sides and along the Blue Ridge. I saw many fields that would not yield more than seed, and not a few from which not one peck per acre could be calculated upon. I saw more than one field without a head. The most fortunate calculate upon a half crop only. Corn is backward on the lower James River, embracing my own farm. I have heard to-day from my manager that the caterpillar has made its appearance, and must in the late wheat do serious damage."

That State is not permitted to do any thing but grow wheat and tobacco, both of which she must export, and the larger the export the smaller are the returns, under the system of "unlimited competition" for the sale of raw products, and limited competition for the purchase of manufactured ones, which it is the object of British policy to establish. Not only is Virginia limited in the application of her labour, but she is also greatly limited in the extent of her market, because of the unequal distribution of the proceeds of the sales of her products. The pound of tobacco for which the consumer pays 6s. ($1.44,) yields him less than six cents, the whole difference being absorbed by the people who stand between him and the consumer, and who contribute nothing toward the production of his commodity.[48]

Now, it is quite clear that if the consumer and he stood face to face with each other, he would receive all that was paid, and that while the one bought at lower prices, the other would sell at higher ones, and both would grow rich. The difficulty with him is that not only is his land exhausted, but he receives but a very small portion of the price paid for its products, and thus is he, like the labourer of Jamaica, exhausted by reason of the heavy taxation to which he is subjected for the support of foreign merchants and foreign governments. As a consequence of all this his land has little value, and he finds himself becoming poorer from year to year, and each year he has to sell a negro for the payment of the tax on his tobacco and his wheat to which he is thus subjected, until he has at length to go himself. If the reader desire to study the working of this system of taxation, he cannot do better than read the first chapter of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," containing the negotiation between Haley and Mr. Shelby for the transfer of Uncle Tom, resulting in the loss of his life in the wilds of Arkansas.

The more the necessity for exhausting land and for selling negroes, the cheaper, however, will be wheat and cotton. Uncle Tom might have remained at home had the powers of the land been maintained and had Virginia been enabled to avail herself of her vast resources in coal, iron ore, water-power, &c.; but as she could not do this, he had to go to Arkansas to raise cotton: and the larger the domestic slave trade, the greater must be the decline in the price of that great staple of the South. At no period was that trade so large as in that from 1830 to 1840, and the effects are seen in the following comparative prices of cotton:—

Crops, 1831 and 1832, average 10-1/2. 1841 and 1842, average 7.

The export of negroes declined between 1842 and 1850, and the consequence is that cotton has since maintained its price. With the closing of Southern mills the slave trade, is now again growing rapidly, and the consequences will be seen in a large decline in the price of that important product of Southern labour and land.

The reader will now observe that it was in the period from 1830 to 1840 that the tendency to emancipation disappeared—that it was in that period were passed various laws adverse to the education of negroes—that it was in that period there was the greatest enlargement of the domestic slave trade—and the greatest decline in the price of cotton. Having remarked these things, and having satisfied himself that they, each and all, have their origin in the fact that the planter is compelled to depend on foreign markets and therefore to exhaust his land, he will be enabled to judge of the accuracy of the view contained in the following sentence :—

"The price of a negro on Red River varies with the price of cotton in Liverpool, and whatever tends to lower the value of the staple here, not only confers an inestimable advantage on our own manufacturing population, but renders slave labour less profitable, and therefore less permanent in Alabama."—Prospective Review, No. xxxii. 512.

It would be fortunate if philanthropy and pecuniary profit could thus be made to work together, but such unhappily is not the case. When men are enabled to come nearer to each other and combine their efforts, and towns arise, land acquires great value and gradually becomes divided, and with each step in this direction the negro loses his importance in the eye of his owner. When, however, men are forced to abandon the land they have exhausted, it becomes consolidated, and the moveable chattel acquires importance in the eyes of his emigrant owner. At death, the land cannot, under these circumstances, be divided, and therefore the negroes must; and hence it is that such advertisements as the following are a necessary consequence of the system that looks to cheap wheat, cheap sugar, and cheap cotton.

 HIGH PRICE OF NEGROES.—We extract the following from the Lancaster
 (S. C.) Ledger of the 5th January last:—

 We attended the sale of negroes belonging to the estate of the late
 S. Beekman, on the 22d of last month, and were somewhat astonished at
 the high price paid for negroes.

 Negro men brought from $800 to $1000, the greater number at or near
 the latter price. One (a blacksmith) brought $1425.

We learn from the Winsboro Register, that on Monday, the 3d inst., a large sale of negroes was made by the Commissioner in Equity for Fairfleld district, principally the property of James Gibson, deceased. The negroes were only tolerably likely, and averaged about $620 each. The sales were made on a credit of twelve months.—Charleston (S. C.) Courier.

The more the planter is forced to depend upon tobacco the lower will be its price abroad, and the more he must exhaust his land. The more rapid the exhaustion the more must be the tendency to emigrate. The more the necessity for depending exclusively on wheat, the greater the necessity for making a market for it by raising slaves for sale: and in several of the older Southern States the planter now makes nothing but what results from the increase of "stock."

Of all the exporters of food England is the largest, said a distinguished English merchant, in a speech delivered some years since. In some parts of that country it is manufactured into iron, and in others into cloth, in order that it may travel cheaply, and this is quite in accordance with the advice of Adam Smith. With a view, however, to prevent other nations from following in the course so strongly urged upon them by that great man, labour has been cheapened, and men and women, boys and girls, have been accustomed to work together in the same mine, and often in a state of entire nudity; while other, women and children have been compelled to work for fourteen or sixteen hours a day for six days in the week, and for small wages, in the mill or workshop—and this has been done in accordance with the advice of Mr. Huskisson, who, from his place in Parliament, told his countrymen that in order "to give capital a fair remuneration, labour must be kept down"—that is, the labourer must be deprived of the power to determine for himself for whom he would work, or what should be his reward. It was needed, as was then declared by another of the most eminent statesmen of Britain, "that the manufactures of all other nations should be strangled in their infancy," and such has from that day to the present been the object of British policy. Hence it is that England is now so great an exporter of food manufactured into cloth and iron. The people of Massachusetts manufacture their grain into fish, cloth, and various other commodities, with a view to enable it cheaply to travel to market. Those of Illinois, unable to convert their corn into coal or iron, find themselves obliged to manufacture it into pork. The Virginian would manufacture his corn and his wheat into cloth, or into coal and iron, if he could; but this he cannot do, although close to the producer of cotton, and occupying a land abounding in all the raw materials of which machinery is composed; and having, too, abundant labour power that runs to waste. Why he cannot do it is that England follows the advice of Mr. Huskisson, and cheapens labour with a view to prevent other nations from following the advice of Adam Smith. The whole energies of the State are therefore given to the raising of tobacco and corn, both of which must go abroad, and as the latter cannot travel profitably in its rude state, it requires to be manufactured, and the only branch of manufacture permitted to the Virginian is that of negroes, and hence it is that their export is so large, and that cotton is so cheap.

Widely different would be the course of things could he be permitted to employ a reasonable portion of his people in the development of the vast resources of the State—opening mines, erecting furnaces, smelting iron, making machinery, and building mills. Fewer persons would then raise corn and more would be employed in consuming it, and the price at home would then rise to a level with that in the distant market, and thus would the land acquire value, while the cost of raising negroes would be increased. Towns would then grow up, and exchanges would be made on the spot, and thus would the planter be enabled to manure his land. Labour would become more productive, and there would be more commodities to be given in exchange for labour; and the more rapid the increase in the amount of production the greater would be the tendency toward enabling the labourer to determine for whom he would work and what should be his reward. Population would then rapidly increase, and land would become divided, and the little black cultivator of cabbages and potatoes would be seen taking the place of the poor white owner of large bodies of exhausted land, and thus would the negro tend toward freedom as his master became enriched. Nothing of this kind is, however, likely to take place so long as the Virginian shall continue of the opinion that the way to wealth lies in the direction of taking every thing from the land and returning nothing to it—nor, perhaps, so long as the people of England shall continue in the determination that there shall be but one workshop in the world, and carry that determination into effect by "keeping labour down," in accordance with the advice of Mr. Huskisson.

The tendency to the abandonment of the older States is now probably greater than it has ever been, because their people have ceased to build mills or furnaces, and every thing looks to a yet more perfect exhaustion of the soil. The more they abandon the land the greater is the anxiety to make loans in England for the purpose of building roads; and the more numerous the loans the more rapid is the flight, and the greater the number of negroes brought to market.

A North Carolina paper informs its readers that—

"The trading spirit is fully up. A few days since Mr. D. W. Bullock sold to Messrs. Wm. Norfleet, Robert Norfleet, and John S. Dancy, plantation and 18 negroes for $30,000. Mr. R. R. Bridges to Wm. F. Dancy, 6 acres near town for $600. At a sale in Wilson, we also understand, negro men with no extra qualifications sold as high as $1225."—Tarborough Southerner.

A South Carolina editor informs his readers that

"At public auction on Thursday, Thomas Ryan & Son sold fifteen likely negroes for $10,365, or an average of $691. Three boys, aged about seventeen, brought the following sums, viz. $1065, $1035, $1010, and two at $1000—making an average of $1022. Capers Heyward sold a gang of 109 negroes in families. Two or three families averaged from $1000 to $1100 for each individual; and the entire sale averaged $550. C. G. Whitney sold two likely female house servants—one at $1000, the other at $1190."—Charleston Courier.

Limited, as the people of the old States are more and more becoming, to the raising of "stock" as the sole source of profit, need we be surprised to see the pro-slavery feeling gaining ground from day to day, as is here shown to be the case?

REMOVAL OF FREE PERSONS OF COLOUR FROM VIRGINIA.—A bill has been reported in the Virginia House of Delegates which provides for the appointment of overseers, who are to be required to hire out, at public auction, all free persons of colour, to the highest bidder, and to pay into the State Treasury the sums accruing from such hire. The sums are to be devoted in future to sending free persons of colour beyond the limits of the State. At the expiration of five years, all free persons of colour remaining in the State are to be sold into slavery to the highest bidder, at public auction, the proceeds of such sales to be paid into the public treasury, provided that said free persons of colour shall be allowed the privilege of becoming the slaves of any free white person whom they may select, on the payment by such person of a fair price.

Twenty years since, Virginia was preparing for the emancipation of the slave. Now, she is preparing for the enslavement of the free. If the reader would know the cause of this great change, he may find it in the fact that man has everywhere become less free as land has become less valuable.

Upon whom, now, must rest the responsibility for such a state of things as is here exhibited? Upon the planter? He exercises no volition. He is surrounded by coal and iron ore, but the attempt to convert them into iron has almost invariably been followed by ruin. He has vast powers of nature ready to obey his will, yet dare he not purchase a spindle or a loom to enable him to bring into use his now waste labour power, for such attempts at bringing the consumer to the side of the producer have almost invariably ended in the impoverishment of the projector, and the sale and dispersion of his labourers. He is compelled to conform his operations to the policy which looks to having but one workshop for the world; and instead of civilizing his negroes by bringing them to work in combination, he must barbarize them by dispersion. A creature of necessity, he cannot be held responsible; but the responsibility must, and will, rest on those who produce that necessity.

The less the power of association in the Northern slave States, the more rapid must be the growth of the domestic slave trade, the greater must be the decline in the price of wheat, cotton, and sugar, the greater must be the tendency to the passage of men like Uncle Tom, and of women and children too, from the light labour of the North to the severe labour of the South and South-west—but, the greater, as we are told, must be the prosperity of the people of England. It is unfortunate for the world that a country exercising so much influence should have adopted a policy so adverse to the civilization and the freedom not only of the negro race, but of mankind at large. There seems, however, little probability of a change. Seeking to make of herself a great workshop, she necessarily desires that all the rest of the world should be one great farm, to be cultivated by men, women, and children, denied all other means of employment. This, of course, forbids association, which diminishes as land becomes exhausted. The absence of association forbids the existence of schools or workshops, books or instruction, and men become barbarized, when, under a different system, they might and would become civilized. The tendency to freedom passes away, as we see to have been the case in the last twenty years—but in place of freedom, and as a compensation for the horrors of Jamaica and of the domestic slave trade, the great workshop of the world is supplied with cheap grain, cheap tobacco, cheap sugar, and cheap cotton.

Were Adam Smith alive, he might, and probably would, take some trouble to inform his countrymen that a system which looked to the exhaustion of the land of other countries, and the enslavement of their population, was "a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind;" but since his day the doctrines of the "Wealth of Nations" have been discarded, and its author would find himself now addressing hearers more unwilling than were even the men for whom he wrote eighty years since. At that time the imaginary discovery had not been made that men always commenced on the rich soils, and passed, as population and wealth increased, to poorer ones; and the Malthusian law of population was yet unthought of. Now, however, whatever tends to limit the growth of population is, we are told, to be regarded as a great good; and as the domestic slave trade accomplishes that object at the same time that it furnishes cheap cotton, it can scarcely be expected that there will be any change; and yet, unless a change be somewhere made, abroad or at home, we must perforce submit to the continuance of the existing system, which precludes education, almost eschews matrimony, separates husbands and wives, parents and children, and sends the women to the labours of the field.



In point of natural advantages, PORTUGAL is equal with any country in Western Europe. Her soil is capable of yielding largely of every description of grain, and her climate enables her to cultivate the vine and the olive. Mineral riches abound, and her rivers give to a large portion, of the country every facility for cheap intercourse; and yet her people are among the most enslaved, while her government is the weakest and most contemptible of Europe.

It is now a century and a half since England granted her what were deemed highly important advantages in regard to wine, on condition that she should discard the artisans who had been brought to the side of her farmers, and permit the people of England to supply her people with certain descriptions of manufactures. What were the duties then agreed on are not given in any of the books now at hand, but by the provisions of a treaty made in 1810, cloths of all descriptions were to be admitted at a merely revenue duty, varying from ten to fifteen per cent. A natural consequence of this system has been that the manufactures which up to the date of the Methuen treaty had risen in that country, perished under foreign competition, and the people found themselves by degrees limited exclusively to agricultural employments. Mechanics found there no place for the exercise of their talents, towns could not grow, schools could not arise, and the result is seen in the following paragraph:—

"It is surprising how ignorant, or at least superficially acquainted, the Portuguese are with every kind of handicraft; a carpenter is awkward and clumsy, spoiling every work he attempts, and the way in which the doors and woodwork even of good houses are finished would have suited the rudest ages. Their carriages of all kinds, from the fidalgo's family coach to the peasant's market cart, their agricultural implements, locks and keys, &c. are ludicrously bad. They seem to disdain improvement, and are so infinitely below par, so strikingly inferior to the rest of Europe, as to form a sort of disgraceful wonder in the middle of the nineteenth century."—Baillie.

The population, which, half a century since was 3,683,000, is now reduced to little more than 3,000,000; and we need no better evidence of the enslaving and exhausting tendency of a policy that limits a whole people, men, women, and children, to the labours of the field. At the close almost of a century and a half of this system, the following is given in a work of high reputation, as a correct picture of the state of the country and the strength of the government:—

"The finances of Portugal are in the most deplorable condition, the treasury is dry, and all branches of the public service suffer. A carelessness and a mutual apathy reign not only throughout the government, but also throughout the nation. While improvement is sought everywhere else throughout Europe, Portugal remains stationary. The postal service of the country offers a curious example of this, nineteen to twenty-one days being still required for a letter to go and come between Lisbon and Braganza, a distance of 423-1/2 kilometres, (or little over 300 miles.) All the resources of the state are exhausted, and it is probable that the receipts will not give one-third of the amount for which they figure in the budget."—Annuaire de l'Economie Politique, 1849, 322.

Some years since an effort was made to bring the artisan to the side of the farmer and vine-grower, but a century and a half of exclusive devotion to agriculture had placed the people so far in the rear of those of other nations, that the attempt was hopeless, the country having long since become a mere colony of Great Britain.

If we turn to Madeira, we find there further evidence of the exhausting consequences of the separation of the farmer and the artisan. From 1886 to 1842, the only period for which returns are before me, there was a steady decline in the amount of agricultural production, until the diminution had reached about thirty per cent., as follows:—

                       Wine. Wheat. Barley.
                       ——- ——— ———-
    1836…………. 27,270 pipes 8472 qrs. 3510
    1842…………. 16,131 " 6863 " 2777

At this moment the public papers furnish an "Appeal to America," commencing as follows:—

"A calamity has fallen on Madeira unparalleled in its history. The vintage, the revenue of which furnished the chief means for providing subsistence for its inhabitants, has been a total failure, and the potato crop, formerly another important article of their food, is still extensively diseased. All classes, therefore, are suffering, and as there are few sources in the island to which they can look for food, clothing, and other necessaries of life, their distress must increase during the winter, and the future is contemplated with painful anxiety and apprehension. Under such appalling prospects, the zealous and excellent civil Governor, Snr. José Silvestre Ribeiro, addressed a circular letter to the merchants of Madeira on the 24th of August last, for the purpose of bringing the unfortunate and critical position of the population under his government to the notice of the benevolent and charitable classes in foreign countries, and in the hope of exciting their sympathy with, and assistance to, so many of their fellow creatures threatened with famine."

Such are the necessary consequences of a system which looks to compelling the whole population of a country to employ themselves in a single pursuit—all cultivating the land and all producing the same commodity; and which thus effectually prevents the growth of that natural association so much admired by Adam Smith. It is one that can end only in the exhaustion of the land and its owner. When population increases and men come together, even the poor land is made rich, and thus it is, says M. de Jonnes, that "the powers of manure causes the poor lands of the department of the Seine to yield thrice as much as those of the Loire."[49] When population diminishes, and men are thus forced to live at greater distances from each other, even the rich lands become impoverished; and of this no better evidence need be sought than that furnished by Portugal. In the one case, each day brings men nearer to perfect freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade. In the other they become from day to day more barbarized and enslaved, and the women are more and more driven to the field, there to become the slaves of fathers, husbands, brothers, and even of sons.

Of all the countries of Europe there is none possessed of natural advantages to enable it to compare with those constituting the TURKISH EMPIRE in Europe and Asia. Wool and silk, corn, oil, and tobacco, might, with proper cultivation, be produced in almost unlimited quantity, while Thessaly and Macedonia, long celebrated for the production of cotton, abound in lands uncultivated, from which it might be obtained in sufficient extent to clothe a large portion of Europe. Iron ore abounds, and in quality equal to any in the world, while in another part of the empire "the hills seem a mass of carbonate of copper."[50] Nature has done every thing for the people of that country, and yet of all those of Europe, the Turkish rayah approaches in condition nearest to a slave; and of all the governments of Europe, that of Portugal even not excepted, that of Turkey is the most a slave to the dictation, not only of nations, but even of bankers and traders. Why it is so, we may now inquire.

By the terms of the treaty with England in 1675, the Turkish government bound itself to charge no more than three per cent. duty on imports,[51] and as this could contribute little to the revenue, that required to be sought elsewhere. A poll-tax, house-tax, land-tax, and many other direct taxes, furnished a part of it, and the balance was obtained by an indirect tax in the form of export duties; and as the corn, tobacco, and cotton of its people were obliged to compete in the general markets of the world with the produce of other lands, it is clear that these duties constituted a further contribution from the cultivators of the empire in aid of the various direct taxes that have been mentioned. So far as foreigners were interested, the system was one of perfect free trade and direct taxation.

For many years, Turkey manufactured much of her cotton, and she exported cotton-yarn. Such was the case so recently as 1798, as will be seen by the following very interesting account of one of the seats of the manufacture:—

"'Ambelakia, by its activity, appears rather a borough of Holland than a village of Turkey. This village spreads, by its industry, movement, and life, over the surrounding country, and gives birth to an immense commerce which unites Germany to Greece by a thousand threads. Its population has trebled in fifteen years, and amounts at present (1798) to four thousand, who live in their manufactories like swarms of bees in their hives. In this village are unknown both the vices and cares engendered by idleness; the hearts of the Ambelakiots are pure and their faces serene; the slavery which blasts the plains watered by the Peneus, and stretching at their feet, has never ascended the sides of Pelion (Ossa;) and they govern themselves, like their ancestors, by their protoyeros, (primates, elders,) and their own magistrates. Twice the Mussulmen of Larissa attempted to scale their rocks, and twice were they repulsed by hands which dropped the shuttle to seize the musket.

"'Every arm, even those of the children, is employed in the factories; while the men dye the cotton, the women prepare and spin it. There are twenty-four factories, in which yearly two thousand five hundred bales of cotton yarn, of one hundred cotton okes each, were dyed (6138 cwts.) This yarn found its way into Germany, and was disposed of at Buda, Vienna, Leipsic, Dresden, Anspach, and Bareuth. The Ambelakiot merchants had houses of their own in all these places. These houses belonged to distinct associations at Ambelakia. The competition thus established reduced very considerably the common profits; they proposed therefore to unite themselves under one central commercial administration. Twenty years ago this plan was suggested, and in a year afterward it was carried into execution. The lowest shares in this joint-stock company were five thousand piastres, (between £600 and £700,) and the highest were restricted to twenty thousand, that the capitalists might not swallow up all the profits. The workmen subscribed their little profits, and uniting in societies, purchased single shares; and besides their capital, their labour was reckoned in the general amount; they received their share of the profits accordingly, and abundance was soon spread through the whole community. The dividends were at first restricted to ten per cent., and the surplus profit was applied to the augmenting of the capital; which in two years was raised from 600,000 to 1,000,000 piastres, (£120,000.)'

"It supplied industrious Germany, not by the perfection of its jennies, but by the industry of its spindle and distaff. It taught Montpellier the art of dyeing, not from experimental chairs, but because dyeing was with it a domestic and culinary operation, subject to daily observation in every kitchen; and by the simplicity and honesty, not the science of its system, it reads a lesson to commercial associations, and holds up an example unparalleled in the commercial history of Europe, of a joint-stock and labour company; ably and economically and successfully administered, in which the interests of industry and capital were, long equally represented. Yet the system of administration with which all this is connected, is common to the thousand hamlets of Thessaly that have not emerged from their insignificance; but Ambelakia for twenty years was left alone."[52]

At that time, however, England had invented new machinery for spinning cotton, and, by prohibiting its export, had provided that all the cotton of the world should be brought to Manchester before it could be cheaply converted into cloth.

The cotton manufacturers at Ambelakia had their difficulties to encounter, but all those might have been overcome had they not, says Mr. Urquhart, "been outstripped by Manchester." They were outstripped, and twenty years afterward, not only had that place been deserted, but others in its neighbourhood were reduced to complete desolation. Native manufactories for the production of cotton goods had, indeed, almost ceased to work. Of 600 looms at Sentari in 1812, but 40 remained in 1821; and of the 2000 weaving establishments at Tournovo in 1812, but 200 remained in 1830.[53] For a time, cotton went abroad to be returned in the form of twist, thus making a voyage of thousands of miles in search of a spindle; but even this trade has in a great degree passed away. As a consequence of these things there had been a ruinous fall of wages, affecting all classes of labourers. "The profits," says Mr. Urquhart—

"Have been reduced to one-half, and sometimes to one-third, by the introduction of English cottons, which, though they have reduced the home price, and arrested the export of cotton-yarn from Turkey, have not yet supplanted the home manufacture in any visible degree; for, until tranquillity has allowed agriculture to revive, the people must go on working merely for bread, and reducing their price, in a struggle of hopeless competition. The industry, however, of the women and children is most remarkable; in every interval of labour, tending the cattle, carrying water, the spindle and distaff, as in the days of Xerxes, is never out of their hands. The children are as assiduously at work, from the moment their little fingers, can turn the spindle. About Ambelakia, the former focus of the cotton-yarn trade, the peasantry has suffered dreadfully from this, though formerly the women could earn as much in-doors, as their husbands in the field; at present, their daily profit (1881) does not exceed twenty paras, if realized, for often they cannot dispose of the yarn when spun.

                                             Piastres. Paras.
                                             ————- ———
  Five okes of uncleaned cotton,
    at seventeen paras…………………….. 2 5
  Labour of a woman for two days,
    (seven farthings per day)………………. 0 35
  Carding, by vibrations of a cat-gut……….. 0 10
  Spinning, a woman's unremitting labour
    for a week……………………………. 5 30
  Loss of cotton, exceeding an oke
    of uncleaned cotton……………………. 0 20
                                              ———— ———
    Value of one oke of uncleaned cotton…. Prs. 9 00

"Here a woman's labour makes but 2d. per day, while field-labour, according to the season of the year, ranges from 4d. to 6d. and at this rate, the pound of coarse cotton-yarn cost in spinning 5d."—P. 147.

The labour of a woman is estimated at less than four cents per day, and "the unremitting labour of a week" will command but twenty-five cents. The wages of men employed in gathering leaves and attending silkworms are stated at one piastre (five cents) per day. At Salonica, the shipping port of Thessaly, they were ten cents. (Urquhart, 268.)

As a necessary consequence of this, population diminishes, and everywhere are seen the ruins of once prosperous villages. Agriculture declines from day to day. The once productive cotton-fields of Thessaly lie untilled, and even around Constantinople itself—

"There are no cultivated lands to speak of within twenty miles, in some directions within fifty miles. The commonest necessaries of life come from distant parts: the corn for daily bread from Odessa; the cattle and sheep from beyond Adrianople, or from Asia Minor; the rice, of which such a vast consumption is made, from the neighbourhood of Phillippopolis; the poultry chiefly from Bulgaria; the fruit and vegetables from Nicomedia and Mondania. Thus a constant drain of money is occasioned, without any visible return except to the treasury or from the property of the Ulema."—Slade's Travels in Turkey, vol. ii. 143.

The silk that is made is badly prepared, because the distance of the artisan prevents the poor people from obtaining good machinery; and as a consequence of this, the former direct trade with Persia has been superseded by an indirect one through England, to which the raw silk has now to be sent. In every department of industry we see the same result. Birmingham has superseded Damascus, whose blades are now no longer made.

Not only is the foreigner free to introduce his wares, but he may, on payment of a trifling duty of two per cent., carry them throughout the empire until finally disposed of. He travels by caravans, and is lodged without expense. He brings his goods to be exchanged for money, or what else he needs, and the exchange effected, he disappears as suddenly as he came.

"It is impossible," says Mr. Urquhart, "to witness the arrival of the many-tongued caravan at its resting-place for the night, and see, unladen and piled up together, the bales from such distant places—to glance over their very wrappers, and the strange marks and characters which they bear—without being amazed at so eloquent a contradiction of our preconceived notions of indiscriminate despotism and universal insecurity of the East. But while we observe the avidity with which our goods are sought, the preference now transferred from Indian to Birmingham muslins, from Golconda to Glasgow chintzes, from Damascus to Sheffield steel, from Cashmere shawls to English broadcloth; and while, at the same time, the energies of their commercial spirit are brought thus substantially before us; it is indeed impossible not to regret that a gulf of separation should have so long divided the East and the West, and equally impossible not to indulge in the hope and anticipation of a vastly extended traffic with the East, and of all the blessings which follow fast and welling in the wake of commerce."—P. 133.

Among the "blessings" of the system is the fact that local places of exchange no longer exist. The storekeeper who pays rent and taxes has found himself unable to compete with the pedler who pays neither; and the consequence is that the poor cultivator finds it impossible to exchange his products, small as they are, for the commodities he needs, except, on the occasional arrival of a caravan, and that has generally proved far more likely to absorb the little money in circulation, than any of the more bulky and less valuable products of the earth.

As usual in purely agricultural countries, the whole body of cultivators is hopelessly in debt, and the money-lender fleeces all. If he aids the peasant before harvest, he must have an enormous interest, and be paid in produce at a large discount from the market price; The village communities are almost universally in debt, but to them, as the security is good, the banker charges only twenty per cent. per annum. Turkey is the very paradise of middlemen—a consequence of the absence of any mode of employment except in cultivation or in trade; and the moral effect of this may be seen in the following passage:—

"If you see," says Urquhart, "a Turk meditating in a corner, it is on some speculation—the purchase of a revenue farm, or the propriety of a loan at sixty per cent.; if you see pen or paper in his hand, it is making or checking an account; if there is a disturbance in the street, it is a disputed barter; whether in the streets or in-doors, whether in a coffeehouse, a serai, or a bazaar, whatever the rank, nation, language of the persons around you, traffic, barter, gain are the prevailing impulses; grusch, para, florin, lira, asper, amid the Babel of tongues, are the universally intelligible sounds."—P. 138.

We have thus a whole people divided into two classes—the plunderers and the plundered; and the cause of this may be found in the fact that the owners and occupants of land have never been permitted to strengthen themselves by the formation of that natural alliance between the plough and the loom, the hammer and the harrow, so much admired by Adam Smith. The government is as weak as the people, for it is so entirely dependent on the bankers, that they may be regarded as the real owners of the land and the people, taxing them at discretion; and to them certainly enure all the profits of cultivation. As a consequence of this, the land is almost valueless. A recent traveller states that good land maybe purchased in the immediate vicinity of Smyrna at six cents an acre, and at a little distance vast quantities may be had for nothing. Throughout the world, the freedom of man has grown in the ratio of the increase in the value of land, and that has always grown in the ratio of the tendency to have the artisan take his place by the side of the cultivator of the earth. Whatever tends to prevent this natural association tends, therefore, to the debasement and enslavement of man.

The weakness of Turkey, as regards foreign nations, is great, and it increases every day.[54] Not only ambassadors, but consuls, beard it in its own cities; and it is now even denied that she has any right to adopt a system of trade different from that under which she has become thus weakened. Perfect freedom of commerce is declared to be "one of those immunities which we can resign on no account or pretext whatever; it is a golden privilege, which we can never abandon."[55]

Internal trade scarcely exists; and, as a natural consequence, the foreign one is insignificant, the whole value of the exports being but about thirty-three millions of dollars, or less than two dollars per head. The total exports from Great Britain in the last year amounted to but £2,221,000, ($11,500,000,) much of which was simply en route for Persia; and this constitutes the great trade that has been built up at so much cost to the people of Turkey, and that is to be maintained as "a golden privilege" not to be abandoned! Not discouraged by the result of past efforts, the same author looks forward anxiously for the time when there shall be in Turkey no employment in manufactures of any kind, and when the people shall be exclusively employed in agriculture; and that time cannot, he thinks, be far distant, as "a few pence more or less in the price of a commodity will make the difference of purchasing or manufacturing at home."[56]

Throughout his book he shows that the rudeness of the machinery of cultivation is in the direct ratio of the distance of the cultivator from market; and yet he would desire that all the produce of the country should go to a distant market to be exchanged, although the whole import of iron at the present moment for the supply of a population of almost twenty millions of people, possessing iron ore, fuel, and unemployed labour in unlimited quantity, is but £2500 per annum, or about a penny's worth for every thirty persons! Need we wonder at the character of the machinery, the poverty and slavery of the people, the trivial amount of commerce, or at the weakness of a government whose whole system looks to the exhaustion of the land, and to the exclusion of that great middle class of working-men, to whom the agriculturist has everywhere been indebted for his freedom?

The facts thus far given have been taken, as the reader will have observed, from Mr. Urquhart's work; and as that gentleman is a warm admirer of the system denounced by Adam Smith, he cannot be suspected of any exaggeration when presenting any of its unfavourable results. Later travellers exhibit the nation as passing steadily onward toward ruin, and the people toward a state of slavery the most, complete—the necessary consequence of a policy that excludes the mechanic and prevents the formation of a town population. Among the latest of those travellers is Mr. Mac Farlane,[57] at the date of whose visit the silk manufacture had entirely disappeared, and even the filatures for preparing the raw silk were closed, weavers having become ploughmen, and women and children having been totally deprived of employment. The cultivators of silk had become entirely dependent on foreign markets in which there existed no demand for the products of their land and labour. England was then passing through one of her periodical crises, and it had been deemed necessary to put down the prices of all agricultural products, with a view to stop importation. On one occasion, during Mr. Mac Farlane's travels, there came a report that silk had risen in England, and it produced a momentary stir and animation, that, as he says, "flattered his national vanity to think that an electric touch parting from London, the mighty heart of commerce, should thus be felt in a few days at a place like Biljek." Such is commercial centralization! It renders the agriculturists of the world mere slaves, dependent for food and clothing upon the will of a few people, proprietors of a small amount of machinery, at "the mighty heart of commerce." At one moment speculation is rife, and silk goes up in price, and then every effort is made to induce large shipments of the raw produce of the world. At the next, money is said to be scarce, and the shippers are ruined, as was, to so great an extent, experienced by those who exported corn from this country in 1847.

At the date of the traveller's first visit to Broussa, the villages were numerous, and the silk manufacture was prosperous. At the second, the silk works were stopped and their owners bankrupt, the villages were gradually disappearing, and in the town itself scarcely a chimney was left, while the country around presented to view nothing but poverty and wretchedness. Everywhere, throughout the empire, the roads are bad, and becoming worse, and the condition of the cultivator deteriorates; for if he has a surplus to sell, most of its value at market is absorbed by the cost of transportation, and if his crop is short, prices rise so high that he cannot purchase. Famines are therefore frequent, and child-murder prevails throughout all classes of society. Population therefore diminishes, and the best lands are abandoned, "nine-tenths" of them remaining untilled;[58] the natural consequence of which is, that malaria prevails in many of those parts of the country that once were most productive, and pestilence comes in aid of famine for the extermination of this unfortunate people. Native mechanics are nowhere to be found, there being no demand for them, and the plough, the wine-press, and the oil-mill are equally rude and barbarous. The product of labour is, consequently, most diminutive, and its wages twopence a day, with a little food. The interest of money varies from 25 to 50 per cent. per annum, and this rate is frequently paid for the loan of bad seed that yields but little to either land or labour.

With the decline of population and the disappearance of all the local places of exchange, the pressure of the conscription becomes from year to year more severe, and droves of men may be seen "chained like wild beasts—free Osmanlees driven along the road like slaves to a market"—free men, separated from wives and children, who are left to perish of starvation amid the richest lands, that remain untilled because of the separation of the artisan from the producer of food, silk, and cotton. Internal commerce is trifling in amount, and the power to pay for foreign merchandise has almost passed away. Land is nearly valueless; and in this we find the most convincing proof of the daily increasing tendency toward slavery, man having always become enslaved as land has lost its value. In the great valley of Buyuk-derè, once known as the fair land, a property of twenty miles in circumference had shortly before his visit been purchased for less than £1000, or $4800.[59] In another part of the country, one of twelve miles in circumference had been purchased for a considerably smaller sum.[60] The slave trade, black and white, had never been more active;[61] and this was a necessary consequence of the decline in the value of labour and land.

In this country, negro men are well fed, clothed, and lodged, and are gradually advancing toward freedom. Population therefore increases, although more slowly than would be the case were they enabled more to combine their efforts for the improvement of their condition. In the West Indies, Portugal, and Turkey, being neither well fed, clothed, nor lodged, their condition declines; and as they can neither be bought nor sold, they are allowed to die off, and population diminishes as the tendency toward the subjugation of the labourer becomes more and more complete. Which of these conditions tends most to favour advance in civilization the reader may decide.



In no part of the world has there existed the same tendency to voluntary association, the distinguishing mark of freedom, as in India. In none have the smaller communities been to the same extent permitted the exercise of self-government. Each Hindoo village had its distinct organization, and under its simple and "almost patriarchal arrangements," says Mr. Greig,[62]—

"The natives of Hindoostan seem to have lived from the earliest, down, comparatively speaking, to late times—if not free from the troubles and annoyances to which men in all conditions of society are more or less subject, still in the full enjoyment, each individual, of his property, and of a very considerable share of personal liberty. * * * Leave him in possession of the farm which his forefathers owned, and preserve entire the institutions to which he had from infancy been accustomed, and the simple Hindoo would give himself no concern whatever as to the intrigues and cabals which took place at the capital. Dynasties might displace one another; revolutions might recur; and the persons of his sovereigns might change every day; but so long as his own little society remained undisturbed, all other contingencies were to him subjects scarcely of speculation. To this, indeed, more than to any other cause, is to be ascribed the facility with which one conqueror after another has overrun different parts of India; which submitted, not so much because its inhabitants were wanting in courage, as because to the great majority among them it signified nothing by whom the reins of the supreme government were held. A third consequence of the village system has been one which men will naturally regard as advantageous or the reverse, according to the opinions which they hold, touching certain abstract points into which it is not necessary to enter here. Perhaps there are not to be found on the face of the earth, a race of human beings whose attachment to their native place will bear a comparison with that of the Hindoos. There are no privations which the Hindoo will hesitate to bear, rather than voluntarily abandon the spot where he was born; and if continued oppression drive him forth, he will return to it again after long years of exile with fresh fondness."

The Mohammedan conquest left these simple and beautiful institutions untouched. "Each Hindoo village," says Col. Briggs, in his work on the land tax—

"Had its distinct municipality, and over a certain number of villages, or district, was an hereditary chief and accountant, both possessing great local influence and authority, and certain territorial domains or estates. The Mohammedans early saw the policy of not disturbing an institution so complete, and they availed themselves of the local influence of these officers to reconcile their subjects to their rule. * * * From the existence of these local Hindoo chiefs at the end of six centuries in all countries conquered by the Mohammedans, it is fair to conclude that they were cherished and maintained with great attention as the key-stone of their civil government. While the administration of the police, and the collection of the revenues, were left in the hands of these local chiefs, every part of the new territory was retained under military occupation by an officer of rank; and a considerable body of Mohammedan soldiers.* * * In examining the details of Mohammedan history, which has been minute in recording the rise and progress of all these kingdoms, we nowhere discover any attempt to alter the system originally adopted. The ministers, the nobles, and the military chiefs, all bear Mohammedan names and titles, but no account is given of the Hindoo institutions, being subverted, or Mohammedan officers, being employed in the minor, details, of the civil administration.

"It would appear from this that the Moslems, so far from imposing their own laws upon their subjects, treated the customs of the latter with the utmost respect; and that they did so because experience taught them that their own interests were advanced by a line of policy so prudent."

Local action and local combination are everywhere conspicuous in the history of this country. With numerous rulers, some of whom to a greater or less extent acknowledged the superiority of the Sovereign of Delhi, the taxes required for their support were heavy, but they were locally expended, and if the cultivator contributed too large a portion of his grain, it was at least consumed in a neighbouring market, and nothing went from off the land. Manufactures, too, were widely spread, and thus was made a demand for the labour not required in agriculture. "On the coast of Coromandel," says Orme,[63] "and in the province of Bengal, when at some distance from a high road or principal town, it is difficult to find a village in which every man, woman, and child is not employed in making a piece of cloth. At present," he continues, "much the greatest part of whole provinces are employed in this single manufacture." Its progress, as he says, "includes no less than a description of the lives of half the inhabitants of Indostan." While employment was thus locally subdivided, tending to enable neighbour to exchange with neighbour, the exchanges between the producers of food, or of salt, in one part of the country and the producers of cotton and manufacturers of cloth in another, tended to the production of commerce with more distant men, and this tendency was much increased by the subdivision of the cotton manufacture itself. Bengal was celebrated for the finest muslins, the consumption of which at Delhi, and in Northern India generally, was large, while the Coromandel coast was equally celebrated for the best chintzes and calicoes, leaving to Western India the manufacture of strong and inferior goods of every kind. Under these circumstances it is no matter of surprise that the country was rich, and that its people, although often overtaxed, and sometimes plundered by invading armies, were prosperous in a high degree.

Nearly a century has now elapsed since, by the battle of Plassey, British power was established in India, and from that day local action has tended to disappear, and centralization to take its place. From its date to the close of the century there was a rapidly increasing tendency toward having all the affairs of the princes and the people settled by the representatives of the Company established in Calcutta, and as usual in such cases, the country was filled with adventurers, very many of whom were wholly without principle, men whose sole object was that of the accumulation of fortune by any means, however foul, as is well known by all who are familiar with the indignant denunciations of Burke.[64]

England was thus enriched as India was impoverished, and as centralization was more and more established.

Step by step the power of the Company was extended, and everywhere was adopted the Hindoo principle that the sovereign was proprietor of the soil, and sole landlord, and as such the government claimed to be entitled to one-half of the gross produce of the land. "Wherever," says Mr. Rickards, long an eminent servant of the Company,

"The British power supplanted that of the Mohammedans in Bengal, we did not, it is true, adopt the sanguinary part of their creed; but from the impure fountain of their financial system, did we, to our shame, claim the inheritance to a right to seize upon half the gross produce of the land as a tax; and wherever our arms have triumphed, we have invariably proclaimed this savage right: coupling it at the same time with the senseless doctrine of the proprietary right to these lands being also vested in the sovereign, in virtue of the right of conquest."—Rickards's India, vol. i, 275.

Under the earlier Mohammedan sovereigns, this land-tax, now designated as rent, had been limited to a thirteenth, and from that to a sixth of the produce of the land; but in the reign of Akber (16th century) it was fixed at one-third, numerous other taxes being at the same time abolished. With the decline and gradual dissolution of the empire, the local sovereigns not only increased it, but revived the taxes that had been discontinued, and instituted others of a most oppressive kind; all of which were continued by the Company, while the land-tax was maintained at its largest amount. While thus imposing taxes at discretion, the Company had also a monopoly of trade, and it could dictate the prices of all it had to sell, as well as of all that it needed to buy; and here was a further and most oppressive tax, all of which was for the benefit of absentee landlords.

With the further extension of power, the demands on the Company's treasury increased without an increase of the power to meet them; for exhaustion is a natural consequence of absenteeism, or centralization, as has so well been proved in Ireland. The people became less able to pay the taxes, and as the government could not be carried on without revenue, a permanent settlement was made by Lord Cornwallis, by means of which all the rights of village proprietors, over a large portion of Bengal, were sacrificed in favour of the Zemindars, who were thus at once constituted great landed proprietors and absolute masters of a host of poor tenants, with power to punish at discretion those who were so unfortunate as not to be able to pay a rent the amount of which had no limit but that of the power to extort it. It was the middleman system of Ireland transplanted to India; but the results were at first unfavourable to the Zemindars, as the rents, for which they themselves were responsible to the government, were so enormous that all the rack-renting and all the flogging inflicted upon the poor cultivators could not enable them to pay; and but few years elapsed before the Zemindars themselves were sold out to make way for another set as keen and as hard-hearted as themselves. That system having failed to answer the purpose, it was next determined to arrest the extension of the permanent settlement, and to settle with each little ryot, or cultivator, to the entire exclusion of the village authorities, by whom, under the native governments, the taxes had uniformly been so equitably and satisfactorily distributed. The Ryotwar system was thus established, and how it has operated may be judged from the following sketch, presented by Mr. Fullerton, a member of the Council at Madras:—

"Imagine the revenue leviable through the agency of one hundred thousand revenue officers, collected or remitted at their discretion, according to the occupant's means of paying, whether from the produce of his land or his separate property; and in order to encourage every man to act as a spy on his neighbour, and report his means of paying, that he may eventually save himself from extra demand, imagine all the cultivators of a village liable at all times to a separate demand in order to make up for the failure of one or more individuals of the parish. Imagine collectors to every county, acting under the orders of a board, on the avowed principle of destroying all competition for labour by a general equalization of assessment, seizing and sending back runaways to each other. And, lastly, imagine the collector the sole magistrate or justice of the peace of the county, through the medium and instrumentality of whom alone any criminal complaint of personal grievance suffered by the subject can reach the superior courts. Imagine, at the same time, every subordinate officer employed in the collection of the land revenue to be a police officer, vested with the power to fine, confine, put in the stocks, and flog any inhabitant within his range, on any charge, without oath of the accuser, or sworn recorded evidence of the case."[65]

Any improvement in cultivation produced an immediate increase of taxation, so that any exertion on the part of the cultivator would benefit the Company, and not himself. One-half of the gross produce [66] may be assumed to have been the average annual rent, although, in many cases it greatly exceeded that proportion. The Madras Revenue Board, May 17th, 1817, stated that the "conversion of the government share of the produce (of lands) is in some districts, as high as 60 or 70 per cent. of the whole."[67]

It might be supposed that, having taken so large a share of the gross produce, the cultivator would be permitted to exist on the remainder, but such is not the case. Mr. Rickards gives [68] a list of sixty other taxes, invented by the sovereigns, or their agents, many of which he states to exist at the present day. Those who have any other mode of employing either capital or labour, in addition to the cultivation of their patches of land, as is very frequently the case, are subject to the following taxes, the principle of which is described as excellent by one of the collectors, December 1st, 1812:—

"The Veesabuddy, or tax on merchants, traders, and shopkeepers; Mohturfa, or tax on weavers, cotton cleaners, shepherds, goldsmiths, braziers, ironsmiths, carpenters, stone-cutters, &c.; and Bazeebab, consisting of smaller taxes annually rented out to the highest-bidder. The renter was thus constituted a petty chieftain, with power to exact fees at marriages, religious ceremonies; to inquire into and fine the misconduct of females in families, and other misdemeanours; and in the exercise of their privileges would often urge the plea of engagements to the Cirkar (government) to justify extortion. The details of these taxes are too long to be given in this place. The reader, however, may judge of the operation and character of all by the following selection of one, as described in the collector's report:—'The mode of settling the Mohturfa on looms hitherto has been very minute; every circumstance of the weaver's family is considered, the number of days which he devotes to his loom, the number of his children, the assistance which he receives from them, and the number and quality of the pieces which he can turn out in a month or year; so that, let him exert himself as he will, his industry will always be taxed to the highest degree.' This mode always leads to such details that the government servants cannot enter into it, and the assessment of the tax is, in consequence, left a great deal too much to the Curnums of the villages. No weaver can possibly know what he is to pay to the Cirkar, till the demand come to be made for his having exerted himself through the year; and having turned out one or two pieces of cloth more than he did the year before, though his family and looms have been the same, is made the ground for his being charged a higher Mohturfa, and at last, instead of a professional, it becomes a real income tax."[69]

The following will show that no mode of employing capital is allowed to escape the notice of the tax-gatherer:—

"The reader will, perhaps, better judge of the inquisitorial nature of one of these surveys, or pymashees, as they are termed in Malabar, by knowing that upward of seventy different kinds of buildings—the houses, shops, or warehouses of different castes and professions—were ordered to be entered in the survey accounts; besides the following 'implements of professions' which were usually assessed to the public revenue, viz.:

"Oil-mills, iron manufactory, toddy-drawer's stills, potter's kiln, washerman's stone, goldsmith's tools, sawyer's saw, toddy-drawer's knives, fishing-nets, barber's hones, blacksmith's anvils, pack bullocks, cocoa-nut safe, small fishing-boats, cotton-beater's bow, carpenter's tools, large fishing-boats, looms, salt storehouse."[70]

"If the landlord objected to the assessment on trees as old and past bearing, they were, one and all, ordered to be cut down, nothing being allowed to stand that did not pay revenue to the state. To judge of this order, it should be mentioned that the trees are valuable, and commonly used for building, in Malabar. To fell all the timber on a man's estate when no demand existed for it in the market, and merely because its stream of revenue had been drained, is an odd way of conferring benefits and protecting property."[71]

"Having myself," says Mr. Rickards, "been principal collector of Malabar, and made, during my residence in the province, minute inquiries into the produce and assessments of lands, I was enabled to ascertain beyond all doubt, and to satisfy the revenue board at Madras, that in the former survey of the province, which led to the rebellion, lands and produce were inserted in the pretended survey account which absolutely did not exist, while other lands were assessed to the revenue at more than their actual produce."[72]

"Fifty per cent. on the assessment is allowed," says Mr. Campbell,[73] "as a reward to any informer of concealed cultivation, &c.; and it is stated that there are, 'in almost every village, dismissed accountants desirous of being re-employed, and unemployed servants who wish to bring themselves to notice,' whose services as informers can be relied on."

A system like this, involving the most prying supervision of the affairs of each individual, and in which, in settling the tax to be paid, "the collector takes into consideration the number of children [74] to be supported, makes the poor ryot a mere slave to the collector, and with the disadvantage that the latter has no pecuniary interest in the preservation of his life, whereas the death of a slave, who constitutes a part of the capital of his owner, is a severe loss."

The tendency thus far has been, as we see, to sweep away the rights not only of kings and princes, but of all the native authorities, and to centralize in the hands of foreigners in Calcutta the power to determine for the cultivator, the artisan, or the labourer, what work he should do, and how much of its products he might retain, thus placing the latter in precisely the position of a mere slave to people who could feel no interest in him but simply as a tax-payer, and, who were represented by strangers in the country, whose authority was everywhere used by the native officers in their employ, to enable them to accumulate fortunes for themselves.

The poor manufacturer, as heavily taxed as the cultivator of the earth, found himself compelled to obtain advances from his employers, who, in their turn, claimed, as interest, a large proportion of the little profit that was made. The Company's agents, like the native merchants, advanced the funds necessary to produce the goods required for Europe, and the poor workmen are described as having been "in a state of dependence almost amounting to servitude, enabling the resident to obtain his labour at his own price."[75]

In addition to the taxes already described, a further one was collected at local custom-houses, on all exchanges between the several parts of the country; and to these were again added others imposed by means of monopolies of tobacco and opium, and of salt, one of the most important necessaries of life. The manufacture of coarse salt from the earth was strictly prohibited.[76] The salt lakes of the upper country furnish a supply so great that it is of little value on the spot;[77] but these lakes being even yet in the possession of native princes, the monopoly could then, and can now, be maintained only by aid of strong bands of revenue officers, whose presence renders that which is almost worthless on one side of an imaginary line so valuable on the other side of it that it requires the produce of the sixth part of the labour of the year to enable the poor Hindoo to purchase salt for his family. Along the seashore salt is abundantly furnished by nature, the solar heat causing a constant deposition of it; but the mere fact of collecting it was constituted an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, and the quantity collected by the Company's officers was limited to that required for meeting the demand at a monopoly price, all the remainder being regularly destroyed, lest the poor ryot should succeed in obtaining for himself, at cost, such a supply as was needed to render palatable the rice which constituted almost his only food. The system has since been rendered less oppressive, but even now the duty is ten times greater than it was under enlightened Mohammedan sovereigns.[78]

Such being the mode of collecting the revenue, we may now look to its distribution. Under the native princes it was, to a great extent, locally-expended, whereas, under the new system, all the collections by government or by individuals tended to Calcutta, to be there disposed of. Thence no inconsiderable portion of it passed to England, and thus was established a perpetual drain that certainly could not be estimated at less than four millions of pounds sterling per annum, and cannot be placed, in the last century, at less than four hundred millions of pounds, or two thousand millions of dollars.

The difference between an absentee landlord expending at a distance all his rents, and a resident one distributing it again among his tenants in exchange for services, and the difference in the value of the products of the land resulting from proximity to market, are so well exhibited in the following passage from a recent work on India, that the reader cannot fail to profit by its perusal:—

"The great part of the wheat, grain, and other exportable land produce which the people consume, as far as we have yet come, is drawn from our Nerbudda districts, and those of Malwa which border upon them; and par consequent, the price has been rapidly increasing as we recede from them in our advance northward. Were the soil of those Nerbudda districts, situated as they are at such a distance from any great market for their agricultural products, as bad as it is in the parts of Bundelcund that I came over, no net surplus revenue could possibly be drawn from them in the present state of arts and industry. The high prices paid here for land produce, arising from the necessity of drawing a great part of what is consumed from such distant lands, enables the Rajahs of these Bundelcund states to draw the large revenue they do. These chiefs expend the whole of their revenue in the maintenance of public establishments of one kind or other; and as the essential articles of subsistence, wheat and grain, &c., which are produced in their own districts, or those immediately around them, are not sufficient for the supply of these establishments, they must draw them from distant territories. All this produce is brought on the backs of bullocks, because there is no road from the districts whence they obtain it, over which a wheeled carriage can be drawn with safety; and as this mode of transit is very expensive, the price of the produce, when it reaches the capitals, around which these local establishments are concentrated, becomes very high. They must pay a price equal to the collective cost of purchasing and bringing this substance from the most distant districts, to which they are at any time obliged to have recourse for a supply, or they will not be supplied; and as there cannot be two prices for the same thing in the same market, the wheat and grain produced in the neighbourhood of one of these Bundelcund capitals, fetch as high a price there as that brought from the most remote districts on the banks of the Nerbudda river; while it costs comparatively nothing to bring it from the former lands to the markets. Such lands, in consequence, yield a rate of rent much greater compared with their natural powers of fertility than those of the remotest districts whence produce is drawn for these markets or capitals; and as all the lands are the property of the Rajahs, they draw all these rents as revenue.

"Were we to take this revenue, which the Rajahs now enjoy, in tribute for the maintenance of public establishments concentrated at distant seats, all these local establishments would of course be at once disbanded; and all the effectual demand which they afford for the raw agricultural produce of distant districts would cease. The price of the produce would diminish in proportion; and with it the value of the lands of the districts around such capitals. Hence the folly of conquerors and paramount powers, from the days of the Greeks and Romans down to those of Lord Hastings and Sir John Malcolm, who were all bad political economists, supposing that conquered and ceded territories could always be made to yield to a foreign state the same amount of gross revenue they had paid to their domestic government, whatever their situation with reference to the markets for their produce—whatever the state of their arts and their industry—and whatever the character and extent of the local establishments maintained out of it. The settlements of the land revenue in all the territories acquired in central India during the Mahratta war, which ended, in 1817, were made upon the supposition, that the lands would continue to pay the same rate of rent under the new, as they had paid under the old government, uninfluenced by the diminution of all local establishments, civil and military, to one-tenth of what they had been; that, under the new order of things, all the waste lands must be brought into tillage; and be able to pay as high a rate of rent as before tillage; and, consequently, that the aggregate available net revenue must greatly and rapidly increase! Those who had the making of the settlements, and the governing of these new territories, did not consider that the diminution of every establishment was the removal of a market—of an effectual demand for land produce; and that when all the waste lands should be brought into tillage, the whole would deteriorate in fertility, from the want of fallows, under the prevailing system of agriculture, which afforded the lands no other means of renovation from over cropping. The settlements of the land revenue which were made throughout our new acquisitions upon these fallacious assumptions, of course failed. During a series of quinquennial settlements, the assessment has been everywhere gradually reduced to about two-thirds of what it was when our rule began; and to less than one-half of what Sir John Malcolm, and all the other local authorities, and even the worthy Marquis of Hastings himself, under the influence of their opinions, expected it would be. The land revenues of the native princes of central India, who reduced their public establishments, which the new order of things seemed to render useless, and thereby diminished their only markets for the raw produce of their lands, have been everywhere falling off in the same proportion; and scarcely one of them now draws two-thirds of the income he drew from the same lands in 1817.

"There are in the valley of the Nerbudda, districts that yield a great deal more produce every year than either Orcha, Jansee, or Duteea; and yet, from the want of the same domestic markets, they do not yield one-fourth of the amount of land revenue. The lands are, however, rated equally high to the assessment, in proportion to their value to the farmers and cultivators. To enable them to yield a larger revenue to government, they require to have larger establishments as markets for land produce. These establishments may be either public, and paid by government, or they may be private, as manufactories, by which the land produce of these districts would be consumed by people employed in investing the value of their labour in commodities suited to the demand of distant markets, and more valuable than land produce in proportion to their weight and bulk. These are the establishments which government should exert itself to introduce and foster, since the valley of the Nerbudda, in addition to a soil exceedingly fertile, has in its whole line, from its source to its embouchure, rich beds of coal reposing for the use of future generations, under the sandstone of the Sathpore and Vindhya ranges; and beds no less rich of very fine iron. These advantages have not yet been justly appreciated; but they will be so by and by."[79]

From the concluding lines of this extract the reader will see that India is abundantly supplied with fuel and iron ore, and that if she has not good machinery, the deficiency is not chargeable to nature. At the close of the last century cotton abounded, and to so great an extent was the labour of men, women, and children applied to its conversion into cloth, that, even with their imperfect machinery, they not only supplied the home demand for the beautiful tissues of Dacca and the coarse products of Western India, but they exported to other parts of the world no less than 200,000,000 of pieces per annum.[80] Exchanges with every part of the world were so greatly in their favour that a rupee which would now sell for but 1s. 10d. or 44 cents, was then worth 2s. 8d. or 64 cents. The Company had a monopoly of collecting taxes in India, but in return it preserved to the people the control of their domestic market, by aid of which they were enabled to convert their rice, their salt, and their cotton, into cloth that could be cheaply carried to the most remote parts of the world. Such protection was needed, because while England prohibited the export of even a single collier who might instruct the people of India in the mode of mining coal—of a steam engine to pump water or raise coal, or a mechanic who could make one—of a worker in iron who might smelt the ore—of a spinning-jenny or power-loom, or of an artisan who could give instruction in the use of such machines—and thus systematically prevented them from keeping pace with improvement in the rest of the world,—she at the same time imposed very heavy duties on the produce of Indian looms received in England. The day was at hand, however, when that protection was to disappear. The Company did not, it was said, export sufficiently largely of the produce of British industry, and in 1813 the trade to India was thrown open—but the restriction on the export of machinery and artisans was maintained in full force; and thus were the poor and ignorant people of that country exposed to "unlimited competition," with a people possessed of machinery ten times more effective than their own, while not only by law deprived of the power to purchase machinery, but also of the power of competing in the British market with the produce of British looms. Further than this, every loom in India, and every machine calculated to aid the labourer, was subject to a tax that increased with every increase in the industry of its owner, and in many cases absorbed the whole profit derived from its use.[81] Such were the circumstances under which the poor Hindoo was called upon to encounter, unprotected, the "unlimited competition" of foreigners in his own market. It was freedom of trade all on one side. Four years after, the export of cottons from Bengal still amounted to £1,659,994,[82] but ten years later it had declined to £285,121; and at the end of twenty years we find a whole year pass by without the export of a single piece of cotton cloth from Calcutta, the whole of the immense trade that existed but half a century since having disappeared. What were the measures used for the accomplishment of the work of destroying a manufacture that gave employment and food to so many millions of the poor people of the country, will be seen on a perusal of the following memorial, which shows that while India was denied machinery, and also denied access to the British market, she was forced to receive British cottons free of all duty:—

"Petition of Natives of Bengal, relative to Duties on Cotton and Silk.

"Calcutta, 1st Sept. 1831.

 "To the Right Honourable the Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council for
 Trade, &c.

 "The humble Petition of the undersigned Manufacturers and Dealers in
 Cotton and Silk Piece Goods, the fabrics of Bengal;

"SHOWETH—That of late years your Petitioners have found their business nearly superseded by the introduction of the fabrics of Great Britain into Bengal, the importation of which augments every year, to the great prejudice of the native manufacturers.

 "That the fabrics of Great Britain are consumed in Bengal, without
 any duties being levied thereon to protect the native fabrics.

 "That the fabrics of Bengal are charged with the following duties
 when they are used in Great Britain—

    "On manufactured cottons, 10 per cent. On manufactured silks,
     24 per cent.

"Your Petitioners most humbly implore your Lordships' consideration of these circumstances, and they feel confident that no disposition exists in England to shut the door against the industry of any part of the inhabitants of this great empire.

"They therefore pray to be admitted to the privilege of British subjects, and humbly entreat your Lordships to allow the cotton and silk fabrics of Bengal to be used in Great Britain 'free of duty,' or at the same rate which may be charged on British fabrics consumed in Bengal.

"Your Lordships must be aware of the immense advantages the British manufacturers derive from their skill in constructing and using machinery, which enables them to undersell the unscientific manufacturers of Bengal in their own country: and, although your Petitioners are not sanguine in expecting to derive any great advantage from having their prayer granted, their minds would feel gratified by such a manifestation of your Lordships' good-will toward them; and such an instance of justice to the natives of India would not fail to endear the British government to them.

"They therefore confidently trust that your Lordships' righteous consideration will be extended to them as British subjects, without exception of sect, country, or colour.

    "And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray."
    [Signed by 117 natives of high respectability.]

The object sought to be accomplished would not have, however, been attained by granting the prayer of this most reasonable and humble petition. When the export of cotton, woollen, and steam machinery was prohibited, it was done with a view of compelling all the wool of the world to come to England to be spun and woven, thence to be returned to be worn by those who raised it—thus depriving the people of the world of all power to apply their labour otherwise than in taking from the earth cotton, sugar, indigo, and other commodities for the supply of the great "workshop of the world." How effectually that object has been accomplished in India, will be seen from the following facts. From the date of the opening of the trade in 1813, the domestic manufacture and the export of cloth have gradually declined until the latter has finally ceased, and the export of raw cotton to England has gradually risen until it has attained a height of about sixty millions of pounds,[83] while the import of twist from England has risen to twenty-five millions of pounds, and of cloth, to two hundred and sixty millions of yards; weighing probably fifty millions of pounds, which, added to the twist, make seventy-five millions, requiring for their production somewhat more than eighty millions of raw cotton. We see thus that every pound of the raw material sent to England is returned. The cultivator receives for it one penny, and when it returns to him in the form of cloth, he pays for it from one to two shillings, the whole difference being absorbed in the payment of the numerous brokers, transporters, manufacturers, and operatives, men, women, and children, that have thus been interposed between the producer and the consumer. The necessary consequence of this has been that everywhere manufactures have disappeared. Dacca, one of the principal seats of the cotton manufacture, contained 90,000 houses, but its trade had already greatly fallen off even at the date of the memorial above given, and its splendid buildings, factories, and churches are now a mass of ruins and overgrown with jungle. The cotton of the district found itself compelled to go to England that it might there be twisted and sent back again, thus performing a voyage of 20,000 miles in search of the little spindle, because it was a part of the British policy not to permit the spindle anywhere to take its place by the side of the cultivator of cotton.

The change thus effected has been stated in a recent official report to have been attended with ruin and distress, to which "no parallel can be found in the annals of commerce." What were the means by which it was effected is shown in the fact that at this period Sir Robert Peel stated that in Lancashire, children were employed fifteen and seventeen hours per day during the week, and on Sunday morning, from six until twelve, cleaning the machinery. In Coventry, ninety-six hours in the week was the time usually required; and of those employed, many obtained but 2s. 9d.—66 cents—for a week's wages. The object to be accomplished was that of underworking the poor Hindoo, and driving him from the market of the world, after which he was to be driven from his own. The mode of accomplishment was that of cheapening labour and enslaving the labourer at home and abroad.

With the decline of manufactures there has ceased to be a demand for the services of women or children in the work of conversion, and they are forced either to remain idle, or to seek employment in the field; and here we have one of the distinguishing marks of a state of slavery. The men, too, who were accustomed to fill up the intervals of other employments in pursuits connected with the cotton manufacture, were also driven to the field—and all demand for labour, physical or intellectual, was at an end, except so far as was needed for raising rice, indigo, sugar, or cotton. The rice itself they were not permitted to clean, being debarred therefrom by a duty double that which was paid on paddy, or rough rice, on its import into England. The poor grower of cotton, after paying to the government seventy-eight per cent.[84] of the product of his labour, found himself deprived of the power to trade directly with the man of the loom, and forced into "unlimited competition" with the better machinery and almost untaxed labour of our Southern States; and thereby subjected to "the mysterious variations of foreign markets" in which the fever of speculation was followed by the chill of revulsion with a rapidity and frequency that set at naught all calculation. If our crops were small, his English customers would take his cotton; but when he sent over more next year, there had, perhaps, been a good season here, and the Indian article became an absolute drug in the market. It was stated some time since, in the House of Commons, that one gentleman, Mr. Turner, had thrown £7000 worth of Indian cotton upon a dunghill, because he could find no market for it.

It will now readily be seen that the direct effect of thus compelling the export of cotton from India was to increase the quantity pressing on the market of England, and thus to lower the price of all the cotton of the world, including that required for domestic consumption. The price of the whole Indian crop being thus rendered dependent on that which could be realized for a small surplus that would have no existence but for the fact that the domestic manufacture had been destroyed, it will readily be seen how enormous has been the extent of injury inflicted upon the poor cultivator by the forcible separation of the plough and the loom, and the destruction of the power of association. Again, while the price of cotton is fixed in England, there, too, is fixed the price of cloth, and such is the case with the sugar and the indigo to the production of which these poor people are forced to devote themselves; and thus are they rendered the mere slaves of distant men, who determine what they shall receive for all they have to sell, and what they shall pay for all they require to purchase. Centralization and slavery go thus always hand in hand with each other.

The ryots are, as we see, obliged to pay sixteen or eighteen pence for the pound of cotton that has yielded them but one penny; and all this difference is paid for the labour of other people while idle themselves.

"A great part of the time of the labouring population in India is," says Mr. Chapman,[85] "spent in idleness. I don't say this to blame them in the smallest degree. Without the means of exporting heavy and crude surplus agricultural produce, and with scanty means, whether of capital, science, or manual skill, for elaborating on the spot articles fitted to induce a higher state of enjoyment and of industry in the mass of the people, they have really no inducement to exertion beyond that which is necessary to gratify their present and very limited wishes; those wishes are unnaturally low, inasmuch as they do not afford the needful stimulus to the exercise requisite to intellectual and moral improvement; and it is obvious that there is no remedy for this but extended intercourse. Meanwhile, probably the half of the human time and energy of India runs to mere waste. Surely we need not wonder at the poverty of the country."

Assuredly we need not. They are idle perforce. With indifferent means of communication, their cotton and their food could readily travel in the form of cloth, and they could consume liberally of food and clothing; but they find themselves now forced to export every thing in its rudest form, and this they are to do in a country that is almost without roads. The manner in which these raw products now travel may be seen on a perusal of the following passage from the London Economist:—

"The cotton is brought on oxen, carrying 160 pounds each, at the extreme rate, in fair weather, of seven miles a day for a continuance, and at a price of about 5s. for each hundred miles. If we take the average distance to Mirzapore at 500 miles, each pound of cotton costs in transit alone above 2-1/2 d. It has thence to be borne by water-carriage nearly 800 miles farther on to Calcutta. * * * The great cotton-growing districts are in the northern portion of the Peninsula, embracing Guzerat, and a vast tract called the Deccan, lying between the Satpoora range of hills and the course of the Kishna River. General Briggs says—'The cotton from the interior of the country to the coast at Bombay occupies a continuous journey of from one to two months, according to the season of the year; while in the rains the route is wholly impassable, and the traffic of the country is at a stand.'

"In the absence of a defined road, even the carriers, with their pack-cattle, are compelled to travel by daylight, to prevent the loss of their bullocks in the jungles they have to pass through, and this under a burning sun of from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The droves of oxen are never so few as one hundred, and sometimes exceed a thousand. Every morning after daylight each animal has to be saddled, and the load lifted on him by two men, one on each side; and before they are all ready to move the sun has attained a height which renders the heat to an European oppressive. The whole now proceeds at the rate of about two miles an hour, and seldom performs a journey of more than eight miles; but, as the horde rests every fourth day, the average distance is but six miles a day. If the horde is overtaken by rain, the cotton, saturated by moisture, becomes heavy, and the black clayey soil, through which the whole line of road lies, sinks under the feet of a man above the ankle, and under that of a laden ox to the knees.

"In this predicament the cargo of cotton lies sometimes for weeks on the ground, and the merchant is ruined."

"So miserably bad," says another writer, "are the existing means of communication with the interior, that many of the most valuable articles of produce are, for want of carriage and a market, often allowed to perish on the farm, while the cost of that which found its way to the port was enormously enhanced; but the quantity did not amount to above 20 per cent. of the whole of the produce, the remainder of the articles always being greatly deteriorated."

It will scarcely be difficult now to understand why it is that cotton yields the cultivator but a penny per pound. Neither will it be difficult, seeing that the local manufacturers have every where been ruined, to understand why the producer of the more bulky food is in a condition that is even worse, now that the consumer has disappeared from his side. If the crop is large, grain is a drug for which scarcely any price can be obtained;[86] and if it is small, the people perish, by thousands and ten of thousands, of famine, because, in the existing state of the roads, there can be little or no exchange of raw products. In the first case the cultivator is ruined, because it requires almost the whole crop to pay the taxes. In the other he is starved; and all this is a necessary consequence of a system that excludes the great middle class of mechanics and other working-men, and resolves a great nation into a mass of wretched cultivators, slaves to a few grasping money lenders. Under such circumstances, the accumulation of any thing like capital is impossible. "None," says Colonel Sleeman,[87] "have stock equal to half their rent." They are dependent everywhere, on the produce of the year, and however small may be its amount, the taxes must be paid, and of all that thus goes abroad nothing is returned. The soil gets nothing.[88] It is not manured, nor can it be under a system of absenteeism like this, and its fertility everywhere declines, as is shown by the following extracts:—

"Formerly, the governments kept no faith with their land-holders and cultivators, exacting ten rupees where they had bargained for five, whenever they found the crops good; but, in spite of all this zolm, (oppression,) there was then more burkut (blessings from above) than now. The lands yielded more returns to the cultivator, and he could maintain his little family better upon five acres than he can now upon ten.[89]

"The land requires rest from labour, as well as men and bullocks; and if you go on sowing wheat and other exhausting crops, it will go on yielding less and less returns, and at last will not be worth the tilling."[90]

"There has been a manifest falling off in the returns."[91]

The soil is being exhausted, and every thing necessarily goes backward. Trees are cut down, but none are planted; and the former sites of vast groves are becoming arid wastes, a consequence of which is, that droughts become from year to year more frequent.

"The clouds," says Colonel Sleeman,[92] "brought up from the southern ocean by the south-east trade-wind are attracted, as they pass over the island, by the forests in the interior, and made to drop their stores in daily refreshing showers. In many other parts of the world, governments have now become aware of this mysterious provision of nature, and have adopted measures to take advantage of it for the benefit of the people; and the dreadful sufferings to which the people of those of our districts, which have been the most denuded of their trees, have been of late years exposed from the want of rain in due season, may, perhaps, induce our Indian government, to turn its thoughts to the subject."

In former times extensive works were constructed for irrigating the land, but they are everywhere going to ruin—thus proving that agriculture cannot flourish in the absence of the mechanic arts:

"In Candeish, very many bunds [river-banks formed for purposes of irrigation] which were kept in repair under former governments, have, under ours, fallen to decay; nevertheless, not only has the population increased considerably under our rule, but in 1846 or 1847, the collector was obliged to grant remission of land tax, 'because the abundance of former years lay stagnating in the province, and the low prices of grain from that cause prevented the ryots from being able to pay their fixed land assessment.'"[93]

We have here land abandoned and the cultivator ruined for want of a market for food, and wages falling for want of a market for labour; and yet these poor people are paying for English food and English labour employed in converting into cloth the cotton produced alongside of the food—and they are ruined because they have so many middlemen to pay that the producer of cotton can obtain little food, and the producer of food can scarcely pay his taxes, and has nothing to give for cloth. Every thing tends, therefore, toward barbarism, and, as in the olden time of England and of Europe generally, famines become steadily more numerous and more severe, as is here shown:—

"Some of the finest tracts of land have been forsaken, and given up to the untamed beasts of the jungle. The motives to industry have been destroyed. The soil seems to lie under a curse. Instead of yielding abundance for the wants of its own population, and the inhabitants of other regions, it does not keep in existence its own children. It becomes the burying-place of millions, who die upon its bosom crying for bread. In proof of this, turn your eyes backward upon the scenes of the past year. Go with me into the north-western provinces of the Bengal presidency, and I will show you the bleaching skeletons of five hundred thousand human beings, who perished of hunger in the space of a few short months. Yes, died of hunger in what has been justly called the granary of the world. Bear with me, if I speak of the scenes which were exhibited during the prevalence of this famine. The air for miles was poisoned by the effluvia emitted from the putrefying bodies of the dead. The rivers were choked with the corpses thrown into their channels. Mothers cast their little ones beneath the rolling waves, because they would not see them draw their last gasp and feel them stiffen in their arms. The English in the city were prevented from taking their customary evening drives. Jackalls and vultures approached, and fastened upon the bodies of men, women, and children, before life was extinct. Madness, disease, despair stalked abroad, and no human power present to arrest their progress. It was the carnival of death! And this occurred in British India—in the reign of Victoria the First! Nor was the event extraordinary and unforeseen. Far from it: 1835-36 witnessed a famine in the northern provinces: 1833 beheld one to the eastward: 1822-23 saw one in the Deccan. They have continued to increase in frequency and extent under our sway for more than half a century."[94]

The famine of 1838 is thus described by Mr. George Thompson, late M.
P., on the testimony of a gentleman of high respectability:

"The poorer houses were entirely unroofed, the thatches having been given to feed the cattle, which had nevertheless died; so that cattle had disappeared altogether from the land. He says that a few attenuated beings, more like skeletons than human creatures, were seen hovering about among the graves of those who had been snatched away by the famine; that desertion was everywhere visible, and that the silence of death reigned. In one of the villages, he says, an old man from whom they had bought a goat during their former visit, in 1833, was the only survivor of the whole community except his brother's son, whom he was cherishing and endeavouring to keep alive, and these two had subsisted altogether upon the eleemosynary bounty of travellers. The courier of Lord Auckland had informed this gentleman that when the governor-general passed through that part of the country the roads were lined on either side with heaps of dead bodies, and that they had not unfrequently to remove those masses of unburied human beings, ere the governor-general could proceed onward with his suite; and that every day from 2000 to 3000 famishing wretches surrounded and followed the carriages, to whom he dealt out a scanty meal; and on one occasion the horse of the courier took fright, and on the cause being ascertained—what was it? It was found to be the lifeless body of a man who had died with his hand in his mouth, from which he had already devoured the fingers."[95]

The more severe the pressure on the poor ryot, the greater is the power of the few who are always ready to profit by the losses of their neighbours. These poor people are obliged to borrow money on their growing crops, the prices of which are regulated by the will of the lender rather than by the standard of the market, and the rate of interest which the cultivators pay for these loans is often not less than 40 or 50 per cent.

A recent traveller says of the unfortunate cultivator—

"Always oppressed, ever in poverty, the ryot is compelled to seek the aid of the mahajun, or native money-lender. This will frequently be the talukdhar, or sub-renter, who exacts from the needy borrower whatever interest he thinks the unfortunate may be able to pay him, often at the rate of one per cent. per week. The accounts of these loans are kept by the mahajuns, who, aware of the deep ignorance of their clients, falsify their books, without fear of detection. In this way, no matter how favourable the season, how large the crop, the grasping mahajun is sure to make it appear that the whole is due to him; for he takes it at his own value. So far from Mr. Burke having overstated the case of the oppression of the ryots, on the trial of Warren Hastings, when he said that the tax-gatherer took from them eighteen shillings in every pound, he was really within the mark. At the conclusion of each crop-time, the grower of rice or cotton is made to appear a debtor to his superior, who thereupon provided the ryot appears able to toil on for another season—advances more seed for sowing, and a little more rice to keep the labourer and his family from absolute starvation. But should there be any doubt as to the health and strength of the tenant-labourer, he is mercilessly turned from his land and his mud hut, and left to die on the highway."

This is slavery, and under such a system how could the wretched people be other than slaves? The men have no market for their labour, and the women and children must remain idle or work in the field, as did, and do, the women of Jamaica; and all because they are compelled everywhere to exhaust the soil in raising crops to be sent to a distance to be consumed, and finally to abandon the land, even where they do not perish of famine. Mr. Chapman informs us that—

"Even in the valley of the Ganges, where the population is in some districts from 600 to 800 to the square mile, one-third of the cultivable lands are not cultivated; and in the Deecan, from which we must chiefly look for increased supplies of cotton, the population, amounting to about 100 to the square mile, is maintained by light crops, grown on little more than half the cultivable land."[96]

Elsewhere he tells us that of the cultivable surface of all India one-half is waste.[97] Bishop Heber informs us of the "impenetrable jungle" that now surrounds the once great manufacturing city of Dacca; and the Bombay Times reminds its English readers of the hundreds of thousands of acres of rich land that are lying waste, and that might be made to produce cotton.

When population and wealth diminish it is always the rich soils that are first abandoned, as is shown in the Campagna of Rome, in the valley of Mexico, and in the deltas of the Ganges and the Nile. Without association they could never have been brought into cultivation, and with the disappearance of the power to associate they are of necessity allowed to relapse into their original condition. Driven back to the poor soils and forced to send abroad the product, their wretched cultivator becomes poorer from day to day, and the less he obtains the more he becomes a slave to the caprices of his landlord, and the more is he thrown upon the mercy of the money-lender, who lends on good security at three per cent. per month, but from him must have fifty or a hundred per cent. for a loan until harvest. That under such circumstances the wages of labour should be very low, even where the wretched people are employed, must be a matter of course. In some places the labourer has two and in others three rupees, or less than a dollar and a half, per month. The officers employed on the great zemindary estates have from three to four rupees, and that this is a high salary, is proved by the fact that the police receive but 48 rupees ($23) per annum, out of which they feed and clothe themselves! Such are the rewards of labour in a country possessing every conceivable means of amassing wealth, and they become less from year to year. "It could not be too universally known," said Mr. Bright in the House of Commons, two years since,

"That the cultivators of the soil were in a very unsatisfactory condition; that they were, in truth, in a condition of extreme and almost universal poverty. All testimony concurred upon that point. He would call the attention of the house to the statement of a celebrated native of India, the Rajah Rammohun Roy, who about twenty years ago published a pamphlet in London, in which he pointed out the ruinous effects of the zemindary system, and the oppression experienced by the ryots in the presidencies both of Bombay and Madras. After describing the state of matters generally, he added, 'Such was the melancholy condition of the agricultural labourers, that it always gave him the greatest pain to allude to it.' Three years afterward, Mr. Shore, who was a judge in India, published a work which was considered as a standard work till now, and he stated that 'the British Government was not regarded in a favourable light by the native population of India,'—that a system of taxation and extortion was carried on 'unparalleled in the annals of any country. Then they had the authority of an American planter, Mr. Finnie, who was in India in 1840, and who spoke of the deplorable condition of the cultivators of the soil, and stated that if the Americans were similarly treated, they would become as little progressive as the native Indians. He might next quote the accounts given by Mr. Marriott in 1838, a gentleman who was for thirty years engaged in the collection of the revenue in India, and who stated that 'the condition of the cultivators was greatly depressed, and that he believed it was still declining.' There was the evidence of a native of India to which he might refer on this subject. It was that of a gentleman, a native of Delhi, who was in England in the year 1849, and he could appeal to the right hon. baronet the member for Tamworth in favour of the credibility of that gentleman. He never met with a man of a more dignified character, or one apparently of greater intelligence, and there were few who spoke the English language with greater purity and perfection. That gentleman had written a pamphlet, in which he stated that throughout his whole line of march from Bombay he found the Nizam's territories better cultivated, and the ryots in a better state of circumstances, than were the Company's territories, of the people residing within them, who were plunged in a state of the greatest poverty; and he concluded his short, but comparatively full, notice of the present deplorable state of India, by observing that he feared this was but the prelude of many more such descriptions of the different portions of the Company's dominions which would be put forth before the subject would attract the notice of those whose duty it was to remove the evils that existed."

We have here confirmation of the correctness of the views of Colonel Sleeman, that the condition of the people under the local governments is better than under the great central government. Heavily as they are taxed, a small part only of the proceeds of taxes goes, in these cases, to Calcutta on its way to England, whereas, of the enormous salaries paid to English governors and judges, nearly the whole must go abroad, as no one consents to serve for a few years in India, except on such terms as will enable him to accumulate a fortune and return home to spend it. In further confirmation of this we have the facts so fully given in Mr. Campbell's recent work, (Modern India, chap, xi.,) and proving that security of person and property increases as we pass from the old possessions of the Company, and toward the newly acquired ones. Crime of every kind, gang robbery, perjury, and forgery, abound in Bengal and Madras, and the poverty of the cultivator is so great that the revenue is there the least, and is collected with the greatest difficulty—and there, too, it is that the power of association has been most effectually destroyed. Passing thence to the Northwestern provinces more recently acquired, person and property become more secure and the revenue increases; but when we reach the Punjab, which until now has been subject to the rule of Runjeet Singh and his successors, we find that, tyrants as he and they have been represented, the people have there been left in the exercise of self-government. The village communities and the beautiful system of association, destroyed in Bengal, there remain untouched. Officers of all kinds are there more responsible for the performance of their duties than are their fellows in the older provinces, and property and person are more secure than elsewhere in India. Gang robbery is rare, perjury is unfrequent, and Mr. Campbell informs us that a solemn oath is "astonishingly binding." "The longer we possess a province," he continues, "the more common and general does perjury become;" and we need no better evidence than is thus furnished of the slavish tendency of the system. The hill tribes, on the contrary, are remarkable for their "strict veracity," and Colonel Sleeman expresses the belief that "there is as little falsehood spoken in the village communities," as in any part of the world with an equal area and population.[98] In the new provinces the people read and write with facility, and they are men of physical and moral energy, good cultivators, and understand well both their rights and their duties; whereas from the older ones education has disappeared, and with it all power to associate together for any good purpose. In the new provinces, commerce is large, as is shown by the following facts representing the population and post-office revenue of Bengal, the N. W. Provinces, and the Punjab, placed in the order of their acquisition by the Company:—

                           Population. Post-office Revenue.
                           —————- ——————————
    Bengal……………. 41,000,000 480,500 rupees.
    N. W. Provinces……. 24,000,000 978,000 "
    Punjab……………. 8,000,000 178,000 "

We have here exhibited the remarkable fact that in the country of the Sikhs, so long represented as a scene of grasping tyranny, eight millions of people pay as much postage as is paid by fifteen millions in Bengal, although in the latter is Calcutta, the seat of all the operations of a great centralized government. That such should be the case is not extraordinary, for the power advantageously to employ labour diminishes with the approach to the centre of British power, and increases as we recede from it. Idleness and drunkenness go hand in hand with each other, and therefore it is that Mr. Campbell finds himself obliged to state that "intemperance increases where our rule and system have been long established."[99] We see thus that the observations of both Mr. Campbell and Colonel Sleeman, authors of the most recent works on India, confirm to the letter the earlier statements of Captain Westmacott, an extract from which is here given:—

"It is greatly to be deplored, that in places the longest under our rule, there is the largest amount of depravity and crime. My travels in India have fallen little short of 8000 miles, and extended to nearly all the cities of importance in Northern, Western, and Central India. I have no hesitation in affirming, that in the Hindoo and Mussulman cities, removed from European intercourse, there is much less depravity than either in Calcutta, Madras, or Bombay, where Europeans chiefly congregate."

Calcutta grows, the city of palaces, but poverty and wretchedness grow as the people of India find themselves more and more compelled to resort to that city to make their exchanges. Under the native rule, the people of each little district could exchange with each other food for cotton or cotton cloth, paying nobody for the privilege. Now, every man must send his cotton to Calcutta, thence to go to England with the rice and the indigo of his neighbours, before he and they can exchange food for cloth or cotton—and the larger the quantity they send the greater is the tendency to decline in price. With every extension of the system there is increasing inability to pay the taxes, and increasing necessity for seeking new markets in which to sell cloth and collect what are called rents—and the more wide the extension of the system the greater is the difficulty of collecting revenue sufficient for keeping the machine of government in motion. This difficulty it was that drove the representatives of British power and civilization into becoming traders in that pernicious drug, opium.

"The very best parts of India," as we are told,[100] were selected for the cultivation of the poppy. The people were told that they must either cultivate this plant, mate opium, or give up their land. If they refused, they were peremptorily told they must yield or quit. The same Company that forced them to grow opium said, You must sell the opium to us; and to them it was sold, and they gave the price they pleased to put upon the opium thus manufactured; and they then sold it to trading speculators at Calcutta, who caused it to be smuggled up the Canton River to an island called Lintin, and tea was received in exchange. At last, however, the emperor of China, after repeated threats, proceeded to execute summary justice; he seized every particle of opium; put under bond every European engaged in the merchandise of it; and the papers of to-day (1839) inform us that he has cut off the China trade, "root and branch."

Unhappily, however, the British nation deemed it expedient to make war upon the poor Chinese, and compel them to pay for the opium that had been destroyed; and now the profits of the Indian government from poisoning a whole people have risen from £1,500,000, at the date of the above extract, to the enormous sum of £3,500,000, or $16,800,000, and the market is, as we are informed, still extending itself.[101]

That the reader may see, and understand how directly the government is concerned in this effort at demoralizing and enslaving the Chinese, the following extract is given:—

"For the supply and manufacture of government opium there is a separate establishment. There are two great opium agencies at Ghazeepore and Patna, for the Benares and Bahar provinces. Each opium agent has several deputies in different districts, and a native establishment. They enter into contracts with the cultivators for the supply of opium at a rate fixed to meet the market. The land revenue authorities do not interfere, except to prevent cultivation without permission. Government merely bargains with the cultivators as cultivators, in the same way as a private merchant would, and makes advances to them for the cultivation. The only difficulty found is to prevent, their cultivating too much, as the rates are favourable, government a sure purchaser, and the cultivation liked. The land cultivated is measured, and precaution is taken that the produce is all sold to government. The raw opium thus received is sent to the head agency, where it is manufactured, packed in chests, and sealed with the Company's seal."[102]

It would seem to the author of this paragraph almost a matter of rejoicing that the Chinese are bound to continue large consumers of the drug. "The failure of one attempt to exclude it has shown," as he thinks—

"That they are not likely to effect that object; and if we do not supply them, some one else will; but the worst of it is, according to some people, that if the Chinese only legalized the cultivation in their own country, they could produce it much cheaper, and our market would be ruined. Both for their sakes and ours we must hope that it is not so, or that they will not find it out."[103]

Need we wonder, when gentlemen find pleasure in the idea of an increasing revenue from forcing this trade in despite of all the efforts of the more civilized Chinese government, that "intemperance increases" where the British "rule and system has been long established?" Assuredly not. Poor governments are, as we everywhere see, driven to encourage gambling, drunkenness, and other immoralities, as a means of extracting revenue from their unfortunate taxpayers; and the greater the revenue thus obtained, the poorer become the people and the weaker the government. Need we be surprised that that of India should be reduced to become manufacturer and smuggler of opium, when the people are forced to exhaust the land by sending away its raw products, and when the restraints upon the mere collection of domestic salt are so great that English salt now finds a market in India? The following passage on this subject is worthy of the perusal of those who desire fully to understand how it is that the people of that country are restrained in the application of their labour, and why it is that labour is so badly paid:—

"But those who cry out in England against the monopoly, and their unjust exclusion from the salt trade, are egregiously mistaken. As concerns them there is positively no monopoly, but the most absolute free trade. And, more than this, the only effect of the present mode of manufacture in Bengal is to give them a market which they would never otherwise have. A government manufacture of salt is doubtless more expensive than a private manufacture; but the result of this, and of the equality of duty on bad and good salt, is, that fine English salt now more or less finds a market in India; whereas, were the salt duty and all government interference discontinued to-morrow, the cheap Bengal salt would be sold at such a rate that not a pound of English or any other foreign salt could be brought into the market."[104]

Nevertheless, the system is regarded as one of perfect free trade!

Notwithstanding all these efforts at maintaining the revenue, the debt has increased the last twelve years no less than £15,000,000, or seventy-two millions of dollars; and yet the government is absolute proprietor of all the land of India, and enjoys so large a portion of the beneficial interest in it, that private property therein is reduced to a sum absolutely insignificant, as will now be shown.

The gross land revenue obtained from a country with an area of 491,448 square miles, or above three hundred millions of acres, is 151,786,743 rupees, equal to fifteen millions of pounds sterling, or seventy-two millions of dollars.[105] What is the value of private rights of property, subject to the payment of this tax, or rent, may be judged from the following facts:—In 1848-9 there were sold for taxes, in that portion of the country subject to the permanent settlement, 1169 estates, at something less than four years' purchase of the tax. Further south, in the Madras government, where the ryotwar settlement is in full operation, the land "would be sold" for balances of rent, but "generally it is not," as we are told, "and for a very good reason, viz. that nobody will buy it." Private rights in land being there of no value whatsoever, "the collector of Salem," as Mr. Campbell informs us—

"Naïvely mentions 'various unauthorized modes of stimulating the tardy,' rarely resorted to by heads of villages; such as 'placing him in the sun, obliging him to stand on one leg, or to sit with his head confined between his knees.'"[106]

In the north-west provinces, "the settlement," as our author states, "has certainly been successful in giving a good market value to landed property;" that is, it sells at about "four years' purchase on the revenue."[107] Still further north, in the newly acquired provinces, we find great industry, "every thing turned to account," the assessment, to which the Company succeeded on the deposition of the successors of Runjeet Singh, more easy, and land more valuable.[108] The value of land, like that of labour, therefore increases as we pass from the old to the new settlements, being precisely the reverse of what would be the case if the system tended to the enfranchisement and elevation of the people, and precisely what should be looked for in a country whose inhabitants were passing from freedom toward slavery.

With the data thus obtained we may now ascertain, with perhaps some approach to accuracy, the value of all the private rights in the land of India. In no case does that subject to tax appear to be worth more than four years' purchase, while in a very large portion of the country it would seem to be worth absolutely nothing. There are, however, some tax-free lands that may be set off against those held under the ryotwar settlement; and it is therefore possible that the whole are worth four years' purchase, which would give 288 millions of dollars, or 60 millions of pounds sterling, as the value of all the rights in land acquired by the people of India by all the labour of their predecessors and themselves in the many thousands of years it has been cultivated. The few people that have occupied the little and sandy State of New Jersey, with its area of 6900 square miles, have acquired rights in and on the land that are valued, subject to the claims of government, at 150 millions of dollars; and the few that have occupied the little island on which stands the city of New York have acquired rights that would sell in the market for at least one-half more than could be obtained for all the proprietary rights to land in India, with 300 millions of acres and 96 millions of inhabitants!

"Under the native princes," says Mr. Campbell, "India was a paying country." Under British rule, it has ceased to be so, because under that rule all power of combined action has been annihilated, or is in train to be, and will be so, by aid of the system that looks to compelling the whole people, men, women, and children, to work in the field, producing commodities to be exported in their raw state. Every act of association is an act of trade, and whatever tends to destroy association must destroy trade. The internal commerce of India declines steadily, and the external amounts to but about half a dollar per head, and no effort can make it grow to any extent. The returns of last year, of English trade, show a diminution as compared with those of the previous one, whereas with almost all other countries there is a large increase. Cuba exports to the large amount of twenty-five dollars per head, or almost fifty times as much as India; and she takes of cotton goods from England four times as much per head; and this she does because it is a part of the policy of Spain to bring about combination of action, and to enable the planter and the artisan to work together, whereas the policy of England is to destroy everywhere the power of association, and thus to destroy the domestic trade, upon which the foreign one must be built. Centralization is adverse to trade, and to the freedom of man. Spain does not seek to establish centralization. Provided she receives a given amount of revenue, she is content to permit her subjects to employ themselves at raising sugar or making cloth, as they please, and thus to advance in civilization; and by this very course it is that she is enabled to obtain revenue. How centralization operates on the people and the revenue, and how far it tends to promote the civilization or the freedom of man, may be seen, on a perusal of the following extract from a recent speech of Mr. Anstey, in the British House of Commons:—

"Such was the financial condition of India, which the right honourable gentleman believed to be so excellent. The intelligent natives of India, however, who visited this country, were not of that opinion. They told us that the complaints sent from India to this country were disregarded here, and that they always would be disregarded as long as inquiry into them was imperial, not local. They stated that their condition was one of hopeless misery, and that it had been so ever since they came under our rule. The result was, that cholera had become the normal order of things in that country, and in India it never died out. It appeared from the reports of medical officers in the army that it did not attack the rich and well-fed so frequently as it attacked the poor, and that among them it had made the most fearful ravages. The first authentic account they had of the appearance of the cholera in India was coincident with the imposition of the salt monopoly by Warren Hastings; and by a just retribution it had visited their own shores, showing them with what a scourge they had so long afflicted the natives of India. It might be said of the other taxes that, in one form or another, they affected every branch of industry and every necessary of life. They affected even the tools of trade, and were sometimes equal in amount to the sum for which the tool itself could be purchased in the market.

"When on a former occasion he had mentioned those facts before a member of the court of directors, he was told that if he had seen the papers in the archives, he would perceive that an alteration had taken place; but he found, on an inspection of the papers, that the result to the purchaser of salt is almost equal to what it had been. It was a well known fact that the natives dare not complain. When they asked for protection from the laws, they were treated as Juttee Persaud had been treated last year—cases were fabricated against them, and they were prosecuted for their lives. With the examples before them of Nuncomar and Juttee Persaud, it was not surprising that the natives were so backward in bringing to justice the persons whose oppressions had been so great."

It was in the face of facts like those here presented, and other similar ones presented to us in the history of Jamaica, that in a recent despatch Lord Palmerston thus instructed his minister at Madrid:—

"I have to instruct your lordship to observe to M. de Miraflores that the slaves of Cuba form a large portion, and by no means an unimportant one, of the population of Cuba; and that any steps taken to provide for their emancipation would, therefore, as far as the black population is concerned, be quite in unison with the recommendation made by her Majesty's government, that measures should be adopted for contenting the people of Cuba, with a view to secure the connection between that island and the Spanish crown; and it must be evident that if the negro population of Cuba were rendered free, that fact would create a most powerful element of resistance to any scheme for annexing Cuba to the United States, where slavery still exists.

"With regard to the bearing which negro emancipation would have on the interests of the white proprietors, it may safely be affirmed that free labour costs less than slave labour, and it is indisputable that a free and contented peasantry are safer neighbours for the wealthy classes above them than ill-treated and resentful slaves; and that slaves must, from the nature of things, be more or less ill-treated, is a truth which belongs to the inherent principles of human nature, and is quite as inevitable as the resentment, however suppressed it may be, which is the consequence of ill-treatment."

The negroes of Jamaica have never been permitted to apply their spare labour even to the refining of their own sugar, nor are they so at this day. They must export it raw, and the more they send the lower is the price and the larger the proportion taken by the government—but the poor negro is ruined. Spain, on the contrary, permits the Cubans to engage in any pursuits they may deem most likely to afford them a return to labour and capital; and, as a necessary consequence of this, towns and cities grow up, capital is attracted to the land, which becomes from day to day more valuable, labour is in demand, and there is a gradual, though slow, improvement of condition. The power to resort to other modes of employment diminishes the necessity for exporting sugar, and when exported to Spain, the producer is enabled to take for himself nearly the whole price paid by the consumer, the government claiming only a duty of fifteen per cent.

The Hindoo, like the negro, is shut out from the workshop. If he attempts to convert his cotton into yarn, his spindle is taxed in nearly all of the profit it can yield him. If he attempts to make cloth, his loom is subjected to a heavy tax, from which that of his wealthy English competitor is exempt. His iron ore and his coal must remain in the ground, and if he dares to apply his labour even to the collection of the salt which crystallizes before his door, he is punished by fine and imprisonment. He must raise sugar to be transported to England, there to be exchanged, perhaps, for English salt. For the sugar, arrived in that country, the workman pays at the rate perhaps of forty shillings a hundred, of which the government claims one-third, the ship owner, the merchant, and others, another third, and the remaining third is to be fought for by the agents of the Company, anxious for revenue, and the poor ryot, anxious to obtain a little salt to eat with his rice, and as much of his neighbour's cotton, in the form of English cloth, as will suffice to cover his loins.

Under the Spanish system capital increases, and labour is so valuable that slaves still continue to be imported. Under the English one, labour is valueless, and men sell themselves for long years of slavery at the sugar culture in the Mauritius, in Jamaica, and in Guiana. In all countries to which men are attracted, civilization tends upward; but in all those from which men fly, it tends downward.

At the moment this despatch was being written by Lord Palmerston, Mr. Campbell was writing his book, in which it is everywhere shown that the tendency of India toward centralization and absenteeism, and therefore toward exhaustion and slavery, is rapidly on the increase. "The communication with India," as he says—

"Is every day so much increased and facilitated that we become more and more entirely free from native influence, and the disposition to Hindooize, which at first certainly showed itself, has altogether disappeared. The English in India have now become as English as in England.

"While this state of things has great advantages, it has also some disadvantage in the want of local knowledge, and of permanency in the tenure of appointments which results. As there has been a constant succession of total strangers in every appointment, it follows that the government must be entirely carried on upon general principles, with little aid from local knowledge and experience."—P. 202.

The tendency toward the transfer of English capital to India, as he informs us, retrogrades instead of advancing, and this is precisely what we might expect to find to be the case. Capital never seeks a country from which men are flying as they now fly from India. The English houses bring none, but being in general mere speculators, they borrow largely and enter into large operations, and when the bubble bursts, the poor Hindoo suffers in the prostration of trade and decline in the prices of cotton and sugar. "The consequence is," as Mr. Campbell says—

"That European speculation has retrograded. Far up the country, where the agents of the old houses were formerly numerous and well supplied with money, the planters are now few and needy, and generally earn but a precarious subsistence as in fact the servants of native capitalists."—P. 204.

Iron, by aid of which the people might improve their processes of cultivation and manufacture, has little tendency toward India. The average export of it to that country in 1845 and '46 was but 13,000 tons, value £160,000, or about two-pence worth for every five of the population. Efforts are now being made for the construction of railroads, but their object is that of carrying out the system of centralization, and thus still further destroying the power of association, because they look to the annihilation of what still remains of domestic manufacture, and thus cheapening cotton. With all the improvements in the transportation of that commodity, its poor cultivator obtains less for it than he did thirty years since, and the effect of further improvement can be none other than that of producing a still further reduction, and still further deterioration of the condition of the men who raise food and cotton. As yet the power of association continues in the Punjab, but it is proposed now to hold there great fairs for the sale of English manufactures, and the day cannot be far distant when the condition of the people of the new provinces will be similar to that of those of the old ones, as no effort will be spared to carry out the system which looks to driving the whole people to agriculture, and thus compelling them to exhaust their land. It is needed, says Mr. Chapman, the great advocate of railways in India, that the connection between "the Indian grower and English spinner" become more intimate, and "the more the English is made to outweigh the native home demand, the more strongly will the native agriculturist feel that his personal success depends on securing and improving his British connection"[109]6750—that is, the more the natives can be prevented from combining, their labours, the greater, as Mr. Chapman thinks, will be the prosperity of India. Centralization has impoverished, and to a considerable extent depopulated, that country, but its work is not yet done. It remains yet to reduce the people of the Punjab, of Affghanistan and Burmah, to the condition of the Bengalese.

The Burmese war is, as we are informed, "connected with at least certain hopes of getting across to China through the Burmese territories,"[110] and, of course of extending the trade in opium throughout the whole of interior China; and the revenue from that source will pay the cost of annexation. It is by aid of this powerful narcotic, probably, that "civilization" is about, as we are told, to "plant her standard on the ruins of kingdoms which for thousands of years have been smouldering into dust."[111]

We are often told of "the dim moral perceptions" of the people of India, and as many of those who will read this volume may be disposed to think that the cause of poverty lies in some deficiencies in the character of the Hindoo, it may not be improper, with a view to the correction of that opinion, to offer a few passages from the very interesting work of Colonel Sleeman, who furnishes more information on that head than any other recent traveller or resident; and his remarks are the more valuable because of being the fruit of many years of observation:—

"Sir Thomas Munro has justly observed, 'I do not exactly know what is meant by civilizing the people of India. In the theory and practice of good government they may be deficient; but if a good system of agriculture—if unrivalled manufactures—if a capacity to produce what convenience or luxury demands—if the establishment of schools for reading and writing—if the general practice of kindness and hospitality—and above all, if a scrupulous respect and delicacy toward the female sex are amongst the points that denote a civilized people; then the Hindoos are not inferior in civilization to the people of Europe.—Rambles, vol. i. 4.

"Our tents were pitched upon a green sward on one bank of a small stream running into the Nerbudda close by, while the multitude occupied the other bank. At night all the tents and booths are illuminated, and the scene is hardly less animating by night than by day; but what strikes an European most is the entire absence of all tumult and disorder at such places. He not only sees no disturbance, but feels assured that there will be none; and leaves his wife and children in the midst of a crowd of a hundred thousand persons all strangers to them, and all speaking a language and following a religion different from theirs, while he goes off the whole day, hunting and shooting in the distant jungles, without the slightest feeling of apprehension for their safety or comfort."—Ibid. 2.

"I am much attached to the agricultural classes of India generally, and I have found among them some of the best men I have ever known. The peasantry in India have generally very good manners, and are exceedingly intelligent, from having so much more leisure, and unreserved and easy intercourse with those above them."—Ibid. 76.

"I must say, that I have never either seen or read of a nobler spirit than seems to animate all classes of these communities in India on such distressing occasions."—Ibid. 197.

"There is no part of the world, I believe, where parents are so much reverenced by their sons as they are in India in all classes of society."—Ibid. 330.

"An instance of deliberate fraud or falsehood among native merchants of respectable stations in society, is extremely rare. Among the many hundreds of bills I have had to take from them for private remittances, I have never had one dishonoured, or the payment upon one delayed beyond the day specified; nor do I recollect ever hearing of one who had. They are so careful not to speculate beyond their means, that an instance of failure is extremely rare among them. No one ever in India hears of families reduced to ruin or distress by the failure of merchants and bankers; though here, as in all other countries advanced in the arts, a vast number of families subsist upon the interest of money employed by them.

"There is no class of men more interested in the stability of our rule in India than this of the respectable merchants; nor is there any upon whom the welfare of our government, and that of the people, more depend. Frugal, first, upon principle, that they may not in their expenditure encroach upon their capitals, they become so by habit; and when they advance in life they lay out their accumulated wealth in the formation of those works which shall secure for them, from generation to generation, the blessings of the people of the towns in which they have resided, and those of the country around. It would not be too much to say, that one-half the great works which embellish and enrich the face of India, in tanks, groves, wells, temples, &c., have been formed by this class of the people solely with the view of securing the blessings of mankind by contributing to their happiness in solid and permanent works."—Ibid. vol. ii. 142.

"In the year 1829, while I held the civil charge of the district of Jubbulpore, in this valley of the Nerbudda, I caused an estimate to be made of the public works of ornament and utility it contained. The population of the district at that time amounted to five hundred thousand souls, distributed among four thousand and fifty-three occupied towns, villages, and hamlets. There were one thousand villages more which had formerly been occupied, but were then deserted. There were two thousand two hundred and eighty-eight tanks, two hundred and nine bowlies, or large wells, with flights of steps extending from the top down to the water when in its lowest stage; fifteen hundred and sixty wells lined with brick and stone, cemented with lime, but without stairs; three hundred and sixty Hindoo temples, and twenty-two Mohammedan mosques. The estimated cost of these works in grain at the present price, that is the quantity that would have been consumed, had the labour been paid in kind at the present ordinary rate, was eighty-six lacks, sixty-six thousand and forty-three rupees (86,66,043,) £866,604 sterling.

"The labourer was estimated to be paid at the rate of about two-thirds the quantity of corn he would get in England if paid in kind, and corn sells here at about one-third the price it fetches in average seasons in England. In Europe, therefore, these works, supposing the labour equally efficient, would have cost at least four times the sum here estimated; and such works formed by private individuals for the public good, without any view whatever to return in profits, indicates a very high degree of public spirit.

"The whole annual rent of the lands of this district amounts to about six hundred and fifty thousand rupees a year, (£65,000 sterling,) that is, five hundred thousand demandable by the government, and one hundred and fifty thousand by those who hold the lands at lease immediately under government, over and above what may be considered as the profits of their stock as farmers. These works must, therefore, have cost about thirteen times the amount of the annual rent of the whole of the lands of the districts—or the whole annual rent for above thirteen years!"—Ibid, vol. ii. 194.

We have here private rights in land amounting to 150,000 rupees, in a country abounding in coal and iron ore,[112] and with a population of half a million of people. Estimating the private interest at ten years' purchase, it is exactly three years' purchase of the land-tax; and it follows of course, that the government takes every year one-fourth of the whole value of the property,—at which rate the little State of New Jersey, with its half-million of inhabitants, would pay annually above thirty millions of dollars for the support of those who were charged with the administration of its affairs! Need we wonder at the poverty of India when thus taxed, while deprived of all power even to manure its land?

"Three-fourths of the recruits for our Bengal native infantry are drawn from the Rajpoot peasantry of the kingdom of Oude, on the left bank of the Ganges, where their affections have been linked to the soil for a long series of generations. The good feelings of the families from which they are drawn, continue, through the whole period of their service, to exercise a salutary influence over their conduct as men and as soldiers. Though they never take their families with them, they visit them on furlough every two or three years, and always return to them when the surgeon considers a change of air necessary to their recovery from sickness. Their family circles are always present to their imaginations; and the recollections of their last visit, the hopes of the next, and the assurance that their conduct as men and as soldiers in the interval will be reported to those circles by their many comrades, who are annually returning on furlough to the same parts of the country, tend to produce a general and uniform propriety of conduct, that is hardly to be found among the soldiers of any other army in the world, and which seems incomprehensible to those who are unacquainted with its source,—veneration for parents cherished through life and a never impaired love of home, and of all the dear objects by which it is constituted."—Ibid. vol. ii. 415.

Such are the people that we see now forced to abandon a land of which not more than half the cultivable part is in cultivation—a land that abounds in every description of mineral wealth—and to sell themselves for long years of service, apart from wives, children, and friends, to be employed in the most unhealthful of all pursuits, the cultivation of sugar in the Mauritius, and the Sandwich Islands, and among the swamps of British Guiana, and Jamaica, and for a reward of four or five rupees ($2 to $2.50) per month. What was their condition in the Mauritius is thus shown by an intelligent and honest visitor of the island in 1838:—

"After the passage of the act abolishing slavery, an arrangement was sanctioned by the Colonial Government, for the introduction of a great number of Indian labourers into the colony. They were engaged at five rupees, equal to ten shillings, a month, for five years, with also one pound of rice, a quarter of a pound of dhall, or grain, a kind of pulse, and one ounce of butter, of ghee, daily. But for every day they were absent from their work they were to return two days to their masters, who retained one rupee per month, to pay an advance made of six months' wages, and to defray the expense of their passage. If these men came into Port Louis to complain of their masters, they were lodged in the Bagne prison, till their masters were summoned. The masters had a great advantage before the magistrates over their servants: the latter being foreigners, but few of them could speak French, and they had no one to assist them in pleading their cause. They universally represented themselves as having been deceived with respect to the kind of labour to be exacted from them. But perhaps the greatest evil attendant on their introduction into the Mauritius was the small proportion of females imported with them, only about two hundred being brought with upward of ten thousand men. It was evident that unless the system of employing them were closely watched, there was a danger that it might ultimately grow into another species of slavery."[113]

We see thus that while the females of India are deprived of all power to employ themselves in the lighter labour of manufacture, the men are forced to emigrate, leaving behind their wives and daughters, to support themselves as best they may. The same author furnishes an account of the Indian convicts that had been transported to the island, as follows:—

"Among the Indian convicts working on the road, we noticed one wearing chains; several had a slight single ring round the ankle. They are lodged in huts with flat roofs, or in other inferior dwellings, near the road. There are about seven hundred of them in the island. What renders them peculiarly objects of sympathy is, that they were sent here for life, and no hope of any remission of sentence is held out to them for good conduct. Their's is a hopeless bondage; and though it is said by some that they are not hard worked, yet they are generally, perhaps constantly, breaking stones and mending the road, and in a tropical sun. There are among them persons who were so young when transported that, in their offences, they could only be looked on as the dupes of those that were older; and many of them bear good characters."[114]

At the date to which these passages refer there was a dreadful famine in India; but, "during the prevalence of this famine," as we are told,—

"Rice was going every hour out of the country. 230,371 bags of 164 pounds each—making 37,780,844 lbs.—were exported from Calcutta. Where? To the Mauritius, to feed the kidnapped Coolies. Yes: to feed the men who had been stolen from the banks of the Ganges and the hills adjacent, and dragged from their native shore, under pretence of going to one of the Company's villages, to grow in the island of Mauritius what they might have grown in abundance upon their own fertile, but over-taxed land. The total amount of rice exported from Calcutta, during the famine in 1838, was 151,923,696 lbs., besides 13,722,408 lbs. of other edible grains, which would have fed and kept alive all those who perished that year. Wives might have been saved to their husbands, babes to their mothers, friends to their friends; villages might still have been peopled; a sterile land might have been restored to verdure. Freshness and joy and the voices of gladness, might have been there. Now, all is stillness, and desolation, and death. Yet we are told we have nothing to do with India."[115]

The nation that exports raw produce must exhaust its land, and then it must export its men, who fly from famine, leaving the women and children to perish behind them.

By aid of continued Coolie immigration the export of sugar from the Mauritius has been doubled in the last sixteen years, having risen from 70 to 140 millions of pounds. Sugar is therefore very cheap, and the foreign competition is thereby driven from the British market. "Such conquests," however, says, very truly, the London Spectator

"Don't always bring profit to the conqueror; nor does production itself prove prosperity. Competition for the possession of a field may be carried so far as to reduce prices below prime cost; and it is clear from the notorious facts of the West Indies—from the change of property, from the total unproductiveness of much property still—that the West India production of sugar has been carried on, not only without replacing capital, but with a constant sinking of capital."

The "free" Coolie and the "free negro" of Jamaica, have been urged to competition for the sale of sugar, and they seem likely to perish together; but compensation for this is found in the fact that—

"Free-trade has, in reducing the prices of commodities for home consumption, enabled the labourer to devote a greater share of his income toward purchasing clothing and luxuries, and has increased the home trade to an enormous extent."[116]

What effect this reduction of "the prices of commodities for home consumption" has had upon the poor Coolie, may be judged from the following passage:—

"I here beheld, for the first time, a class of beings of whom we have heard much, and for whom I have felt considerable interest. I refer to the Coolies imported by the British government to take the place of the faineant negroes, when the apprenticeship system was abolished. Those that I saw were wandering about the streets, dressed rather tastefully, but always meanly, and usually carrying over their shoulder a sort of chiffonier's sack, in which they threw whatever refuse stuff they found in the streets or received as charity. Their figures are generally superb; and their Eastern costume, to which they adhere as far as their poverty will permit of any clothing, sets off their lithe and graceful forms to great advantage. Their faces are almost uniformly of the finest classic mould, and illuminated by pairs of those dark swimming and propitiatory eyes, which exhaust the language of tenderness and passion at a glance.

"But they are the most inveterate mendicants on the island. It is said that those brought from the interior of India are faithful and efficient workmen, while those from Calcutta and its vicinity are good for nothing. Those that were prowling about the streets of Spanish-town and Kingston, I presume, were of the latter class, for there is not a planter on the island, it is said, from whom it would be more difficult to get any work than from one of these. They subsist by begging altogether: they are not vicious, nor intemperate, nor troublesome particularly, except as beggars. In that calling they have a pertinacity before which a Northern mendicant would grow pale. They will not be denied. They will stand perfectly still and look through a window from the street for a quarter of an hour, if not driven away, with their imploring eyes fixed upon you, like a stricken deer, without saying a word or moving a muscle. They act as if it were no disgrace for them to beg, as if the least indemnification which they are entitled to expect, for the outrage perpetrated upon them in bringing them from their distant homes to this strange island, is a daily supply of their few and cheap necessities, as they call for them.

"I confess that their begging did not leave upon my mind the impression produced by ordinary mendicancy. They do not look as if they ought to work. I never saw one smile, and though they showed no positive suffering, I never saw one look happy. Each face seemed to be constantly telling the unhappy story of their woes, and like fragments of a broken mirror, each reflecting in all its hateful proportions the national outrage of which they are the victims."[117]

The slave trade has taken a new form, the mild and gentle Hindoo having taken the place of the barbarous and fierce African; and this trade is likely to continue so long as it shall be held to be the chief object of the government of a Christian people to secure to its people cheap cotton and sugar, without regard to the destruction of life of which that cheapness is the cause. The people of England send to India missionary priests and bishops, but they obtain few converts; nor can it ever be otherwise under a system which tends to destroy the power of association, and thus prevents that diversification of employments that is indispensable to the improvement of physical, moral, intellectual, or political condition. May we not hope that at no very distant day they will arrive at the conclusion that such association is as necessary to the Hindoo as they know it to be to themselves, and that if they desire success in their attempts to bring the followers of Mohammed, or of Brahma, to an appreciation of the doctrines of Christ, they must show that their practice and their teachings are in some degree in harmony with each other? When that day shall come they will be seen endeavouring to remedy the evil they have caused, and permitting the poor Hindoo to obtain establishments in which labour may be combined for the production of iron and of machinery, by aid of which the native cotton may be twisted in the neighbourhood in which it is produced, thus enabling the now unhappy cultivator to exchange directly with his food-producing neighbour, relieved from the necessity for sending his products to a distance, to be brought back again in the form of yarn or cloth, at fifteen or twenty times the price at which he sold it in the form of cotton. That time arrived, they will appreciate the sound good sense contained in the following remarks of Colonel Sleeman:—

"If we had any great establishment of this sort in which Christians could find employment, and the means of religious and secular instruction, thousands of converts would soon flock to them; and they would become vast sources of future improvement in industry, social comfort, municipal institutions, and religion. What chiefly prevents the spread of Christianity in India is the dread of exclusion from caste and all its privileges; and the utter hopelessness of their ever finding any respectable circle of society of the adopted religion, which converts, or would be converts to Christianity, now everywhere feel. Form such circles for them—make the members of these circles happy in the exertion of honest and independent industry—let those who rise to eminence in them feel that they are considered as respectable and as important in the social system as the servants of government, and converts will flock around you from all parts, and from all classes of the Hindoo community. * * * I am persuaded that a dozen such establishments as that of Mr. Thomas Ashton, of Hyde, as described by a physician of Manchester, and noticed in Mr. Baines's admirable work on the Cotton Manufactures of Great Britain, (page 447,) would do more in the way of conversion among the people of India than has ever yet been done by all the religious establishments, or ever will be done by them without some such aid."—Vol. ii. 164.

That there is a steady increase in the tendency toward personal servitude, or slavery, in India, no one can doubt who will study carefully the books on that country; and it may not be amiss to inquire on whom rests the responsibility for this state of things. By several of the persons that have been quoted, Messrs. Thompson, Bright, and others, it is charged upon the Company; but none that read the works of Messrs. Campbell and Sleeman can hesitate to believe that the direction is now animated by a serious desire to improve the condition of its poor subjects. Unfortunately, however, the Company is nearly in the condition of the land-holders of Jamaica, and is itself tending toward ruin, because its subjects are limited to agriculture, and because they receive so small a portion of the value of their very small quantity of products. Now, as in the days of Joshua Gee, the largest portion of that value remains in England, whose people eat cheap sugar while its producer starves in India. Cheap sugar and cheap cotton are obtained by the sacrifice of the interests of a great nation; and while the policy of England shall continue to look to driving the women and children of India to the labours of the field, and the men to the raising of sugar in the Mauritius, the soil must continue to grow poorer, the people must become more and more enslaved, and the government must find itself more and more dependent for revenue on the power to poison the people of China; and therefore will it be seen that however good may be the intentions of the gentlemen charged with the duties of government, they must find themselves more and more compelled to grind the poor ryot in the hope of obtaining revenue.



The government which followed the completion of the Revolution of 1688, pledged itself to discountenance the woollen manufacture of Ireland, with a view to compel the export of raw wool to England, whence its exportation to foreign countries was prohibited; the effect of which was, of course, to enable the English manufacturer to purchase it at his own price. From that period forward we find numerous regulations as to the ports from which alone woollen yarn or cloth might go to England, and the ports of the latter through which it might come; while no effort was spared to induce the people of Ireland to abandon woollens and take to flax. Laws were passed prohibiting the export of Irish cloth and glass to the colonies. By other laws Irish ships were deprived of the benefit of the navigation laws. The fisheries were closed against them. No sugar could be imported from any place but Great Britain, and no drawback was allowed on its exportation to Ireland; and thus was the latter compelled to pay a tax for the support of the British government, while maintaining its own. All other colonial produce was required to be carried first to England, after which it might be shipped to Ireland; and as Irish shipping was excluded from the advantages of the navigation laws, it followed that the voyage of importation was to be made in British ships, manned by British seamen, and owned by British merchants, who were thus authorized to tax the people of Ireland for doing their work, while a large portion of the Irish people were themselves unemployed.

While thus prohibiting them from applying themselves to manufactures or trade, every inducement was held out to them to confine themselves to the production of commodities required by the English manufacturers, and wool, hemp, and flax were admitted into England free of duty. We see thus that the system of that day in reference to Ireland looked to limiting the people of that country, as it limited the slaves of Jamaica, and now limits the people of Hindostan, to agriculture alone, and thus depriving the men, the women, and the children of all employment except the labour of the field, and of all opportunity for intellectual improvement, such as elsewhere results from that association which necessarily accompanies improvement in the mechanic arts.

During our war of the Revolution, freedom of trade was claimed for Ireland; and as the demand was made at a time when a large portion of her people were under arms as volunteers, the merchants and manufacturers of England, who had so long acted as middlemen for the people of the sister kingdom, found themselves obliged to submit to the removal of some of the restrictions under which the latter had so long remained. Step by step changes were made, until at length, in 1783, Ireland was declared independent, shortly after which duties were imposed on various articles of foreign manufacture, avowedly with the intention of enabling her people to employ some of their surplus labour in converting her own food and wool, and the cotton wool of other countries, into cloth. Thenceforward manufactures and trade made considerable progress, and there was certainly a very considerable tendency toward improvement. Some idea of the condition of the country at that time, and of the vast and lamentable change that has since taken place, may be obtained from the consideration of a few facts connected with the manufacture of books in the closing years of the last century. The copyright laws not extending to Ireland, all books published in England might there be reprinted, and accordingly we find that all the principal English law reports of the day, very many of the earlier ones, and many of the best treatises, as well as the principal novels, travels, and miscellaneous works, were republished in Dublin, as may be seen by an examination of any of our old libraries. The publication of such books implies, of course, a considerable demand for them, and for Ireland herself, as the sale of books in this country was very small indeed, and there was then no other part of the world to which they could go. More books were probably published in Ireland in that day by a single house than are now required for the supply of the whole kingdom. With 1801, however, there came a change. By the Act of Union the copyright laws of England were extended to Ireland, and at once the large and growing manufacture of books was prostrated. The patent laws were also extended to Ireland; and as England had so long monopolized the manufacturing machinery then in use, it was clear that it was there improvements would be made, and that thenceforth the manufactures of Ireland must retrograde. Manchester had the home market, the foreign market, and, to no small extent, that of Ireland open to her; while the manufacturers of the latter were forced to contend for existence, and under the most disadvantageous circumstances, on their own soil. The one could afford to purchase expensive machinery, and to adopt whatever improvements might be made, while the other could not. The natural consequence was, that Irish manufactures gradually disappeared as the Act of Union came into effect. By virtue of its provisions, the duties established by the Irish Parliament for the purpose of protecting the farmers of Ireland in their efforts to bring the loom and the anvil into close proximity with the plough and the harrow, were gradually to diminish, and free trade was to be fully established; or, in other words, Manchester and Birmingham were to have a monopoly of supplying Ireland with cloth and iron. The duty on English woollens was to continue twenty years. The almost prohibitory duties on English calicoes and muslins were to continue until 1808; after which they were to be gradually diminished, until in 1821 they were to cease. Those on cotton yarn were to cease in 1810. The effect of this in diminishing the demand for Irish labour, is seen in the following comparative view of manufactures at the date of the Union, and at different periods in the ensuing forty years, here given:—

  Dublin, 1800, Master woollen manufacturers. 91… 1840, 12
      " Hands employee…………. 4918… " , 602
      " Master wool-combers…….. 30… 1834, 5
      " Hands employed…………. 230… " , 63
      " Carpet manufacturers……. 13… 1841, 1
      " Hands employed…………. 720… " none

  Kilkenny, 1800, Blanket manufacturers…… 56… 1822, 42
      " Hands employed…………. 3000… 1822, 925

  Dublin, 1800, Silk-loom wearers at work.. 2500… 1840, 250
  Balbriggan, 1799, Calico looms at work….. 2500… 1841, 226
  Wicklow, 1800, Hand-looms at work……… 1000… 1841, none

  Cork, 1800, Braid weavers………….. 1000… 1834, 40
      " Worsted weavers………… 2000… " 90
      " Hoosiers………………. 300… " 28
      " Wool-combers…………… 700… " 110
      " Cotton weavers…………. 2000… " 220
      " Linen cheek weavers…….. 600… " none
      " Cotton spinners, bleachers,
                  calico printers……. thousands… " none

"For nearly half a century Ireland has had perfectly free trade with the richest country in the world; and what," says the author of a recent work of great ability,—

"Has that free trade done for her? She has even now," he continues, "no employment for her teeming population except upon the land. She ought to have had, and might easily have had, other and various employments, and plenty of it. Are we to believe," says he, "the calumny that the Irish are lazy and won't work? Is Irish human nature different from other human nature? Are not the most laborious of all labourers in London and New York, Irishmen? Are Irishmen inferior in understanding? We Englishmen who have personally known Irishmen, in the army, at the bar, and in the church, know that there is no better head than a disciplined Irish one. But in all these cases that master of industry, the stomach, has been well satisfied. Let an Englishman exchange his bread and beer, and beef, and mutton, for no breakfast, for a lukewarm lumper at dinner, and no supper. With such a diet, how much better is he than an Irishman—a Celt, as he calls him? No, the truth is, that the misery of Ireland is not from the human nature that grows there—it is from England's perverse legislation, past and present."[118]

Deprived of all employment, except in the labour of agriculture, land became, of course, the great object of pursuit. "Land is life," had said, most truly and emphatically, Chief Justice Blackburn; and the people had now before them the choice between the occupation of land, at any rent, or starvation. The lord of the land was thus enabled to dictate his own terms, and therefore it has been that we have heard of the payment of five, six, eight, and even as much as ten pounds per acre. "Enormous rents, low wages, farms of an enormous extent, let by rapacious and indolent proprietors to monopolizing land-jobbers, to be relet by intermediate oppressors, for five times their value, among the wretched starvers on potatoes and water," led to a constant succession of outrages, followed by Insurrection Acts, Arms Acts, and Coercion Acts, when the real remedy was to be found in the adoption of a system that would emancipate the country from the tyranny of the spindle and the loom, and permit the labour of Ireland to find employment at home.

That employment could not be had. With the suppression of Irish manufactures the demand for labour had disappeared. An English traveller, describing the state of Ireland in 1834, thirteen years after the free-trade provisions of the Act of Union had come fully into operation, furnishes numerous facts, some of which will now be given, showing that the people were compelled to remain idle, although willing to work at the lowest wages—such wages as could not by any possibility enable them to do more than merely sustain life, and perhaps not even that.

CASHEL.—"Wages here only eightpence a day, and numbers altogether without employment."

CAHIR.—"I noticed, on Sunday, on coming from church, the streets crowded with labourers, with spades and other implements in their hands, standing to be hired; and I ascertained that any number of these men might have been engaged, on constant employment, at sixpence per day without diet."

WICKLOW.—"The husband of this woman was a labourer, at sixpence a day, eighty of which sixpences—that is, eighty days' labour—were absorbed in the rent of the cabin." "In another cabin was a decently dressed woman with five children, and her husband was also a labourer at sixpence a day. The pig had been taken for rent a few days before." "I found some labourers receiving only fourpence per day."

KILKENNY.—"Upward of 2000 persons totally without employment." "I visited the factories that used to support 200 men with their families, and how many men did I find at work? ONE MAN! In place of finding men occupied, I saw them in scores, like spectres, walking about, and lying about the mill. I saw immense piles of goods completed, but for which there was no sale. I saw heaps of blankets, and I saw every loom idle. As for the carpets which had excited the jealousy and the fears of Kidderminster, not one had been made for seven months. To convey an idea of the destitution of these people, I mention, that when an order recently arrived for the manufacture of as many blankets for the police as would have kept the men at work for a few days, bonfires were lighted about the country—not bonfires to communicate insurrection, but to evince joy that a few starving men were about to earn bread to support their families. Nevertheless, we are told that Irishmen will not work at home."

CALLEN.—"In this town, containing between four and five thousand inhabitants, at least one thousand are without regular employment, six or seven hundred entirely destitute, and there are upward of two hundred mendicants in the town—persons incapable of work."—Inglis's Ireland in 1834.

Such was the picture everywhere presented to the eye of this intelligent traveller. Go where he might, he found hundreds anxious for employment, yet no employment could be had, unless they could travel to England, there to spend weeks in travelling round the country in quest of days of employment, the wages for which might enable them to pay their rent at home. "The Celt," says the Times, "is the hewer of wood and the drawer of water to the Saxon; The great works of this country," it continues "depend on cheap labour." The labour of the slave is always low in price. The people of Ireland were interdicted all employment but in the cultivation of the land, and men, women, and children were forced to waste more labour than would have paid twenty times over for all the British manufactures they could purchase. They were passing rapidly toward barbarism, and for the sole reason that they were denied all power of association for any useful purpose. What was the impression produced by their appearance on the mind of foreigners may be seen by the following extract from the work of a well-known and highly intelligent German traveller:—

"A Russian peasant, no doubt, is the slave of a harder master, but still he is fed and housed to his content, and no trace of mendicancy is to be seen in him. The Hungarians are certainly not among the best-used people in the world; still, what fine wheaten bread and what wine has even the humblest among them for his daily fare! The Hungarian would scarcely believe it, if he were to be told there was a country in which the inhabitants must content themselves with potatoes every alternate day in the year.

"Servia and Bosnia are reckoned among the most wretched countries of Europe, and certainly the appearance of one of their villages has little that is attractive about it; but at least the people, if badly housed, are well clad. We look not for much luxury or comfort among the Tartars of the Crimea; we call them poor and barbarous, but, good heavens! they look at least like human creatures. They have a national costume, their houses are habitable, their orchards are carefully tended, and their gayly harnessed ponies are mostly in good condition. An Irishman has nothing national about him but his rags,—his habitation is without a plan, his domestic economy without rule or law. We have beggars and paupers among us, but they form at least an exception; whereas, in Ireland, beggary or abject poverty is the prevailing rule. The nation is one of beggars, and they who are above beggary seem to form the exception.

"The African negroes go naked, but then they have a tropical sun to warm them. The Irish are little removed from a state of nakedness; and their climate, though not cold, is cool, and extremely humid. * * *

"There are nations of slaves, but they have, by long custom, been made unconscious of the yoke of slavery. This is not the case with the Irish, who have a strong feeling of liberty within them, and are fully sensible of the weight of the yoke they have to bear. They are intelligent enough to know the injustice done them by the distorted laws of their country; and while they are themselves enduring the extreme of poverty, they have frequently before them, in the manner of life of their English landlords, a spectacle of the most refined luxury that human ingenuity ever invented."—Kohl's Travels in Ireland.

It might be thought, however, that Ireland was deficient in the capital required for obtaining the machinery of manufacture to enable her people to maintain competition with her powerful neighbour. We know, however, that previous to the Union she had that machinery; and from the date of that arrangement, so fraudulently brought about, by which was settled conclusively the destruction of Irish manufactures, the annual waste of labour was greater than the whole amount of capital then employed in the cotton and woollen manufactures of England. From that date the people of Ireland were thrown, from year to year, more into the hands of middlemen, who accumulated fortunes that they would not invest in the improvement of land, and could not, under the system which prostrated manufactures, invest in machinery of any kind calculated to render labour productive; and all their accumulations were sent therefore to England for investment. An official document published by the British government shows that the transfers of British securities from England to Ireland, that is to say, the investment of Irish capital in England, in the thirteen years following the final adoption of free trade in 1821, amounted to as many millions of pounds sterling; and thus was Ireland forced to contribute cheap labour and cheap capital to building up "the great works of Britain." Further, it was provided by law that whenever the poor people of a neighbourhood contributed to a saving fund, the amount should not be applied in any manner calculated to furnish local employment, but should be transferred for investment in the British funds. The landlords fled to England, and their rent followed them. The middlemen sent their capital to England. The trader or the labourer that could accumulate a little capital saw it sent to England; and he was then compelled to follow it. Such is the history of the origin of the present abandonment of Ireland by its inhabitants.

The form in which rents, profits, and savings, as well as taxes, went to England, was that of raw products of the soil, to be consumed abroad, yielding nothing to be returned to the land, which was of course impoverished. The average export of grain in the first three years following the passage of the Act of Union was about 300,000 quarters, but as the domestic market gradually disappeared, the export of raw produce increased, until, at the close of twenty years it exceeded a million of quarters; and at the date of Mr. Inglis's visit it had reached an average of two and a half millions, or 22,500,000 of our bushels. The poor people were, in fact, selling their soil to pay for cotton and woollen goods that they should have manufactured themselves, for coal which abounded among themselves, for iron, all the materials of which existed at home in great profusion, and for a small quantity of tea, sugar, and other foreign commodities, while the amount required to pay rent to absentees, and interest to mortgagees, was estimated at more than thirty millions of dollars. Here was a drain that no nation could bear, however great its productive power; and the whole of it was due to the system which forbade the application of labour, talent, or capital to any thing but agriculture, and thus forbade advance in civilization. The inducements to remain at home steadily diminished. Those who could live without labour found that society had changed; and they fled to England, France, or Italy. Those who desired to work, and felt that they were qualified for something beyond mere manual labour, fled to England or America; and thus by degrees was the unfortunate country depleted of every thing that could render it a home in which to remain, while those who could not fly remained to be, as the Times so well describes it, mere "hewers of wood and drawers of water to the Saxon," happy when a full-grown man could find employment at sixpence a day, and that, too, without food.

"Throughout the west and south of Ireland," said an English traveller in 1842, four years before the exhaustion of the soil had produced disease among the potatoes—

"The traveller is haunted by the face of the popular starvation. It is not the exception—it is the condition of the people. In this fairest and richest of countries, men are suffering and starving by millions. There are thousands of them, at this minute, stretched in the sunshine at their cabin doors with no work, scarcely any food, no hope seemingly. Strong countrymen are lying in bed, 'for the hunger'—because a man lying on his back does not need so much food as a person afoot. Many of them have torn up the unripe potatoes from their little gardens, and to exist now must look to winter, when they shall have to suffer starvation and cold too."—Thackeray.

"Everywhere," said the Quarterly Review, "throughout all parts, even in the best towns, and in Dublin itself, you will meet men and boys—not dressed, not covered—but hung round with a collection of rags of unrivalled variety, squalidity, and filth—walking dunghills. * * * No one ever saw an English scarecrow with such rags."

The difference in the condition of these poor people and that of the slave—even the slave of Jamaica at that day—consisted in this, that the negro slave was worth buying, whereas the others were not; and we know well that the man who pays a good price for a commodity, attaches to it a value that induces him to give some care to its preservation; whereas he cares nothing for another that he finds himself forced to accept. "Starving by millions," as they are here described, death was perpetually separating husbands and wives, parents and children, while to the survivors remained no hope but that of being enabled at some time or other to fly to another land in which they might be permitted to sell their labour for food sufficient to support life.

The existence of such a state of things was, said the advocates of the system which looks to converting all the world outside of England into one great farm, to be accounted for by the fact that the population was too numerous for the land, and yet a third of the surface, including the richest lands in the kingdom, was lying unoccupied and waste.

"Of single counties," said an English writer, "Mayo, with a population of 389,000, and a rental of only £300,000, has an area of 1,364,000 acres, of which 800,000 are waste! No less than 470,000 acres, being very nearly equal to the whole extent of surface now under cultivation, are declared to be reclaimable. Galway, with a population of 423,000, and a valued rental of £433,000, has upward of 700,000 acres of waste, 410,000 of which are reclaimable! Kerry, with a population of 293,000, has an area of 1,186,000 acres—727,000 being waste, and 400,000 of them reclaimable! Even the Union of Glenties, Lord Monteagle's ne plus ultra of redundant population, has an area of 245,000 acres, of which 200,000 are waste, and for the most part reclaimable, to its population of 43,000. While the Barony of Ennis, that abomination of desolation, has 230,000 acres of land to its 5000 paupers—a proportion which, as Mr. Carter, one of the principal proprietors, remarks in his circular advertisement for tenants, 'is at the rate of only one family to 230 acres; so that if but one head of a family were employed to every 230 acres, there need not be a single pauper in the entire district; a proof,' he adds, 'THAT NOTHING BUT EMPLOYMENT IS WANTING TO SET THIS COUNTRY TO RIGHTS!' In which opinion we fully coincide."

Nothing but employment was needed, but that could not be found under the system which has caused the annihilation of the cotton manufacture of India, notwithstanding the advantage of having the cotton on the spot, free from all cost for carriage. As in Jamaica, and as in India, the land had been gradually exhausted by the exportation of its products in their rudest state, and the country had thus been drained of capital, a necessary consequence of which was that the labour even of men found no demand, while women and children starved, that the women and children of England might spin cotton and weave cloth that Ireland was too poor to purchase. Bad, however, as was all this, a worse state of things was at hand. Poverty and wretchedness compelled the wretched people to fly in thousands and tens of thousands across the Channel, thus following the capital and the soil that had been transferred to Birmingham and Manchester; and the streets and cellars of those towns, and those of London, Liverpool, and Glasgow, were filled with men, women, and children in a state almost of starvation; while throughout the country, men were offering to perform the farm labour for food alone, and a cry had arisen among the people of England that the labourers were likely to be swamped by these starving Irishmen: to provide against which it was needed that the landlords of Ireland should be compelled to support their own poor, and forthwith an act of Parliament was passed for that purpose. Thence arose, of course, an increased desire to rid the country of the men, women, and children whose labour could not be sold, and who could therefore pay no rent. The "Crowbar Brigade" was therefore called into more active service, as will be seen by the following account of their labours in a single one of the "Unions" established under the new poor-law system, which in many cases took the whole rent of the land for the maintenance of those who had been reduced to pauperism by the determination of the people of Manchester and Birmingham to continue the colonial system under which Ireland had been ruined.

"In Galway Union, recent accounts declared the number of poor evicted, and their homes levelled within the last two years, to equal the numbers in Kilrush—4000 families and 20,000 human beings are said to have been here also thrown upon the road, houseless and homeless. I can readily believe the statement, for to me some parts of the country appeared like an enormous graveyard—the numerous gables of the unroofed dwellings seemed to be gigantic tombstones. They were, indeed, records of decay and death far more melancholy than the grave can show. Looking on them, the doubt rose in my mind, am I in a civilized country? Have we really a free constitution? Can such scenes be paralleled in Siberia or Caffraria?"

A single case described in a paper recently published by Mr. Dickens in his "Household Words," will convey to the reader some idea of an eviction, that may be taken as a specimen, and perhaps a fair one, of the fifty thousand evictions that took place in the single year 1849, and of the hundreds of thousands that have taken place in the last six years.

"Black piles of peat stood on the solitary ground, ready after a summer's cutting and drying. Presently, patches of cultivation presented themselves; plots of ground raised on beds, each a few feet wide, with intervening trenches to carry off the boggy water, where potatoes had grown, and small fields where grew more ragwort than grass, enclosed by banks cast up and tipped here and there with a brier or a stone. It was the husbandry of misery and indigence. The ground had already been freshly manured by sea-weeds, but the village, where was it? Blotches of burnt-ground, scorched heaps of rubbish, and fragments of blackened walls, alone were visible. Garden plots were trodden down and their few bushes rent up, or hung with tatters of rags. The two horsemen, as they hurried by, with gloomy visages, uttered no more than the single word—EVICTION!"

The scenes that had taken place at the destruction of that village, are thus described to the author of the sad work, by a poor servant:—

"Oh, bless your honour! If you had seen that poor frantic woman when the back of the cabin fell and buried her infant, where she thought she had laid it safe for a moment while she flew to part her husband and a soldier who had struck the other children with the flat of his sword and bade them troop off. Oh, but your honour it was a killing sight! * * * I could not help thinking of the poor people at Rathbeg when the soldiers and police cried, 'Down with them! down with them even to the ground!'—and then the poor little cabins came down all in fire and smoke, amid the howls and cries of the poor creatures. Oh, it was a fearful sight, your honour—it was indeed—to see the poor women hugging their babies, and the houses where they were born burning in the wind. It was dreadful to see the old bed-ridden man lie on the ground among the few bits of furniture, and groan to his gracious God above! Oh, your honour, you never saw such a sight, or—you—sure a—it would never have been done."

This is certainly an awful picture of the slavery resulting from compelling a whole nation to devote itself to agriculture, and thus annihilating the power of association—from compelling a whole people to forego all the advantages resulting from proximity to market for the sale of their products or the purchase of manure—and from compelling men, women, and children to be idle, when they would desire to be employed. In reading it, we are forcibly reminded of the razzias of the little African kings, who, anxious for a fresh supply of slaves, collect their troops together and invade the neighbouring territories, where they enact scenes corresponding exactly with the one here described. In Africa, however, the slave is fed by those who have burned and destroyed his house and his farm; but in Ireland, as labour is valueless, he is turned into the roads or the grave-yards to die of famine, or of pestilence. And yet, even now, the Times asks the question—

"How are the people to be fed and employed? That is the question which still baffles an age that can transmit a message round the world in a moment of time, and point out the locality of a planet never yet seen. There is the question which founders both the bold and the wise."

Up to this time there had been repeated cases of partial famine, but now the nation was startled by the news of the almost total failure of the crop of potatoes, the single description of food upon which the people of Ireland had been reduced to depend. Constant cropping of the soil, returning to it none of the manure, because of the necessity for exporting almost the whole of its products, had produced disease in the vegetable world—precisely as the want of proper nourishment produces it in the animal world—and now a cry of famine rang throughout the land. The poor-houses were everywhere filled, while the roads, and the streets, and the grave-yards were occupied by the starving and the naked, the dying and the dead; and the presses of England were filled with denunciations of English and Irish landholders, who desired to make food dear, while men, women, and children were perishing by hundreds of thousands for want of food. Thus far, Ireland had been protected in the market of England, as some small compensation for the sacrifice she had made of her manufacturing interests; but now, small as has been the boon, it was to be withdrawn, precisely as we see to have been the case with the poor people of Jamaica. Like them, the Irish had become poor, and their trade had ceased to be of value, although but seventy years before they had been England's best customers. The system had exhausted all the foreign countries with which England had been permitted to maintain what is denominated free trade—India, Portugal, Turkey, the West Indies, and Ireland herself—and it had become necessary to make an effort to obtain markets in the only prosperous countries of the world, those which had to a greater or less extent placed the consumer by the side of the producer, to wit—this country, France, Belgium, Germany, and Russia—and the mode of accomplishing this was that of offering them the same freedom of trade in food by which Ireland had been ruined. The farmers were everywhere invited to exhaust their soil by sending its products to England to be consumed; and the corn-laws were repealed for the purpose of enabling them to impoverish themselves by entering into competition with the starving Irishman, who was thus at once deprived of the market of England, as by the Act of Union he had been deprived of his own. The cup of wretchedness was before well nigh full, but it was now filled. The price of food fell, and the labourer was ruined, for the whole product of his land would scarcely pay his rent. The landlord was ruined, for he could collect no rents, and he was at the same time liable for the payment of enormous taxes for the maintenance of his poor neighbours. His land was encumbered with mortgages and settlements, created when food was high, and he could pay no interest; and now a law was passed, by aid of which property could be summarily disposed of at public sale, and the proceeds distributed among those who had legal claims upon it. The landholder of Jamaica, exhausted by the system, had had his property taken from him at a price fixed by Parliament, and the proceeds applied to the discharge of debts incurred to his English agents, and now the same Parliament provided for the transfer of Irish property with a view to the payment of the same class of debts. The impoverished landholder now experienced the same fate that had befallen his poor tenant, and from that date to this, famine and pestilence, levellings and evictions, have been the order of the day. Their effect has everywhere been to drive the poor people from the land, and its consequences are seen in the fact that the population numbered, in 1850, one million six hundred and fifty-nine thousand less than it did in 1840; while the starving population of the towns had largely increased. The county of Cork had diminished 222,000, while Dublin had grown in numbers 22,000. Galway had lost 125,000, while the city had gained 7422. Connaught had lost 414,000, while Limerick and Belfast had gained 30,000. The number of inhabited houses had fallen from 1,328,000 to 1,047,000, or more than twenty per cent. Announcing these startling facts, the London Times stated that "for a whole generation man had been a drug in Ireland, and population a nuisance." The "inexhaustible Irish supply had," as it continued, "kept down the price of English labour," but this cheapness of labour had "contributed vastly to the improvement and power" of England, and largely to "the enjoyment of those who had money to spend." Now, however, a change appeared to be at hand, and it was to be feared that the prosperity of England, based as it had been on cheap Irish labour, might be interfered with, as famine and pestilence, evictions and emigration, were thinning out the Celts who had so long, as it is said, been "hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Saxon." Another of the advocates of the system which has exhausted and ruined Ireland, and is now transferring its land to the men who have enriched themselves by acting as middlemen between the producers and consumers of the world, rejoicing in the great number of those who had fled from their native soil to escape the horrors of starvation and pestilence, declares that this is to be regarded as the joyful side of the case. "What," it asks,

"Will follow? This great good, among others—that the stagnant weight of unemployed population in these insulated realms is never likely again to accumulate to the dangerous amount which there was sometimes cause to apprehend that, from unforeseen revulsions in industry or foreign trade, it might have done. A natural vent is now so thoroughly opened, and so certain to grow wider and clearer everyday, that the overflow will pass off whenever a moderate degree of pressure recurs. Population, skill, and capital, also, will no longer wait in consternation till they are half spent with watching and fear. The way is ready. They will silently shift their quarters when the competition or depression here becomes uncomfortable. Every family has already friends or acquaintances who have gone before them over sea. Socially, our insulation as a people is proved, by the census of 1851, to be at an end."—Daily News.

The Times, too, rejoices in the prospect that the resources of
Ireland will now probably be developed, as the Saxon takes the place
of the Celt, who has so long hewn the wood and drawn the water for his
Saxon masters. "Prosperity and happiness may," as it thinks,

"Some day reign over that beautiful island. Its fertile soil, its rivers and lakes, its water-power, its minerals, and other materials for the wants and luxuries of man, may one day be developed; but all appearances are against the belief that this will ever happen in the days of the Celt. That tribe will soon fulfil the great law of Providence which seems to enjoin and reward the union of races. It will mix with the Anglo-American, and be known no more as a jealous and separate people. Its present place will be occupied by the more mixed, more docile, and more serviceable race, which has long borne the yoke of sturdy industry in this island, which can submit to a master and obey the law. This is no longer a dream, for it is a fact now in progress, and every day more apparent."

Commenting upon the view thus presented, an American journalist most truly says—

"There is a cold-blooded atrocity in the spirit of these remarks for which examples will be sought in vain, except among the doctors of the free-trade school. Naturalists have learned to look with philosophical indifference upon the agonies of a rabbit or a mouse expiring in an exhausted receiver, but it requires long teaching from the economists before men's hearts can be so steeled, that after pumping out all the sustenance of vitality from one of the fairest islands under the sun, they can discourse calmly upon its depopulation as proof of the success of the experiment, can talk with bitter irony of 'that strange region of the earth where such a people, affectionate and hopeful, genial and witty, industrious and independent, was produced and could not stay,' and can gloat in the anticipation that prosperity and happiness may some day reign over that beautiful island, and its boundless resources for the wants and luxuries of man be developed, not for the Celt, but 'for a more mixed, more docile, and more serviceable race, which can submit to a master and obey the law.'"—Albany Journal.

The Times rejoices that the place of the Celt is in future to be occupied by cattle, as sheep already occupy the place of the Highlander expelled from the land in which, before Britain undertook to underwork all other nations and thus secure a monopoly for "the workshop of the world," his fathers were as secure in their rights as was the landowner himself. Irish journals take a different view of the prospect. They deprecate the idea of the total expulsion of the native race, and yet they fear that

"There is no doubt that in a few years more, if some stop is not put to the present outpouring of the people to America, and latterly to Australia, there will not be a million of the present race of inhabitants to be found within the compass of the four provinces."

"No thoughts of the land of their birth," it continues, "seems to enter their minds, although the Irish people have been proverbial for their attachment to their country."—Connaught Western Star.

A recent journal informs us that

"The Galway papers are full of the most deplorable accounts of wholesale evictions, or rather exterminations, in that miserable country. The tenantry are turned out of the cottages by scores at a time. As many as 203 men, women, and children have been driven upon the roads and ditches by way of one day's work, and have now no resource but to beg their bread in desolate places, or to bury their griefs, in many instances for ever, within the walls of the Union workhouse. Land agents direct the operation. The work is done by a large force of police and soldiery. Under the protection of the latter, 'the Crowbar Brigade' advances to the devoted township, takes possession of the houses, such as they are, and, with a few turns of the crowbar and a few pulls at a rope, bring down the roof, and leave nothing but a tottering chimney, if even that. The sun that rose on a village sets on a desert; the police return to their barracks, and the people are nowhere to be found, or are vainly watching from some friendly covert for the chance of crouching once more under their ruined homes.

"What to the Irish heart is more painful than even the large amount and stern method of the destruction, is that the authors this time are Saxon strangers. It is a wealthy London company that is invading the quiet retreats of Connemara, and robbing a primitive peasantry of its last hold on the earth; The Law Life Assurance Company having advanced, we believe, £240,000 on the Martin estates, has now become the purchaser under the Encumbered Estates Acts, and is adopting these summary but usual measures to secure the forfeited pledge. That gentlemen, many of whom have never set foot in Ireland, and who are wealthy enough to lend a quarter of a million of money, should exact the last penny from a wretched peasantry who had no hand, or voice in the transaction which gave them new masters, seems utterly intolerable to the native Irish reason."

With the growth of the value of land, man has always become free. With the decline in its value, man has always become enslaved. If we desire to find the cause of the enormous destruction of life in Ireland, even in this day of boasted civilization—if we desire to find the cause of the eviction of tenant and landlord, and the decline in the value of land, we need scarcely look beyond the following paragraph:—

"The cotton manufacture of Dublin, which employed 14,000 operatives, has been destroyed; the 3400 silk-looms of the Liberty have been destroyed; the stuff and serge manufacture, which employed 1491 operatives, have been destroyed; the calico-looms of Balbriggan have been destroyed; the flannel manufacture of Rathdrum has been destroyed; the blanket manufacture of Kilkenny has been destroyed; the camlet trade of Bandon, which produced £100,000 a year, has been destroyed; the worsted and stuff manufactures of Waterford have been destroyed; the rateen and frieze manufactures of Carrick-on-Suir have been destroyed. One business alone survives! One business alone thrives and flourishes, and dreads no bankruptcy! That fortunate business—which the Union Act has not struck down, but which the Union Act has stood by—which the absentee drain has not slackened, but has stimulated—which the drainage Acts and navigation laws of the Imperial Senate have not deadened but invigorated—that favoured, and privileged, and patronized business is the Irish coffin-maker's."[119]

To the separation of the consumer from the producer resulting from the adoption of the system which has for its object the establishment of a monopoly of the machinery of manufacture for the world, are due the exhaustion of Ireland, the ruin of its landholders, the starvation of its people, and the degradation in the eyes of the world of the country which has furnished to the continent its best soldiers, and to the empire not only its most industrious and intelligent labourers, but also its Burke, its Grattan, its Sheridan, and its Wellington. And yet we find the Times rejoicing at the gradual disappearance of the native population, and finding in

"The abstraction of the Celtic race at the rate of a quarter of a million a year, a surer remedy for the inveterate Irish disease, than any human wit could have imagined."

The "inveterate Irish disease" here spoken of is a total absence of demand for labour, resulting from the unhappy determination of the people of England to maintain the monopoly of the power to manufacture for the world. The sure remedy for this is found in famines, pestilences, and expatriation, the necessary results of the exhaustion of the land which follows the exportation of its raw products. A stronger confirmation of the destructive character of such a course of policy than is contained in the following paragraph could scarcely be imagined:—

"When the Celt has crossed the Atlantic, he begins for the first time in his life to consume the manufactures of this country, and indirectly to contribute to its customs. We may possibly live to see the day when the chief product of Ireland will be cattle, and English and Scotch the majority of her population. The nine or ten millions of Irish, who by that time will have settled in the United States, cannot be less friendly to England, and will certainly be much better customers to her than they now are."—London Times.

When the Celt leaves Ireland he leaves an almost purely agricultural country, and in such countries man generally approaches nearly to the condition of a slave. When he comes here he comes to a country in which to some little extent the plough and the loom have been enabled to come together; and here he becomes a freeman and a customer of England.

The nation that commences by exporting raw products must end by exporting men; and if we desire evidence of this, we need only look to the following figures, furnished by the last four censuses of Ireland:—

1821…….. 6,801,827 1831…….. 7,767,401——Increase, 965,574 1841…….. 8,175,124——Increase, 407,723 1851…….. 6,515,794——Decrease, 1,659,330

To what causes may this extraordinary course of events be attributed? Certainly not to any deficiency of land, for nearly one-third of the whole surface, including millions of acres of the richest soils of the kingdom, remains in a state of nature. Not to original inferiority of the soil in cultivation, for it has been confessedly among the richest in the empire. Not to a deficiency of mineral ores or fuel, for coal abounds, and iron ores of the richest kind, as well as those of other metals, exist in vast profusion. Not to any deficiency in the physical qualities of the Irishman, for it is an established fact that he is capable of performing far more labour than the Englishman, the Frenchman, or the Belgian. Not to a deficiency of intellectual ability, for Ireland has given to England her most distinguished soldiers and statesmen; and we have in this country everywhere evidence that the Irishman is capable of the highest degree of intellectual improvement. Nevertheless, while possessed of every advantage that nature could give him, we find the Irishman at home a slave to the severest taskmasters, and reduced to a condition of poverty and distress, such as is exhibited in no other portion of the civilized world. No choice is now left him but between expatriation and starvation, and therefore it is that we see him everywhere abandoning the home of his fathers, to seek elsewhere that subsistence which Ireland, rich as she is in soil and in her minerals, in her navigable rivers, and in her facilities of communication with the world, can no longer afford him.

That the process of eviction is still continued on an extensive scale is shown by the following extracts from Sir Francis Head's work on Ireland, just issued from the press:—

"Here almost immediately I first met with that afflicting spectacle, or rather spectre, that almost without intermission haunted me through the whole remainder of my tour, namely, stout stone-built cabins; unroofed for the purpose of evicting therefrom their insolvent tenants."—P. 110

"On conversing with the master, I ascertained from him that Lord Lucan's evictions have ceased, but that Lord Erne evicted on Saturday last."[120]—P. 115

"'Is this system of eviction,' said I to the driver, pointing to a small cluster of unroofed cabins we were passing at the moment, 'good or bad?' 'Well! yere Arn'r!' he replied, 'ut's good and ut's bad. Ut's good for them that hould large lands, bad for the small. Ut laves nothing for tham but the workhouse.'"—P. 121.

The tendency of the system which looks to the exportation of raw produce and the exhaustion of the soil is always toward the consolidation of the land, because the exportation of population, whether from Ireland, India, or Virginia, always follows in the wake of the exportation of food and other raw commodities.

"Among the men were only four that could fairly be called 'able-bodied;' each of them told me he had been evicted by Lord Lucan. I asked the master what had become of the rest. His answer was very instructive. 'Most of them,' said he, 'if they can scrape up half-a-crown, go to England, from whence, after some little time, they send from 2s. 6d. to 10s. and, as soon as their families get that, they are off to them.'

"'Does the father go first?' I thoughtlessly asked.

"'Oh, no! we keep him to the last. One daughter went off to England from here a short time ago, and sent 7s. 6d. That took out the mother and another sister. In a few weeks the mother and sister sent enough to get over the remaining two sons and the father. Total of the family, 6.'"—P. 127.

In the above passage we have the equivalent of the exportation of the negro from the Northern Slave States. Husbands and wives, parents and children, are forced to fly from each other, never to meet again unless those who emigrate can save means to send for those who are left behind.

"We were now joined by the head-steward—a sedate, highly intelligent, respectable-looking Scotchman, who has been in Ireland thirteen years. He told me that the number of persons that had been ejected was about 10,000, of whom one-tenth were employed by Lord Lucan, who had given most of them cottages."

"We passed a cabin, and, closing my umbrella and leaving it on the car, I walked in.

"'Will yere Arn'r take a sate?' said a woman about thirty-eight, with a fine, open countenance, her eyes being listlessly fixed on the daylight.

"I sat down. On her lap was an infant. Three bare-footed children, as if hatching eggs, sat motionless on the edge of a peat fire, which appeared to be almost touching their naked toes; above the embers was demurely hanging a black pot. Opposite sat, like a bit of gnarled oak, the withered grandmother. The furniture was composed of a dingy-coloured wooden wardrobe, with a few plates on the top, and one bed close to the fire. There was no chimney but the door, on the threshold of which stood, looking exceedingly unhappy, four dripping wet fowls; at the far end of the chamber was a regular dungheap, on which stood an ass.

"'Where is your husband, my good woman?' I said to the youngest of the women.

"'In England, yere Arn'r,' she replied, 'saking work.'"—P. 132.

"Seeking work!" and yet Ireland abounds, in the richest land uncultivated, and mineral wealth untouched, because the system forbids that men should combine their efforts together for the improvement of their common condition.

"After trotting on for about a mile, and after I had left Lord Lucan's property, I came as usual to a small village of unroofed cabins, from the stark walls of which, to my astonishment, I saw here and there proceeding a little smoke; and, on approaching it, I beheld a picture I shall not readily forget. The tenants had been all evicted, and yet, dreadful to say, they were there still! the children nestling, and the poor women huddling together, under a temporary lean-to of straw, which they had managed to stick into the interstices of the walls of their ancient homes.

"'This is a quare place, yere Arn'r!' said a fine, honest-looking woman, kindly smiling to me, adding, 'Sit down, yere Arn'r!'

"One of her four children got up and offered me his stool.

"Under another temporary shed I found a tall woman heavy with child, a daughter ahout sixteen, and four younger children—her husband was also in England, 'sakin work.' I entered two or three more of these wretched habitations, around which were the innumerable tiny fields; surrounded by those low tottering stone walls I have already described.* * *—P. 136.

"They were really good people, and from what I read in their countenances, I feel confident, that if, instead of distributing among them a few shillings, I had asked them to feed me, with the kindest hospitality they would readily have done so, and that with my gold in my pocket I might have slept among them in the most perfect security.

"The devotional expressions of the lower class of Irish, and the meekness and resignation with which they bear misfortune or affliction, struck, me very forcibly. 'I haven't aten a bit this blessed day, glory be to God!' said one woman, 'Troth, I've been suffering lhong time from poverty and sickness, glory be to God!' said another. On entering a strange cabin, the common salutation is, 'God save all here!' On passing a gang of comrades at labour, a man often says, 'God bless the work, boys!'"—P. 137.

The extirpation of the people results necessarily in the decay of the towns, as is here shown:—

"When my bill came,—for one's bill at an inn, like death, is sure to come,—I asked the waiter what effect the evictions in the neighbourhood had had on the town.

"'They have ruined it,' he replied; 'the poor used to support the rich; now that the poor are gone the rich shopkeepers are all failing. Our town is full of empty shops, and, after all, the landlord himself is now being ruined!'"—P. 147.

Cheap labour and cheap land are always companions. In Jamaica and
India, land, as we have seen, is almost valueless. How it is in
Ireland may be seen by the following passage:—

 "Adjoining is a similar property of about 10,000 acres, purchased, I
 was informed, by Captain Houston, a short time ago, at the rate of
 2-1/2d. an acre."—P. 153.

In a paper recently read before the statistical section of the British Association, it is shown that the estates recently purchased in Ireland by English capital embraced 403,065 acres, and that the purchase money had been £1,095,000, or about £2 15s. ($13.20) per acre, being little more than is paid for farms with very moderate improvements in the new States of the Mississippi Valley.

Why land is cheap and labour badly rewarded may easily be seen on a perusal of the following passages:—

 "'Chickuns are about 5d. a couple, dooks 10d. A couple of young gaise
 10d; when auld, not less than 1s. or 14d.'

"'And turkeys?' I asked.

"'I can't say; we haven't many of thim in the counthry, and I don't want to tell yere Arn'r a lie. Fish, little or nothing. A large turbot, of 30 lbs. weight, for 3s. Lobsters, a dozen for 4d. Soles, 2d. or 3d. a piece. T'other day I bought a turbot, of 15 lbs. weight, for a gentleman, and I paid 18d. for ut.'"—P. 178.

"'What do you pay for your tea and sugar here?' I inquired.

"'Very dare, sir,' he replied. 'We pay 5s. for tea, 5d. for brown sugar, and 8d. for white; that is, if we buy a single pound.'"—P.187.

The sugar of the labourer of Jamaica exchanges in Manchester for three shillings, of which he receives perhaps one, and he perishes because of the difficulty of obtaining machinery, or clothing. The Hindoo sells his cotton for a penny a pound, and buys it back in the form of cloth at eighteen or twenty pence. The Virginia negro raises tobacco which exchanges for six shillings' worth of commodities, of which he and his owner obtain three pence. The poor Irishman raises chickens which sell in London for shillings, of which he receives pence, and thus a pound of sugar which had yielded the free negro of Jamaica two pence, exchanges in the West of Ireland for a pair of chickens or a dozen lobsters. The reader who may study these facts will readily understand the destructive effects on the value of land and labour resulting from the absence of markets, such as arise naturally where the plough and the loom are permitted, in accordance with the doctrines of Adam Smith, to take their places by the side of each other. More than seventy years since he denounced the system which looked to compelling the exports of raw produce as one productive of infinite injustice, and certainly the histories of Jamaica and Virginia, Ireland and India, since his time, would afford him, were he now present, little reason for a change of opinion.

It is common to ascribe the state of things now existing in Ireland to the rapid growth of population; and that in its turn is charged to the account of the potato, the excessive use of which, as Mr. McCulloch informs his readers, has lowered the standard of living and tended to the multiplication of men, women, and children. "The peasantry of Ireland live," as he says, "in miserable mud cabins, without either a window or a chimney, or any thing that can be called furniture," and are distinguished from their fellow labourers across the Channel by their "filth and misery," and hence it is, in his opinion, that they work for low wages. We have here effect substituted for cause. The absence of demand for labour causes wages to be low, and those wages will procure nothing but mud cabins and potatoes. It is admitted everywhere throughout the continent of Europe that the introduction of the potato has tended greatly to the improvement of the condition of the people; but then, there is no portion of the continent in which it is used, where it constitutes an essential part of the governmental policy to deprive millions of people of all mode of employment except agriculture, and thus placing those millions at such a distance from market that the chief part of their labour and its products is lost in the effort to reach that market, and their land is exhausted because of the impossibility of returning to the soil any portion of the crop yielded by it. Commercial centralization produces all these effects. It looks to the destruction of the value of labour and land, and to the enslavement of man. It tends to the division of the whole population into two classes, separated by an impassable gulf—the mere labourer and the land-owner. It tends to the destruction of the power of association for any purpose of improvement, whether by the making of roads or by the founding of schools, and of course to the prevention of the growth of towns, as we see to have been the case with Jamaica, so barbarous in this respect when compared with Martinique or Cuba, islands whose governments have not looked to the perpetual divorce of the hammer and the harrow. The decay of towns in Ireland, subsequent to the Union, led to absenteeism, and thus added to the exhaustion of the land, because Irish wheat was now needed to pay not only for English cloth but for English services; and the more the centralization resulting from absenteeism, the greater necessarily was the difficulty of maintaining the productive powers of the soil. Mr. McCulloch, however, assures his readers that "it is not easy to imagine any grounds for pronouncing the expenditure of the rent at home "more beneficial" to the country than if it had been expended abroad. (Principles, 157.) Another distinguished political economist says—

"Many persons, also, perplexed by the consideration that all the commodities which are exported as remittances of the absentee's income are exports for which no return is obtained; that they are as much lost to this country as if they were a tribute paid to a foreign state, or even as if they were periodically thrown into the sea. This is unquestionably true; but it must be recollected that whatever is unproductively consumed, is, by the very terms of the proposition, destroyed, without producing any return"—Senior's Political Economy, 160.

This view is, as the reader will see, based upon the idea of the total destruction of the commodities consumed. Were it even correct, it would still follow that there had been transferred from Ireland to England a demand for services of a thousand kinds, tending to cause a rise in the price of labour in the one and a fall in the other;—but if it were altogether incorrect, it would then follow, necessarily, that the loss to the country would be as great as if the remittances were "a tribute paid to a foreign state, or even as if they were periodically thrown into the sea." That it is altogether incorrect the reader may readily satisfy himself. Man consumes much, but he destroys nothing. In eating food he is merely acting as a machine for preparing the elements of which it is composed for future production; and the more he can take out of the land the more he can return to it, and the more rapid will be the improvement in the productive power of the soil. If the market be at hand, he can take hundreds of bushels of turnips, carrots, or potatoes, or tons of hay, from an acre of land, and he can vary the character of his culture from year to year, and the more he borrows from the great bank the more he can repay to it, the more he can improve his mind and his cultivation, and the more readily he can exchange for improved machinery by aid of which to obtain still increased returns. If, however, the market be distant, he must raise only those things that will bear carriage, and which from their small yield command a high price, and thus is he limited in his cultivation, and the more he is limited the more rapidly he exhausts his land, the less is his power to obtain roads, to have association with his fellow-men, to obtain books, to improve his mode of thought, to make roads, or to purchase machinery. Such is the case even when he is compelled to sell and buy in distant markets, but still worse is it when, as in the case of the rent of the absentee, nothing is returned to the land, for then production diminishes without a corresponding diminution of the rent, and the poor cultivator is more and more thrown upon the mercy of the land-owner or his agent, and becomes, as we see to have been the case in Jamaica and India, practically a slave. This state of things has in all countries been followed by a diminution of population resulting from starvation or from exportation; and hence it is that we see the destruction of life in Ireland, India, and the West Indies, while from the two former vast numbers are annually exported, many of them to perish in the new countries to which they are driven. Out of 99,000 that left Ireland for Canada in a single year, no less than 13,000 perished on shipboard, and thousands died afterward of disease, starvation, and neglect; and thus it is that we have the horrors of "the middle passage" repeated in our day. It is the slave trade of the last century reproduced on a grander scale and on a new theatre of action.

We are told of the principle of population that men increase faster than food, and, for evidence that such must always be the case, are pointed to the fact that when men are few in number they always cultivate the rich soils, and then food is abundant, but as population increases they are forced to resort to the poor soils, and then food becomes scarce. That the contrary of all this is the fact is shown by the history of England, France, Italy, Greece, India, and every other nation of the world, and is proved in our own day by all that is at this moment being done in this country. It is proved by the fact that Ireland possesses millions of acres of the most fertile soil remaining in a state of nature, and so likely to remain until she shall have markets for their produce that will enable their owners readily to exchange turnips, potatoes, cabbages, and hay, for cloth, machinery, and MANURE.

It is singular that all the political economists of England should so entirely have overlooked the fact that man is a mere borrower from the earth, and that when he does not pay his debts, she does as do all other creditors, that is, she expels him from his holding. England makes of her soil a grand reservoir for the waste yielded by all the sugar, coffee, wool, indigo, cotton and other raw commodities of almost half the world, and thus does she raise a crop that has been valued at five hundred millions of dollars, or five times more than the average value of the cotton crop produced by so many millions of people in this country; and yet so important is manure that she imports in a single year more than two hundred thousand tons of guano, at a cost of almost two millions of pounds, and thus does she make labour productive and land valuable. Nevertheless, her writers teach other nations that the true mode of becoming rich is to exhaust the land by sending from it all its products in their rudest state, and then, when the people of Ireland attempt to follow the soil which they have sent to England, the people of the latter are told by Mr. McCulloch that

"The unexampled misery of the Irish people is directly owing to the excessive augmentation of their numbers; and, nothing can be more perfectly futile than to expect any real or lasting amendment of their situation until an effectual check has been given to the progress of population. It is obvious too," he continues, "that the low and degraded condition into which the people of Ireland are now sunk is the condition to which every people must be reduced whose numbers continue, for any considerable period, to increase faster than the means of providing for their comfortable and decent subsistence."—Principles, 383.

The population of Ireland did increase with some rapidity, and the reason for this was to be found in the fact that poverty had not yet produced that demoralization which restricts the growth of numbers. The extraordinary morality of the women of Ireland is admitted everywhere. In England it is remarked upon by poor-law commissioners, and here it is a fact that cannot fail to command the attention of the most superficial observer. How it is at home we are told by Sir Francis Head, whose statements on this subject cannot be read without interest:—

"As regards the women of Ireland, their native modesty cannot fail to attract the observation of any stranger. Their dress was invariably decent, generally pleasing, and often strikingly picturesque. Almost all wore woollen petticoats, dyed by themselves, of a rich madder colour, between crimson and scarlet. Upon their shoulders, and occasionally from their heads, hung, in a variety of beautiful folds, sometimes a plaid of red and green, sometimes a cloak, usually dark blue or dingy white. Their garments, however, like those of the men, were occasionally to be seen in tatters."—P. 119.

Anxious to be fully informed on the subject, the traveller took occasion to interrogate various police-officers and gentlemen, and the result of his inquiries will be seen on a perusal of the following questions and answers:—

Q. "How long have you been on duty in Galway?"

A. "Above nine years."

Q. "Have you much crime here?"

A. "Very little; it principally consists of petty larcenies."

Q. "Have there been here many illegitimate children?"

A. "Scarcely any. During the whole of the eight years I have been on duty here I have not known of an illegitimate child being reared up in any family in the town."

Q. "What do you mean by being reared up?"

A. "I mean that, being acquainted with every family in Galway, I have never known of a child of that description being born."—P. 208.

Q. "How long have you been on duty here?"

A. "Only six months."

Q. "During that time have you known of any instance of an illegitimate child being born in the village of the Claddagh?"

A. "Not only have I never known of such a case, but I have never heard any person attribute such a case to the fisherwomen of Claddagh. I was on duty in the three islands of Arran, inhabited almost exclusively by fishermen, who also farm potatoes, and I never heard of one of their women—who are remarkable for their beauty—having had an illegitimate child, nor did I ever hear it attributed to them; indeed, I have been informed by Mr. ——-, a magistrate who has lived in Galway for eight years, and has been on temporary duty in the island of Arran, that he also had never heard there of a case of that nature."—P. 209.

A. "I have been here better than two years, and during that time I have never known of any woman of Claddagh having had an illegitimate child—indeed, I have never even heard of it."

Q. "Have you ever known of any such case in Galway?"

A. "Oh, I think there have been some cases in town. Of my own knowledge I cannot say so, but I have heard of it."—Ibid.

Q. "How long have you been in charge of the Claddagh village?"

 A. "I have been nine years here, for five years of which last March I
 have been in charge of Claddagh."

 Q. "During that time has there been an illegitimate child born

A. "No, I have never heard of it, and if it had happened I should have been sure to have heard of it, as they wouldn't have allowed her to stop in the village."—P. 210.

The reader will now be pleased to recollect that the production of food, flax, cotton, and other raw commodities requires hard labour and exposure, and it is for such labour men are fitted—that the conversion of food, flax, and cotton into cloth requires little exertion and is unattended with exposure, and is therefore especially fitted for the weaker sex—and that when the work of conversion is monopolized by people who live at a distance from the place of production, the woman and the child must be driven to the labour of the field; and therefore it is that we see the women and the children of Jamaica and Carolina, of Portugal and Turkey, of India and of Ireland, compelled to remain idle or to cultivate the land, because of the existence of a system which denies to all places in the world but one the power to bring the consumer to the side of the producer. It was time for woman to take up the cause of her sex, and it may be hoped that she will prosecute the inquiry into the causes of the demoralization and degradation of the women of so large a portion of the world, until she shall succeed in extirpating the system so long since denounced by the greatest of all economists, as "a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of man [and woman] kind."

* * * * *


Centralization tends everywhere to the exhaustion of the land, and to its consolidation in fewer hands, and with every step in this direction man becomes less and less free to determine for whom he will work and what shall be his reward. That such has been the tendency in Jamaica, India, and Ireland, has been shown, and it is now proposed to show that the same tendency exists in Scotland, the Northern part of which has become exclusively agricultural as even its home manufactures have passed away, and must look to a distance for a market for all its products, involving, of course, a necessity for exhausting the land.

The Highland tacksman, originally co-proprietor of the land of the clan, became at first vassal, then hereditary tenant, then tenant at will, and thus the property in land passed from the many into the hands of the few, who have not hesitated to avail themselves of the power so obtained. The payment of money rents was claimed by them eighty years since, but the amount was very small, as is shown by the following passage from a work of that date:—

"The rent of these lands is very trifling compared to their extent, but compared to the number of mouths which a farm maintains, it will perhaps be found that a plot of land in the highlands of Scotland feeds ten times more people than a farm of the same extent in the richest provinces."—Stewart's Political Economy, vol. i. chap. xvi.

Of some of the proceedings of the present century the following sketch is furnished by a recent English writer:—

"Even in the beginning of the 19th century the rental imposts were very small, as is shown by the work of Mr. Lock, (1820,) the steward of the Countess of Sutherland, who directed the improvements on her estates. He gives for instance the rental of the Kintradawell estate for 1811, from which it appears that up to then, every family was obliged to pay a yearly impost of a few shillings in money, a few fowls, and some days' work, at the highest.

"It was only after 1811 that the ultimate and real usurpation was enacted, the forcible, transformation of clan-property into the private property, in the modern sense, of the chief. The person who stood at the head of this economical revolution, was the Countess of Sutherland and Marchioness of Stafford.

"Let us first state that the ancestors of the marchioness were the 'great men' of the most northern part of Scotland, of very near three-quarters of Sutherlandshire. This county is more extensive than many French departments or small German principalities. When the Countess of Sutherland inherited these estates, which she afterward brought to her husband, the Marquis of Stafford, afterward Duke of Sutherland, the population of them was already reduced to 15,000. The countess resolved upon a radical economical reform, and determined upon transforming the whole tract of country into sheep-walks. From 1814 to 1820, these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3000 families, were systematically expelled and exterminated. All their villages were demolished and burned down, and all their fields converted into pasturage. British soldiers were commanded for this execution, and came to blows with the natives. An old woman refusing to quit her hut, was burned in the flames of it. Thus the countess appropriated to herself seven hundred and ninety-four thousand acres of land, which from time immemorial had belonged to the clan. She allotted to the expelled natives about six thousand acres—two acres per family. These six thousand acres had been lying waste until then, and brought no revenue to the proprietors. The countess was generous enough to sell the acre at 2s. 6d. on an average, to the clan-men who for centuries past had shed their blood for her family. The whole of the unrightfully appropriated clan-land she divided into twenty-nine large sheep-farms, each of them inhabited by one single family, mostly English farm-labourers; and in 1821 the 15,000 Gaels had already been superseded by 131,000 sheep.

"A portion of the aborigines had been thrown upon the sea-shore, and attempted to live by fishing. They became amphibious, and, as an English author says, lived half on land and half on water, and after all did not half live upon both."

Throughout the North of Scotland the tenants of the small grazing farms into which the Highland counties had been divided, have been ousted for the purpose of creating sheep-walks, and to such an extent has this been carried, that where once, and at no distant period, were numerous black-cattle farms, not an inhabitant is now to be seen for many miles.[121] The work, too, is still going on. "The example of Sutherland," says Mr. Thornton,[122] "is imitated in the neighbouring counties."

The misery of these poor people is thus described:—

"Hinds engaged by the year are seldom paid more than two-thirds of what they would receive in the South, and few of them are fortunate enough to obtain regular employment. Farm-servants, however, form only a small proportion of the peasantry, a much greater number being crofters, or tenants of small pieces of ground, from which they derive almost their whole subsistence. Most of them live very miserably. The soil is so poor, and rents in some instances so exorbitant, that occupiers of four or five acres can do little more than maintain themselves, yet it is their aid alone that saves their still poorer brethren from starvation. This is true even of Sutherland, which is commonly represented as a highly improved county, and in which a signal change for the better is said to have taken place in the character and habits of the people.[123] Recent inquiry has discovered that even there, in districts once famous for fine men and gallant soldiers, the inhabitants have degenerated into a meagre and stunted race. In the healthiest situations, on hillsides fronting the sea, the faces of their famished children are as thin and pale as they could be in the foul atmosphere of a London alley.[124] Still more deplorable are the scenes exhibited in the Western Highlands, especially on the coasts and in the adjoining islands. A large population has there been assembled, so ill provided with any means of support, that during part of almost every year from 45,000 to 80,000 [125] of them are in a state of destitution, and entirely dependent upon charity. Many of the heads of families hold crofts from four to seven acres in extent, but these, notwithstanding their small size, and the extreme barrenness of the soil, have often two, three, and sometimes even four families upon them. One estate in the Hebrides, the nominal rent of which is only £5200 a year, is divided into 1108 crofts, and is supposed to have more than 8300 persons living upon it. In another instance a rental of £1814 is payable (for little is really paid) by 365 crofters, and the whole population of the estate is estimated at more than 2300. In Cromarty, 1500 persons are settled upon an estate let nominally for £750, but "paying not more than half that sum."—Thornton, 74.

"Of course, they live most wretchedly. Potatoes are the usual food, for oatmeal is considered a luxury, to be reserved for high days and holidays, but even potatoes are not raised in sufficient abundance. The year's stock is generally exhausted before the succeeding crop is ripe, and the poor are then often in a most desperate condition, for the poor-law is a dead letter in the North of Scotland, and the want of a legal provision for the necessitous is but ill supplied by the spontaneous contributions of the land-owners."—Ibid. 76.

At the moment of writing this, the journals of the day furnish information that famine prevails in the Hebrides, and that "in the Isle of Skye alone there are 10,000 able-bodied persons at this time without work, without food, and without credit."

The condition of these poor people would certainly be much improved could they find some indulgent master who would purchase them at such prices as would make it to his interest to feed, clothe, and lodge them well in return for their labour.

In the days of Adam Smith about one-fifth of the surface of Scotland was supposed to be entailed, and he saw the disadvantages of the system to be so great that he denounced the system as being "founded upon the most absurd of all suppositions—the supposition that every successive generation of men have not an equal right to the earth and all that it possesses; but that the property of the present generation should be retained and regulated according to the fancy of those who died perhaps five hundred years ago." Instead of changing the system, and doing that which might tend to the establishment of greater freedom of trade in land, the movement has been in a contrary direction, and to such an extent that one-half of Scotland is now supposed to be entailed; and yet, singularly enough, this is the system advocated by Mr. McCulloch, a follower in the foot-steps of Adam Smith, as being the one calculated "to render all classes more industrious, and to augment at the same time the mass of wealth and the scale of enjoyment."

The effects of the system are seen in the enormous rents contracted to be paid for the use of small pieces of land at a distance from market, the failure in the payment of which makes the poor cultivator a mere slave to the proprietor. How the latter use their power, may be seen by the following extract from a Canadian journal of 1851:—

"A Colonel ——-, the owner of estates in South Uist and Barra, in the highlands of Scotland, has sent off over 1100 destitute tenants and cotters under the most cruel and delusive temptations; assuring them that they would be taken care of immediately on their arrival at Quebec by the emigrant agent, receive a free passage to Upper Canada, where they would be provided with work by the government agents, and receive grants of land on certain imaginary conditions. Seventy-one of the last cargo of four hundred and fifty have signed a statement that some of them fled to the mountains when an attempt was made to force them to emigrate. 'Whereupon,' they add, 'Mr. Fleming gave orders to a policeman, who was accompanied by the ground officer of the estate in Barra, and some constables, to pursue the people who had run away among the mountains, which they did, and succeeded in capturing about twenty from the mountains and from other islands in the neighbourhood; but only came with the officers on an attempt being made to handcuff them, and that some who ran away were not brought back; in consequence of which four families, at least, have been divided, some having come in the ships to Quebec, while other members of the same families are left in the highlands.'"

"On board the Conrad and the Birman were 518 persons from Mull and Tyree, sent out by his grace the Duke of ——-, who provided them with a free passage to Montreal, where on arrival they presented the same appearance of destitution as those from South Uist, sent out by Colonel ——-, that is, 'entirely destitute of money and provisions.'"

Numbers of these people perished, as we are told, of disease and want of food in the winter which followed their arrival in Canada; and that such would have been the case might naturally have been anticipated by those who exported them.

The wretched cotters who are being everywhere expelled from the land are forced to take refuge in cities and towns, precisely as we see now to be the case in Ireland. "In Glasgow," says Mr. Thornton—

"There are nearly 30,000 poor Highlanders, most of them living in a state of misery, which shows how dreadful must have been the privations to which such misery is preferred. Such of them as are able-bodied obtain employment without much difficulty, and may not perhaps have much reason to complain of deficiency of the first requisites of life; but the quarter they inhabit is described as enclosing a larger amount of filth, crime, misery, and disease, than could have been supposed to exist in one spot in any civilized country. It consists of long lanes called 'wynds,' so narrow that a cart could scarcely pass through them, opening upon 'closes,' or courts, about 15 or 20 feet square, round which the houses, mostly three stories high, are built, and in the centre of which is a dunghill. The houses are occupied indiscriminately by labourers of the lowest class, thieves, and prostitutes, and every apartment is filled with a promiscuous crowd of men and women, all in the most revolting state of filth. Amid such scenes and such companions as these, thousands of the most intelligent of the Highlanders are content to take refuge, for it is precisely those who are best educated and best informed that are most impatient of the penury they have to endure at home.

"The inhabitants of the Glasgow wynds and closes may be likened to those of the Liverpool cellars, or to those of the worst parts of Leeds, St. Giles's, and Bethnal Green, in London; and every other class of the Scottish urban labouring population may likewise be delineated with the same touches (more darkened, however,) which have been used in describing the corresponding class in English towns. Manufacturing operatives are in pretty much the same position in both countries. Those of Scotland shared even more largely than their Southern brethren in the distress of 1840-2, when Paisley in particular exhibited scenes of wo far surpassing any thing that has been related of Bolton or Stockport."—P. 77.

The extent to which these poor people have been driven from the land may be judged by the following statement of population and house-accommodation:—

                                               Persons to
               Population. Inhabited houses. a house.
               —————- ————————- —————
    1841…… 2,628,957…… 503,357…… 5.22
    1851…… 2,870,784…… 366,650…… 7.83

Intemperance and immorality keep pace with the decline in the power of men over their own actions, as is shown in the following statement of the consumption of British spirits, under circumstances almost precisely similar as regards the amount of duty:—

Duty. Gallons. ——- ———— 1802………….. 3.10-1/2….. 1,158,558 1831………….. 3.4 …….. 5,700,689 1841………….. 3.8 …….. 5,989,905 1851………….. 3.8 …….. 6,830,710

In 1801 the population was 1,599,068, and since that time it has increased eighty per cent., whereas the consumption of spirits has grown almost six hundred per cent.!

The poor people who are expelled from the land cannot be sold. The hammer of the auctioneer cannot be allowed to separate parents from children, or husbands from wives, but poverty, drunkenness, and prostitution produce a similar effect, and in a form even more deplorable. In the five years preceding 1840, every fifth person in Glasgow had been attacked by fever, and the deaths therefrom amounted to almost five thousand.

It is impossible to study the condition of this portion of the United Kingdom without arriving at the conclusion that society is rapidly being divided into the very rich and the very poor, and that the latter are steadily declining in their power of self-government, and becoming more and more slaves to the former. Centralization tends here, as everywhere, to absenteeism, and "absenteeism," says Dr. Forbes of Glasgow [126] —

"Is in its results everywhere the same. All the transactions and communications between the richer and the poorer classes, have thus substituted for them the sternness of official agency, in the room of that kind and generous treatment which, let them meet unrestrained, the more prosperous children of the same parent would in almost every case pay to their less fortunate brothers. * * * Where the power of sympathy has been altogether or nearly abolished among the different ranks of society, one of the first effects appears in a yawning and ever-widening gulf of poverty which gathers round its foundations. As the lofty shore indicates the depth of the surrounding ocean, the proud pinnacles of wealth in society are the indices of a corresponding depression among the humbler ranks. The greatest misery of man is ever the adjunct of his proudest splendour."

Such are the results everywhere of that system which looks to converting England into a great workshop and confining the people of all other nations to the labours of the field. In Jamaica, it annihilated three-fifths of all the negroes imported, and it is now rapidly driving the remainder into barbarism and ultimately to annihilation. In the Southern States, it causes the export of men, women, and children, and the breaking up of families. In India, it has caused famines and pestilences, and is now establishing the slave trade in a new form. In Ireland, it has in half a century carried the people back to a condition worthy only of the darkest part of the Middle Ages, and is now extirpating them from the land of their fathers. In Scotland, it is rapidly dividing the population into two parts—the master on one hand, and the slave on the other. How it has operated, and is now operating, in England itself, we may how examine.



The Roman people sought to centralize within their walls the power of governing and taxing all the nations of the earth, and to a great extent they succeeded; but in the effort to acquire power over others they lost all power over themselves. As the city grew in size and as its great men became greater, the proportions of the people everywhere became less. The freemen of the Campagna had almost disappeared even in the days of the elder Scipio, and their humble habitations had given way to palaces, the centre of great estates, cultivated by slaves. Step by step with the increase of power abroad came increased consolidation of the land at home, and, as the people were more and more driven from the soil the city grew in numbers and magnificence, and in the poverty and rapacity of its inhabitants. The populace needed to be fed, and that they might be so there was established a great system of poor-laws, carried into effect by aid of the taxation of distant provinces, at whose expense they were both fed and entertained. They demanded cheap food, and they obtained their desires at the cost of the cultivators, abroad and at home, who became more and more enslaved as Rome itself was more cheaply supplied. Desires grew with their indulgence, and the greater the facility for living without labour, the greater became the necessity for seeking "new markets" in which to exercise their powers of appropriation, and the more extensive became the domain of slavery. Bankers and middlemen grew more and more in power, and while the wealth of Crassus enabled him to obtain the control of the East, enormous loans gave to Cæsar the command of the West, leaving to Pompey and his moneyed friends the power to tax the centre and the South. Next, Augustus finds the city of brick and leaves it of marble; and Herodes Atticus appears upon the stage sole improver, and almost sole owner, in Attica, once so free, while bankers and nobles accumulate enormous possessions in Africa, Gaul, and Britain, and the greater the extent of absentee ownership the greater becomes the wretchedness and the crime of the pauper mob of Rome. Still onward the city grows, absorbing the wealth of the world, and with it grow the poverty, slavery, and rapacity of the people, the exhaustion of provinces, and the avarice and tyranny of rulers and magistrates, until at length the empire, rotten at the heart, becomes the prey of barbarians, and all become slaves alike,—thus furnishing proof conclusive that the community which desires to command respect for its own rights must practise respect for those of others; or in other words, must adopt as its motto the great lesson which lies at the base of all Christianity—"Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you."

A survey of the British Empire at the present moment presents to view some features so strongly resembling those observed in ancient Rome as to warrant calling the attention of the reader to their careful observation. Like Rome, England has desired to establish political centralization by aid of fleets and armies, but to this she has added commercial centralization, far more destructive in its effects, and far more rapid in its operation. Rome was content that her subjects should occupy themselves as they pleased, either in the fields or in the factories, provided only that they paid their taxes. England, on the contrary, has sought to restrict her subjects and the people of the world in their modes of employment; and this she has done with a view to compel them to make all their exchanges in her single market, leaving to her to fix the prices of all she bought and all she sold, thus taxing them at her discretion in both time and money. She has sought to compel all other nations to follow the plough, leaving to her the loom and the anvil, and thus to render it necessary that they should bring to her all their products in the rudest form, at great cost of transportation, and total loss of the manure yielded by them, thus exhausting their soil and themselves; and the consequences of this are seen in the ruin, depopulation, and slavery of the West Indies, Ireland, India, Portugal, Turkey, and other countries that have been partially or wholly subjected to her dominion. Hence it is that she is seen to be everywhere seeking "new markets." Bengal having been in a great degree exhausted, it became necessary to annex the North-west provinces, and thence we find her stretching out her hand at one moment to seize on Affghanistan, at another to force the Chinese into permitting her to smuggle opium, and at a third to expel the Sikhs and occupy the Punjab, as preliminary to this invasion and subjection of the Burman Empire. She needs, and must have new markets, as Rome needed new provinces, and for the same reason, the exhaustion of the old ones. She rejoices with great joy at the creation of a new market in Australia, and looks with a longing eye on the Empire of Japan, whose prosperous people, under a peaceful government, prefer to avoid entering on the same course of action that has resulted in the reduction of the wealthy and powerful Hindostan to its present distressed condition.

It was against this system that Adam Smith cautioned his countrymen, as not only a violation of "the most sacred rights" of man, but as leading inevitably to consequences in the highest degree injurious to themselves, in depreciating the value of both labour and capital. Up to his time, however, it had been carried out in a very small degree. The colonies were then few in number, but, those were heavily taxed, as has been shown in the candid admission of Joshua Gee, that the colonists carried home but one-fourth of the value of the commodities they brought to the great market.[127] The system was then only in its infancy. In India, the Company had but then first obtained the concession of a right to act in the capacity of tax-gatherer for Bengal. On this continent, the right thus to tax the colonists was seriously contested, and The Wealth of Nations had not been long before the world before it came to be explicitly and successfully denied. The tendency of the system was, however, so obvious to its author, that he desired to warn his countrymen against the effort to build up "colonies of customers," as unworthy of a great people, and worthy only of "a nation of shopkeepers,"—and happy for them would it have been had his advice been taken. It was not. From that day to the present, every step has been in the direction against which he cautioned them, as was shown in a former chapter, and from year to year the people of England have become more and more the mere traders in the products of the labours of other men, and more and more compelled to seek "new markets," as did the Roman people,—the only difference being that in every case the exhaustion has been accomplished with a rapidity unparalleled in the annals of Rome, or of the world. A century since, India was rich, and now her government, collecting annually one-fifth of the whole value of the land, is sustained only by means of a monopoly of the power to poison and enslave the Chinese by means of a vile drug, and the poor Hindoo is forced to seek for food in the swamps of Jamaica and Guiana. Half a century since, Ireland had a highly cultivated society, with a press that sent forth large editions of the most valuable and expensive books produced in England, and now her people are decimated by famine and pestilence. Twenty years since, there existed some little prospect that the poor negroes of Jamaica and Guiana might at some future time become civilized, but that hope has passed away, as has the value of the land upon which they have been employed. What has been the effect of this course of policy upon the condition of the people of England we may now inquire.

In the days of Adam Smith it was estimated that there were in that country 220,000 owners of land, and as a necessary consequence of this extensive ownership of property, there was a very decided tendency toward an increase in the freedom of man, as shown in the efforts made but a few years later for obtaining a reform in various matters of government. The French Revolution came, however, and now the doctrine of "ships, colonies, and commerce" had much to do in bringing about a state of war, during the whole of which England enjoyed almost a monopoly of the trade of the world. Having all the woollen and cotton machinery, and almost all the machinery for the production of iron, she was enabled to buy produce and sell manufactures at her own prices; and thus were the already wealthy greatly enriched. The poor-houses were, however, everywhere filled with starving labourers, and so rapidly did their number increase that it became at length necessary to give to the statute of Elizabeth a new and enlarged construction; and here do we find another coincidence in the working of Roman and British centralization. A still further one will be found in the fact that precisely as the labourer was losing all power of self-government, the little proprietors of land disappeared, to be replaced by day-labourers.

The peace, however came, and with it a desire on the part of other nations to supply themselves with cloth, iron, and other manufactured commodities; and to enable them to carry into effect their wishes, many of them imposed duties having for their object the bringing together of the plough and the loom, the hammer and the harrow. This produced, of course, a necessity for new exertions to underwork those nations, leading to constant improvements of machinery, each tending to enable the capitalist more and more to accumulate fortune and purchase land, the consolidation of which has been continued until at length it has resulted in the fact, that in place of the 220,000 English land-owners of the days of Adam Smith, there now exist but 30,000, while all the land of Scotland has, as is stated, accumulated in the hands of 6000 persons.

As the 190,000 proprietors came by degrees to be represented by day-labourers, pauperism increased, and the labourer became from year to year more enslaved, and more dependent for existence upon the favours of farmers, parish beadles, and constables, until at length a reform of the system having become absolutely necessary, it was undertaken. Instead, however, of inquiring into the causes of this increased dependence with a view to their abolition, it was determined to abolish the relief that they had rendered necessary, and hence the existence of the new poor-law. By virtue of its provisions, inability to obtain food became a crime punishable by the separation of husbands from wives and parents from children; and thus we see that in the last twenty years English legislation has tended greatly in the same direction with the domestic slave trade of this country.

Consolidation of the land drove the labourers from the cultivation of the soil, while improved machinery tended constantly to drive them out from the factory, and thus were the poor made poorer and weaker, as the rich grew richer and stronger. Ireland, too, contributed largely to the same result. As the Act of Union gradually closed her factories and drove her people to cultivation as the sole means of supporting life, they found themselves, like the Italians of olden time, forced to emigrate to the place where taxes were distributed, in the hope of obtaining wages, and their competition threw the English labourer still more in the hands of the capitalist. From year to year the small proprietor was seen to pass into the condition of a day-labourer, and the small employing mechanic or tradesman to pass into a receiver of wages, and thus did the whole people tend more and more to become divided into two great classes, separated from each other by an impassable gulf, the very rich and the very poor, the master and the slave.

As England became more and more flooded with the wretched people of the sister island, driven from home in search of employment, the wealthy found it more and more easy to accomplish "the great works" for which, as the London Times inform us, the country is indebted to the "cheap labour of Ireland," and the greater the influx of this labour the more rapid was the decline in the power of both Ireland and Britain to furnish a market for the products of the manufacturing, labour of England. Hence arose, of course, a necessity for looking abroad for new markets to take the place of those before obtained at home, and thus cheap labour, a consequence of the system, became in its turn a cause of new efforts at dispensing with and further cheapening labour. As the Irishman could no longer buy, it became necessary that the Hindoo should be driven from his own market. As the Highlander was expelled, it became more and more necessary to underwork the spinners and weavers of China. As the Bengalese now become impoverished, there arises a necessity for filling the Punjab, and Affghanistan, Burmah and Borneo, with British goods. Pauperism lies necessarily at the root of such a system. "It is," said a speaker at the late Bradford election for representative in Parliament—

"Its root. That system is based on foreign competition. Now I assert, that under the buy cheap and sell dear principle, brought to bear on foreign competition, the ruin of the working and small trading classes must go on. Why? Labour is the creator of all wealth. A man must work before a grain is grown, or a yard is woven. But there is no self-employment for the working-man in this country. Labour is a hired commodity—labour is a thing in the market that is bought and sold; consequently, as labour creates all wealth, labour is the first thing bought. 'Buy cheap! buy cheap!' Labour is bought in the cheapest market. But now comes the next. 'Sell dear! sell dear!' Sell what? Labors produce. To whom? To the foreigner—ay! and to the labourer himself—for labour not being self-employed, the labourer is not the partaker of the first-fruits of his toil. 'Buy cheap, sell dear.' How do you like it? 'Buy cheap, sell dear.' Buy the working-man's labour cheaply, and sell back to that very working-man the produce of his own labour dear! The principle of inherent loss is in the bargain. The employer buys the labour cheap—he sells, and on the sale he must, make a profit: he sells to the working-man himself—and thus every bargain between employer and employed is a deliberate cheat on the part of the employer. Thus labour has to sink through eternal loss, that capital may rise through lasting fraud. But the system stops not here. THIS IS BROUGHT TO BEAR ON FOREIGN COMPETITION—WHICH MEANS, WE MUST RUIN THE TRADE OF OTHER COUNTRIES, AS WE HAVE RUINED THE LABOUR OF OUR OWN. How does it work? The high-taxed country has to undersell the low-taxed. Competition abroad is constantly increasing, consequently cheapness must increase also. Therefore, wages in England must keep constantly falling. And how do they effect the fall? By surplus labour. By monopoly of the land, which drives more hands than are wanted into the factory. By monopoly of machinery, which drives those hands into the street; by woman labour, which drives the man from the shuttle; by child labour, which drives the woman from the loom. Then planting their foot upon that living base of surplus, they press its aching heart beneath their heel, and cry 'Starvation! Who'll work? A half loaf is better than no bread at all;' and the writhing mass grasps greedily at their terms. Such is the system for the working-man. But, electors, how does it operate on you? how does it affect home trade, the shopkeeper, poor's rate, and taxation? For every increase of competition abroad there must be an increase of cheapness at home. Every increase of cheapness in labour is based on increase of labour surplus, and this surplus is obtained by an increase of machinery. I repeat, how does this operate on you? The Manchester liberal on my left establishes a new patent, and throws three hundred men as a surplus in the streets. Shopkeepers! Three hundred customers less. Rate-payers! Three hundred paupers more. But, mark me! The evil stops not there. These three hundred men operate first to bring down the wages of those who remain at work in their own trade. The employer says, 'Now I reduce your wages.' The men demur. Then he adds, 'Do you see those three hundred men who have just walked out? you may change places if you like, they're sighing to come in on any terms, for they're starving.' The men feel it, and are crushed. Ah! you Manchester liberal! Pharisee of politics! those men are listening—have I got you now? But the evil stops not yet. Those men, driven from their own trade, seek employment in others, when they swell the surplus and bring wages down."

Strong as is all this, it is nevertheless true, England is engaged in a war of extermination waged against the labour of all other countries employed in any pursuit except that of raising raw produce to be sent to her own market, there to be exchanged for the cloth and the iron produced at the mills and furnaces of her millionaires, who have accumulated their vast fortunes at the expense of Ireland, India, Portugal, Turkey, and the other countries that have been ruined by the system which looks to the exhaustion of the soil of all other lands, to the impoverishment and enslavement of their people, and which was so indignantly denounced by Adam Smith. In the effort to crush them she has been crushing her own people, and the more rapid the spread of pauperism at home the greater have been her efforts to produce the surplus labour which causes a fall of wages at home and abroad.

With the consolidation of land in the hands of a few proprietors there is a steady decline in the number of people employed upon it, and an equally steady one in that hope of rising in the world which is elsewhere seen to be the best incentive to exertion. "The peasant knows," says a recent English writer,[128] "that he must die in the same position in which he was born." Again, he says, "the want of small farms deprives the peasant of all hope of improving his condition in life." The London Times assures its readers that "once a peasant in England, the man must remain a peasant for ever;" and Mr. Kay, after careful examination of the condition of the people of continental Europe, assures his readers that, as one of the consequences of this state of things, the peasantry of England "are more ignorant, more demoralized, less capable of helping themselves, and more pauperized, than those of any other country in Europe, if we except Russia, Turkey, South Italy, and some parts of the Austrian Empire."[129]

Under such circumstances, the middle class tends gradually to pass away, and its condition is well expressed by the term now so frequently, used, "the uneasy class." The small capitalist, who would elsewhere purchase a piece of land, a horse and cart, or a machine of some kind calculated to enable him to double the productiveness of his labour and increase its reward, is in England forced to make his investments in savings banks or life-insurance offices, and thus to place his little capital in the hands of others, at three per cent., whereas he could have fifty or a hundred per cent., could he be permitted to use it himself. There is, therefore, a perpetual strife for life, and each man is, as has been said, "endeavouring to snatch the piece of bread from his neighbour's mouth." The atmosphere of England is one of intense gloom. Every one is anxious for the future, for himself or his children. There is a universal feeling of doubt as to how to dispose of the labour or the talents of themselves or their sons, and the largest fees are paid to men already wealthy, in the hope of obtaining aid toward securing steady employment. "This gloom of England," says a late English writer—

"Is in truth one of the most formidable evils of modern times. With all the advance, in morality and decency of the present century, we have receded rather than gone forward in the attainment of that true Christian cheerfulness, which—notwithstanding the popular proverb—I believe to be the blessing next in value to godliness.

"I truly believe," he continues, "that one of the chief obstacles to the progress of pure living Christianity in this country is to be found in that worldly carefulness which causes our intense gravity, and makes us the most silent nation in Europe. The respectability of England is its bane; we worship respectability, and thus contrive to lose both the enjoyments of earth and the enjoyments of heaven. If Great Britain could once learn to laugh like a child, she would be in the way once more to pray like a saint.

"But this is not all: the sensuality and gross vice, and the hateful moroseness and harshness of temper, which result from our indisposition for gayety and enjoyment, are literally awful to think of. Pride and licentiousness triumph in our land, because we are too careworn or too stupid to enter heartily into innocent recreations. Those two demons, one of which first cast man out of Paradise, while the other has degraded him to the level of the brutes, are served by myriads of helpless slaves, who are handed over to a bondage of passion, through the gloominess that broods over our national character. The young and the old alike, the poor and the wealthy, are literally driven to excess, because there is nothing in our state of society to refresh them after their toils, or to make life as much a season of enjoyment as the inevitable lot of mortality will allow.

"Men fly to vice for the want of pure and innocent pleasures. The gin-shops receive those who might be entertaining themselves with the works of art in a public gallery. The whole animal portion of our being is fostered at the expense of the spiritual. We become brutalized, because we are morbidly afraid of being frivolous and of wasting our time. The devil keeps possession of an Englishman's heart, through the instrumentality of his carnal passions, because he is too proud and too stupid to laugh and enjoy himself.

"Secret sin destroys its myriads, immolated on the altar of outward respectability and of a regard for the opinion of a money-getting world."

The existence of such a state of things is indeed a "formidable evil," but how could it fail to exist in a country in which all individuality is being lost as the little land-owner gradually disappears to be replaced by the day-labourer, and as the little shop-keeper gradually sinks into a clerk? How could it be otherwise in a country in which weak women, and children of the most tender age, spend their nights in cellars, and the long day of twelve or fifteen hours in factories, whose owners know of them nothing but, as in a penitentiary, their number—a country in which males and females work naked in coal-mines—and find themselves compelled to do all these things because of the necessity for preventing the poor Hindoo from calling to his aid the powerful steam, and for compelling him, his wife, and his children, to limit themselves to the labour of the field? How could it be otherwise in a country in which "labourers, whether well off or not, never attempt to be better?"[130] How otherwise in a country distinguished among all others for the enormous wealth of a few, for the intensity of toil and labour of all below them, and for the anxiety with which the future is regarded by all but those who, bereft of hope, know that all they can expect on this side of the grave is an indifferent supply of food and raiment? "In no country of the world," says Mr. Kay—

"Is so much time spent in the mere acquisition of wealth, and so little time in the enjoyment of life and of all the means of happiness which God has given to man, as in England.

"In no country in the world do the middle classes labour so intensely as here. One would think, to view the present state of English society, that man was created for no other purpose than to collect wealth, and that he was forbidden to gratify the beautiful tastes with which he has been gifted for the sake of his own happiness. To be rich, with us, is the great virtue, the pass into all society, the excuse for many frailties, and the mask for numerous deformities."

An Eastern proverb says that "curses, like young chickens, always come home to roost." Few cases could be presented of a more perfect realization of this than is found in the present condition of England. Half a century since it was decreed that the poor people of Ireland should confine themselves to the cultivation and exhaustion of their soil, abstaining from the mining of coal, the smelting of ore, or the making of cloth; and during nearly all that time they have so flooded England with "cheap labour" as to have produced from the Times the declaration, before referred to, that "for a whole generation man has been a drug and population a nuisance"—precisely the state of things in which men tend most to become enslaved. Cheap corn, cheap cotton, cheap tobacco, and cheap sugar, mean low-priced agricultural labour; and the low-priced labourer is always a slave, and aiding to produce elsewhere the slavery of his fellow-labourers, whether in the field or in the workshop. This, however, is in perfect accordance with the doctrines of some of England's most distinguished statesmen, as the reader has already seen in the declaration of Mr. Huskisson, that "to give capital a fair remuneration, the price of labour must be kept down,"—by which he proved the perfect accuracy of the predictions of the author of The Wealth of Nations.

The harmony of true interests among nations is perfect, and an enlightened self-interest would lead every nation to carry into full effect the golden rule of Christianity; and yet even now, the most distinguished men in England regard smuggling almost as a virtuous act, and the smuggler as a great reformer, because his labours tend to enable their countrymen to do everywhere what has been done in the West Indies, in Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, and India—separate the consumer from the producer. They regard it as the appointed work of England to convert the whole earth into one vast farm dependent upon one vast workshop, and that shop in the island of Great Britain. Such being the views of peers of the realm, lord chancellors, ministers of state, political economists, and statisticians, can we wonder at a decline of morality among the middle class, under the combined influence of the struggle for life, and the assurance that "the end sanctifies the means," and that false invoices are but a means of working out a great reformation in the commercial system of the world? Good ends rarely require such means for their accomplishment, and the very fact that it was needed to have Gibraltar as a means of smuggling into Spain, Canada as a means of smuggling into this country,[131] and Hong Kong for the purpose of poisoning the Chinese with smuggled opium, should have led to a careful consideration of the question whether or not the system which looked to exhausting the soil of Virginia and driving the poor negro to the sugar culture in Texas, was one of the modes of "doing God service."

Unsound moral feeling is a necessary consequence of an exclusive devotion to trade such as is now seen to exist in England. It is the business of the trader to buy cheaply and sell dearly, be the consequences what they may to those from whom he buys, or to whom he sells; and unhappily the prosperity of England now depends so entirely on buying cheaply and selling dearly that she is forced to overlook the effects upon those to whom she sells, or from whom she buys, and she therefore rejoices when others are being ruined, and grieves when they are being enriched. Her interests are always, and necessarily so, opposed to those of the rest of the world. She must look at every thing with the eyes of the mere trader who wishes to buy cheaply and sell dearly, living at the cost of the producer and the consumer. The former desires good prices for his sugar, and yet so anxious was she to obtain cheap sugar that she forgot her engagements with the poor emancipated negroes of Jamaica. The former desire's good prices for his corn, but so anxious was she to have cheap corn, that she forgot having deprived the people of Ireland of all employment but in agriculture, and at once adopted measures whose action is now expelling the whole nation from the scenes of their youth, and separating husbands and wives, mothers and children. She has placed herself in a false position, and cannot now afford to reflect upon the operation of cheap sugar and cheap corn, cheap cotton and cheap tobacco, upon the people who produce them; and therefore it is that the situation of Ireland and India, and of the poor people Of Jamaica, is so much shut out from discussion. Such being the case with those who should give tone to public opinion, how can we look for sound or correct feeling among the poor occupants of "the sweater's den,"[132] or among the 20,000 tailors of London, seeking for work and unable to find it? Or, how look for it among the poor shopkeepers, compelled in self-defence to adulterate almost every thing they sell, when they see the great cotton manufacturer using annually hundreds of barrels of flour to enable him to impose worthless cloth upon the poor Hindoo, and thus annihilate his foreign competitor? Or, how expect to find it among the poor operatives of Lancashire, at one moment working full time, at another but three days in a week, and at a third totally deprived of employment, because goods can no longer be smuggled into foreign countries to leave a profit? With them, the question of food or no food is dependent altogether upon the size of the cotton crop. If the slave trade is brisk, much cotton is made, and they have wages with which to support their wives and children. If the crop is large, the planter may be ruined, but they themselves are fed. "The weekly mail from America," we are told—

"Is not of more moment to the great cotton lord of Manchester, than it is to John Shuttle the weaver. * * * If he ever thinks how entirely his own existence and that of his own little household depend upon the American crop * * * he would tremble at the least rumour of war with the Yankees. War with America—a hurricane in Georgia—a flood in Alabama—are one and all death-cries to the mill-spinner and power-loom weaver. * * * When the cotton fields of the Southern States yield less than the usual quantity of cotton, the Manchester operative eats less than his average quantity of food. When his blood boils at the indignities and cruelties heaped upon the coloured, race in the 'Land of the Free,' he does not always remember that to the slave States of America he owes his all—that it is for his advantage that the negro should wear his chains in peace."—Household Words.

"If his "blood boils" at the sufferings of the negro in Brazil, or of the Hindoo in the Mauritius, he must recollect that it is at the cost of those sufferings that he is supplied with cheap sugar. If he be shocked at the continuance of the African slave trade, he must recollect that if negroes ceased to be imported into Cuba, he might have to pay a higher price for his coffee. If he is excited at the idea of the domestic slave trade of this country, he must calm himself by reflecting that it is "for his advantage" it is continued, and that without it he could not have cheap cotton. The labourers of the various parts of the world are thus taught that there is among themselves an universal antagonism of interests, and this tends, of course, to the production of a bad state of moral feeling, and an universal tendency to decline in the feeling of self-dependence. Men, women, and children are becoming from day to day more dependent on the will of others, and as it is that dependence which constitutes slavery, we might with reason expect to find some of the vices of the slave—and were we to find them we should not greatly err in attributing their existence to the system thus described by Adam Smith:—

"The industry of Great Britain, instead of being accommodated to a great number of small markets, has been principally suited to one great market. Her commerce, instead of running in a great number of small channels, has been taught to run principally in one great channel. But the whole system of her industry and commerce has thereby been rendered less secure, the whole state of her body politic less healthful than it otherwise would have been. In her present condition, Great Britain resembles one of those unwholesome bodies in which some of the vital parts are overgrown, and which, upon that account, are liable to many dangerous disorders, scarce incident to those in which all the parts are more properly proportioned. A small stop in that great blood-vessel which has been artificially swelled beyond its natural dimensions, and through which an unnatural proportion of the industry and commerce of the country has been forced to circulate, is very likely to bring on the most dangerous disorders upon the whole body politic."

This is an accurate picture of that country under a system that seeks to direct the whole energies of its people into one direction, that of "buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest one,"—the pursuit that is, of all others, the least favourable to the development of the moral and intellectual faculties of man. How it is operating may be judged by the following description from an English writer already quoted:—

"Of the children of the poor, who are yearly born in England, vast numbers never receive any education at all, while many others never enter any thing better than a dame or a Sunday-school. In the towns they are left in crowds until about eight or nine years of age, to amuse themselves in the dirt of the streets, while their parents pursue their daily toil. In these public thoroughfares, during the part of their lives which is most susceptible of impressions and most retentive of them, they acquire dirty, immoral, and disorderly habits; they become accustomed to wear filthy and ragged clothes; they learn to pilfer and to steal; they associate with boys who have been in prison, and who have there been hardened in crime by evil associates; they learn how to curse one another, how to fight, how to gamble, and how to fill up idle hours by vicious pastimes; they acquire no knowledge except the knowledge of vice; they never come in contact with their betters; and they are not taught either the truths of religion or the way by which to improve their condition in life. Their amusements are as low as their habits. The excitements of low debauchery too horrible to be named, of spirituous liquors, which they begin to drink as early as they can collect pence wherewith to buy them, of the commission and concealments of thefts, and of rude and disgusting sports, are the pleasures of their life. The idea of going to musical meetings such as those of the German poor, would be scoffed at, even if there were any such meetings for them to attend. Innocent dancing is unknown to them. Country sports they cannot have. Read they cannot. So they hurry for amusement and excitement to the gratification of sensual desires and appetites. In this manner, filthy, lewd, sensual, boisterous, and skilful in the commission of crime, a great part of the populations of our towns grow up to manhood. Of the truth or falsehood of this description any one can convince himself, who will examine our criminal records, or who will visit the back streets of any English town, when the schools are full, and count the children upon the door-steps and pavements, and note their condition, manners, and appearance, and their degraded and disgusting practices."—Kay, vol. i. 33.[133]

This is, however, little different from what might be looked, for in a country whose provision for the education of its people is thus described:—

"About one-half of our poor can neither read nor write. The test of signing the name at marriage is a very imperfect absolute test of education, but it is a very good relative one: taking that test, how stands Leeds itself in the Registrar-General's returns? In Leeds, which is the centre of the movement for letting education remain as it is, left entirely to chance and charity to supply its deficiencies, how do we find the fact? This, that in 1846, the last year to which these returns are brought down, of 1850 marriages celebrated in Leeds and Hunslet, 508 of the men and 1020 of the women, or considerably more than one-half of the latter, signed their names with marks. 'I have also a personal knowledge of this fact—that of 47 men employed upon a railway in this immediate neighbourhood, only 14 men can sign their names in the receipt of their wages; and this not because of any diffidence on their part, but positively because they cannot write.' And only lately, the Leeds Mercury itself gave a most striking instance of ignorance among persons from Boeotian Pudsey: of 12 witnesses, 'all of respectable appearance, examined before the Mayor of Bradford at the court-house there, only one man could sign his name, and that indifferently.' Mr. Nelson has clearly shown in statistics of crime in England and Wales from 1834 to 1844, that crime is invariably the most prevalent in those districts where the fewest numbers in proportion to the population can read and write. Is it not indeed beginning at the wrong end to try and reform men, after they have become criminals? Yet you cannot begin, with children, from want of schools. Poverty is the result of ignorance, and then ignorance is again the unhappy result of poverty. 'Ignorance makes men improvident and thoughtless—women as well as men; it makes them blind to the future—to the future of this life as well as the life beyond. It makes them dead to higher pleasures than those of the mere senses, and keeps them down to the level of the mere animal. Hence the enormous extent of drunkenness throughout this country, and the frightful waste of means which it involves.' At Bilston, amidst 20,000 people, there are but two struggling schools—one has lately ceased; at Millenhall, Darlaston, and Pelsall, amid a teeming population, no school whatever. In Oldham, among 100,000, but one public day-school for the labouring classes; the others are an infant school, and some dame and factory schools. At Birmingham, there are 21,824 children at school, and 23,176, at no school; at Liverpool, 50,000 out of 90,000 at no school; at Leicester, 8200 out of 12,500; and at Leeds itself, in 1841, (the date of the latest returns,) some 9600 out of 16,400, were at no school whatever. It is the same in the counties. 'I have seen it stated, that a woman for some time had to officiate as clerk in a church in Norfolk, there being no adult male in the parish able to read and write. For a population of 17,000,000 we have but twelve normal schools; while in Massachusetts they have three such schools for only 800,000 of population."

Such being the education of the young, we may now look to see how Mr. Kay describes that provided for people of a more advanced period of life:—

"The crowd of low pot-houses in our manufacturing districts is a sad and singular spectacle. They are to be found in every street and alley of the towns, and in almost every lane and turning of the more rural villages of those districts, if any of those villages can be called rural.

"The habit of drunkenness pervades the masses of the operatives to an extent never before known in our country.

"In a great number of these taverns and pot-houses of the manufacturing districts, prostitutes are kept for the express purpose of enticing the operatives to frequent them, thus rendering them doubly immoral and pernicious. I have been assured in Lancashire, on the best authority, that in one of the manufacturing towns, and that, too, about third rate in point of size and population, there are sixty taverns, where prostitutes are kept by the tavern landlords, in order to entice customers into them. Their demoralizing influence upon the population cannot be exaggerated; and yet these are almost the only resorts which the operatives have, when seeking amusement or relaxation.

"In those taverns where prostitutes are not actually kept for the purpose of enticing customers, they are always to be found in the evenings, at the time the workmen go there to drink. In London and in Lancashire the gin-palaces are the regular rendezvous for the abandoned of both sexes, and the places where the lowest grade of women-of-the-town resort to find customers. It is quite clear that young men, who once begin to meet their, friends at these places, cannot long escape the moral degradation of these hot-houses of vice.

"The singular and remarkable difference between the respective condition of the peasants and operatives of Germany and Switzerland, and those of England and Ireland, in this respect, is alone sufficient to prove the singular difference between their respective social condition.

"The village inn in Germany is quite a different kind of place to the village inn in England. It is intended and used less for mere drinking, than, as a place for meeting and conversation; it is, so to speak, the villagers' club."—Vol. i. 232.

Under such circumstances, we cannot be surprised when told by Mr. Alison that over the whole kingdom crime increases four times as fast as the population, and that "in Lancashire population doubles in thirty years, crime in five years and a half." How, indeed, could it be otherwise under a system based upon the idea of "keeping labour down"—one that tends to the consolidation of the land and the exclusion of men from the work of cultivation, and then excludes them from the factory, while forcing hundreds of thousands of indigent and almost starving Irish into England in search of employment? The process of "eviction" in Ireland has been already described. How the same work has been, and is being, performed in England is thus stated by the Times:—

"Our village peasantry are jostled about from cottage to cottage, or from cottage to no cottage at all, as freely and with as little regard to their personal tastes, and conveniences as if we were removing our pigs, cows, and horses from one sty or shed to another. If they cannot get a house over their heads they go to the Union, and are distributed—the man in one part, the wife in another, and the children again somewhere else. That is a settled thing. Our peasantry bear it, or, if they can't bear it, they die, and there is an end of it on this side of the grave; though how it will stand at the great audit, we leave an 'English Catholic' to imagine. We only mean to say that in England the work has been done; cotters have been exterminated; small holdings abolished; the process of eviction rendered superfluous; the landlord's word made law; the refuge of the discontented reduced to a workhouse, and all without a shot, or a bludgeon, or a missile being heard of."

Thus driven from the land, they are forced to take refuge in London and Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds, and accordingly there it is that we find nearly the whole increase of population in the last ten years. Out of less than two millions, more than 400,000 were added to the number of London alone, and those who are familiar with Mr. Mayhew's work, London Labour and London Poor, do not need to be told of the extraordinary wretchedness, nor of the immorality that there abound. Inquiries get on foot by Lord Ashley have shown that "in the midst of that city there are," says Mr. Kay—

"Persons, forming a separate class, having pursuits, interests, manners; and customs of their own, and that the filthy, deserted, roaming, and lawless children, who may be called the source of 19-20ths of the crime which desolates the metropolis, are not fewer in number than THIRTY THOUSAND!

"These 30,000 are quite independent of the number of mere pauper children, who crowd the streets of Londen, and who never enter a school: but of these latter nothing will be said here.

"Now, what are the pursuits, the dwelling-houses, and the habits of these poor wretches? Of 1600, who were examined, 162 confessed that they had been in prison, not merely once, or even twice, but some of them several times; 116 had run away from their homes; 170 slept in the "lodging-houses;" 253 had lived altogether by beggary; 216 had neither shoes nor stockings; 280 had no hat or cap, or covering for the head; 101 had no linen; 249 had never slept in a bed; many had no recollection of ever having been in a bed; 68 were the children of convicts,"—Vol. i. 394.

In the towns of the manufacturing districts there are, says the same author—

"A great number of cellars beneath the houses of the small shopkeepers and operatives, which are inhabited by crowds of poor inhabitants. Each of these cellar-houses contains at the most two, and often, and in some towns generally, only one room. These rooms measure in Liverpool, from 10 to 12 feet square. In some other towns, they are rather larger. They are generally flagged. The flags lie "directly" upon the earth, and are generally wretchedly damp. In wet weather they are very often not dry for weeks together. Within a few feet of the windows of these cellars, rises the wall which keeps the street from falling in upon them, darkening the gloomy rooms, and preventing the sun's rays penetrating into them.

"Dr. Duncan, in describing the cellar-houses of the manufacturing districts, says[134]—'The cellars are ten or twelve feet square; generally flagged, but frequently having only the bare earth for a floor, and sometimes less than six feet in height. There is frequently no window, so that light and air can gain access to the cellar only by the door, the top of which is often not higher than the level of the street. In such cellars ventilation is out of the question. They, are of course dark; and from the defective drainage, they are also very generally damp. There is sometimes a back cellar, used as a sleeping apartment, having no direct communication with the external atmosphere, and deriving its scanty supply of light and air solely from the front apartment.'"—Vol. i. 447.

"One of the city missionaries, describing the state of the Mint district in the city of London, says, 'it is utterly impossible to describe the scenes, which are to be witnessed here, or to set forth in its naked deformity the awful characters sin here assumes. * * * In Mint street, alone, there are nineteen lodging-houses. The majority of these latter are awful sinks of iniquity, and are used as houses of accommodation. In some of them, both sexes sleep together indiscriminately, and such acts are practised and witnessed, that married persons, who are in other respects awfully depraved, have been so shocked, as to be compelled to get up in the night and leave the house. Many of the half-naked impostors, who perambulate the streets of London in the daytime, and obtain a livelihood by their deceptions, after having thrown off their bandages, crutches, &c., may be found here in their true character; some regaling themselves in the most extravagant manner; others gambling or playing cards, while the worst of language proceeds from their lips. Quarrels and fights are very common, and the cry of murder is frequently heard. The public-houses in this street are crowded to excess, especially, on the Sabbath evening.[135]

"In the police reports published in the Sun newspaper of the 11th of October, 1849, the following account is given of 'a penny lodging-house' in Blue Anchor Yard, Rosemary Lane. One of the policemen examined, thus describes a room in this lodging-house:—'It was a very small one, extremely filthy, and there was no furniture of any description in it. There were sixteen men, women, and children lying on the floor, without covering. Some of them were half naked. For this miserable shelter, each lodger paid a penny. The stench was intolerable, and the place had not been cleaned out for some time.'

"If the nightly inmates of these dens are added to the tramps who seek lodging in the vagrant-wards of the workhouses, we shall find that there are at least between 40,000 and 50,000 tramps who are daily infesting our roads and streets!"—Vol. i. 431.

In the agricultural districts, whole families, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, sleep together, and here we find a source of extraordinary immorality. "The accounts we receive," says Mr. Kay—

"From all parts of the country show that these miserable cottages are crowded to an extreme, and that the crowding is progressively increasing. People of both sexes, and of all ages, both married and unmarried—parents, brothers, sisters, and strangers—sleep in the same rooms and often in the same beds. One gentleman tells us of six people of different sexes and ages, two of whom were man and wife, sleeping in the same bed, three with their heads at the top and three with their heads at the foot of the bed. Another tells us of adult uncles and nieces sleeping in the same room close to each other; another of the uncles and nieces sleeping in the same bed together; another of adult brothers, and sisters sleeping in the same room with a brother and his wife just married; many tell us of adult brothers and sisters sleeping in the same beds; another tells us of rooms so filled with beds that there is no space between them, but that brothers, sisters, and parents crawl over each other half naked in order to get to their respective resting-places; another of its being common for men and women, not being relations, to undress together in the same room, without any feeling of its being indelicate; another of cases where women have been delivered in bed-rooms crowded with men, young women, and children; and others mention facts of these crowded bed-rooms much too horrible to be alluded to. Nor are these solitary instances, but similar reports are given by gentlemen writing in ALL parts of the country.

"The miserable character of the houses of our peasantry, is, of itself, and independently of the causes which have made the houses so wretched, degrading and demoralising the poor of our rural districts in a fearful manner. It stimulates the unhealthy and unnatural increase of population. The young peasants from their earliest years are accustomed to sleep in the same bed-rooms with people of both sexes, and with both married and unmarried persons. They therefore lose all sense of the indelicacy of such a life. They know, too, that they can gain nothing by deferring their marriages and by saving; that it is impossible for them to obtain better houses by so doing; and that in many cases they must wait many years before they could obtain a separate house of any sort. They feel that if they defer their marriage for ten or fifteen years, they will be at the end of that period in just the same position as before, and no better off for their waiting. Having then lost all hope of any improvement of their social situation, and all sense of the indelicacy of taking a wife home to the bedroom already occupied by parents, brothers, and sisters, they marry early in life,—often, if not generally, before the age of twenty,—and very often occupy, for the first part of their married life, another bed in the already crowded sleeping-room of their parents! In this way the morality of the peasants is destroyed; the numbers of this degraded population are unnaturally increased, and their means of subsistence are diminished by the increasing competition of their increasing numbers."—Vol. i. 472.

A necessary consequence of this demoralization is that infanticide prevails to a degree unknown in any other part of the civilized world. The London Leader informs its readers that upon a recent occasion—

"It was declared by the coroner of Leeds, and assented to as probable by the surgeon, that there were, as near as could be calculated, about three hundred children put to death yearly in Leeds alone that were not registered by the law. In other words, three hundred infants were murdered to avoid the consequences of their living, and these murders, as the coroner said, are never detected."

The reader may now advantageously turn to the account of the state of education in Leeds, already given,[136] with a view to ascertain the intellectual condition of the women guilty of the foul and unnatural crime of child-murder. Doing so, he will find that out of eighteen hundred and fifty that were married there were one thousand and twenty who could not sign their names—and this in the centre of civilization in the middle of the nineteenth century!

But a short time since, the Morning Chronicle gave its readers a list of twenty-two trials, for child-murder alone, that had been reported in its columns, and these were stated to be but one-half of those that had taken place in the short period of twenty-seven days! On the same occasion it stated that although English ruffianism had "not taken to the knife," it had

"Advanced in the devilish accomplishment of biting off noses and scooping out eyes. Kicking a man to death while he is down," it continued, "or treating, a wife in the same way—stamping on an enemy or a paramour with hobnailed boots—smashing a woman's head with a hand-iron—these atrocities, which are of almost daily occurrence in our cities, are not so much imputed crimes as they are the extravagant exaggerations of the coarse, brutal, sullen temper of an Englishman, brutified by ignorance and stupefied by drink."

On the same occasion the Chronicle stated that in villages few young people of the present day marry until, as the phrase is, it has "become necessary." It is, it continued, the rural practice to "keep company in a very loose sense, till a cradle is as necessary as a ring." On another, and quite recent occasion, the same journal furnished its readers with the following striking illustration of the state of morals:—

"In one of the recent Dorsetshire cases, [of child murder,] common cause was made by the girls of the county. They attended the trial in large numbers; and we are informed that on the acquittal of the prisoner a general expression of delight was perceptible in the court; and they left the assizes town boasting 'that they might now do as they liked.' We are then, it seems, with all our boasted civilization, relapsing into a barbarous and savage state of society."

Lest it might be supposed that this condition of things had been inherited, the editor stated that—

"This deplorable state of morals was of comparatively recent growth. Old people," he continued, "can often tell the year when the first of such cases occurred in their families; and what a sensation of shame it then excited; while they will also tell us that the difficulty now is to find a lowly couple in village life with whom the rule of decency and Christianity is not the exception. It is a disgraceful fact—and one which education, and especially religious education, has to account for—that a state of morals has grown up in which it can no longer be said that our maidens are given in marriage."

Infanticide is not, however, confined to the unmarried. Burial clubs abound. "In our large provincial towns," says Mr. Kay—

"The poor are in the habit of entering their children in what are called 'burial clubs.' A small sum is paid every year by the parent, and this entitles him to receive from 3£. to 5£. from the club, on the death of the child. Many parents enter their children in several clubs. One man in Manchester has been known to enter his child in nineteen different clubs. On the death of such a child, the parent becomes entitled to receive a large sum of money; and as the burial of the child does not necessarily cost more than 1£., or, at the most, 1£.10s., the parent realizes a considerable sum after all the expenses are paid!

"It has been clearly ascertained, that it is a common practice among the more degraded classes of poor in many of our towns, to enter their infants in these clubs, and then to cause their death either by starvation, ill-usage, or poison! What more horrible symptom of moral degradation can be conceived? One's mind revolts against it, and would fain reject it as a monstrous fiction. But, alas! it seems to be but too true.

"Mr. Chadwick says, 'officers of these burial societies, relieving officers, and others, whose administrative duties put them in communication with the lowest classes in these districts,' (the manufacturing districts,) 'express their moral conviction of the operation of such bounties to produce instances of the visible neglect of children of which they are witnesses. They often say, 'You are not treating that child properly; it will not live: is it in the club?' And the answer corresponds with the impression produced by the sight."—Vol. i. 433.

Commenting on these and numerous other facts of similar kind, the same author says—

"These accounts are really almost too horrible to be believed at all; and were they not given us on the authority of such great experience and benevolence, we should totally discredit them.

"But, alas, they are only too true! There can be no doubt, that a great part of the poorer classes of this country are sunk into such a frightful depth of hoplessness, misery, and utter moral degradation, that even mothers forget their affection for their helpless little offspring, and kill them, as a butcher does his lambs, in order to make money by the murder, and therewith to lessen their pauperism and misery?"—P. 446.

How rapid is the progress of demoralization may be seen from the fact that in the thirty years from 1821 to 1851, the consumption of British spirits increased from 4,125,616 to 9,595,368 gallons, or in a ratio more than double that of the population. The use of opium is also increasing with rapidity.[137] Intemperance and improvidence go hand in hand with each other, and hence arises a necessity for burial clubs for the disposal of the children and the maintenance of the parents.

A recent English journal states that—

"It is estimated that in Manchester there are 1500 'unfortunate females;' that they lead to an annual expenditure of £470,000; and that some 250 of them die, in horror and despair, yearly. In England it is calculated that there are 40,000 houses of ill-fame, and 280,000 prostitutes; and, further, that not less than £8,000,000 are spent annually in these places."

This may, or may not, be exaggerated, but the condition to which are reduced so many of the weaker sex would warrant us in expecting a great decay of morality. When severe labour cannot command a sufficiency of food, can we be surprised that women find themselves forced to resort to prostitution as a means of support?

A committee of gentlemen who had investigated the condition of the sewing-women of London made a report stating that no less than 33,000 of them were "permanently at the starvation point," and were compelled to resort to prostitution as a means of eking out a subsistence. But a few weeks since, the Times informed its readers that shirts were made for a penny a piece by women who found the needles and thread, and the Daily News furnished evidence that hundreds of young women had no choice but between prostitution and making artificial flowers at twopence a day! Young ladies seeking to be governesses, and capable of giving varied instruction, are expected to be satisfied with the wages and treatment of scullions, and find it difficult to obtain situations even on such terms. It is in such facts as these that we must find the causes of those given in the above paragraph.

If we desire to find the character of the young we must look to that of the aged, and especially to that of the mothers. We see here something of the hundreds of thousands of young women who are to supply the future population of England; and if the character of the latter be in accordance with that of the former, with what hope can we look to the future?

Nothing indicates more fully the deterioration resulting from this unceasing struggle for life, than the harsh treatment to which are subjected persons who need aid in their distress. A case of this kind, furnished by the Times, as occurring at the Lambeth workhouse, so strongly indicates the decay of kind and generous feeling, that, long as it is, it is here given:—

"A poor creature, a young English girl—to be sure, she is not a black—a parcel of drenched rags clinging to her trembling form, every mark of agony and despair in her countenance, lifts her hand to the bell. She rings once and again, and at length the door porter appears, accompanied by a person holding a situation under the guardians—his name is Brooke—and he is a policeman. She is starving, she is pregnant, and almost in the pains of labour, but the stern officials will not take her in. Why? Because she had been in the workhouse until Tuesday morning last, and had then been discharged by 'order of the guardians.' Nor is this all. The tale of parochial bounty is not yet half told out. During that long wet Tuesday she wandered about. She had not a friend in this great town to whom she could apply for the smallest assistance, and on Tuesday night she came back to implore once more the kindly shelter of the parish workhouse. For yet that night she was taken in, but the next morning cast forth into the world again with a piece of dry bread in her hand. On Wednesday the same scene was renewed—the same fruitless casting about for food and shelter, the same disappointment, and the same despair. But parochial bounty can only go thus far, and no farther. Charity herself was worn out with the importunity of this persevering pauper, and on Thursday night the doors of the parish workhouse were finally and sternly shut in her face.

"But she was not alone in her sufferings. You might have supposed that the misery of London—enormous as the amount of London misery undoubtedly is—could have shown no counterpart to the frightful position of this unfortunate creature—without a home, without a friend, without a character, without a shelter, without a bite of food—betrayed by her seducer, and the mark for the last twelve hours of the floodgates of heaven. * * * Can it be there are two of them? Yes! Another young woman, precisely in the same situation, knocks at the same workhouse door, and is refused admittance by the same stern guardians of the ratepayers' pockets. The two unfortunates club their anguish and their despair together, and set forth in quest of some archway or place of shelter, beneath which they may crouch until the gas-lamps are put out, and the day breaks once more upon their sufferings. Well, on they roamed, until one of the two, Sarah Sherford, was actually seized with the pangs of labour, when they resolved to stagger back to the workhouse; but again the door was shut in their faces. What was to be done? They were driven away from the house, and moved slowly along, with many a pause of agony, no doubt, until they met with a policeman, one Daniel Donovan, who directed them to a coffee-house where they might hope to get shelter. The coffee-house did not open till 2 o'clock, when they had two hours' shelter. But at that hour they were again cast out, as the keeper was obliged to come into the street with his stall and attend to it. 'At this time (we will here copy the language of our report) Sherford's labour pains had considerably increased, and they again spoke to the same policeman, Donovan, and told him that, unless she was taken into the workhouse or some other place, she must give birth to her infant in the street.' Daniel Donovan accordingly conveyed the two unfortunate creatures to the workhouse once more, at 4 o'clock in the morning. 'The policeman on duty there,' said this witness, 'told him that they had been there before, and seemed to have some hesitation about admitting them, but on being told that one was in the pains of labour, he let them in.'"

What slavery can be worse than this? Here are young women, women in distress, starving and almost in the pains of labour, driven about from post to pillar, and from pillar to post, by day and by night, totally unable to obtain the smallest aid. Assuredly it would be difficult to find any thing to equal this in any other country claiming to rank among the civilized nations of the world.

At the moment of writing this page, an English journal furnishes a case of death from starvation, and closes its account with the following paragraph, strikingly illustrative of the state of things which naturally arises where every man is "trying to live by snatching the bread from his neighbour's mouth."

"It is hardly possible to conceive a more horrible case. A stalwart, strong-framed man, in the prime of life—his long pilgrimage of martyrdom from London to Stoney-Stratford—his wretched appeals for help to the "civilization" around him—his seven days fast—his brutal abandonment by his fellow-men—his seeking shelter and being driven from resting-place to resting-place—the crowning inhumanity of the person named Slade and the patient, miserable death of the worn-out man—are a picture perfectly astonishing to contemplate.

 "No doubt he invaded the rights of property, when he sought shelter
 in the shed and in the lone barn!!!"

The recent developments in regard to Bethlem Hospital are thus described:—

"Some of the cases of cruelty brought to light by the examiners are almost too revolting to describe. It appears that the incurables are lodged in cells partially under ground, where their only conches are troughs filled with straw and covered with a blanket. On these miserable beds, worse than many a man gives to his horse or dog, the victims lie in the coldest weather, without night-clothes, frequently creeping into the straw in order to keep warm. These poor unfortunates also are often fed in a way as disgusting as it is cruel, being laid on their backs, and held down by one of the nurses, while another forces into the mouth the bread and milk which is their allotted food. This revolting practice is adopted to save time, for it was proved on oath that patients, thus treated, ate their meals by themselves, if allowed sufficient leisure. The imbecile patients, instead of being bathed with decency, as humanity and health demands, are thrown on the stone-floor, in a state of nudity, and there mopped by the nurses. Such things would seem incredible, if they had not been proved on oath. Some who were not incurable, having been treated in this manner, exposed these atrocities, after their recovery; and the result was an investigation, which led to the discovery of the abominable manner in which this vast charity has been administered."

These things are a necessary consequence of an universal trading spirit. For the first time in the annals of the world it has been proclaimed in England that the paramount object of desire with the people of a great and Christian nation is to buy cheaply and sell dearly; and when men find themselves, in self-defence, compelled to beat down the poor sewing-woman to a penny for making a shirt, or the poor flower-girl to a scale of wages so low that she must resort to prostitution for the purpose of supporting life, they can neither be expected to be charitable themselves, nor to tolerate much charity in the public officers charged with the expenditure of their contributions. There is consequently everywhere to be seen a degree of harshness in the treatment of those who have the misfortune to be poor, and a degree of contempt in the mode of speech adopted in relation to them, totally incompatible with the idea of advance in real civilization.

* * * * *

The facts thus far given rest, as the reader will have seen, on the highest English authority. It is scarcely possible to study them without arriving at the conclusion that the labouring people of England are gradually losing all control over the disposition of their own labour—or in other words, that they are becoming enslaved—and that with the decay of freedom there has been a decay of morality, such as has been observed in every other country similarly circumstanced. To ascertain the cause of this we must refer again to Adam Smith, who tells us that—

"No equal quantity of productive labour or capital employed in manufacture can ever occasion so great a reproduction as if it were employed in agriculture. In these, nature does nothing, man does all, and the reproduction must always be proportioned to the strength of the agents that occasion it. The capital employed in agriculture, therefore, not only puts into motion a greater quantity of productive labour than any equal capital employed in manufacture; but, in proportion, too, to the quantity of productive labour which it employs, it adds a much greater value to the annual value of the land and labour of the country, to the real wealth and revenue of its inhabitants. Of all the ways which a capital can be employed, it is by far the most advantageous to society."

This is the starting point of his whole system, and is directly the opposite of that from which starts the modern English politico-economical school that professes to follow in his footsteps, as will now be shown. The passage here given, which really constitutes the base upon which rests the whole structure of Dr. Smith's work, is regarded by Mr. McCulloch as "the most objectionable" one in it, and he expresses great surprise that "so acute and sagacious a reasoner should have maintained a doctrine so manifestly erroneous." "So far indeed," says that gentleman—

"Is it from being true that nature does much for man in agriculture, and nothing for manufactures, that the fact is more nearly the reverse. There are no limits to the bounty of nature in manufactures; but there are limits, and those not very remote, to her bounty in agriculture. The greatest possible amount of capital might be expended in the construction of steam-engines, or of any other sort of machinery, and, after they had been multiplied indefinitely, the last would be as prompt and efficient in producing commodities and saving labour as the first. Such, however, is not the case with the soil. Lands of the first quality are speedily exhausted; and it is impossible to apply capital indefinitely even to the best soils, without obtaining from it a constantly diminishing rate of profit."—Principles of Political Economy.

The error here results from the general error of Mr. Ricardo's system, which places the poor cultivator among the rich soils of the swamps and river-bottoms, and sends his rich successors to the poor soils of the hills,—being directly the reverse of what has happened in every country of the world, in every county in England, and on every farm in each and all of those counties.[138] Had he not been misled by the idea of "the constantly increasing sterility of the soil," Mr. McCulloch could not have failed to see that the only advantage resulting from the use of the steam-engine, or the loom, or any other machine in use for the conversion of the products of the earth, was, that it diminished the quantity of labour required to be so applied, and increased the quantity that might be given to the work of production.

It is quite true that wheelbarrows and carts, wagons and ships, may be increased indefinitely; but of what use can they possibly be, unless the things to be carried be first produced, and whence can those things be obtained except from the earth? The grist-mill is useful, provided there is grain to be ground, but not otherwise. The cotton-mill would be useless unless the cotton was first produced. Agriculture must precede manufactures, and last of all, says Dr. Smith, comes foreign commerce.[139]

The reader has had before him a passage from Mr. J.S. Mill, in which that gentleman says that "if the law [of the occupation of the land] were different, almost all the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would be different from what they now are." In the days of Adam Smith it had not yet been suggested that men began by the cultivation of rich soils, and then passed to poor ones, with constantly diminishing power to obtain food. Population, therefore, had not come to be regarded as "a nuisance" to be abated by any measures, however revolting, and imposing upon Christian men the necessity of hardening their hearts, and permitting their fellow-men to suffer every extremity of poverty and distress "short of absolute death," with a view to bring about a necessity for refraining to gratify that natural inclination which leads men and women to associate in the manner tending to promote the growth of numbers and the development of the best feelings of the human heart. It was then considered right that men and women should marry, and increase of population was regarded as evidence of increased wealth and strength. Dr. Smith, therefore, looked at the affairs of the world as they were, and he saw that the production of commodities not only preceded their conversion and exchange, but that in the work of production the earth aided man by increasing the quantity of things to, be consumed; whereas labour applied in other ways could change them only in their form or in their place, making no addition to their quantity. He, therefore, saw clearly that the nearer the spinner and the weaver came to the producer of food and wool, the more would be the quantity of food and cloth to be divided between them; and thus was he led to see how great an act of injustice it was on the part of his countrymen to endeavour to compel the people of the world to send their raw materials to them to be converted, at such vast loss of transportation. He had no faith in the productive power of ships or wagons. He knew that the barrel of flour or the bale of cotton, put into the ship, came out a barrel of flour or a bale of cotton, the weight of neither having been increased by the labour employed in transporting it from this place of production to that of consumption. He saw clearly that to place the consumer by the side of the producer was to economize labour and aid production, and therefore to increase the power to trade. He was, therefore, in favour of the local application of labour and capital, by aid of which towns should grow up in the midst of producers of food; and he believed that if "human institutions" had not been at war with the best interests of man, those towns would "nowhere have increased beyond what, the improvement and cultivation of the territory in which they were situated could support." Widely different is all this from the system which builds up London, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham, to be the manufacturing centres of the world, and urges upon all nations the adoption of a system looking directly to their maintenance and increase!

Directly opposed in this respect to Dr. Smith, Mr. McCulloch has unbounded faith in the productive power of ships and wagons. To him—

"It is plain that the capital and labour employed in carrying commodities from where they are to be produced to where they are to be consumed, and in dividing them into minute portions so as to fit the wants of consumers, are really as productive as if they were employed in agriculture or in manufactures."—Principles, 166.

The man who carries the food adds, as he seems to think, as much to the quantity to be consumed as did the one who ploughed the ground and sowed the seed; and he who stands at the counter measuring cloth adds as much to the quantity of cloth as did he who produced it. No benefit, in his view, results from any saving of the labour of transportation or exchange. He has, therefore, no faith in the advantage to be derived from the local application of labour or capital. He believes that it matters nothing to the farmer of Ireland whether his food be consumed on the farm or at a distance from it—whether his grass be fed on the land or carried to market—whether the manure be returned to the land or wasted on the road—whether, of course, the land be impoverished or enriched. He is even disposed to believe that it is frequently more to the advantage of the people of that country that the food there produced should be divided among the labourers of France or Italy than among themselves.[140]

He believes in the advantage of large manufacturing towns at a distance from those who produce the food and raw materials of manufacture; and that perfect freedom of trade consists in the quiet submission of the farmers and planters of the world to the working of a system which Dr. Smith, regarded as tending so greatly to "the discouragement of agriculture," that it was the main object of his work to teach the people of Britain that it was not more unjust to others than injurious to themselves.

In a work just issued from the press, Mr. McCulloch tells his readers that—

"For the reasons now stated, a village built in the immediate vicinity of a gentleman's seat generally declines on his becoming an absentee. That, however, is in most cases any thing but an injury. The inhabitants of such villages are generally poor, needy dependants, destitute of any invention, and without any wish to distinguish themselves. But when the proprietors are elsewhere, they are forced to trust to their own resources, and either establish some sort of manufacture, or resort to those manufacturing and commercial cities where there is always a ready demand for labourers, and where every latent spark of genius is sure to be elicited. Although, therefore, it be certainly true that absenteeism has a tendency to reduce the villages which are found in the neighbourhood of the residences of extensive proprietors, it is not on that account prejudicial to the country at large, but the reverse."[141]

It is here seen that the people who own large estates are supposed to be surrounded by "poor and needy dependants," who are to be stimulated to exertion by the pressure of want, and that this pressure is to be produced by the absenteeism of the proprietor. We have here the master administering the lash to his poor slave, and the only difference between the English master and the Jamaica one appears to be, that absenteeism in the one case forces the poor labourer to seek the lanes and alleys of a great city, and in the other causes him to be worked to death. The slavery of Ireland, Jamaica, and India is a natural consequence of the absenteeism of the great land-owners; and the larger the properties, the greater must be the tendency to absenteeism, centralization, and slavery; and yet Mr. McCulloch assures his readers that

"The advantage of preserving large estates from being frittered down by a scheme of equal division is not limited to its effects on the younger children of their owners. It raises universally the standard of competence, and gives new force to the springs which set industry in motion. The manner of living in great landlords is that in which every one is ambitious of being able to indulge; and their habits of expense, though somewhat injurious to themselves, act as powerful incentives to the ingenuity and enterprise of other classes, who never think their fortunes sufficiently ample unless they will enable them to emulate the splendour of the richest landlords; so that the custom of primogeniture seems to render all classes more industrious, and to augment at the same time the mass of wealth and the scale of enjoyment."— Principles.

The modern system tends necessarily to the consolidation of land, and the more completely that object can be attained, the greater must, be "the splendour of the richest landlords," the greater the habits of expense among the few, the greater their power to absent themselves, the greater the power of the rapacious middleman or agent, the greater the poverty and squalor of "the poor and needy dependants," and the greater the necessity for seeking shelter in the cellars of Manchester, the wynds of Glasgow, or the brothels of London and Liverpool; but the larger must be the supply of the commodity called "cheap labour." In other words, slaves will be more numerous, and masters will be more able to decide on what shall be the employment of the labourer, and what shall be its reward.

Adam Smith knew nothing of all this. He saw that capital was always best managed by its owner, and therefore had no faith in a universal system of agencies. He saw that the little proprietor was by far the greatest improver, and he had no belief in the advantage of great farmers surrounded by day-labourers. He believed in the advantage of making twelve exchanges in a year in place of one, and he saw clearly that the nearer the consumer could come to the producer the larger and more profitable would be commerce. He therefore taught that the workman should go to the place where, food being abundant, moderate labour would command much food. His successors teach that the food should come to the place where, men being abundant and food scarce, much labour will command little food, and that when population has thus been rendered superabundant, the surplus should go abroad to raise more food for the supply of those they left behind. The one teaches the concentration of man, and the local division of labour. The other, the dispersion of man, and the territorial division of labour. They differ thus in every thing, except that they both use the word free trade—but with reference to totally distinct ideas. With the one, COMMERCE has that enlarged signification which embraces every description of intercourse resulting from the exercise of "man's natural inclination" for association, while with the other TRADE has reference to no idea, beyond that of the mere pedler who buys in the cheapest market and sells in the dearest one. The system of the one is perfectly harmonious, and tends toward peace among men. The other is a mass of discords, tending toward war among the men and the nations of the earth.

As ordinarily used, the word Commerce has scarcely any signification except that of trade with distant men, and yet that is the least profitable commerce that can be maintained,—as the reader may satisfy himself if he will reflect that when the miller and the farmer are near neighbours they divide between them all the flour that is made, whereas, when they are widely separated, a third man, the carrier, intervenes between them and takes a large portion of it, leaving less to be divided between those who raise the wheat and those who convert it into flour. The more perfect the power of association the greater must be the power to maintain commerce, for every act of association is an act of commerce, as it is proposed now to show, beginning at the beginning, in the family, which long precedes the nation. Doing so, we find the husband exchanging his services in the raising of food and the materials of clothing, for those of his wife, employed in the preparation of food for the table, and the conversion of raw materials into clothing,—and here it is we find the greatest of all trades. Of all the labour employed on the farms and in the farm-houses of the Union, we should, could we have an accurate statement, find that the proportion of its products exchanged beyond their own limits, scarcely exceeded one-third, and was certainly far less than one-half, the remainder being given to the raising of food and raw materials for their own consumption, and the conversion of that food and those materials into the forms fitting them for their own uses.

At the next step we find ourselves in the little community, of which the owner of this farm constitutes a portion; and here we find the farmer exchanging his wheat with one neighbour for a day's labour—the use of his wagon and his horse for other days of labour—his potatoes with a third for the shoeing of his horse, and with a fourth for the shoeing of himself and his children, or the making of his coat. On one day he or his family have labour to spare, and they pass it off to a neighbour to be repaid by him in labour on another day. One requires aid in the spring, the other in the autumn; one gives a day's labour in hauling lumber, in exchange for that of another, employed in mining coal or iron ore. Another trades the labour that has been employed in the purchase of a plough for that of his neighbour which had been applied to the purchase of a cradle. Exchanges being thus made on the spot, from hour to hour and from day to day, with little or no intervention of persons whose business is trade, their amount is large, and, combined with those of the family, equals probably four-fifths of the total product of the labour of the community, leaving not more than one-fifth to be traded off with distant men; and this proportion is often greatly diminished as with increasing population and wealth a market is made on the land for the products of the land.

This little community forms part of a larger one, styled a nation, the members of which are distant hundreds or thousands of miles from each other, and here we find difficulties tending greatly to limit the power to trade. The man in latitude 40° may have labour to sell for which he can find no purchaser, while he who lives in latitude 50° is at the moment grieving to see his crop perish on the ground for want of aid in harvest. The first may have potatoes rotting, and his wagon and horses idle, while the second may need potatoes, and have his lumber on his hands for want of means of transportation—yet distance forbids exchange between them.

Again, this nation forms part of a world, the inhabitants of which are distant tens of thousands of miles from each other, and totally unable to effect exchanges of labour, or even of commodities, except of certain kinds that will bear transportation to distant markets. Commerce tends, therefore, to diminish in its amount with every circumstance tending to increase the necessity for going to a distance, and to increase in amount with every one tending to diminish the distance within which it must be maintained. As it now stands with the great farming interest of the Union, the proportions are probably as follows:—

    Exchanges in the family………………. 55 per cent.
        " in the neighbourhood………… 25 "
        " in the nation………………. 15 "
        " with other nations………….. 5 "
    Total……………………………… 100

It will now be obvious that any law, domestic or foreign, tending to interfere with the exchanges of the family or the neighbourhood, would be of more serious importance than one that should, to the same extent, affect those with the rest of the nation, and that one which should affect the trade of one part of the nation with another, would be more injurious than one which should tend to limit the trade with distant nations. Japan refuses to have intercourse with either Europe or America, yet this total interdiction of trade with a great empire is less important to the farmers of the Union than would be the imposition of a duty of one farthing a bushel upon the vegetable food raised on their farms to be consumed in their families.

The great trade is the home trade, and the greater the tendency to the performance of trade at home the more rapid will be the increase of prosperity, and the greater the power to effect exchanges abroad. The reason of this is to be found in the fact that the power of production increases with the power of combined exertion, and all combination is an exchange of labour for labour, the exchange being made at home. The more exchanges are thus effected the smaller is the number of the men, wagons, ships, or sailors employed in making them, and the greater the number of persons employed in the work of production, with increase in the quantity of commodities produced, and the power to exchange grows with the power to produce, while the power to produce diminishes with every increase in the necessity for exchange. Again, when the work of exchange is performed at home, the power of combination facilitates the disposal of a vast amount of labour that would otherwise be wasted, and an infinite number of things that would otherwise have no value whatever, but which, combined with the labour that is saved, are quite sufficient to make one community rich by comparison with another in which such savings cannot be effected. Virginia wastes more labour and more commodities that would have value in New England, than would pay five times over for all the cloth and iron she consumes.

Again, the quantity of capital required for effecting exchanges tends to diminish as commerce comes nearer home. The ship that goes to China performs no more exchanges in a year than the canal-boat that trades from city to city performs in a month; and the little and inexpensive railroad car passing from village to village may perform almost twice as many as the fine packet-ship that has cost ninety or a hundred thousand dollars. With the extension of the home trade, labour and capital become, therefore, more productive of commodities required for the support and comfort of man, and the wages of the labourer and the profits of the capitalist tend to increase, and commerce tends still further to increase. On the other hand, with the diminution of the power to effect exchanges at home, labour and capital become less productive of commodities; the wages of the labourer and the profits of the capitalist tend to decrease, and trade tends still further to diminish. All this will be found fully exemplified among ourselves on a comparison of the years 1835-36 with 1841-42, while the contrary and upward tendency is exemplified by the years 1845-6 and 7, as compared with 1841-2.

The fashionable doctrine of our day is, however, that the prosperity of a nation is to be measured by the amount of its trade with people, who are distant, as manifested by custom-house returns, and not by the quantity of exchanges among persons who live near each other, and who trade without the intervention of ships, and with little need of steamboats or wagons. If the trade of a neighbourhood be closed by the failure of a furnace or a mill, and the workman be thus deprived of the power to trade off the labour of himself or his children, or the farmer deprived of the power to trade off his food, consolation is found in the increased quantity of exports—itself, perhaps, the direct consequence of a diminished ability to consume at home. If canal-boats cease to be built, the nation is deemed to be enriched by the substitution of ocean steamers requiring fifty times the capital for the performance of the same quantity of exchanges. If the failure of mills and furnaces causes men to be thrown out of employment, the remedy is to be found, not in the revisal of the measures that have produced these effects, but in the exportation of the men themselves to distant climes, thus producing a necessity for the permanent use of ships instead of canal-boats, with diminished power to maintain trade, and every increase of this necessity is regarded as an evidence of growing wealth and power.

The whole tendency of modern commercial policy is to the substitution of the distant market for the near one. England exports her people to Australia that they may there grow the wool that might be grown at home more cheaply; and we export to California, by hundreds of thousands, men who enjoy themselves in hunting gold, leaving behind them untouched the real gold-mines—those of coal and iron—in which their labour would be thrice more productive. The reports of a late Secretary of the Treasury abound in suggestions as to the value of the distant trade. Steam-ships were, he thought, needed to enable us to obtain the control of the commerce of China and Japan. "With our front on both oceans and the gulf," it was thought, "we might secure this commerce, and with it, in time, command the trade of the world." England, not to be outdone in this race for "the commerce of the world," adds steadily to her fleet of ocean steamers, and the government contributes its aid for their maintenance, by the payment of enormous sums withdrawn from the people at home, and diminishing the home market to thrice the extent that it increases the foreign one. The latest accounts inform us of new arrangements about to be made with a view to competition with this country for the passenger traffic to and within the tropics, while the greatest of all trades now left to British ships is represented to be the transport of British men, women, and children, so heavily taxed at home for the maintenance of this very system that they are compelled to seek an asylum abroad. In all this there is nothing like freedom of trade, or freedom of man; as the only real difference between the freeman and the slave is, that the former exchanges himself, his labour and his products, while the latter must permit another to do it for him.

Mr. McCulloch regards himself as a disciple of Adam Smith, and so does Lord John Russell. We, too, are his disciple, but in The Wealth of Nations, can find no warrant for the system advocated by either. The system of Dr. Smith tended to the production of that natural freedom of trade, each step toward which would have been attended with improvement in the condition of the people, and increase in the power to trade, thus affording proof conclusive of the soundness of the doctrine; whereas every step in the direction now known as free trade is attended with deterioration of condition, and increased necessity for trade, with diminished power to trade. Those who profess to be his followers and suppose that they are carrying out his principles, find results directly the reverse of their anticipations; and the reason for this may readily be found in the fact that the English school of political economists long since repudiated the whole of the system of Dr. Smith, retaining of it little more than the mere words "free trade."

The basis of all commerce is to be found in production, and therefore it was that Dr. Smith looked upon agriculture, the science of production, as the first pursuit of man, and manufactures and commerce as beneficial only to the extent that they tended to aid agriculture and increase the quantity of commodities to be converted or exchanged, preparatory to their being consumed. He held, therefore, that the return to labour would be greater in a trade in which exchanges could be made once a month than in another in which they could only be made once in a year, and he was opposed to the system then in vogue, because it had, "in all cases," turned trade,

"From a foreign trade of consumption with a neighbouring, into one with a more distant country; in many cases, from a direct foreign trade of consumption, into a round-about one; and in some cases, from all foreign trade of consumption, into a carrying trade. It has in all cases, therefore," he continues, "turned it from a direction in which it would have maintained a greater quantity of productive labour, into one in which it can maintain a much smaller quantity."

All this is directly the reverse of what is taught by the modern British economists; and we have thus two distinct schools, that of Adam Smith and that of his successors. The one taught that labour directly applied to production was most advantageous, and that by bringing the consumer to take his place by the side of the producer, production and the consequent power to trade would be increased. The other teaches, that every increase of capital or labour applied to production must be attended with diminished return, whereas ships and steam-engines may be increased ad infinitum without such diminution: the necessary inference from which is, that the more widely the consumer and the producer are separated, with increased necessity for the use of ships and engines, the more advantageously labour will be applied, and the greater will be the power to trade. The two systems start from a different base, and tend in an opposite direction, and yet the modern school claims Dr. Smith as founder. While teaching a theory of production totally different, Mr. McCulloch informs us that "the fundamental principles on which the production of wealth depends" were established by Dr. Smith, "beyond the reach of cavil or dispute."

The difference between the two schools may be thus illustrated: Dr.
Smith regarded commerce as forming a true pyramid, thus—

                         Exchanges abroad.
                        Exchanges at home.
                   Conversion into cloth and iron.
              Production of food and other raw materials.

This is in exact accordance with what we know to be true; but according to the modern school, commerce forms an inverted pyramid, thus—

                    Exchanges with distant men.
                        Exchanges at home.

The difference between these figures is great, but not greater than that between two systems, the one of which regards the earth as the great and perpetually improving machine to which the labour of man may be profitably applied, while the other gives precedence to those very minute and perpetually deteriorating portions of it which go to the construction of ships, wagons, and steam-engines. An examination of these figures will perhaps enable the reader to understand the cause of the unsteadiness observed wherever the modern system is adopted.

* * * * *

It will be easy now to see why it is that the commercial policy of England has always been so diametrically opposed to that advocated by the author of The Wealth of Nations. He saw clearly that the man and the easily transported spindle should go to the food and the cotton, and that, when once there, 'they were there for ever; whereas the bulky food and cotton might be transported to the man and the spindle for a thousand years, and that the necessity for transportation in the thousand and first would be as great as it had been in the first; and that the more transportation was needed, the less food and cloth would fall to the share of both producer and consumer. His countrymen denied the truth of this, and from that day to the present they have endeavoured to prevent the other nations of the world from obtaining machinery of any kind that would enable them to obtain the aid of those natural agents which they themselves regard as more useful than the earth itself. "The power of water," says Mr. McCulloch—

"And of wind, which move our machinery, support our ships, and impel them over the deep—the pressure of the atmosphere, and the elasticity of steam, which enables us to work the most powerful engines, are they not the spontaneous gifts of nature? Machinery is advantageous only because it gives us the means of pressing some of the powers of nature into our service, and of making them perform the principal part of what, we must otherwise have wholly performed ourselves. In navigation is it possible to doubt that the powers of nature—the buoyancy of the water, the impulse of the wind, and the polarity of the magnet—contribute fully as much as the labours of the sailor to waft our ships from one hemisphere to another? In bleaching and fermentation the whole processes are carried on by natural agents. And it is to the effects of heat in softening and melting metals, in preparing our food, and in warming our houses, that we owe many of our most powerful and convenient instruments, and that those northern climates have been made to afford a comfortable habitation."—Principles, 165.

This is all most true, but what does it prove in regard to British policy? Has not its object been that of preventing the people of the world from availing themselves of the vast deposites, of iron ore and of fuel throughout the earth, and thus to deprive them of the power to call to their aid the pressure of the atmosphere and the elasticity of steam? Has it not looked to depriving them of all power to avail themselves of the natural agents required in the processes of bleaching and fermentation, in softening woods, and melting metals, and was not that the object had in view by a distinguished statesman, since Chancellor of England, when he said, that "the country could well afford the losses then resulting from the exportation of manufactured goods, as its effect would be to smother in the cradle the manufactures of other nations?" Has not this been the object of every movement of Great Britain since the days of Adam Smith, and does not the following diagram represent exactly what would be the state of affairs if she could carry into full effect her desire to become "the workshop of the world?"

                             \British ships/
    Producers of raw materials\ / Consumers of cloth and iron
       Europe, Asia, Africa > < in Europe, Asia, Africa
           America / \ North and South America
                             / And rails \

Mr. McCulloch insists that agriculture is less profitable than manufactures and trade, and his countrymen insist that all the world outside of England shall be one great farm, leaving to England herself the use of all the various natural agents required in manufactures and commerce, that they may remain poor while she becomes rich. There is in all this a degree of selfishness not to be paralleled, and particularly when we reflect that it involves a necessity on the part of all other nations for abstaining from those scientific pursuits required for the development of the intellect, and which so naturally accompany the habit of association in towns, for the purpose of converting the food, the wool, the hides, and the timber of the farmer into clothing and furniture for his use. It is the policy of barbarism, and directly opposed to any advance in civilization, as will be fully seen when we examine into its working in reference to any particular trade or country.

The annual average production of cotton is probably seventeen hundred millions of pounds, or less than two pounds per head for the population of the world; and certainly not one-tenth of what would be consumed could they find means to pay for it; and not one-tenth of what would be good for them; and yet it is a drug, selling in India at two and three cents per pound, and commanding here at this moment, notwithstanding the abundance of gold, but eight or nine cents, with a certainty that, should we again be favoured, as we were a few years since, with a succession of large crops, it will fall to a lower point than it ever yet has seen: a state of things that could not exist were the people of the world to consume even one-third as much as would be good for them. Why do they not? Why is it that India, with her hundred millions of population, and with her domestic manufacture in a state of ruin, consumes of British cottons to the extent of only sixteen cents per head—or little more, probably, than a couple of yards of cloth? To these questions an answer may perhaps be found upon an examination of the circumstances which govern the consumption of other commodities; for we may be quite certain that cotton obeys precisely the same laws as sugar and coffee, wine and wheat. Such an examination would result in showing that when a commodity is at once produced at or near the place of growth in the form fitting it for use, the consumption is invariably large; and that when it has to go through many and distant hands before being consumed, it is as invariably small. The consumption of sugar on a plantation is large; but if it were needed that before being consumed it should be sent to Holland to be refined, and then brought back again, we may feel well assured that there would not be one pound consumed on any given plantation where now there are twenty, or possibly fifty. The consumption of cotton on the plantation is very small indeed, because, before being consumed, 'it has to be dragged through long and muddy roads to the landing, thence carried to New Orleans, thence to Liverpool, and thence to Manchester, after which the cloth has to be returned, the planter receiving one bale for every five he sent away, and giving the labour of cultivating an acre in exchange for fifty, sixty, or eighty pounds of its product. If, now, the people who raised the cotton were free to call to their aid the various natural agents of whose service it is the object of the British system to deprive them, and if, therefore, the work of converting it into cloth were performed on the ground where it was raised, or in its neighbourhood, is it not clear that the consumption would be largely increased? The people who made the cloth would be the consumers of numerous things raised on the plantation that are now wasted, while the facility of converting such things into cloth would be a bounty on raising them; and thus, while five times the quantity of cotton would be consumed, the real cost—that is, the labour cost—would be less than it is for the smaller quantity now used. So, too, in India. It may be regarded as doubtful if the quantity of cotton to day consumed in that country is one-half what it was half a century since—and for the reason that the number of people now interposed between the consumer and the producer is so great. The consumption of wine in France is enormous, whereas here there is scarcely any consumed; and yet the apparent excess of price is not so great as would warrant us in expecting to find so great a difference. The real cause is not so much to be found in the excess of price, though that is considerable, as in the mode of payment. A peasant in France obtains wine in exchange for much that would be wasted but for the proximity of the wine-vat, and the demand it makes for the labour of himself and others. He raises milk, eggs, and chickens, and he has fruit, cabbages, potatoes, or turnips, commodities that from their bulky or perishable nature cannot be sent to a distance, but can be exchanged at home. The farmer of Ohio cannot exchange his spare labour, or that of his horses, for wine, nor can he pay for it in peaches or strawberries, of which the yield of an acre might produce him hundreds of dollars—nor in potatoes or turnips, of which he can obtain hundreds of bushels; but he must pay in wheat, of which an acre yields him a dozen bushels, one-half of which are eaten up in the process of exchange between him and the wine-grower. Whenever the culture of the grape shall come to be established in that State, and wine shall be made at home, it will be found that the gallons consumed will be almost as numerous as are now the drops. Look where we may, we shall find the same result. Wherever the consumer and the producer are brought into close connection with each other, the increase of consumption is wonderful, even where there is no reduction in the nominal price; and wherever they are separated, the diminution of consumption is equally wonderful, even where there is a reduction of the nominal price—and it is so because the facility of exchange diminishes as the distance increases. A man who has even a single hour's labour to spare may exchange it with his neighbour for as much cotton cloth as would make a shirt; but if the labour market is distant, he may, and will, waste daily as much time as would buy him a whole piece of cotton cloth, and may have to go shirtless while cotton is a drug. When the labour market is near, land acquires value and men become rich and free. When it is distant, land is of little value and men continue poor and enslaved.

Before proceeding further, it would be well for the reader to look around his own neighbourhood, and see how many exchanges are even now made that could not be made by people that were separated even ten or twenty miles from each other, and how many conveniences and comforts are enjoyed in exchange for both labour and commodities that would be wasted but for the existence of direct intercourse between the parties—and, then to satisfy himself if the same law which may be deduced from the small facts of a village neighbourhood, will not be found equally applicable to the great ones of larger communities.

Having reflected upon these things, let him next look at the present condition of the cotton trade, and remark the fact that scarcely any of the wool produced is consumed without first travelling thousands of miles, and passing through almost hundreds of hands. The places of production are India, Egypt, Brazil, the West Indies, and our Southern States. In the first, the manufacture is in a state of ruin. In the second, third, and fourth, it has never been permitted to have an existence; and in the last it has but recently made an effort to struggle into life, but from month to month we hear of the stoppage or destruction of Southern mills, and the day is apparently now not far distant when we shall have again to say that no portion of the cotton crop can be consumed in the cotton-growing region until after it shall have travelled thousands of miles in quest of hands to convert it into cloth.

Why is this? Why is it that the light and easily transported spindle and loom are not placed in and about the cotton fields? The planters have labour, that is now wasted, that would be abundant for the conversion of half their crops, if they could but bring the machinery to the land, instead of taking the produce of the land to the machinery. Once brought there, it would be there for ever; whereas, let them carry the cotton to the spindle as long as they may, the work must still be repeated. Again, why is it that the people of India, to whom the world was so long indebted for all its cotton goods, have not only ceased to supply distant countries, but have actually ceased to spin yarn or make cloth for themselves? Why should they carry raw cotton on the backs of bullocks for hundreds of miles, and then send it by sea for thousands of miles, paying freights, commissions, and charges of all kinds to an amount so greatly exceeding the original price, to part with sixty millions of pounds of raw material, to receive in exchange eight or ten millions of pounds of cloth and yarn? Is it not clear that the labour of converting the cotton into yarn is not one-quarter as great as was the labour of raising, the cotton itself? Nevertheless, we here see them giving six or eight pounds of cotton for probably a single one of yarn, while labour unemployed abounds throughout India. Further, Brazil raises cotton, and she has spare labour, and yet she sends her cotton to look for the spindle, instead of bringing the spindle to look for the cotton, as she might so readily do. Why does she so? The answer to these questions is to be found in British legislation, founded on the idea that the mode of securing to the people of England the highest prosperity is to deprive all mankind, outside of her own limits, of the power to mine coal, make iron, construct machinery, or use steam, in aid of their efforts to obtain food, clothing, or any other of the necessaries of life. This system is directly opposed to that advocated by Adam Smith. Not only, said he, is it injurious to other nations, but it must be injurious to yourselves, for it will diminish the productiveness of both labour and capital, and will, at the same time, render you daily more and more dependent upon the operations of other countries, when you should be becoming more independent of them. His warnings were then, as they are now, unheeded; and from his day to the present, England has been engaged in an incessant effort utterly to destroy the manufactures of India, and to crush every attempt elsewhere to establish any competition with her for the purchase of cotton. The reader will determine for himself if this is not a true picture of the operations of the last seventy years. If it is, let him next determine if the tendency of the system is not that of enslaving the producers of cotton, white, brown, and black, and compelling them to carry all their wool to a single market, in which one set of masters dictates the price at which they must sell the raw material and must buy the manufactured one. Could there be a greater tyranny than this?

To fully understand the working of the system in diminishing the power to consume, let us apply elsewhere the same principle, placing in Rochester, on the Falls of the Genesee, a set of corn-millers who had contrived so effectually to crush all attempts to establish mills in other parts of the Middle States, that no man could eat bread that had not travelled up to that place in its most bulky form, coming back in its most compact one, leaving at the mill all the refuse that might have been applied to the fattening of hogs and cattle—and let us suppose that the diagram on the following page represented the corn trade of that portion of the Union.

                       \ Wagons and /
    Producers of food \ / Consumers of food
      in those states > < in those states
                        / \
                       /Rochester mills\

Now, suppose all the grain of half a dozen States had to make its way through such a narrow passage as is above indicated, is it not clear that the owners of roads, wagons, and mills would be masters of the owners of land? Is it not clear that the larger the crops the higher would be freights, and the larger the charge for the use of mills, the smaller would be the price of a bushel of wheat as compared with that of a bag of meal? Would not the farmers find themselves to be mere slaves to the owners of a small quantity of mill machinery? That such would be the case, no one can even for a moment doubt—nor is it at all susceptible of doubt that the establishment of such a system would diminish by one-half the consumption of food, throughout those States, and also the power to produce it, for all the refuse would be fed at and near Rochester, and the manure yielded by it would be totally lost to the farmer who raised the food. The value of both labour and land would thus be greatly diminished. Admitting, for a moment, that such a system existed, what would be the remedy? Would it not be found in an effort to break down the monopoly, and thus to establish among the people the power to trade among themselves without paying, toll to the millers of Rochester? Assuredly it would; and to that end they would be seen uniting among themselves to induce millers to come and settle among them, precisely as we see men every where uniting to bring schools and colleges to their neighbourhood, well assured that a small present outlay is soon made up, even in a pecuniary point of view, in being enabled to keep their children at home while being educated, instead of sending them abroad, there to be boarded and lodged, while food is wasted at home that they might eat, and chambers are empty that they might occupy. Education thus obtained costs a parent almost literally nothing, while that for which a child must go to a distance is so costly that few can obtain it. Precisely so is it with food and with cloth. The mere labour of converting grain into flour is as nothing when compared with that required for its transportation hundreds of miles; and the mere labour required for the conversion of cotton into cloth is as nothing compared with the charges attendant upon its transportation from the plantation to Manchester and back again. Commercial centralization looks, however, to compelling the planter to pay treble the cost of conversion, in the wages and profits of the people employed in transporting and exchanging the cotton.

Admitting that the grain and flour trade were thus centralized, what would be the effect of a succession of large crops, or even of a single one? Would not the roads be covered with wagons whenever they were passable, and even at times when, they were almost impassable? Would not every one be anxious to anticipate the apprehended fall of prices by being early in the market? Would not freights be high? Would not the farmer, on his arrival in Rochester, find that every store-house was filled to overflowing? Would not storage be high? Would he not approach the miller, cap in hand, and would not the latter receive him with his hat on his head? Assuredly such would be the case, and he would hear everywhere of the astonishing extent of "the surplus"—of how rapidly production was exceeding consumption—of the length of time his grain must remain on hand before it could be ground—of the low price of flour, &c. &c.;—and the result would be that the more grain carried to market the less would be carried back, and the less he would be able to consume; and at last he would arrive at the conclusion that the only effect of large crops granted him by the bounty of Heaven was that of enriching the miller at his expense, by compelling him to allow more toll for the privilege of creeping through the hole provided for him by the miller. He would pray for droughts and freshets—for storms and frosts—as the only means of escape from ruin.

The reader may determine for himself if this is not a fair picture of the cotton trade? Do the planters profit by good crops? Assuredly not. The more they send to market the less they receive for it. Do they profit by improvements in the transportation of their commodity? Certainly not. With the growth of railroads, cotton has fallen in price, and will not this day command on the plantation near as much, per pound, as it did before the railroad was invented. In India, the cost of transportation from the place of production to England has fallen in the last forty years sevenpence,[142] and yet the grower of cotton obtains for it one-third less than he did before—receiving now little more than two cents, when before he had from three to four. Who profits by the reduction of cost of transportation and conversion? The man who keeps the toll-gate through which it passes to the world, and who opens it only gradually, so as to permit the increased quantity to pass through slowly, paying largely for the privilege. That all this is perfectly in accordance with the facts of the ease must be obvious to every reader. The planter becomes rich when crops are short, but then the mill-owner makes but little profit. He is almost ruined when crops are large, but then it is that the mill-owner is enriched—and thus it is that the system produces universal discord, whereas under a natural system there would be as perfect harmony of national, as there is of individual interests.

We may now inquire how this would affect the farmers around Rochester. The consumption of the Middle States would be largely diminished because of the heavy expense of transporting the wheat to mill and the flour back again, and this would cause a great increase of the surplus for which a market must be elsewhere found. This, of course, would reduce prices, and prevent increase, if it did not produce large diminution in the value of land. The millers would become millionaires—great men among their poorer neighbours—and they would purchase large farms to be managed by great farmers, and fine houses surrounded by large pleasure-grounds. Land would become everywhere more and more consolidated, because people who could do so would fly from a country in which such a tyranny existed. The demand for labour would diminish as the smaller properties became absorbed. Rochester itself would grow, because it would be filled with cheap labour from the country, seeking employment, and because there would be great numbers of wagoners and their horses to be cared for, while porters innumerable would be engaged in carrying wheat in one direction and flour in another. Hotels would grow large, thieves and prostitutes would abound, and morals would decline. From year to year the millers would become greater men, and the farmers and labourers smaller men, and step by step all would find themselves becoming slaves to the caprices of the owners of a little machinery, the whole cost of which would scarcely exceed the daily loss resulting from the existence of the system. By degrees, the vices of the slave would become more and more apparent. Intemperance would grow, and education would diminish, as the people of the surrounding country became more dependent on the millers for food and clothing in exchange for cheap grain and cheaper labour. The smaller towns would everywhere decline, and from day to day the millers would find it more easy so to direct the affairs of the community as to secure a continuance of their monopoly. Local newspapers would pass away, and in their stead the people throughout the country would be supplied with the Rochester Times, which would assure the farmers that cheap food tended to produce cheaper labour, and the land-owners that if they did not obtain high rents it was their own fault, the defect being in their own bad cultivation—and the more rapid the augmentation of the millers' fortunes, and of the extent of their pleasure-grounds, the greater, they would be assured, must be the prosperity of the whole people; even although the same paper might find itself obliged to inform its readers that the overgrown capital presented it as

"A strange result of the terrible statistics of society, that there was upon an average one person out of twenty of the inhabitants of the luxurious metropolis every day destitute of food and employment, and every night without a place for shelter or repose?"—London Times.

We have here slavery at home as a consequence of the determination, to subject to slavery people abroad. With each step in the growth of the millers' fortunes, and of the splendour of their residences, land would have become consolidated and production would have diminished, and the whole population would have tended more and more to become a mass of mere traders, producing nothing themselves, but buying cheaply and selling dearly, and thus deriving their support from the exercise of the power to tax the unfortunate people forced to trade with them; a state of things in the highest degree adverse to moral, intellectual, or political improvement.

The reader may now turn to the extracts from Mr. McCulloch's works already given, (page 240 ante,) and compare with them this view of the effects of supposed commercial centralization on this side of the Atlantic. Doing so, he will find it there stated that it is to the consolidation of the land, and to the luxury of the style of living of the great landlords, surrounded, as they, "in most cases" are, by "poor and needy dependants," whose necessities finally compel them to seek in large cities a market for their own labour, and that of their wives and children, that we are to look for an augmentation of "the mass of wealth and the scale of enjoyment!" Modern British political economy holds no single idea that is in harmony with the real doctrines of Adam Smith, and yet it claims him as its head!

* * * * *

The reader is requested now to remark—

I. That the system of commercial centralization sought to be established by Great Britain is precisely similar to the one here ascribed to the millers of Rochester, with the difference only, that it has for its object to compel all descriptions of raw produce to pass through England on its way from the consumer and the producer, even when the latter are near neighbours to each other, and England distant many thousand of miles from both.

II. That to carry out that system it was required that all other nations should be prevented from obtaining either the knowledge or the machinery required for enabling them cheaply to mine coal, smelt iron ore, or manufacture machines by aid of which they could command the services of the great natural agents whose value to man is so well described by Mr. McCulloch. (See page 249 ante.)

III. That this was at first accomplished by means of prohibitions, and that it is now maintained by the most strenuous efforts for cheapening labour, and thus depriving the labourer at home of the power to determine for whom he will work or what shall be his wages.

IV. That the more perfectly this system can be carried out, the more entirely must all other nations limit themselves, men, women and children, to the labour of the field, and the lower must be the standard of intellect.

V. That while the number of agriculturists in other countries must thus be increased, the power to consume their own products must be diminished, because of the great increase of the charges between the producer and the consumer.

VI. That this, in turn, must be attended with an increase in the quantity of food and other raw materials thrown on the market of Britain, with great increase in the competition between the foreign and domestic producers for the possession of that market, and great diminution of prices.

VII. That this tends necessarily to "discourage agriculture" in Britain, and to prevent the application of labour to the improvement of the land.

VIII. That it likewise tends to the deterioration of the condition of the foreign agriculturist, who is thus deprived of the power to improve his land, or to increase the quantity of his products.

IX. That the smaller the quantity of commodities produced, the less must be the power to pay for labour, and the less the competition for the purchase of the labourer's services.

X. That with the decline in the demand for labour, the less must be the power of consumption on the part of the labourer, the greater must be the tendency to a glut of foreign and domestic produce, in the general market of the world, and the greater the tendency to a further diminution of the labourer's reward.

XI. That, the greater the quantity of raw produce seeking to pass through the market of England, the greater must be the tendency to a decline in the value of English land, and the larger the charges of the owners of the mills, ships, and shops, through which the produce must pass, and the greater their power of accumulation, at the cost of both labour and land.

XII. That the less the labour applied to the improvement of the soil, the more must the population of the country be driven from off the land, the greater must be the tendency of the latter toward consolidation, and the greater the tendency toward absenteeism and the substitution of great farmers and day-labourers for small proprietors, with further decline in production and in the demand for labour.

XIII. That with the reduction of the country population, local places of exchange must pass away; and that labour and land must decline in power as ships, mills, and their owners become more united and more powerful.

XIV. That the tendency of the whole system is, therefore, toward diminishing the value and the power of land, and toward rendering the labourer a mere slave to the trading community, which obtains from day to day more and more the power to impose taxes at its pleasure, and to centralize in its own hands the direction of the affairs of the nation; to the destruction of local self-government, and to the deterioration of the physical, moral, intellectual, and political condition of the people.

In accordance with these views, an examination of the productive power of the United Kingdom should result in showing that production has not kept pace with population; and that such had been the ease we should be disposed to infer from the increasing demand for cheap labour, and from the decline that has unquestionably taken place in the control of the labourer over his own operations. That the facts are in accordance with this inference the reader may perhaps be disposed to admit after having examined carefully the following figures.

In 1815, now thirty-eight years since, the declared value of the exports of the United Kingdom, of British produce and manufacture, was as follows:—

    Of woollen manufactures…………… £9,381,426
     " cotton " …………… 20,620,000
     " silk " …………… 622,118
     " linen " …………… 1,777,563
    And of other commodities………….. 19,231,684
    Total…………………………… 51,632,791

In the same year there were imported of

    Wool……………………………. 13,634,000 lbs.
    Cotton………………………….. 99,306,000 "
    Silk……………………………. 1,807,000 "
    Flax……………………………. 41,000,000 "
    Grain…………………………… 267,000 qrs.
    Flour…………………………… 202,000 cwts.
    Butter………………………….. 125,000 "
    Cheese………………………….. 106,000 "

If to the raw cotton, wool, silk, and flax that were re-exported in a manufactured state, and to the dyeing materials and other articles required for their manufacture, we now add the whole foreign food, as above shown, we can scarcely make, of foreign commodities re-exported, an amount exceeding twelve, or at most thirteen millions, leaving thirty-eight millions as the value of the British produce exported in that year; and this divided among the people of the United Kingdom would give nearly £2 per head.

In 1851 the exports, were as follows:—

    Manufactures of wool……………….. £10,314,000
      " cotton……………… 30,078,000
      " silk……………….. 1,329,000
      " flax……………….. 5,048,000
    All other commodities………………. 21,723,569
    Total…………………………….. £68,492,569

We see thus that nearly the whole increase that had taken place in the long period of thirty-six years was to be found in four branches of manufacture, the materials of which were wholly drawn from abroad, as is shown in the following statement of imports for that year:—

    Wool……………………………… 83,000,000 lbs.
    Cotton……………………………. 700,000,000 "
    Silk……………………………… 5,020,000 "
    Flax……………………………… 135,000,000 "
    Eggs……………………………… 115,000,000 "
    Oxen, cows, calves, sheep, hogs, &c….. 300,000 "
    Corn……………………………… 8,147,675 qrs.
    Flour…………………………….. 5,384,552 cwts.
    Potatoes………………………….. 635,000 "
    Provisions………………………… 450,000 "
    Butter……………………………. 354,000 "
    Cheese……………………………. 338,000 "
    Hams and lard……………………… 130,000 "

The wool imported was more than was required to produce the cloth exported, and from this it follows that the whole export represented foreign wool. The cotton, silk, flax, dyeing-materials, &c. exported were all foreign, and the food imported was adequate, or nearly so, to feed the people who produced the goods exported. Such being the case, it would follow that the total exports of British and Irish produce could scarcely have amounted to even £15,000,000, and it certainly could not have exceeded that sum—and that would give about 10s. per head, or one-fourth as much as in 1815.

The difference between the two periods is precisely the same as that between the farmer and the shoemaker. The man who, by the labour of himself and sons, is enabled to send to market the equivalent of a thousand bushels of wheat, has first fed himself and them, and therefore he has the whole proceeds of his sales to apply to the purchase of clothing, furniture, or books, or to add to his capital. His neighbour buys food and leather, and sells shoes. He has been fed, and the first appropriation to be made of the proceeds of his sales is to buy more food and leather; and all he has to apply to other purposes is the difference between the price at which he buys and that at which he sells. Admitting that difference to be one-sixth, it would follow that his sales must be six times as large to enable him to have the same value to be applied to the purchase of other commodities than food, or to the increase of his capital. Another neighbour buys and sells wheat, or shoes, at a commission of five per cent., out of which he has to be fed. To enable him to have an amount of gross commissions equal to the farmer's sales, he must do twenty times as much business; and if, we allow one-half of it for the purchase of food, he must do forty times as much to enable him to have the same amount with which to purchase other commodities, or to increase his capital. Precisely so is it with a nation. When it sells its own food and leather, it has fed itself, and may dispose as it will of the whole amount of sales. When it buys food and leather, and sells shoes, it has been fed, and must first pay the producers of those commodities; and all that it can appropriate to the purchase of clothing or furniture, or to the increase, of its capital, is the difference; and, to enable it to have the same amount to be so applied, it must sell six times as much in value. When it acts as a mere buyer and seller of sugar, cotton, cloth, or shoes, it has to be fed out of the differences, and then it may require forty times the amount of sales to yield the same result.

These things being understood, we may now compare the two years above referred to. In the first, 1815, the sales of domestic produce amounted to……………….. £38,600,000

  And if to this we add the difference on
  £13,000,000………………………………. 2,166,667
  We obtain the amount, applicable to the purchase
  of other commodities than food…………….. £40,766,667

In the second, 1851, the sales of domestic produce were ……………………………………. £15,000,000 To which add differences on £53,492,000, say…. 9,000,000 ————— We have, as applicable to other purposes than the purchase of food…………………………. £24,000,000

Divided among the population, of those years, it gives £2 per head in the first, and 16s. in the other; but even this, great as it is, does not represent in its full extent the decline that has taken place. The smaller the change of form made in the commodity imported before exporting it, the more nearly does the business resemble that of the mere trader, and the larger must be the quantity of merchandise passing, to leave behind the same result. In 1815, the export of yarn of any kind was trivial, because other countries were then unprovided with looms. In 1851 the export of mere yarn, upon which the expenditure of British labour had been only that of twisting it, was as follows:—

    Cotton……………………………. 144,000,000 lbs.
    Linen…………………………….. 19,000,000 "
    Silk……………………………… 390,000 "
    Woollen…………………………… 14,800,000 "

The reader will readily perceive that in all these cases the foreign raw material bears a much larger proportion to the value than would have been the case had the exports taken place in the form of cloth. An examination of these facts can scarcely fail to satisfy him how deceptive are any calculations based upon statements of the amount of exports and imports; and yet it is to them we are always referred for evidence of the growing prosperity of England. With every year there must be an increasing tendency in the same direction, as the manufacturers of India are more and more compelled to depend on England for yarn, and as the nations of Europe become more and more enabled to shut out cloth and limit their imports to yarn. From producer, England has become, or is rapidly becoming, a mere trader, and trade has not grown to such an extent as was required to make amends for the change. She is therefore in the position of the man who has substituted a trade of a thousand dollars a year for a production of five hundred. In 1815, the people of the United Kingdom had to divide among themselves, then twenty millions in number, almost forty millions, the value of their surplus products exported to all parts of the earth. In 1851, being nearly thirty millions in number, they had to divide only fifteen millions, whereas had production been maintained, it should have reached sixty millions, or almost the total amount of exports. In place of this vast amount of products for sale, they had only the differences upon an excess trade of £40,000,000, and this can scarcely be estimated at more than eight or ten, toward making up a deficit of forty-five millions. Such being the facts, it will not now be difficult for the reader to understand why it is that there is a decline in the material and moral condition of the people.

How this state of things has been brought about is shown by the steady diminution in the proportion of the population engaged in the work of production. Adam Smith cautioned his countrymen that "if the whole surplus produce of America in grain of all sorts, salt provisions, and fish," were "forced into the market of Great Britain," it would "interfere too much with the prosperity of our own people." He thought it would be a "great discouragement to agriculture." And yet, from that hour to the present, no effort has been spared to increase in all the nations of the world the surplus of raw produce, to be poured into the British market, and thus to produce competition between the producers abroad and the producers at home, to the manifest injury of both. The more the linen manufacture, or those of wool, hemp, or iron, could be discouraged abroad, the greater was the quantity of raw products to be sent to London and Liverpool, and the less the inducement for applying labour to the improvement of English land. For a time, this operation, so far as regarded food, was restrained by the corn-laws; but now the whole system is precisely that which was reprobated by the most profound political economist that Britain has ever produced. Its consequences are seen in the following figures:—In 1811, the proportion of the population of England engaged in agriculture was 35 per cent. In 1841 it had fallen to 25 per cent., and now it can scarcely exceed 22 per cent., and even in 1841 the actual number was less than it had been thirty years before.[143]

Thus driven out from the land, Englishmen had to seek other employment, while the same system was annually driving to England tens of thousands of the poor people of Scotland and Ireland; and thus forced competition for the sale in England of the raw products of the earth produced competition there for the sale of labour; the result of which is seen in the fact that agricultural wages have been from 6s. to 9s. a week, and the labourer has become from year to year more a slave to the caprices of his employer, whether the great farmer or the wealthy owner of mills or furnaces. The total population of the United Kingdom dependent upon agriculture cannot be taken at more than ten millions; and as agricultural wages cannot be estimated at a higher average than 5s. per week, there cannot be, including the earnings of women, more than 6s. per family; and if that be divided among four, it gives 1s. 6d. per head, or £3 18s. per annum, and a total amount, to be divided among ten millions of people, of 40 millions of pounds, or 192 millions of dollars. In reflecting upon this, the reader is requested to bear in mind that it provides wages for every week in the year, whereas throughout a considerable portion of the United Kingdom very much of the time is unoccupied.

Cheap labour has, in every country, gone hand in hand with cheap land. Such having been the case, it may not now be difficult to account for the small value of land when compared with the vast advantages it possesses in being everywhere close to a market in which to exchange its raw products for manufactured ones, and also for manure. The reader has seen the estimate of M. Thunen, one of the best agriculturists of Germany, of the vast difference in the value of land in Mecklenburgh close to market, as compared with that distant from it; but he can everywhere see for himself that that which is close to a city will command thrice as much rent as that distant twenty miles, and ten times as much as that which is five hundred miles distant. Now, almost the whole land of the United Kingdom is in the condition of the best of that here described. The distances are everywhere small, and the roads are, or ought to be, good; and yet the total rental of land, mines, and minerals, is but £55,000,000, and this for an area of 70 millions of acres, giving an average of only about $3.60 per acre, or $9—less than £2,—per head of the population. This is very small indeed, and it tends to show to how great an extent the system must have discouraged agriculture. In 1815, with a population of only twenty millions, the rental amounted, exclusive of houses, mines, minerals, fisheries, &c., to fifty-two and a half millions, and the exports of the produce of British and Irish land were then almost three times as great as they are now, with a population almost one-half greater than it was then.

The very small value of the land of the United Kingdom, when compared with its advantages, can be properly appreciated by the reader only after an examination of the course of things elsewhere. The price of food raised in this country is dependent, almost entirely, on what can be obtained for the very small quantity sent to England. "Mark Lane," as it is said, "governs the world's prices." It does govern them in New York and Philadelphia, where prices must be as much below those of London or Liverpool as the cost of transportation, insurance, and commissions, or there could be no export. Their prices, in turn, govern those of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois, which must always be as much below those of New York as the cost of getting the produce there. If, now, we examine into the mere cost of transporting the average produce of an acre of land from the farm to the market of England, we shall find that it would be far more than the average rental of English land; and yet that rental includes coal, copper, iron, and tin mines that supply a large portion of the world.

Under such circumstances, land in this country should be of very small value, if even of any; and yet the following facts tend to show that the people of Massachusetts, with a population of only 994,000, scattered over a surface of five millions of acres, with a soil so poor that but 2,133,000 are improved, and possessed of no mines of coal, iron, tin, lead, or copper, have, in the short period they have occupied it, acquired rights in land equal, per acre, to those acquired by the people of England in their fertile soils, with their rich mines, in two thousand years. The cash value of the farms of that State in 1850 was $109,000,000, which, divided over the whole surface, would give $22 per acre, and this, at six per cent., would yield $1.32. Add to this the difference between wages of four, six, and eight shillings per week in the United Kingdom, and twenty or twenty-five dollars per month in Massachusetts, and it will be found that the return in the latter is quite equal to that in the former; and yet the price of agricultural produce generally, is as much below that of England as the cost of freight and commission, which alone are greater than the whole rent of English land.

New York has thirty millions of acres, of which only twelve millions have been in any manner improved; and those she has been steadily exhausting, because of the absence of a market on or near the land, such as is possessed by England. She has neither coal nor other mines of any importance, and her factories are few in number; and yet the cash value of farms, as returned by the Marshal, was 554 millions of dollars, and that was certainly less than the real value. If we take the latter at 620 millions, it will gives $50 per acre for the improved land, or an average of $20 for all. Taking the rent at six per cent. on $50, we obtain $3 per acre, or nearly the average of the United Kingdom; and it would be quite reasonable to make the mines and minerals of the latter a set-off against the land that is unimproved.

If the reader desire to understand the cause of the small value, of English land when compared with its vast advantages, he may find it in the following passage:—

"Land-owners possess extensive territories which owe little or nothing to the hand of the improver; where undeveloped sources of production lie wasting and useless in the midst of the most certain and tempting markets of the vast consuming population of this country."—Economist, London.

Unfortunately, however, those markets are small, while the tendency of the whole British system is toward converting the entire earth into one vast farm for their supply, and thus preventing the application of labour to the improvement of land at home. The tendency of prices, whether of land, labour, or their products, is toward a level, and whatever tends to lessen the price of any of those commodities in Ireland, India, Virginia, or Carolina, tends to produce the same effect in England; and we have seen that such is the direct tendency of English policy with regard to the land of all those countries. With decline in value, there must ever be a tendency to consolidation, and thus the policy advocated by the Economist produces the evil of which it so much and so frequently complains.

The profits of farmers are generally estimated at half the rental, which would give for a total of rents and profits about 85 millions; and if to this be added the wages of agricultural labour, we obtain but about 125 millions, of which less than one-third goes to the labourer.[144]

We have here the necessary result of consolidation of land—itself the result of an attempt to compel the whole people of the world to compete with each other in a single and limited market for the sale of raw produce. With every increase of this competition, the small proprietor has found himself less and less able to pay the taxes to which he was subjected, and has finally been obliged to pass into the condition of a day-labourer, to compete with the almost starving Irishman, or the poor native of Scotland, driven into England in search of employment; and hence have resulted the extraordinary facts that in many parts of that country, enjoying, as it does, every advantage except a sound system of trade, men gladly labour for six shillings ($1.44) a week; that women labour in the fields; and that thousands of the latter, destitute of a change of under-clothing, are compelled to go to bed while their chemises are being washed.[145]

Driven from the land by the cheap food and cheap labour of Ireland, the English labourer has to seek the town, and there he finds himself at the mercy of the great manufacturer; and thus, between the tenant-farmer on the one hand, and the large capitalist on the other, he is ground as between the upper and the nether millstone. The result is seen in the facts heretofore given. He loses gradually all self-respect, and he, his wife, and his children become vagrants, and fall on the public for support. Of the wandering life of great numbers of these poor people some idea may be formed from the following statement of Mr. Mayhew[146] :—

"I happened to be in the country a little time back, and it astonished me to find, in a town with a population of 20,800, that no less than 11,000 vagabonds passed through the town in thirteen weeks. We have large classes known in the metropolis as the people of the streets."

It will, however, be said that if cheap corn tend to drive him from employment, he has a compensation in cheaper sugar, cotton, coffee, rum, and other foreign commodities—and such is undoubtedly the case; but he enjoys these things at the cost of his fellow labourers, black, white, and brown, in this country, the West Indies, India, and elsewhere. The destruction of manufactures in this country in 1815 and 1816 drove the whole population to the raising of food, tobacco, and cotton; and a similar operation in India drove the people of that country to the raising of rice, indigo, sugar, and cotton, that must go to the market of England, because of the diminution in the domestic markets for labour or its products. The diminished domestic consumption of India forces her cotton into the one great market, there to compete with that of other countries, and to reduce their prices. It forces the Hindoo to the Mauritius, to aid in destroying the poor negroes of Jamaica, Cuba, and Brazil; but the more the sugar and cotton that must go to the distant market, the higher will be the freights, the lower will be the prices, the larger will be the British revenue, the greater will be the consumption, and the greater will be the "prosperity" of England, but the more enslaved will be the producers of those commodities. Competition for their sale tends to produce low prices, and the more the people of the world, men, women, and children, can be limited to agriculture, the greater must be the necessity for dependence on England for cloth and iron, the higher will be their prices, and the more wretched will be the poor labourer everywhere.

The reader may perhaps understand the working of the system after an examination of the following comparative prices of commodities:—

                               1815. 1852.
                               ——- ——-
    England sells—
      Bar iron, per ton…. £13 5s. 0d. ….. £9 0s. 0d.
      Tin, per cwt……… 7 0 0 ….. 5 2 0
      Copper " ……… 6 5 0 ….. 5 10 0
      Lead " ……… 1 6 6 ….. 1 4 0

    England buys—
      Cotton, per lb……. 0 1 6 ….. 0 0 6
      Sugar, per cwt……. 3 0 0 ….. 1 0 0

While these principal articles of raw produce have fallen to one-third of the prices of 1815, iron, copper, tin, and lead, the commodities that she supplies to the world, have not fallen more than twenty-five per cent. It is more difficult to exhibit the changes of woven goods, but that the planters are constantly giving more cotton for less cloth will be seen on an examination of the following facts in relation to a recent large-crop year, as compared with the course of things but a dozen years before. From 1830 to 1835, the price of cotton here was about eleven cents, which we may suppose to be about what it would yield in England, free of freight and charges. In those years our average export was about 320,000,000, yielding about $35,000,000, and the average price of cotton cloth, per piece of 24 yards, weighing 5 lbs. 12 oz., was 7s. 10d., ($1.88,) and that of iron £6 10s. ($31.20.) Our exports would therefore have produced, delivered in Liverpool, 18,500,000 pieces of cloth, or about 1,100,000 tons of iron. In 1845 and 1846, the home consumption of cotton by the people of England was almost the same quantity, say 311,000,000 pounds, and the average price here was 6-1/2 cents, making the product $20,000,000. The price of cloth then was 6s. 6-3/4 d., ($1.57 1/2,) and that of iron about £10, ($48;) and the result was, that the planters could have, for nearly the same quantity of cotton, about 12,500,000 pieces of cloth, or about 420,000 tons of iron, also delivered in Liverpool. Dividing the return between the two commodities, it stands thus:—

  Average from: 1830 to 1835. 1845-6. Loss.
  ——————- ——————- ———- ——-
  Cloth, pieces…. 9,250,000 … 6,250,000 … 3,000,000
  And iron, tons… 550,000 … 210,000 … 340,000

The labour required for converting cotton into cloth had been greatly diminished, and yet the proportion, retained by the manufacturers had greatly increased, as will now be shown:—

                              Weight of Cotton Retained
                  Weight of given to the by the
                 Cotton used. planters. manufacturers.
                 —————— ———————— ———————
  1830 to 1835… 320,000,000… 110,000,000… 210,000,000
  1845 and 1846.. 311,000,000… 74,000,000…. 237,000,000

In the first period, the planter would have had 34 per cent. of his cotton returned to him in the form of cloth, but in the second only 24 per cent. The grist miller gives the farmer from year to year a larger proportion of the product of his grain, and thus the latter has all the profit of every improvement. The cotton miller gives the planter from year to year a smaller proportion of the cloth produced. The one miller comes daily nearer to the producer. The other goes daily farther from him, for with the increased product the surface over which it is raised is increased.

How this operates on a large scale will now be seen on an examination of the following facts:—

The declared or actual value of exports of British produce in manufactures in 1815 was.. £51,632,971 And the quantity of foreign merchandise retained for consumption in that year was……. £17,238,841 [147]

This shows, of course, that the prices of the raw products of the earth were then high by comparison with those of the articles that Great Britain had to sell.

  In 1849, the value of British exports was….. £63,596,025
  And the quantity of foreign merchandise
  retained for consumption was no less than……. £80,312,717

We see thus that while the value of exports had increased only one-fourth, the produce received in exchange was almost five times greater; and here it is that we find the effect of that unlimited competition for the sale in England of the raw products of the world, and limited competition for the purchase of the manufactured ones, which it is the object of the system to establish. The nation is rapidly passing from the strong and independent position of one that produces commodities for sale, into the weak and dependent one of the mere trader who depends for his living upon the differences between the prices at which he sells and those at which he buys—that is, upon his power to tax the producers and consumers of the earth. It is the most extraordinary and most universal system of taxation ever devised, and it is carried out at the cost of weakening and enfeebling the people of all the purely agricultural countries. The more completely all the world, outside of England, can be rendered one great farm, in which men, women, and children, the strong and the weak, the young and the aged, can be reduced to field labour as the only means of support, the larger will be the sum of those differences upon which the English people are now to so great an extent maintained, but the more rapid will be the tendency everywhere toward barbarism and slavery. The more, on the other hand, that the artisan can be brought to the side of the farmer, the smaller must be the sum of these differences, or taxes, and the greater will everywhere be the tendency toward civilization and freedom; but the greater will be that English distress which is seen always to exist when the producers of the world obtain much cloth and iron in exchange for their sugar and their cotton. The English system is therefore a war for the perpetuation and extension of slavery.

On a recent occasion the Chancellor of the Exchequer congratulated the House of Commons on the flourishing state of the revenue, notwithstanding, that, they had

"In ten years repealed or reduced the duties on coffee, timber, currants, wool, sugar, molasses, cotton wool, butter, cheese, silk manufactures, tallow, spirits, copper ore, oil and sperm, and an amazing number of other articles, which produced a small amount of revenue, with respect to which it is not material, and would be almost preposterous, that I should trouble the House in detail. It is sufficient for me to observe this remarkable fact, that the reduction of your customs duties from 1842 has been systematically continuous; that in 1842 you struck off nearly £1,500,000 of revenue calculated from the customs duties; that in 1843 you struck off £126,000; in 1844, £279,000; in 1845, upwards of £3,500,000; in 1846, upwards of £1,150,000; in 1847, upwards of £343,000; in 1848, upwards of £578,000; in 1849, upwards of £384,000; in 1850, upwards of £331,000; and in 1851, upwards of £801,000—making an aggregate, in those ten years, of nearly £9,000,000 sterling."

The reason of all this is, that the cultivator abroad is steadily giving more raw produce for less cloth and iron. The more exclusively the people of India can be forced to devote themselves to the raising of cotton and sugar, the cheaper they will be, and the larger will be the British revenue. The more the price of corn can be diminished, the greater will be the flight to Texas, and the cheaper will be cotton, but the larger will be the slave trade of America, India, and Ireland; and thus it is that the prosperity of the owners of mills and furnaces in England is always greatest when the people of the world are becoming most enslaved.

It may be asked, however, if this diminution of the prices of foreign produce is not beneficial to the people of England. It is not, because it tends to reduce the general price of labour, the commodity they have to sell. Cheap Irish labour greatly diminishes the value of that of England, and cheap Irish grain greatly diminishes the demand for labour in England, while increasing the supply by forcing the Irish people to cross the Channel. The land and labour of the world have one common interest, and that is to give as little as possible to those who perform the exchanges, and to those who superintend them—the traders and the government. The latter have everywhere one common interest, and that is to take as much as possible from the producers and give as little as possible to the consumers, buying cheaply and selling dearly. Like fire and water, they are excellent servants, but very bad masters. The nearer the artisan comes to the producer of the food and the wool, the less is the power of the middleman to impose taxes, and the greater the power of the farmer to protect himself. The tendency of the British system, wherever found, is to impoverish the land-owner and the labourer, and to render both from year to year more tributary to the owners of an amount of machinery so small that its whole value would be paid by the weekly—if not even by the daily—loss inflicted upon the working population of the world by the system.[148] The more the owners of that machinery become enriched, the more must the labourer everywhere become enslaved.

That such must necessarily be the case will be obvious to any reader who will reflect how adverse is the system to the development of intellect. Where all are farmers, there can be little association for the purpose of maintaining schools, or for the exchange of ideas of any kind. Employment being limited to the labours of the field, the women cannot attend to the care of their children, who grow up, necessarily, rude and barbarous; and such we see now to be the case in the West Indies, whence schools are rapidly disappearing. In Portugal and Turkey there is scarcely any provision for instruction, and in India there has been a decline in that respect, the extent of which is almost exactly measured by the age of the foreign occupation.[149] In the Punjab, the country last acquired, men read and write, but in Bengal and Madras they are entirely uneducated. Ireland had, seventy years since, a public press of great efficiency, but it has almost entirely disappeared, as has the demand for books, which before the Union was so great as to warrant the republication of a large portion of those that appeared in England. Scotland, too, seventy years since, gave to the Empire many of its best writers, but she, like Ireland, has greatly declined. How bad is the provision for education throughout England, and how low is the standard of intellect among a large portion of her manufacturing population, the reader has seen, and he can estimate for himself how much there can be of the reading of books, or newspapers among an agricultural population hired by the day at the rate of six, eight, or even nine shillings a week—and it will, therefore not surprise him to learn that there is no daily newspaper published out of London. It is, however, somewhat extraordinary that in that city, there should be, as has recently been stated, but a single one that is not "published at a loss." That one circulates 40,000 copies, or more than twice the number of all the other daily papers united. This is a most unfavourable sign, for centralization and progress have never gone hand in hand with each other.

The system, too, is repulsive in its character. It tends to the production of discord among individuals and nations, and hence it is that we see the numerous strikes and combinations of workmen, elsewhere so little known. Abroad it is productive of war, as is now seen in India, and as was so recently the case in China. In Ireland it is expelling the whole population, and in Scotland it has depopulated provinces. The vast emigration now going on, and which has reached the enormous extent of 360,000 in a single year, bears testimony to the fact that the repulsive power has entirely overcome the attractive one, and that the love of home, kindred, and friends is rapidly diminishing. How, indeed, could it be otherwise, in a country in which labour has been so far cheapened that the leading journal assures its readers that during a whole generation "man has been a drug, and population a nuisance?"

The fact that such a declaration should be made, and that that and other influential journals should rejoice in the expulsion of a whole nation, is evidence how far an unsound system can go toward steeling the heart against the miseries of our fellow-creatures. These poor people do not emigrate voluntarily. They are forced to leave their homes, precisely as is the case with the negro slave of Virginia; but they have not, as has the slave, any certainty of being fed and clothed at the end of the journey. Nevertheless, throughout England there is an almost universal expression of satisfaction at the idea that the land is being rid of what is held to be its superabundant population; and one highly respectable journal,[150] after showing that at the same rate Ireland would be entirely emptied in twenty-four years, actually assures its readers that it views the process "without either alarm or regret," and that it has no fear of the process being "carried too far or continued too long."

We see thus, on one hand, the people of England engaged in shutting in the poor people of Africa, lest they should be forced to Cuba; and, on the other, rejoicing at evictions, as the best means of driving out the poor people of Ireland. In all this there is a total absence of consistency; but so far as the Irish people are concerned, it is but a natural consequence of that "unsound social philosophy," based upon the Ricardo-Malthusian doctrine, which after having annihilated the small land-owner and the small trader, denies that the Creator meant that every man should find a place at his table, and sees no more reason why a poor labourer should have any more right to be fed, if willing to work, than the Manchester cotton-spinner should have to find a purchaser for his cloth. "Labour," we are told, is "a commodity," and if men will marry and bring up children "to an overstocked and expiring trade," it is for them to take the consequences—and "if we stand between the error and its consequences, we stand between the evil and its cure—if we intercept the penalty (where it does not amount to positive death) we perpetuate the sin."[151]

Such being the state of opinion in regard to the claims of labour, we need scarcely be surprised to find a similar state of things in regard to the rights of property. The act of emancipation was a great interference with those rights. However proper it might have been deemed to free the negroes, it was not right to cause the heaviest portion of the loss to be borne by the few and weak planters. If justice required the act, all should have borne their equal share of the burden. So again in regard to Ireland, where special laws have been passed to enable the mortgagees to sell a large portion of the land, rendered valueless by a system that had for long years prevented the Irishman from employing himself except in the work of cultivation. India appears likely now to come in for its share of similar legislation. Centralization has not there, we are told, been carried far enough. Private rights in land, trivial even as they now are,[152] must be annihilated. None, we are told, can be permitted "to stand between the cultivator and the government," even if the collection of the taxes "should render necessary so large an army of employé as to threaten the absorption of the lion's share" of them.[153] In regard to the rights to land in England itself, one of her most distinguished writers says that

"When the 'sacredness of property' is talked of, it should always be remembered that this sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property. No man made the land. * * * The claim of the land-owners to the land is altogether subordinate to the general policy of the state. * * * Subject to this proviso (that of compensation) the state is at liberty to deal with landed property as the general interests of the community may require, even to the extent, if it so happen, of doing with the whole what is done with a part whenever a bill is passed for a railroad or a street."—J. S. Mill, Principles, book ii. chap. ii.

In regard to the disposal of property at the death of its owner, the same author is of opinion that "a certain moderate provision, such as is admitted to be reasonable in the case of illegitimate children, and of younger children" is all "that parents owe to their children, and all, therefore, which the state owes to the children of those who die intestate." The surplus, if any, he holds "it may rightfully appropriate to the general purposes of the community."—Ibid.

Extremes generally meet. From the days of Adam Smith to the present time the policy of England has looked in the direction that led necessarily to the impoverishment of the small land-owner, and to the consolidation of land, and during the whole of that period we have been told of the superior advantages of large farms and great tenant-farmers; but now, when the injurious effects of the system are becoming from day to day more obvious, the question of the existence of any right to land is being discussed, and we are told that "public reasons" existed "for its being appropriated," and if those reasons have "lost their force, the thing would be unjust." From this to confiscation the step would not be a very great one. No such idea certainly could exist in the mind of so enlightened a man as Mr. Mill, who insists upon compensation; but when a whole people, among whom the productive power is steadily diminishing as individual fortunes become more and more colossal, are told that the proprietors of land, great and small, receive compensation for its use, for no other reason than that they have been enabled to possess themselves of a monopoly of its powers, and that rent is to be regarded as "the recompense of no sacrifice whatever," but as being "received by those who neither labour nor put by, but merely hold out their hands to receive the offerings of the rest of the community,"[154] can we doubt that the day is approaching when the right to property in land will be tested in England, as it has elsewhere been? Assuredly not. Ricardo-Malthusianism tends directly to what is commonly called Communism, and at that point will England arrive, under the system which looks to the consolidation of the land, the aggrandizement of the few, and the destruction of the physical, moral, intellectual, and political powers of the whole body of labourers, abroad and at home,

Where population and wealth increase together, there is always found a growing respect for the rights of persons and property. Where they decline, that respect diminishes; and the tendency of the whole British politico-economical system being toward the destruction of population and wealth at home and abroad, it tends necessarily toward agrarianism in its worst form. That such is the tendency of things in England we have the assurance of the London Times, by which, it has recently been shown, says Mr. Kay,

"That during the last half century, every thing has been done to deprive the peasant of any interest in the preservation of public order; of any wish to maintain the existing constitution of society; of all hope of raising himself in the world, or of improving his condition in life; of all attachment to his country; of all feelings of there really existing any community of interest between himself and the higher ranks of society; and of all consciousness that he has any thing to lose by political changes; and that every thing has been done to render him dissatisfied with his condition, envious of the richer classes, and discontented with the existing order of things.

"The labourer," he continues "has no longer any connection with the land which he cultivates; he has no stake in the country; he has nothing to lose, nothing to defend, and nothing to hope for. The word "cottage" has ceased to mean what it once meant—a small house surrounded by its little plot of land, which the inmate might cultivate as he pleased, for the support and gratification of his family and himself. The small freeholds have long since been bought up and merged in the great estates. Copyholds have become almost extinct, or have been purchased by the great land-owners. The commons, upon which the villagers once had the right of pasturing cattle for their own use, and on which, too, the games and pastimes of the villages were held, have followed the same course: they are enclosed, and now form part of the possessions of the great landowners. Small holdings of every kind have, in like manner, almost entirely disappeared. Farms have gradually become larger and larger, and are now, in most parts of the country, far out of the peasant's reach, on account of their size, and of the amount of capital requisite to cultivate them. The gulf between the peasant and the next step in the social scale—the farmer—is widening and increasing day by day. The labourer is thus left without any chance of improving his condition. His position is one of hopeless and irremediable dependence. The workhouse stands near him, pointing out his dismal fate if he falls one step lower, and, like a grim scarecrow, warning him to betake himself to some more hospitable region, where he will find no middle-age institutions opposing his industrious efforts."—Vol. i. 361.

This is slavery, and it is an indication of poverty, and yet we hear much of the wealth of England. Where, however, is it? The whole rental of the land, houses, mills, furnaces, and mines of the United Kingdom but little exceeds one hundred millions of pounds sterling, of which about one-half is derived from buildings—and if we take the whole, perishable and imperishable, at twenty years' purchase, it is but two-thousand millions.[155] If next we add for machinery of all kinds, ships, farming stock and implements, 600 millions,[156] we obtain a total of only 2600 millions, or 12,500 millions of dollars, as the whole accumulation of more than two thousand years' given to the improvement of the land, the building of houses, towns, and cities—and this gives but little over 400 dollars per head. Sixty years since, New York had a population of only 340,000, and it was a poor State, and to this hour it has no mines of any importance that are worked. Throughout the whole period, her people have been exhausting her soil, and the product of wheat, on lands that formerly gave twenty-five and thirty bushels to the acre, has fallen to six or eight,[157] and yet her houses and lands are valued at almost twelve hundred millions of dollars, and the total value of the real and personal estate is not less than fifteen hundred millions, or about $500 per head—and these are the accumulations almost of the present century.

The apparent wealth of England is, however, great, and it is so for the same reason that Rome appeared so rich in the days of Crassus and Lucullus, surrounded by people owning nothing, when compared with the days when Cincinnatus was surrounded by a vast body of small proprietors. Consolidation of the land and enormous manufacturing establishments have almost annihilated the power profitably to use small capitals, and the consequence is that their owners are forced to place them in saving funds, life-insurance companies, and in banks at small interest, and by all of these they are lent out to the large holders of land and large operators in mills, furnaces, railroads, &c. As the land has become consolidated, it has been covered with mortgages, and the effect of this is to double the apparent quantity of property. While the small proprietors held it, it was assessed to the revenue as land only. Now, it is assessed, first, as land, upon which its owner pays a tax, and next as mortgage, upon which the mortgagee pays the income-tax. The land-owner is thus holding his property with other people's means, and the extent to which this is the case throughout England is wonderfully great. Banks trade little on their own capital, but almost entirely on that of others.[158] The capital of the Bank of England haying been expended by the government, it has always traded exclusively on its deposites and circulation. The East India Company has no capital, but a very large debt, and nothing to represent it; and the example of these great institutions is copied by the smaller ones. Life-insurance companies abound, and the capitals are said to be large, but "nine-tenths" of them are declared to be "in a state of ruinous insolvency;"[159] and it is now discovered the true mode of conducting that business is to have no capital whatsoever. The trade of England is to a great extent based on the property of foreigners, in the form of wool, silk, cotton, tobacco, sugar, and other commodities, sent there for sale, and these furnish much of the capital of her merchants. While holding this vast amount of foreign capital, they supply iron and cloth, for which they take the bonds of the people of other nations; and whenever the amount of these bonds becomes too large, there comes a pressure in the money market, and the prices of all foreign commodities are forced down, to the ruin of their distant owners. To the absence of real capital [160] it is due that revulsions are so frequent, and so destructive to all countries intimately connected with her; and it is a necessary consequence of the vast extent of trading on borrowed capital that the losses by bankruptcy are so astonishingly great. From 1839 to 1843, a period of profound peace, eighty-two private bankers became bankrupt; of whom forty-six paid no dividends, twelve paid under twenty-five per cent., twelve under fifty per cent., three under seventy-five per cent., and two under one hundred per cent.; leaving seven unascertained at the date of the report from which this statement is derived. The last revulsion brought to light the fact that many of the oldest and most respectable houses in London had been for years trading entirely on credit, and without even a shilling of capital; and in Liverpool the destruction was so universal that it was difficult to discover more than half a dozen houses to whom a cargo could be confided. Revulsions are a necessary consequence of such a state of things, and at each and every one of them the small manufacturer and the small trader or land-owner are more and more swept away, while centralization steadily increases—and centralization is adverse to the growth of wealth and civilization. The whole fabric tends steadily more and more to take the form of an inverted pyramid, that may be thus represented:—

    Ships and mills,
       L a n d,

In confirmation of this view we have the following facts given in a speech of Mr. George Wilson, at a réunion in Manchester, a few weeks since:—

"In the five counties of Buckingham, Dorset, Wilts, Northampton, and Salop, 63 members were returned by 52,921 voters, while only the same number were returned by Lancashire and Yorkshire, with 89,669 county and 84,612 borough voters, making a total of 174,281. So that, if they returned members in proportion to voters alone, those five counties could only claim 19; while, if Lancashire took their proportion, it would be entitled to 207. There were twelve large cities or boroughs (taking London as a double borough) returning 24 members, with 192,000 voters, and a population of 3,268,218, and 388,000 inhabited houses. On the other side, 24 members were returned by Andover, Buckingham, Chippenham, Cockermouth, Totnes, Harwich, Bedford, Lymington, Marlborough, Great Marlborough, and Richmond; but they had only 3,569 voters, 67,434 inhabitants, and 1,373 inhabited houses. * * The most timid reformer and most moderate man would hardly object to the disfranchisement of those boroughs which had a population less than 5000, and to handing over the 20 members to those large constituencies."

As the people of Ireland are driven from the land to London, Liverpool, or America, the claims of that country to representation necessarily diminish; and so with Scotland, as the Highlands and the Isles undergo the process of wholesale clearance. The same system that depopulates them tends to depopulate the agricultural counties of England, and to drive their people to seek employment in the great cities and manufacturing towns; and this, according to Mr. McCullogh,[161] is one of the principal advantages resulting from absenteeism. The wealthy few congregate in London, and the vast mass of poor labourers in the lanes and alleys, the streets and the cellars, of London and Liverpool, Birmingham and Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds; and thus is there a daily increasing tendency toward having the whole power over England and the world placed in the hands of the owners of a small quantity of machinery—the same men that but a few years since were described by Sir Robert Peel as compelling children to work sixteen hours a day during the week, and to appropriate a part of Sunday to cleaning the machinery—and the same that recently resisted every attempt at regulating the hours of labour, on the ground that all the profit resulted from the power to require "the last hour." Many of these gentlemen are liberal, and are actuated by the best intentions; but they have allowed themselves to be led away by a false and pernicious theory that looks directly to the enslavement of the human race, and are thus blinded to the consequences of the system they advocate; but even were they right, it could not but be dangerous to centralize nearly the whole legislative power in a small portion of the United Kingdom, occupied by people whose existence is almost entirely dependent on the question whether cotton is cheap or dear, and who are liable to be thrown so entirely under the control of their employers.

With each step in this direction, consolidation of the land tends to increase, and there is increased necessity for "cheap labour." "The whole question" of England's manufacturing superiority, we are told, "has become one of a cheap and abundant supply of labour."[162] That is, if labour can be kept down, and the labourer can be prevented from having a choice of employers, then the system may be maintained, but not otherwise. Where, however, the labourer has not the power of determining for whom he will work, he is a slave; and to that condition it is that the system tends to reduce the English people, as it has already done with the once free men of India. Alarmed at the idea that the present flight from England may tend to give the labourer power to select his employer, and to have some control over the amount of his reward, the London Times suggests the expediency of importing cheap labourers from Germany and other parts of the continent, to aid in underworking their fellow-labourers in America and in India.

It has been well said that, according to some political economists, "man was made for the land, and not the land for man." In England, it would almost seem as if he had been made for cotton mills. Such would appear now to be the views of the Times, as, a quarter of a century since, they certainly were of Mr. Huskisson. The object of all sound political economy is that of raising the labourer, and increasing the dignity of labour. That of the English system is to "keep labour down," and to degrade the labourer to the condition of a mere slave; and such is its effect everywhere—and nowhere is its tendency in that direction more obvious than in England itself.[163]

Consolidation of land on one side and a determination to underwork the world on the other, are producing a rapid deterioration of material and moral condition, and, as a natural consequence, there is a steady diminution in the power of local self-government. The diminution of the agricultural population and the centralization of exchanges have been attended by decay of the agricultural towns, and their remaining people become less and less capable of performing for themselves those duties to which their predecessors were accustomed—and hence it is that political centralization grows so rapidly. Scarcely a session of Parliament now passes without witnessing the creation of a new commission for the management of the poor, the drainage of towns, the regulation of lodging-houses, or other matters that could be better attended to by the local authorities, were it not that the population, is being so rapidly divided into two classes widely remote from each other—the poor labourer and the rich absentee landlord or other capitalist.

With the decay of the power of the people over their own actions, the nation is gradually losing its independent position among the nations of the earth. It is seen that the whole "prosperity" of the country depends on the power to purchase cheap cotton, cheap sugar, and other cheap products of the soil, and it is feared that something may interfere to prevent the continuance of the system which maintains the domestic slave trade of this country. We are, therefore, told by all the English journals, that "England is far too dependent on America for her supply of cotton. There is," says the Daily News, "too much risk in relying on any one country, if we consider the climate and seasons alone; but the risk is seriously aggravated when the country is not our own, but is inhabited by a nation which, however friendly on the whole, and however closely allied with us by blood and language, has been at war with us more than once, and might possibly some day be so again."

From month to month, and from year to year, we have the same note, always deepening in its intensity,—and yet the dependence increases instead of diminishing. On one day, the great prosperity of the country is proved by the publication of a long list of new cotton mills, and, on the next, we are told of—

"The frightful predicament of multitudes of people whom a natural disaster [a short crop of cotton] denies leave to toil—who must work or starve, but who cannot work because the prime material of their work is not to be obtained in the world."—Lawson's Merchants' Magazine, Dec. 1852.

What worse slavery can we have than this? It is feared that this country will not continue to supply cheap cotton, and it is known that India cannot enlarge its export, and, therefore, the whole mind of England is on the stretch to discover some new source from which it may be derived, that may tend to increase the competition for its sale, and reduce it lower than it even now is. At one time, it is hoped that it may be grown in Australia—but cheap labour cannot there be had. At another, it is recommended as expedient to encourage its culture in Natal, (South Africa,) as there it can be grown, as we are assured, by aid of cheap—or slave—labour, from India.[164]

It is to this feeling of growing dependence, and growing weakness, that must be attributed the publication of passages like the following, from the London Times:—

"It used to be said that if Athens, and Lacedæmon could but make up their minds to be good friends and make a common cause, they would be masters of the world. The wealth, the science, the maritime enterprise, and daring ambition of the one, assisted by the population, the territory, the warlike spirit, and stern institutions of the other, could not fail to carry the whole world before them. That was a project hostile to the peace and prosperity of mankind, and ministering only to national vanity. A far grander object, of more easy and more honourable acquisition, lies before England and the United States, and all other countries owning our origin and speaking our language. Let them agree not in an alliance offensive and defensive, but simply to never go to war with one another. Let them permit one another to develop as Providence seems to suggest, and the British race will gradually and quietly attain to a pre-eminence beyond the reach of mere policy and arms. The vast and ever-increasing interchange of commodities between the several members of this great family, the almost daily communications now opened across, not one, but several oceans, the perpetual discovery of new means of locomotion, in which steam itself now bids fair to be supplanted by an equally powerful but cheaper and more convenient agency—all promise to unite the whole British race throughout the world in one social and commercial unity, more mutually beneficial than any contrivance of politics. Already, what does Austria gain from Hungary, France from Algiers, Russia from Siberia, or any absolute monarchy from its abject population, or what town from its rural suburbs, that England does not derive in a much greater degree from the United States, and the United States from England? What commercial partnership, what industrious household exhibits so direct an exchange of services? All that is wanted is that we should recognise this fact, and give it all the assistance in our power. We cannot be independent of one another. The attempt is more than unsocial; it is suicidal. Could either dispense with the labour of the other, it would immediately lose the reward of its own industry. Whether national jealousy, or the thirst for warlike enterprise, or the grosser appetite of commercial monopoly, attempt the separation, the result and the crime are the same. We are made helps meet for one another. Heaven has joined all who speak the British language, and what Heaven has joined let no man think to put asunder."

The allies of England have been Portugal and Ireland, India and the West Indies, and what is their condition has been shown. With Turkey she has had a most intimate connection, and that great empire is now prostrate. What inducement can she, then, offer in consideration of an alliance with her? The more intimate our connection, the smaller must be the domestic market for food and cotton, the lower must be their prices, and the larger must be the domestic slave trade, now so rapidly increasing. Her system tends toward the enslavement of the labourer throughout the earth, and toward the destruction everywhere of the value of the land; and therefore it is that she needs allies. Therefore; it is that the Times, a journal that but ten years since could find no term of vituperation sufficiently strong to be applied to the people of this country, now tells its readers that—

"It is the prospect of these expanding and strengthening affinities that imparts so much interest to the mutual hospitalities shown by British and American citizens to the diplomatic representatives of the sister States."

"To give capital a fair remuneration," it was needed that "the price of English labour should be kept down;" and it has been kept down to so low a point as to have enabled the cotton mills of Manchester to supersede the poor Hindoo in his own market, and to drive him to the raising of cheap sugar to supply the cheap labour of England—and to supersede the manufacturers of this country, and drive our countrymen to the raising of cheap corn to feed the cheap labour of England, driven out of Ireland. Cheap food next forces the exportation of negroes from Maryland and Virginia to Alabama and Mississippi, there to raise cheap cotton to supersede the wretched cultivator of India; and thus, in succession, each and every part of the agricultural world is forced into competition with every other part, and the labourers of the world become from day to day more enslaved; and all because the people of England are determined that the whole earth shall become one great farm, with but a single workshop, in which shall be fixed the prices of all its occupants have to sell or need to buy. For the first time in the history of the world, there exists a nation whose whole system of policy is found in the shopkeeper's maxim, Buy cheap and sell dear; and the results are seen in the fact that that nation is becoming from day to day less powerful and less capable of the exercise of self-government among the community of nations. From day to day England is more and more seen to be losing the independent position of the farmer who sells the produce of his own labour, and occupying more and more that of the shopkeeper, anxious to conciliate the favour of those who have goods to sell or goods to buy; and with each day there is increased anxiety lest there should be a change in the feelings of the customers who bring cotton and take in exchange cloth and iron. The records of history might be searched in vain for a case like hers—for a nation voluntarily subjecting itself to a process of the most exhaustive kind. They present no previous case of a great community, abounding in men of high intelligence, rejoicing in the diminution of the proportion of its people capable of feeding themselves and others, and in the increasing proportion requiring to be fed. England now exports in a year nearly 400,000 men and women that have been raised at enormous cost,[165] and she rejoices at receiving in exchange 300,000 infants yet to be raised. She exports the young, and retains the aged. She sends abroad the sound, and keeps at home the unsound. She expels the industrious, and retains the idle. She parts with the small capitalist, but she keeps the pauper. She sends men from her own land, and with them the commodities they must consume while preparing for cultivation distant lands;—and all these things are regarded as evidences of growing wealth and power. She sends men from where they could make twelve or twenty exchanges in a year to a distance from, which they can make but one; and this is taken as evidence of the growth of commerce. She sends her people from the land to become trampers in her roads, or to seek refuge in filthy lanes and cellars; and this is hailed as tending to promote the freedom of man. In all this, however, she is but realizing the prophecies of Adam Smith, in relation to the determination of his countrymen to see in foreign trade alone "England's treasure."

In all nations, ancient and modern, freedom has come with the growth of association, and every act of association is an act of commerce. Commerce, and freedom grow, therefore, together, and whatever tends to lessen the one must tend equally to lessen the other. The object of the whole British system is to destroy the power of association, for it seeks to prevent everywhere the growth of the mechanic arts, and without them there can be no local places of exchange, and none of that combination so needful to material, moral, intellectual, and political improvement. That such has been its effect in Portugal and Turkey, the West Indies, and India, and in our Southern States, we know—and in all of these freedom declines as the power of association diminishes. That such has been its effect in Ireland and Scotland, the reader has seen. In England we may see everywhere the same tendency to prevent the existence of association, or of freedom of trade. Land, the great instrument of production, is becoming from day to day more consolidated. Capital, the next great instrument, is subjected to the control of the Bank of England—an institution that has probably caused more ruin than any other that has ever existed.[166]

Associations for banking or manufacturing purposes are restrained by a system of responsibility that tends to prevent prudent men from taking part in their formation. The whole tendency of the system is to fetter and restrain the productive power; and hence it is that it has proved necessary to establish the fact that the great Creator had made a serious mistake in the laws regulating the increase of food and of men, and that the cheapened labourer was bound to correct the error by repressing that natural desire for association which leads to an increase of population. The consequences of all this are seen in the fact that there is in that country no real freedom of commerce. There is no competition for the purchase of labour, and the labourer is therefore a slave to the capitalist. There is no competition for the use of capital, and its owner is a slave to his banker, who requires him to content himself with the smallest profits. There is scarcely any power to sell land, for it is everywhere hedged round with entails, jointures, and marriage settlements, that fetter and enslave its owner. There is no competition for obtaining "maidens in marriage," for the Chronicle assures us that marriage now rarely takes place until the cradle has become as necessary as the ring;[167] and when that is the case, the man will always be found a tyrant and the woman a slave. In the effort to destroy the power of association, and the freedom of trade and of man abroad, England has in a great degree annihilated freedom at home; and all this she has done because, from the day of the publication of The Wealth of Nations, her every movement has looked to the perpetuation of the system denounced by its author as a "manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind."



How can slavery be extinguished, and man be made free? This question, as regarded England, was answered some years since by a distinguished anti-corn-law orator, when he said that for a long time past, in that country, two men had been seeking one master, whereas the time was then at hand when two masters would be seeking one man. Now, we all know that when two men desire to purchase a commodity, it rises in value, and its owner finds himself more free to determine for himself what to do with it than he could do if there were only one person desiring to have it, and infinitely more free than he could be if there were two sellers to one buyer. To make men free there must be competition for the purchase of their services, and the more the competition the greater must be their value, and that of the men who have them to sell.

It has already been shown [168] that in purely agricultural communities there can be very little competition for the purchase of labour; and that such is the fact the reader can readily satisfy himself by reflecting on the history of the past, or examining the condition of man as he at present exists among the various nations of the earth. History shows that labour has become valuable, and that man has become free, precisely as the artisan has been enabled to take his place by the side of the ploughman—precisely as labour has become diversified—precisely as small towns have arisen in which the producer of food and wool could readily exchange for cloth and iron—precisely as manure could more readily be obtained to aid in maintaining the productiveness of the soil—and precisely, therefore, as men have acquired the power of associating with their fellow-men. With the growth of that power they have everywhere been seen to obtain increased returns from land, increased reward of labour, and increased power to accumulate the means of making roads, establishing schools, and doing all other things tending to the improvement of their modes of action and their habits of thought; and thus it is that freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade have always grown with the growth of the value of labour and land.

It is desired to abolish the trade in slaves. No such trade could exist were men everywhere free; but as they are not so, it has in many countries been deemed necessary to prohibit the sale of men from off the land, as preliminary to the establishment of freedom. Nothing of this kind, however, can now be looked for, because there exists no power to coerce the owners of slaves to adopt any such measures; nor, if it did exist, would it be desirable that it should be exercised, as it would make the condition of both the slave and his master worse than it is even now. Neither is it necessary, because there exists "a higher law"—a great law of the Creator—that will effectually extinguish the trade whenever it shall be permitted to come into activity.

Why is it that men in Africa sell their fellow-men to be transported to Cuba or Brazil? For the same reason, obviously, that other men sell flour in Boston or Baltimore to go to Liverpool or Rio Janeiro—because it is cheaper in the former than in the latter cities. If, then, we desired to put a stop to the export, would not our object be effectually accomplished by the adoption of measures that would cause prices to be higher in Boston than in Liverpool, and higher in Baltimore than in Rio? That such would be the case must be admitted by all. If, then, we desired to stop the export of negroes from Africa, would not our object be effectually and permanently attained could we so raise the value of man in Africa that he would be worth as much, or more, there than in Cuba? Would not the export of Coolies cease if man could be rendered more, valuable in India than in Jamaica or Guiana? Would not the destruction of cottages, the eviction of their inhabitants, and the waste of life throughout Ireland, at once be terminated, could man be made as valuable there as he is here? Would not the export of the men, women, and children of Great Britain cease, if labour there could be brought to a level with that of Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania? Assuredly it would; for men do not voluntarily leave home, kindred, and friends. On the contrary, so great is the attachment to home, that it requires, in most cases, greatly superior attractions to induce them to emigrate. Adam Smith said that, of all commodities, man was the hardest to be removed—and daily observation shows that he was right.

To terminate the African slave trade, we need, then, only to raise the value of man in Africa. To terminate the forced export of men, women, and children from Ireland, we need only to raise the value of men in Ireland; and to put an end to our own domestic slave trade, nothing is needed except that we raise the value of man in Virginia. To bring the trade in slaves, of all colours and in all countries, at once and permanently to a close, we need to raise the value of man at home, let that home be where it may. How can this be done? By precisely the same course of action that terminated the export of slaves from England to Ireland. In the days of the Plantagenets, men were so much more valuable in the latter country than in the former one, that the market of Ireland was "glutted with English slaves;" but as, by degrees, the artisan took his place by the side of the English ploughman, the trade passed away, because towns arose and men became strong to defend their rights as they were more and more enabled to associate with each other. Since then, the artisan has disappeared from Ireland, and the towns have decayed, and men have become weak because they have lost the power to associate, and, therefore, it is that the market of England has been so glutted with Irish slaves that man has been declared to be "a drug, and population a nuisance."

Such precisely has been the course of things in Africa. For two centuries it had been deemed desirable to have from that country the same "inexhaustible supply of cheap labour" that Ireland has supplied to England; and, therefore, no effort was spared to prevent the negroes from making any improvement in their modes of cultivation. "It was," says Macpherson, "the European policy" to prevent the Africans from arriving at perfection in any of their pursuits, "from a fear of interfering with established branches of trade elsewhere." More properly, it was the English policy. "The truth is," said Mr. Pitt, in 1791—

"There is no nation in Europe which has plunged so deeply into this guilt as Britain. We stopped the natural progress of civilization in Africa. We cut her off from the opportunity of improvement. We kept her down in a state of darkness, bondage, ignorance, and bloodshed. We have there subverted the whole order of nature; we have aggravated every natural barbarity, and furnished to every man motives for committing, under the name of trade, acts of perpetual hostility and perfidy against his neighbour. Thus had the perversion of British commerce carried misery instead of happiness to one whole quarter of the globe. False to the very principles of trade, unmindful of our duty, what almost irreparable mischief had we done to that continent! We had obtained as yet only so much knowledge of its productions as to show that there was a capacity for trade which we checked."

How was all this done? By preventing the poor Africans from obtaining machinery to enable them to prepare their sugar for market, or for producing cotton and indigo and combining them into cloth—precisely the same course of operation that was pursued in Jamaica with such extraordinary loss of life. Guns and gunpowder aided in providing cheap labour, and how they were supplied, even so recently as in 1807, will be seen on a perusal of the following passage, from an eminent English authority, almost of our own day:—

"A regular branch of trade here, at Birmingham, is the manufacture of guns for the African market. They are made for about a dollar and a half: the barrel is filled with water, and if the water does not come through, it is thought proof sufficient. Of course, they burst when fired, and mangle the wretched negro, who has purchased them upon the credit of English faith, and received them, most probably, as the price of human flesh! No secret is made of this abominable trade, yet the government never interferes, and the persons concerned in it are not marked and shunned as infamous."—Southey's "Espriella's Letters".

It is deemed now desirable to have cheap labour applied to the collection of gold-dust and hides, palm-leaves and ivory, and the description of commodities at present exported to that country will be seen by the following cargo-list of the brig Lily, which sailed from Liverpool a few weeks since for the African coast, but blew up and was destroyed in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Man, to wit:—

50 tons gunpowder, 20 puncheons rum, A quantity of firearms, and Some bale-goods.

Such are not the commodities required for raising the value of man in Africa, and until it can be raised to a level with his value in Cuba, the export of men will be continued from the African coast as certainly as the export from Ireland will be continued so long as men are cheaper there than elsewhere; and as certainly as the trade described in the following letter will be continued, so long as the people India shall be allowed to do nothing but raise sugar and cotton for a distant market, and shall thus be compelled to forego all the advantages so long enjoyed by them under the native governments, when the history of the cotton manufacture was the history of almost every family in India:—

"Havana, Feb. 11, 1853.

"On the morning of the 7th, arrived from Amoa, Singapore, and Jamaica, the British ship Panama, Fisher, 522 tons, 131 days' passage, with 261 Asiatics (Coolies) on board, to be introduced to the labour of the island, purchased for a service of four years. The loss on the passage was a considerable percentage, being 90 thrown overboard. The speculators in this material are Messrs. Viloldo, Wardrop & Co., who have permission of the government to cover five thousand subjects. The cargo is yet held in quarantine.

"On the 8th inst., arrived from Amoa and St. Helena, the ship Blenheim, Molison, 808 tons, 104 days' passage, bringing to the same consignees 412 Coolies. Died on the voyage, 38. Money will be realized by those who have the privilege of making the introduction, and English capital will find some play; but I doubt very much whether the purposes of English philanthropy will be realized, for, reasoning from the past, at the expiration of the four years, nearly all have been sacrificed, while the condition of African labour will be unmitigated. A short term an cupidity strain the lash over the poor Coolie, and he dies; is secreted if he lives, and advantage taken of his ignorance for extended time when once merged in plantation-service, where investigation can be avoided."—_Correspondence of the New York Journal of Commerce.

This trade is sanctioned by the British government because it provides an outlet for Hindoo labour, rendered surplus by the destruction of the power of association throughout India, and yet the same government expends large sums annually in closing an outlet for African labour, rendered surplus by the rum and the gunpowder that are supplied to Africa!

To stop the export of men from that important portion of the earth, it is required that we should raise the value of man in Africa, and to do this, the African must be enabled to have machinery, to bring the artisan to his door, to build towns, to have schools, and to make roads. To give to the African these things, and to excite in his breast a desire for something better than rum, gunpowder, and murder, and thus to raise the standard of morals and the value of labour, has been the object of the founders of the Republic of Liberia, one of the most important and excellent undertakings of our day. Thus far, however, it has been looked upon very coldly by all the nations of Europe, and it is but recently that it has received from any of them the slightest recognition and even now it is regarded solely as being likely to aid in providing cheap labour, to be employed in increasing the supplies of sugar and cotton, and thus cheapening those commodities in the market of the world, at the cost of the slaves of America and of India.

Nevertheless it has made considerable progress. Its numbers now amount to 150,000,[169] a large proportion of whom are natives, upon whom the example of the colonists from this country has operated to produce a love of industry and a desire for many of the comforts of civilized life. By aid, generally, of persuasion, but occasionally by that of force, it has put an end to the export of men throughout a country having several hundred miles of coast. The difficulty, however, is that wages are very low, and thus there is but little inducement for the immigration of men from the interior, or from this country.[170] Much progress has thus been made, yet it is small compared with what, might be made could the republic offer greater inducements to settlers from the interior, or from this country; that is, could it raise the value of man, ridding itself of cheap labour. Where there is nothing but agriculture, the men must be idle for very much of their time, and the women and children must be idle or work in the field; and where people are forced to remain idle they remain poor and weak, and they can have neither towns, nor roads, nor schools. Were it in the power of the republic to say to the people for hundreds of miles around, that there was a demand for labour every day in the year, and at good wages—that at one time cotton was to be picked, and at another it was to be converted into cloth—that in the summer the cane was to be cultivated, in the autumn the sugar was to be gathered, and in the winter it was to be refined—that at one time houses and mills were to be built, and at another roads to be made—that in one quarter stone was to be quarried, and in another timber to be felled—there would be hundreds of thousands of Africans who would come to seek employment, and each man that came would give strength to the republic while diminishing the strength of the little tyrants of the interior, who would soon find men becoming less abundant and more valuable, and it would then become necessary to try to retain their subjects. Every man that came would desire to have his wife and children follow him, and it would soon come to be seen that population and wealth were synonymous, as was once supposed to be the case in Europe. By degrees, roads would be made into the interior, and civilized black men would return to their old homes, carrying with them habits of industry and intelligence, a knowledge of agriculture and of the processes of the coarser manufactures, and with every step in this direction labour would acquire new value, and men would everywhere become more free.

To accomplish these things alone and unassisted might, however, require almost centuries, and to render assistance would be to repudiate altogether the doctrine of cheap labour, cheap sugar, and cheap cotton. Let us suppose that on his last visit to England, President Roberts should have invoked the aid of the English Premier in an address to the following effect, and then see what must have been the reply:—

"My Lord:

"We have in our young republic a population of 150,000, scattered over a surface capable of supporting the whole population of England, and all engaged in producing the same commodities,—as a consequence of which we have, and can have, but little trade among ourselves. During a large portion of the year our men have little to do, and they waste much time, and our women and children are limited altogether to the labours of the field, to the great neglect of education. Widely scattered, we have much need of roads, but are too poor to make them, and therefore much produce perishes on the ground. We cannot cultivate bulky articles, because the cost of transportation would be greater than their product at market; and of those that we do cultivate nearly the whole must be sent to a distance, with steady diminution in the fertility of the soil. We need machinery and mechanics. With them we could convert our cotton and our indigo into cloth, and thus find employment for women and children. Mechanics would need houses, and carpenters and blacksmiths would find employment, and gradually towns would arise and our people would be from day to day more enabled to make their exchanges at home, while acquiring increased power to make roads, and land would become valuable, while men would become from day to day more free. Immigration from the interior would be large, and from year to year we should be enabled to extend our relations with the distant tribes, giving value to their labour and disseminating knowledge, and thus should we, at no distant period, be enabled not only to put an end to the slave trade, but also to place millions of barbarians on the road to wealth and civilization. To accomplish these things, however, we need the aid and countenance of Great Britain."

The reply to this would necessarily have been—

"Mr. President:

"We are aware of the advantage of diversification of employments, for to that were our own people indebted for their freedom. With the immigration of artisans came the growth of our towns, the value of our land, and the strength of the nation. We are aware, too, of the advantages of those natural agents which so much assist the powers of man; but it is contrary to British policy to aid in the establishment of manufactures of any description in any part of the world. On the contrary, we have spared no pains to annihilate those existing in India, and we are now maintaining numerous colonies, at vast expense, for the single purpose of 'stifling in their infancy the manufactures of other nations.' We need large supplies of cotton, and the more you send us, the cheaper it will be; whereas, if you make cloth, you will have no cotton to sell, no cloth to buy. We need cheap sugar, and if you have artisans to eat your sugar, you will have none to send us to pay for axes or hammers. We need cheap hides, palm-leaves and ivory, and if your people settle themselves in towns, they will have less time to employ themselves in the collection of those commodities. We need cheap labour, and the cheaper your cotton and your sugar the lower will be the price of labour. Be content. Cultivate the earth, and send its products to our markets, and we will send you cloth and iron. You will, it is true, find it difficult to make roads, or to build schools, and your women will have to work in the sugar-plantations; but this will prevent the growth of population, and there will be less danger of your being compelled to resort to 'the inferior soils' that yield so much less in return to labour. The great danger now existing is that population may outrun food, and all our measures in Ireland, India, Turkey, and other countries are directed toward preventing the occurrence of so unhappy a state of things."

Let us next suppose that the people of Virginia should address the
British nation, and in the following terms:—

"We are surrounded by men who raise cotton wool, and we have in our own State land unoccupied that could furnish more sheep's wool than would be required for clothing half our nation. Within our limits there are water-powers now running to waste that could, if properly used, convert into cloth half the cotton raised in the Union. We have coal and iron ore in unlimited quantity, and are daily wasting almost as much labour as would be required for making all the cloth and iron we consume in a month. Nevertheless, we can make neither cloth nor iron. Many of our people have attempted it, but they have, almost without exception, been ruined. When you charge high prices for cloth, we build mills; but no sooner are they built than there comes a crisis at 'the mighty heart of commerce,' and cloths are poured into our markets so abundantly and sold so cheaply, that our people become bankrupt. When you charge high prices for iron, as you now do, we build furnaces; but no sooner are they ready than your periodical crisis comes, and then you sell iron so cheaply that the furnace-master is ruined. As a consequence of this, we are compelled to devote ourselves to raising tobacco and corn to go abroad, and our women and children are barbarized, while our lands are exhausted. You receive our tobacco, and you pay us but three pence for that which sells for six shillings, and we are thus kept poor. Our corn is too bulky to go abroad in its rude state, and to enable it to go to market we are obliged to manufacture it into negroes for Texas. We detest the domestic slave trade, and it is abhorrent to our feelings to sell a negro, but we have no remedy, nor can we have while, because of inability to have machinery, labour is so cheap. If we could make iron, or cloth, we should need houses, and towns, and carpenters, and blacksmiths, and then people from other States would flock to us, and our towns and cities would grow rapidly, and there would be a great demand for potatoes and turnips, cabbages and carrots, peas and beans, and then we could take from the land tons of green crops, where now we obtain only bushels of wheat. Land would then become valuable, and great plantations would become divided into small farms, and with each step in this direction labour would become more productive, and the labourer would from day to day acquire the power to determine for whom he would work and how he should be paid—and thus, as has been the case in all other countries, our slaves would become free as we became rich."

To this what would be the reply? Must it not be to the following effect:—

"We need cheap food, and the more you can be limited to agriculture, the greater will be the quantity of wheat pressing upon our market, and the more cheaply will our cheap labourers be fed. We need large revenue, and the more you can be forced to raise tobacco, the larger our consumption, and the larger our revenue. We need cheap cotton and cheap sugar, and the less the value of men, women, and children in Virginia, the larger will be the export of slaves to Texas, the greater will be the competition of the producers of cotton and sugar to sell their commodities in our markets, and the lower will be prices, while the greater will be the competition for the purchase of our cloth, iron, lead, and copper, and the higher will be prices. Our rule is to buy cheaply and sell dearly, and it is only the slave that submits dearly to buy and cheaply to sell. Our interest requires that we should be the great work-shop of the world, and that we may be so it is needful that we should use all the means in our power to prevent other nations from availing themselves of their vast deposites of ore and fuel; for if they made iron they would obtain machinery, and be enabled to call to their aid the vast powers that nature has everywhere provided for the service of man. We desire that there shall be no steam-engines, no bleaching apparatus, no furnaces, no rolling-mills, except our own; and our reason for this is, that we are quite satisfied that agriculture is the worst and least profitable pursuit of man, while manufactures are the best and most profitable. It is our wish, therefore, that you should continue to raise tobacco and corn, and manufacture the corn into negroes for Texas and Arkansas; and the more extensive the slave trade the better we shall be pleased, because we know that the more negroes you export the lower will be the price of cotton. Our people are becoming from day to day more satisfied that it is 'for their advantage' that the negro shall 'wear his chains in peace,' even although it may cause the separation of husbands and wives, parents and children, and although they know that, in default of other employment, women and children are obliged to employ their labour in the culture of rice among the swamps of Carolina, or in that of sugar among the richest and most unhealthy lands of Texas. This will have one advantage. It will lessen the danger of over-population."

Again, let us suppose the people of Ireland to come to their brethren across the Channel and say—"Half a century since we were rapidly improving. We had large manufactures of various kinds, and our towns were thriving, and schools were increasing in number, making a large, demand for books, with constantly increasing improvement in the demand for labour, and in its quality. Since then, however, a lamentable change has taken place. Our mills and furnaces have everywhere been closed, and our people have been compelled to depend entirely upon the land; the consequence of which is seen in the fact that they have been required to pay such enormous rents that they themselves have been unable to consume any thing but potatoes, and have starved by hundreds of thousands, because they could find no market for labour that would enable them to purchase even of them enough to support life. Labour has been so valueless that our houses have been pulled down by hundreds of thousands, and we find ourselves now compelled to separate from each other, husbands abandoning wives, sons abandoning parents, and brothers abandoning sisters. We fear that our whole nation will disappear from the earth; and the only mode of preventing so sad an event is to be found in raising the value of labour. We need to make a market at home for it and for the products of our land; but that we cannot have unless we have machinery. Aid us in this. Let us supply ourselves. Let us make cloth and iron, and let us exchange those commodities among ourselves for the labour that is now everywhere being wasted. We shall then see old towns flourish and new ones arise, and we shall have schools, and our land will become valuable, while we shall become free."

The answer to this would necessarily be as follows:—

"It is to the cheap labour that Ireland has supplied that we are indebted for 'our great works,' and cheap labour is now more than ever needed, because we have not only to underwork the Hindoo but also to underwork several of the principal nations of Europe and America. That we may have cheap labour we must have cheap food. Were we to permit you to become manufacturers you would make a market at home for your labour and wages would rise, and you would then be able to eat meat and wheaten bread, instead of potatoes, and the effect of this would be to raise the price of food; and thus should we be disabled from competing with the people of Germany, of Belgium, and of America, in the various markets of the world. Further than this, were you to become manufacturers you would consume a dozen pounds of cotton where now you consume but one, and this would raise the price of cotton, as the demand for Germany and Russia has now raised it, while your competition with us might lower the price of cloth. We need to have cheap cotton while selling dear cloth. We need to have cheap food while selling dear iron. Our paramount rule of action is, 'buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest one'—and the less civilized those with whom we have to deal the cheaper we can always buy and the dearer we can sell. It is, therefore, to our interest that your women should labour in the field, and that your children should grow up uneducated and barbarous. Even, however, were we so disposed, you could not compete with us. Your labour is cheap, it is true, but after having, for half a century, been deprived of manufactures, you have little skill, and it would require many years for you to acquire it. Your foreign trade has disappeared with your manufactures, and the products of your looms would have no market but your own. When we invent a pattern we have the whole world for a market, and after having supplied the domestic demand, we can furnish of it for foreign markets so cheaply as to set at defiance all competition. Further than all this, we have, at very short intervals, periods of monetary crisis that are so severe as to sweep away many of our own manufacturers, and at those times goods are forced into all the markets of the world, to be sold at any price that can be obtained for them. Look only at the facts of the last few years. Six years since, railroad iron was worth £12 per ton. Three years since, it could be had for £4.10, or even less. Now it is at £10, and a year hence it may be either £12 or £4; and whether it shall be the one or the other is dependent altogether upon the movements of the great Bank which regulates all our affairs. Under such circumstances, how could your infant establishments hope to exist? Be content. The Celt has long been 'the hewer of wood and drawer of water for the Saxon,' and so he must continue. We should regret to see you all driven from your native soil, because it would deprive us of our supply of cheap labour; but we shall have in exchange the great fact that Ireland will become one vast grazing-farm, and will supply us with cheap provisions, and thus aid in keeping down the prices of all descriptions of food sent to our markets."

The Hindoo, in like manner, would be told that his aid was needed for keeping down the price of American and Egyptian cotton, and Brazilian and Cuban sugar, and that the price of both would rise were he permitted to obtain machinery that would enable him to mine coal and iron ore, by aid of which to obtain spindles and looms for the conversion of his cotton into cloth, and thus raise the value of his labour. The Brazilian would be told that it was the policy of England to have cheap sugar, and that the more he confined himself and his people—men, women, and children—to the culture of the cane, the lower would be the prices of the product of the slaves of Cuba and the Mauritius.

Seeing that the policy of England was thus directly opposed to every thing like association, or the growth of towns and other local places of exchange, and that it looked only to cheapening labour and enslaving the labourer, the questions would naturally arise: Can we not help ourselves? Is there no mode of escaping from this thraldom? Must our women always labour in the field? Must our children always be deprived of schools? Must we continue for ever to raise negroes for sale? Must the slave trade last for ever? Must the agricultural communities of the world be compelled for all time to compete against each other in one very limited market for the sale of all they have to sell, and the purchase of all they have to buy? Are there not some nations in which men are becoming more free, and might we not aid the cause of freedom by studying the course they have pursued and are pursuing? Let us; then, inquire into the policy of some of the various peoples of Continental Europe, and see if we cannot obtain an answer to these questions.



Local action has always, to a considerable extent, existed in Germany. For a time, there was a tendency to the centralization of power in the hands of Austria, but the growth of Prussia at the north has produced counter attraction, and there is from day to day an increasing tendency toward decentralization, local activity, and freedom.

It is now but little more than seventy years since the Elector of Hesse sold large numbers of his poor subjects to the government of England to aid it in establishing unlimited control over the people of this country. About the same period, Frederick of Prussia had his emissaries everywhere employed in seizing men of proper size for his grenadier regiments—and so hot was the pursuit, that it was dangerous for a man of any nation, or however free, if of six feet high, to place himself within their reach. The people were slaves, badly fed, badly clothed, and badly lodged, and their rulers were tyrants. The language of the higher classes was French, German being then regarded as coarse and vulgar, fit only for the serf. German literature was then only struggling into existence. Of the mechanic arts, little was known, and the people were almost exclusively agricultural, while the machinery used in agriculture was of the rudest kind. Commerce at home was very small, and abroad it was limited to the export of the rude products of the field, to be exchanged for the luxuries of London or Paris required for the use of the higher orders of society.

Thirty years later, the slave trade furnished cargoes to many, if not most, of the vessels that traded between this country and Germany. Men, women, and children were brought out and sold for terms of years, at the close of which they became free, and many of the, most respectable people in the Middle States are descended from "indented" German servants.

The last half century has, however, been marked by the adoption of measures tending to the complete establishment of the mechanic arts throughout Germany, and to the growth of places for the performance of local exchanges. The change commenced during the period of the continental system; but, at the close of the war, the manufacturing establishments of the country were, to a great extent, swept away, and the raw material of cloth was again compelled to travel to a distance in search of the spindle and the loom, the export of which from England, as well as of colliers and artisans, was, as the reader has seen, prohibited. But very few years, however, elapsed before it became evident that the people were becoming poorer, and the land becoming exhausted, and then it was that were commenced the smaller Unions for the purpose of bringing the loom to take its natural place by the side of the plough and the harrow. Step by step they grew in size and strength, until, in 1835, only twenty years after the battle of Waterloo, was formed the Zoll-Verein, or great German Union, under which the internal commerce was rendered almost entirely free, while the external one was subjected to certain restraints, having for their object to cause the artisan to come and place himself where food and wool were cheap, in accordance with the doctrines of Adam Smith.

In 1825, Germany exported almost thirty millions of pounds of raw wool to England, where it was subjected to a duty of twelve cents per pound for the privilege of passing through the machinery there provided for its manufacture into cloth. Since that time, the product has doubled, and yet not only has the export almost ceased, but much foreign wool is now imported for the purpose of mixing with that produced at home. The effect of this has, of course, been to make a large market for both food and wool that would otherwise have been pressed on the market of England, with great reduction in the price of both; and woollen cloths are now so cheaply produced in Germany, that they are exported to almost all parts of the world. Wool is higher and cloth is lower, and, therefore, it is, as we shall see, that the people are now so much better clothed.

At the date of the formation of the Union, the total import of raw cotton and cotton yarn was about 300,000 cwts., but so rapid was the extension of the manufacture, that in less than six years it had doubled, and so cheaply were cotton goods supplied, that a large export trade had already arisen. In 1845, when the Union, was but ten years old, the import of cotton and yarn had reached a million of hundredweights, and since that time there has been a large increase. The iron manufacture, also, grew so rapidly that whereas, in 1834, the consumption had been only eleven pounds per head, in 1847 it had risen to twenty-five pounds, having thus more than doubled; and with each step in this direction, the people were obtaining better machinery for cultivating the land and for converting its raw products into manufactured ones.

In no country has there been a more rapid increase in this diversification of employments, and increase in the demand for labour, than in Germany since the formation of the Union. Everywhere throughout the country men are now becoming enabled to combine the labours of the workshop with those of the field and the garden, and "the social and economical results" of this cannot, says Mr. Kay [171] —

"Be rated too highly. The interchange of garden-labour with manufacturing employments, which is advantageous to the operative, who works in his own house, is a real luxury and necessity for the factory operative, whose occupations are almost always necessarily prejudicial to health. After his day's labour in the factories, he experiences a physical reinvigoration from moderate labour in the open air, and, moreover, he derives from it some economical advantages. He is enabled by this means to cultivate at least part of the vegetables which his family require for their consumption, instead of having to purchase them in the market at a considerable outlay. He can sometimes, also, keep a cow, which supplies his family with milk, and provides a healthy occupation for his wife and children when they leave the factory."

As a necessary consequence of this creation of a domestic market, the farmer has ceased to be compelled to devote himself exclusively to the production of wheat, or other articles of small bulk and large price, and can now "have a succession of crops," says Mr. Howitt—

"Like a market-gardener. They have their carrots, poppies, hemp, flax, saintfoin, lucerne, rape, colewort, cabbage, rutabaga, black turnips, Swedish and white turnips, teazles, Jerusalem artichokes, mangelwurzel, parsnips, kidney-beans, field beans, and peas, vetches, Indian corn, buckwheat, madder for the manufacturer, potatoes, their great crop of tobacco, millet—all or the greater part under the family management, in their own family allotments. They have had these things first to sow, many of them to transplant, to hoe, to weed, to clear off insects, to top; many of them to mow and gather in successive crops. They have their water-meadows—of which kind almost all their meadows are to flood, to mow, and reflood; watercourses to reopen and to make anew; their early fruits to gather, to bring to market, with their green crops of vegetables; their cattle, sheep, calves, fowls; (most of them prisoners,) and poultry to look after; their vines, as they shoot rampantly in the summer heat, to prune, and thin out the leaves when they are too thick; and any one may imagine what a scene of incessant labour it is."—Rural and Domestic Life in Germany, p. 50.

The existence of a domestic market enables them, of course, to manure their land. "No means," says Mr. Kay—

"Are spared to make the ground produce as much as possible. Not a square yard of land is uncultivated or unused. No stories are left mingled with the soil. The ground is cleared of weeds and rubbish, and the lumps of earth are broken up with as much care as in an English garden. If it is meadow land, it is cleaned of obnoxious herbs and weeds. Only the sweet grasses which are good for the cattle are allowed to grow. All the manure from the house, farm, and yard is carefully collected and scientifically prepared. The liquid manure is then carried, in hand-carts like our road-watering carts into the fields, and is watered over the meadows in equal proportions. The solid manures are broken up, cleared of stones and rubbish, and are then properly mixed and spread over the lands which require them. No room is lost in hedges or ditches, and no breeding-places are left for the vermin which in many parts of England do so much injury to the farmers' crops. The character of the soil of each district is carefully examined, and a suitable rotation of crops is chosen, so as to obtain the greatest possible return without injuring the land; and the cattle are well housed, are kept beautifully clean, and are groomed and tended like the horses of our huntsmen."—Vol. i. 118.

The labours of the field have become productive, and there has been excited, says Dr. Shubert—

"A singular and increasing interest in agriculture and in the breeding of cattle; and if in some localities, on account of peculiar circumstances or of a less degree of intelligence, certain branches of the science of agriculture are less developed than in other localities, it is, nevertheless, undeniable that an almost universal progress has been made in the cultivation of the soil and in the breeding of cattle. No one can any longer, as was the custom thirty years ago, describe the Prussian system of agriculture by the single appellation of the three-year-course system; no man can, as formerly, confine his enumeration of richly-cultivated districts to a few localities. In the present day, there is no district of Prussia in which intelligence, persevering energy, and an ungrudged expenditure of capital, has not immensely improved a considerable part of the country for the purposes of agriculture and of the breeding of cattle."[172]

Speaking of that portion of Germany which lies on the Rhine and the
Neckar, Professor Rau, of Heidelberg, says that—

"Whoever travels hastily through this part of the country must have been agreeably surprised with the luxuriant vegetation of the fields, with the orchards and vineyards which cover the hillside's, with the size of the villages, with the breadth of their streets, with the beauty of their official buildings, with the cleanliness and stateliness of their houses, with the good clothing in which the people appear at their festivities, and with the universal proofs of a prosperity which has been caused by industry and skill, and which has survived all the political changes of the times. * * * The unwearied assiduity of the peasants—who are to be seen actively employed the whole of every year and of every day, and who are never idle, because they understand how to arrange their work, and how to set apart for every time and season its appropriate duties—is as remarkable as their eagerness to avail themselves of every circumstance and of every new invention which can aid them, and their ingenuity in improving their resources, are praiseworthy. It is easy to perceive that the peasant of this district really understands his business. He can give reasons for the occasional failures of his operations; he knows and remembers clearly his pecuniary resources; he arranges his choice of fruits according to their prices; and he makes his calculations by the general signs and tidings of the weather."—Landwirthshaft der Rheinpfalz.

The people of this country "stand untutored," says Mr. Kay, "except by experience; but," he continues—

"Could the tourist hear these men in their blouses and thick gaiters converse on the subject, he would be surprised at the mass of practical knowledge they possess, and at the caution and yet the keenness with which they study these advantages. Of this all may rest assured, that from the commencement of the offsets of the Eifel, where the village cultivation assumes an individual and strictly local character, good reason can be given for the manner in which every inch of ground is laid out, as for every balm, root, or tree that covers it."—Vol. i. 130.

The system of agriculture is making rapid progress, as is always the case when the artisan is brought to the side of the husbandman. Constant intercourse with each other sharpens the intellect, and men learn to know the extent of their powers. Each step upward is but the preparation for a new and greater one, and therefore it is that everywhere among those small farmers, says Mr. Kay, "science is welcomed." "Each," he continues—

"Is so anxious to emulate and surpass his neighbours, that any new invention, which benefits one, is eagerly sought out and adopted by the others."—Vol. i. 149.

The quantity of stock that is fed is constantly and rapidly increasing, and, as a necessary consequence, the increase in the quantity of grain is more rapid than in the population, although that of Prussia and Saxony now increases faster than that of any other nation of Europe.[173]

The land of Germany is much divided. A part of this division was the work of governments which interfered between the owners and the peasants, and gave to the latter absolute rights over a part of the land they cultivated, instead of previous claims to rights of so uncertain a kind as rendered the peasant a mere slave to the land-owner. Those rights, however, could not have been maintained had not the policy of the government tended to promote the growth of population and wealth. Centralization would have tended to the reconsolidation of the land, as it has done in India, Ireland, Scotland, and England; but decentralization here gives value to land, and aids in carrying out the system commenced by government. Professor Reichensperger [174] says—

"That the price of land which is divided into small properties, in the Prussian Rhine provinces, is much higher, and has been rising much more rapidly, than the price of land on the great estates. He and Professor Rau both say that this rise in the price of the small estates would have ruined the more recent, purchasers, unless the productiveness of the small estates had increased in at least an equal proportion; and as the small proprietors have been gradually becoming more and more prosperous, notwithstanding the increasing prices they have paid for their land, he argues, with apparent justness, that this would seem to show that not only the gross profits of the small estates, but the net profits also, have been gradually increasing, and that the net profits per acre of land, when farmed by small proprietors, are greater than the net profits per acre of land farmed by great proprietors."—Kay, vol. i. 116.

The admirable effect of the division of land, which follows necessarily in the wake of the growth of population and wealth, is thus described by Sismondi:—[175]

"Wherever are found peasant proprietors, are also found that ease, that security, that independence, and that confidence in the future, which insure at the same time happiness and virtue. The peasant who, with his family, does all the work on his little inheritance, who neither pays rent to any one above him, nor wages to any one below him, who regulates his production by his consumption, who eats his own corn, drinks his own wine, and is clothed with his own flax and wool, cares little about knowing the price of the market; for he has little to sell and little to buy, and is never ruined by the revolutions of commerce. Far from fearing for the future, it is embellished by his hopes; for he puts out to profit, for his children or for ages to come, every instant which is not required by the labour of the year. Only a few moments, stolen from otherwise lost time, are required to put into the ground the nut which in a hundred years will become a large tree; to hollow out the aqueduct which will drain his field for ever; to form the conduit which will bring him a spring of water; to improve, by many little labours and attentions bestowed in spare moments, all the kinds of animals and vegetables by which he is surrounded. This little patrimony is a true savings-bank, always ready to receive his little profits, and usefully to employ his leisure moments. The ever-acting powers of nature make his labours fruitful, and return to him a hundredfold. The peasant has a strong sense of the happiness attached to the condition of proprietor. Thus he is always eager to purchase land at any price. He pays for it more than it is worth; but what reason he has to esteem at a high price the advantage of thenceforward always employing his labour advantageously, without being obliged to offer it cheap, and of always finding his bread when he wants it, without being obliged to buy it dear!"—Kay; vol. i. 153.

The German people borrow from the earth, and they pay their debts; and this they are enabled to do because the market is everywhere near, and becoming nearer every day, as, with the increase of population and wealth, men are enabled to obtain better machinery of conversion and transportation. They are, therefore, says Mr. Kay—

"Gradually acquiring capital, and their great ambition is to have land of their own. They eagerly seize every opportunity of purchasing a small farm; and the price is so raised by the competition, that land pays little more than two per cent. interest for the purchase-money. Large properties gradually disappear, and are divided into small portions, which sell at a high rate. But the wealth and industry of the population is continually increasing, being rather through the masses, than accumulated in individuals."—Vol. i. 183.

The disappearance of large properties in Germany proceeds, pari passu, with the disappearance of small ones in England. If the reader desire to know the views of Adam Smith as to the relative advantages of the two systems, he may turn to the description, from his pen, of the feelings of the small proprietor, given in a former chapter;[176] after which he may profit by reading the following remarks of Mr. Kay, prompted by his observation of the course of things in Germany:—

"But there can be no doubt that five acres, the property of an intelligent peasant, who farms it himself, in a country where the peasants have learned to farm, will always produce much more per acre than an equal number of acres will do when farmed by a mere leasehold tenant. In the case of the peasant proprietor, the increased activity and energy of the farmer, and the deep interest he feels in the improvement of his land, which are always caused by the fact of ownership, more than compensate the advantage arising from the fact that the capital required to work the large farms is less in proportion to the quantity of land cultivated than the capital required to work the small farm. In the cases of a large farm and of a small farm, the occupiers of which are both tenants of another person, and not owners themselves, it may be true that the produce of the large farm will be greater in proportion to the capital employed in cultivation than that of the small farm; and that, therefore, the farming of the larger farm will be the most economical, and will render the largest rent to the landlord."—Vol. i. 113.

Land is constantly changing hands, and "people of all classes," says
Mr. Kay—

"Are able to become proprietors. Shopkeepers and labourers of the towns purchase gardens outside the towns, where they and their families work in the fine evenings, in raising vegetables and fruit for the use of their households; shopkeepers, who have laid by a little competence, purchase farms, to which they and their families retire from the toil and disquiet of a town life; farmers purchase the farms they used formerly to rent of great land-owners; while most of the peasants of these countries have purchased and live upon farms of their own, or are now economizing and laying by all that they can possibly spare from their earnings, in order therewith as soon as possible to purchase a farm or a garden."—Vol. i. 58.

We have here the strongest inducements to exertion and economy. Every man seeks to have a little farm, or a garden, of his own, and all have, says Mr. Kay—

"The consciousness that they have their fate in their own hands; that their station in life depends upon their own exertions; that they can rise in the world, if they will, only be patient and laborious enough; that they can gain an independent position by industry and economy; that they are not cut off by an insurmountable barrier from the next step in the social scale; that it is possible to purchase a house and farm of their own; and that the more industrious and prudent they are, the better will be the position of their families: [and this consciousness] gives the labourers of those countries, where the land is not tied up in the hands of a few, an elasticity of feeling, a hopefulness, an energy, a pleasure in economy and labour, a distaste for expenditure upon gross sensual enjoyments,—which would only diminish the gradually increasing store,—and an independence of character, which the dependent and helpless labourers of the other country can never experience. In short, the life of a peasant in those countries where the land is not kept from subdividing by the laws is one of the highest moral education. His unfettered position stimulates him to better his condition, to economize, to be industrious, to husband his powers, to acquire moral habits, to use foresight, to gain knowledge about agriculture, and to give his children a good education, so that they may improve the patrimony and social position he will bequeath to them."—Vol. i. 200.

We have here the stimulus of hope of improvement—a state of things widely different from that described in a former chapter in relation to England, where, says the Times, "once a peasant, a man must remain a peasant for ever." Such is the difference between the one system, that looks to centralizing in the hands of a few proprietors of machinery power over the lives and fortunes of all the cultivators of the world, and the other, that looks to giving to all those cultivators power over themselves. The first is the system of slavery, and the last that of freedom.

Hope is the mother of industry, and industry in her turn begets temperance. "In the German and Swiss towns," says Mr. Kay—

"There are no places to be compared to those sources of the demoralization of our town poor—the gin-palaces. There is very little drunkenness in either towns or villages, while the absence of the gin-palaces removes from the young the strong causes of degradation and corruption which exist at the doors of the English homes, affording scenes and temptations which cannot but Inflict upon our labouring classes moral injury which they would not otherwise suffer." * * * "The total absence of intemperance and drunkenness at these, and indeed at all other fêtes in Germany, is very singular. I never saw a drunken man either in Prussia or Saxony, and I was assured by every one that such a sight was rare. I believe the temperance of the poor to be owing to the civilizing effects of their education in the schools and in the army, to the saving and careful habits which the possibility of purchasing land; and the longing to purchase it, nourish in their minds, and to their having higher and more pleasurable amusements than the alehouse and hard drinking."— Vol. i. 247, 261.

As a natural consequence of this, pauperism is rare, as will be seen by the following extract from a report of the Prussian Minister of Statistics, given by Mr. Kay:—

"As our Prussian agriculture raises so much more meat and bread on the same extent of territory than it used to do, it follows that agriculture must have been greatly increased both in science and industry. There are other facts which confirm the truth of this conclusion. The division of estates has, since 1831, proceeded more and more throughout the country. There are now many more small independent proprietors than formerly. Yet, however many complaints of pauperism are heard among the dependent labourers, WE NEVER HEARD IT COMPLAINED THAT PAUPERISM IS INCREASING AMONG THE PEASANT PROPRIETORS. Nor do we hear that the estates of the peasants in the eastern provinces are becoming too small, or that the system of freedom of disposition leads to too great a division of the father's land among the children." * * * "It is an almost universally acknowledged fact that the gross produce of the land, in grain, potatoes, and cattle, is increased when the land is cultivated by those who own small portions of it; and if this had not been the case, it would have been impossible to raise as much of the necessary articles of food as has been wanted for the increasing population. Even on the larger estates, the improvement in the system of agriculture is too manifest to admit of any doubt…. Industry, and capital, and labour are expended upon the soil. It is rendered productive by means of manuring and careful tillage. The amount of the produce is increased…. The prices of the estates, on account of their increased productiveness, have increased. The great commons, many acres of which used to lie wholly uncultivated, are disappearing, and are being turned into meadows and fields. The cultivation of potatoes has increased very considerably. Greater plots of lands are now devoted to the cultivation of potatoes than ever used to be…. The old system of the three-field system of agriculture, according to which one-third of the field used to be left always fallow, in order to recruit the land, is now scarcely ever to be met with…. With respect to the cattle, the farmers now labour to improve the breed. Sheep-breeding is rationally and scientifically pursued on the great estates…. A remarkable activity in agricultural pursuits has been raised; and, as all attempts to improve agriculture are encouraged and assisted by the present government, agricultural colleges are founded, agricultural associations of scientific farmers meet in all provinces to suggest improvements to aid in carrying out experiments, and even the peasant proprietors form such associations among themselves, and establish model farms and institutions for themselves."—Vol. i. 266.

The English system, which looks to the consolidation of land and the aggrandizement of the large capitalist, tends, on the contrary, to deprive the labourer

"Of every worldly inducement to practise self-denial, prudence, and economy; it deprives him of every hope of rising in the world; it makes him totally careless about self-improvement, about the institutions of his country, and about the security of property; it undermines all his independence of character; it makes him dependent on the workhouse, or on the charity he can obtain by begging at the hall; and it renders him the fawning follower of the all-powerful land-owner."—Vol. i. 290.

The change that has taken place in the consumption of clothing is thus shown:—

                  Per head in 1805. In 1842.
                  ————————- ————
    Ells of cloth…………. 3/4 ………… 1-1/5
      " linen…………. 4 ………… 5
      " woollen stuffs…. 3/4 ………… 13
      " silks…………. 1/4 ………… 3/8

"The Sunday suit of the peasants," says Mr. Kay—

"In Germany, Switzerland, and Holland rivals that of the middle classes. A stranger taken into the rooms where the village dances are held, and where the young men and young women are dressed in their best clothes, would often be unable to tell what class of people were around him." * * * "It is very curious and interesting, at the provincial fairs, to see not only what a total absence there is of any thing like the rags and filth of pauperism, but also what evidence of comfort and prosperity there is in the clean and comfortable attire of the women."—Vol. i. 225, 227.

In further evidence of the improvement of the condition of the female sex, he tells us that

"An Englishman, taken to the markets, fairs, and village festivals of these countries, would scarcely credit his eyes were he to see the peasant-girls who meet there to join in the festivities; they are so much more lady-like in their appearance, in their manners, and in their dress than those of our country parishes."—Vol. i. 31.

The contrast between the education of the children of the poor in
Germany and England is thus shown:—

"I advise my readers to spend a few hours in any of our back streets and alleys, those nurseries of vice and feeders of the jails, and to assure himself that children of the same class as those he will see in [these] haunts—dirty, rude, boisterous, playing in the mud with uncombed hair, filthy and torn garments, and skin that looks as if it had not been washed for months—are always, throughout Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, and a great part of France, either in school or in the school play-ground, clean, well-dressed, polite and civil in their manners, and healthy, intelligent, and happy in their appearance. It is this difference in the early life of the poor of the towns of these countries which explains the astonishing improvement which has taken place in the state of the back streets and alleys of many of their towns. The majority of their town poor are growing up with tastes which render them unfit to endure such degradation as the filth and misery of our town pauperism."—Vol. i. 198.

As a natural consequence, there is that tendency toward equality which everywhere else is attendant on real freedom. "The difference," says Mr. Kay—

"Between the condition of the juvenile population of these countries and of our own may be imagined, when I inform my readers that many of the boys and girls of the higher classes of society in these countries are educated at the same desks with the boys and girls of the poorest of the people, and that children comparable with the class which attends our 'ragged schools' are scarcely ever to be found. How impossible it would be to induce our gentry to let their children be educated with such children as frequent the 'ragged schools,' I need not remind my readers."—P. 101.

This tendency to equality is further shown in the following passage:—

"The manners of the peasants in Germany and Switzerland form, as I have already said, a very singular contrast to the manners of our peasants. They are polite, but independent. The manner of salutation encourages this feeling. If a German gentleman addresses a peasant, he raises his hat before the poor man, as we do before ladies. The peasant replies by a polite 'Pray be covered, sir,' and then, in good German, answers the questions put to him."—P. 159.

With growing tendency to equality of fortune, as the people pass from slavery toward freedom, there is less of ostentatious display, and less necessity for that slavish devotion to labour remarked in England. "All classes," says Mr. Kay—

"In Germany, Switzerland, France, and Holland are therefore satisfied with less income than the corresponding classes in England. They, therefore, devote less time to labour, and more time to healthy and improving recreation. The style of living among the mercantile classes of these countries is much simpler than in England, but their enjoyment of life is much greater."—Vol. i. 303.

As a consequence of this, the amusements of their leisure hours are of a more improving character, as is here seen:—

"The amusements of the peasants and operatives in the greater part of Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, where they are well educated, and where they are generally proprietors of farms or gardens, are of a much higher and of a much more healthy character than those of the most prosperous of similar classes in England. Indeed, it may be safely affirmed that the amusements of the poor in Germany are of a higher character than the amusements of the lower part of the middle classes in England. This may at first seem a rather bold assertion; but it will not be thought so, when I have shown what their amusements are.

"The gardens, which belong to the town labourers and small shopkeepers, afford their proprietors the healthiest possible kind of recreation after the labours of the day. But, independently of this, the mere amusements of the poor of these countries prove the civilization, the comfort, and the prosperity of their social state." * * * "There are, perhaps, no peasantry in the world who have so much healthy recreation and amusement as the peasants of Germany, and especially as those of Prussia and Saxony. In the suburbs of all the towns of Prussia and Saxony regular garden, concerts and promenades are given. An admittance fee of from one penny to sixpence admits any one to these amusements." * * * "I went constantly to these garden-concerts. I rejoiced to see that it was possible for the richest and the poorest of the people to find a common meeting ground; that the poor did not live for labour only; and that the schools had taught the poor to find pleasure in such improving and civilizing pleasures. I saw daily proofs at these meetings of the excellent effects of the social system of Germany. I learned there how high a civilization the poorer classes of a nation are capable of attaining under a well-arranged system of those laws which affect the social condition of a people. I found proofs at these meetings of the truth of that which I am anxious to teach my countrymen, that the poorer classes of Germany are much less pauperized, much more civilized, and much happier than our own peasantry." * * * "The dancing itself, even in those tents frequented by the poorest peasants, is quite as good, and is conducted with quite as much decorum, as that of the first ballrooms of London. The polka, the waltz, and several dances not known in England, are danced by the German peasants with great elegance. They dance quicker than we do; and, from the training in music which they receive from their childhood, and for many years of their lives, the poorest peasants dance in much better time than English people generally do."—Vol. i. 235, 237, 240, 244.

How strikingly does the following view of the state of education contrast with that given in a former chapter in relation to the education of the poor of England!—

"Four years ago the Prussian government made a general inquiry throughout the kingdom, to discover how far the school education of the people had been extended; and it was then ascertained that, out of all the young men in the kingdom who had attained the age of twenty-one years, only two in every hundred were unable to read. This fact was communicated to me by the Inspector-General of the kingdom.

"The poor of these countries read a great deal more than even those of our own country who are able to read. It is a general custom in Germany and Switzerland for four or five families of labourers to club together, and to subscribe among themselves for one or two of the newspapers which come out once or twice a week. These papers are passed from family to family, or are interchanged." * * * "I remember one day, when walking near Berlin in the company of Herr Hintz, a professor in Dr. Diesterweg's Normal College, and of another teacher, we saw a poor woman cutting up in the road logs of wood for winter use. My companions pointed her out to me, and said, 'Perhaps you will scarcely believe it, but in the neighbourhood of Berlin poor women, like that one, read translations of Sir Walter Scott's novels, and of many of the interesting works of your language, besides those of the principal writers of Germany.' This account was afterward confirmed by the testimony of several other persons.

"Often and often have I seen the poor cab-drivers of Berlin, while waiting for a fare, amusing themselves by reading German books, which they had brought with them in the morning expressly for the purpose of supplying amusement and occupation for their leisure hours.

"In many parts of these countries, the peasants and the workmen of the towns attend regular weekly lectures or weekly classes, where they practise singing or chanting, or learn mechanical drawing, history, or science.

"As will be seen afterward, women as well, as men, girls as well as boys, enjoy in these countries the same advantages, and go through the same, school education. The women of the poorer classes of these countries, in point of intelligence and knowledge, are almost equal to the men."—P. 63, 65.

These facts would seem fully to warrant the author in his expression of the belief that

"The moral, intellectual, and social condition of the peasants and operatives of those parts of Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and France where the poor have been educated, where the land has been released from the feudal laws, and where the peasants have been enabled to acquire, is very much higher, happier, and more satisfactory than that of the peasants and operatives of England; and that while these latter are struggling in the deepest ignorance, pauperism, and moral degradation, the former are steadily and progressively attaining a condition, both socially and politically considered, of a higher, happier, and more hopeful character."—Vol. i. 7.

The extensive possession of property produces here, as everywhere, respect for the rights of property. "In the neighbourhood of towns," says Mr. Kay—

"The land is scarcely any more enclosed, except in the case of the small gardens which surround the houses, than in the more rural districts. Yet this right is seldom abused. The condition of the lands near a German, or Swiss, or Dutch town is as orderly, as neat, and as undisturbed by trespassers as in the most secluded and most strictly preserved of our rural districts. All the poor have friends or relations who are themselves proprietors. Every man, however poor, feels that he himself may, some day or other, become a proprietor. All are, consequently, immediately interested in the preservation of property, and in watching over the rights and interests of their neighbours."—P. 249.

How strongly the same cause tends to the maintenance of public order, may be seen on a perusal of the following passages:—

"Every peasant who possesses one of these estates becomes interested in the maintenance of public order, in the tranquillity of the country, in the suppression of crimes, in the fostering of industry among his own children, and in the promotion of their intelligence. A class of peasant proprietors forms the strongest of all conservative classes." * * * "Throughout all the excitement of the revolutions of 1848, the peasant proprietors of France, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland were almost universally found upon the side of order, and opposed to revolutionary excesses. It was only in the provinces where the land was divided among the nobles, and where the peasants were only serfs, as in the Polish provinces, Bohemia, Austria, and some parts of South Germany, that they showed themselves rebellious. In Prussia they sent deputation after deputation to Frederic William, to assure him of their support; in one province the peasant proprietors elected his brother as their representative; and in others they declared, by petition after petition forwarded to the chamber, and by the results of the elections, how strongly they were opposed to the anarchical party in Berlin."—Vol. i. 33, 273.

It is where land acquires value that men become free, and the more rapid the growth of value in land, the more rapid has ever been the growth of freedom. To enable it to acquire value, the artisan and the ploughman must take their places by the side of each other; and the greater the tendency to this, the more rapid will be the progress of man toward moral, intellectual, and political elevation. It is in this direction that all the policy of Germany now tends, whereas that of England tends toward destroying everywhere the value of labour and land, and everywhere impairing the condition of man. The one system tends to the establishment everywhere of mills, furnaces, and towns, places of exchange, in accordance with the view of Dr. Smith, who tells us that "had human institutions never disturbed the natural course of things, the progressive wealth and increase of the towns would, in every political society, be consequential and in proportion to the improvement and cultivation of the territory and country." The other tends toward building up London and Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, at the cost of enormous taxation imposed upon all the farmers and planters of the world; and its effects in remote parts of the United Kingdom itself, compared with those observed in Germany, are thus described:

"If any one has travelled in the mountainous parts of Scotland and Wales, where the farmers are only under-lessees of great landlords, without security of tenure, and liable to be turned out of possession with half a year's notice, and where the peasants are only labourers, without any land of their own, and generally without even the use of a garden; if he has travelled in the mountainous parts of Switzerland, Saxony, and the hilly parts of the Prussian Rhine provinces, where most of the farmers and peasants possess, or can by economy and industry obtain, land of their own; and if he has paid any serious attention to the condition of the farms, peasants, and children of these several countries, he cannot fail to have observed the astonishing superiority of the condition of the peasants, children, and farms in the last-mentioned countries.

"The miserable cultivation, the undrained and rush-covered valleys, the great number of sides of hills, terraces on the rocks, sides of streams, and other places capable of the richest cultivation, but wholly disused, even for game preserves; the vast tracts of the richest lands lying in moors, and bogs, and swamps, and used only for the breeding-places of game, and deer, and vermin, while the poor peasants are starving beside them; the miserable huts of cottages, with their one story, their two low rooms, their wretched and undrained floors, and their dilapidated roofs; and the crowds of miserable, half-clad, ragged, dirty, uncombed, and unwashed children, never blessed with any education, never trained in cleanliness or morality, and never taught any pure religion, are as astounding on the one hand as the happy condition of the peasants in the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, in the Tyrol, in Saxony, and in the mountainous parts of the Prussian Rhine provinces, is pleasing upon the other—where every plot of land that can bear any thing is brought into the most beautiful state of cultivation; where the valleys are richly and scientifically farmed; where the manures are collected with the greatest care; where the houses are generally large, roomy, well-built, and in excellent repair, and are improving every day; where the children are beautifully clean, comfortably dressed, and attending excellent schools; and where the condition of the people is one of hope, industry, and progress."—Vol. i. 140.

The artisan has ever been the ally of the farmer in his contests with those who sought to tax him, let the form of taxation be what it might. The tendency of the British system is everywhere toward separating the two, and using each to crush the other. Hence it is that in all the countries subject to the system there is an abjectness of spirit not to be found in other parts of the world. The vices charged by the English journals on the people of Ireland are those of slavery—falsehood and dissimulation. The Hindoo of Bengal is a mean and crouching animal, compared with the free people of the upper country who have remained under their native princes. Throughout England there is a deference to rank, a servility, a toadyism, entirely inconsistent with progress in civilization.[177]

The English labourer is, says Mr. Howitt [178]—

"So cut off from the idea of property, that he comes habitually to look upon it as a thing from which he is warned by the laws of the great proprietors, and becomes in consequence spiritless, purposeless."

Compare with this the following description of a German bauer, from the same authority:—

"The German bauer, on the contrary, looks on the country as made for him and his fellow-men. He feels himself a man; he has a stake in the country as good as that of the bulk of his neighbours; no man can threaten him with ejection or the workhouse so long as he is active and economical. He walks, therefore, with a bold step; he looks you in the face with the air of a free man, but of a respectful one."—Ibid.

The reader may now advantageously compare the progress of the last half century in Ireland and in Germany. Doing so, he will see that in the former there has been a steady tendency to the expulsion of the mechanic, the exhaustion of the soil, the consolidation of the land, and the resolution of the whole nation into a mass of wretched tenants at will, holding under the middleman agent of the great absentee landlord, with constant decline in the material, moral, and intellectual condition of all classes of society, and constantly increasing inability on the part of the nation to assert its rights. Seventy years since the Irish people extorted the admission of their right to legislate for themselves, whereas now the total disappearance of the nation from among the communities of the world is regarded as a thing to be prayed for, and a calculation is made that but twenty-four more years will be required, at the present rate, for its total extinction. In Germany, on the contrary, the mechanic is everywhere invited, and towns are everywhere growing. The soil is being everywhere enriched, and agricultural knowledge is being diffused throughout the nation; and land so rapidly acquires value that it is becoming more divided from day to day. The proprietor is everywhere taking the place of the serf, and the demand for labour becomes steady and man becomes valuable. The people are everywhere improving in their material and moral condition; and so rapid is the improvement of intellectual condition, that German literature now commands the attention of the whole civilized world. With each step in this direction, there is an increasing tendency toward union and peace, whereas as Ireland declines there is an increasing tendency toward discord, violence, and crime. Having studied these things, the reader may then call to mind that Ireland has thus declined, although, in the whole half century, her soil has never been pressed by the foot of an enemy in arms, whereas Germany has thus improved, although repeatedly overrun and plundered by hostile armies.



Among the nations of the world whose policy looks to carrying out the views of Adam Smith, in bringing the artisan as near as possible to the food and the wool, Russia stands distinguished. The information we have in reference to the movements of that country is limited; but all of it tends to prove that with the growth of population and wealth, and with the increased diversification of labour, land is acquiring value, and man is advancing rapidly toward freedom. "The industry of Russia," says a recent American journal—

"Has been built up, as alone the industry of a nation can be, under a system of protection, from time to time modified as experience has dictated; but never destroyed by specious abstractions or the dogmas of mere doctrinaires. Fifty years ago manufactures were unknown there, and the caravans trading to the interior and supplying the wants of distant tribes in Asia went laden with the products of British and other foreign workshops. When the present emperor mounted the throne, in 1825, the country could not produce the cloth required to uniform its own soldiers; further back, in 1800, the exportation of coloured cloth was prohibited under severe penalties; but through the influence of adequate protection, as early as 1834, Russian cloth was taken by the caravans to Kiachta; and at this day the markets of all Central Asia are supplied by the fabrics of Russian looms, which in Affghanistan and China are crowding British cloths entirely out of sale—notwithstanding the latter have the advantage in transportation—while in Tartary and Russia itself British woollens are now scarcely heard of. In 1812 there were in Russia 136 cloth factories; in 1824, 324; in 1812 there were 129 cotton factories; in 1824, 484. From 1812 to 1839 the whole number of manufacturing establishments in the empire more than trebled, and since then they have increased in a much greater ratio, though from the absence of official statistics we are not able to give the figures. Of the total amount of manufactured articles consumed in 1843, but one-sixth were imported. And along with this vast aggrandizement of manufacturing industry and commerce, there has been a steady increase of both imports and exports, as well as of revenue from customs. The increase in imports has consisted of articles of luxury and raw materials for manufacture. And, as if to leave nothing wanting in the demonstration, the increase of exports has constantly included more and more of the products of agriculture. Thus in this empire we see what we must always see under an adequate and judicious system of protection, that a proper tariff not only improves, refines, and diversifies the labour of a country, but enlarges its commerce, increases the prosperity of its agricultural population, renders the people better and better able to contribute to the support of the Government, and raises the nation to a position of independence and real equality among the powers of the globe. All this is indubitably proved by the example of Russia, for there protection has been steady and adequate, and the consequences are what we have described."—N. York Tribune.

The reader may advantageously compare the following sketch, from the same source, of the present position of Russia, so recently a scene of barbarism, with that already laid before him, of her neighbour Turkey, whose policy commands to so great an extent the admiration of those economists who advocate the system which looks to converting the whole world outside of England into one vast farm, and all its people, men, women, and children, into field labourers, dependent on one great workshop in which to make all their exchanges:—

"Russia, we are told, is triumphant in the Great Exhibition. Her natural products excite interest and admiration for their variety and excellence; her works of art provoke astonishment for their richness and beauty. Her jewellers and gold-workers carry off the palm from even those of Paris. Her satins and brocades compete with the richest contributions of Lyons. She exhibits tables of malachite and caskets of ebony, whose curious richness indicates at once the lavish expenditure of a barbaric court, and the refinement and taste of civilization. Nor do we deem it of much account that her part of the exhibition is not exclusively the work of native artisans. Her satins are none the less genuine product of the country because the loveliest were woven by emigrants from the Croix Rousse or the Guillotiére, seduced by high wages from their sunnier home in order to build up the industry of the Great Empire and train the grandsons of Mongol savages in the exquisite mysteries of French taste and dexterity. It matters not that the exhibition offers infinitely more than a fair illustration of the average capacity of Russian labour. It is none the less true that a people who half a century ago were without manufactures of any but the rudest kind, are now able by some means to furnish forth an unsurpassed display, though all the world is there to compete with them.

"We are no lover of Russian power, and have no wish to exaggerate the degree of perfection to which Russian industry has attained. We do not doubt that any cotton factory in the environs of Moscow might be found imperfect when contrasted with one of Manchester or Lowell. We are confident that the artisans of a New-England village very far surpass those of a Russian one in most qualities of intelligence and manhood. Indeed, it is absurd to make the comparison; it is absurd to do what travellers insist on doing—that is, to judge every nation by the highest standard, and pronounce each a failure which does not exhibit the intellect of France, the solidity and power of England, or the enterprise, liberty, and order of the United States. All that should be asked is, whether a people has surpassed its own previous condition and is in the way of improvement and progress. And that, in respect of industry, at least, Russia is in that way, her show at the Exhibition may safely be taken as a brilliant and conclusive proof."

Russia is powerful, and is becoming more so daily. Why is it so? It is because her people are daily more and more learning the advantages of diversification of labour and combination of exertion, and more and more improving in their physical and intellectual condition—the necessary preliminaries to an improvement of their political condition. Turkey is weak; and why is it so? Because among her people the habit of association is daily passing away as the few remaining manufactures disappear, and as the travelling pedler supersedes the resident shopkeeper.

It is said, however, that Russian policy is unfavorable to commerce; but is not its real tendency that of producing a great internal commerce upon which alone a great foreign one can be built? That it does produce the effect of enabling her people to combine their exertions for their common benefit is most certain; and equally so that it tends to give her that direct intercourse with the world which is essential to the existence of freedom. The slave trades with the world through his master, who fixes the price of the labour he has to sell and the food and clothing he has to buy, and this is exactly the system that Great Britain desires to establish for the farmers of the world—she being the only buyer of raw products, and the only seller of manufactured ones.

So long as Russia exports only food and hemp, she can trade with Brazil for sugar, and with Carolina for cotton, only through the medium of British ships, British ports, British merchants, and British looms, for she can need no raw cotton; but with the extension of manufactures she needs cotton, which she can draw directly from the planter, paying him in iron, by aid of which he may have machinery. In illustration of this, we have the fact that so recently as in 1846, out of a total consumption of cotton amounting to 310,656 cwts., no less than 122,082 cwts. had passed through British spindles; whereas in 1850, out of a total consumption more than one-half greater, and amounting to 487,612 cwts., only 64,505 cwts. had passed through the hands of the spinners of Manchester.

The export of raw cotton to Russia has since largely increased, but the precise extent of increase cannot be ascertained, although some estimate may be formed from the growth of the consumption of one of the principal dyeing materials, indigo; the export of which from England to Russia is thus given in the London Economist:—

               1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
               ——- ——- ——- ——-
    Chests, 3225……. 4105……. 4953……. 5175

We have here an increase in three years of almost sixty per cent., proving a steady increase in the power to obtain clothing and to maintain commerce internal and external, directly the reverse of what has been observed in Turkey, Ireland, India, and other countries in which the British system prevails; and the reason of this is that that system looks to destroying the power of association. It would have all the people of India engage themselves in raising cotton, and all those of Brazil and Cuba in raising sugar, while those of Germany and Russia should raise food and wool; and we know well that when all are farmers, or all planters, the power of association scarcely exists; the consequence of which is seen in the exceeding weakness of all the communities of the world in which the plough and the loom, the hammer and the harrow, are prevented from coming together. It is an unnatural one. Men everywhere seek to combine their exertions with those of their fellow-men; an object sought to be attained by the introduction of that diversification of employment advocated throughout his work by the author of The Wealth of Nations. How naturally the habit of association arises, and how beneficial are its effects, may be seen from a few extracts now offered to the reader, from an interesting article in a recent English journal. In Russia, says its author—

"There does not prevail that marked distinction between the modes of life of the dwellers in town and country which is found in other countries; and the general freedom of trade, which in other nations is still an object of exertion, has existed in Russia since a long by-gone period. A strong manufacturing and industrial tendency prevails in a large portion of Russia, which, based upon the communal system, has led to the formation of what we may term 'national association factories.'"

In corroboration of this view of the general freedom of internal trade, we are told that, widely different from the system of western Europe,

"There exists no such thing as a trade guild, or company, nor any restraint of a similar nature. Any member of a commune can at pleasure abandon the occupation he may be engaged in, and take up another; all that he has to do in effecting the change is to quit the commune in which his old trade is carried on, and repair to another, where his new one is followed."

The tendency of manufacturing industry is

"For the most part entirely communal; the inhabitants of one village, for example, are all shoemakers, in another smiths, in a third tanners only, and so on. A natural division of labor thus prevails exactly as in a factory. The members of the commune mutually assist one another with capital or labor; purchases are usually made in common, and sales also invariably, but they always send their manufactures in a general mass to the towns and market-places, where they have a common warehouse for their disposal."

In common with all countries that are as yet unable fully to carry out the idea of Adam Smith, of compressing a large quantity of food and wool into a piece of cloth, and thus fitting it for cheap transportation to distant markets, and which are, therefore, largely dependent on those distant markets for the sale of raw produce, the cultivation of the soil in Russia is not—

"In general, very remunerative, and also can only be engaged in for a few months in the year, which is, perhaps, the reason why the peasant in Russia evinces so great an inclination for manufactures and other branches of industry, the character of which generally depends on the nature of raw products found in the districts where they are followed."

Without diversification of employment much labour would be wasted, and the people would find themselves unable to purchase clothing or machinery of cultivation. Throughout the empire the labourer appears to follow in the direction indicated by nature, working up the materials on the land on which they are produced, and thus economizing transportation. Thus—

"In the government of Yaroslaf the whole inhabitants of one place are potters. Upward of two thousand inhabitants in another place are rope-makers and harness-makers. The population of the district of Uglitich in 1835 sent three millions of yards of linen cloth to the markets of Rybeeck and Moscow. The peasants on one estate are all candle-makers, on a second they are all manufacturers of felt hats, and on a third they are solely occupied in smiths' work, chiefly the making of axes. In the district of Pashechoe there are about seventy tanneries, which give occupation to a large number of families; they have no paid workmen, but perform all the operations among themselves, preparing leather to the value of about twenty-five thousand roubles a year, and which is disposed of on their account in Rybeeck. In the districts where the forest-trees mostly consist of lindens, the inhabitants are principally engaged in the manufacture of matting, which, according to its greater or less degree of fineness, is employed either for sacking or sail cloth, or merely as packing mats. The linden-tree grows only on moist soils, rich in black humus, or vegetable mould; but will not grow at all in sandy soils, which renders it comparatively scarce in some parts of Russia, while in others it grows abundantly. The mats are prepared from the inner bark, and as the linden is ready for stripping at only fifteen years of age, and indeed is best at that age, these trees form a rich source of profit for those who dwell in the districts where they grow."

We have here a system of combined exertion that tends greatly to account for the rapid progress of Russia in population, wealth, and power.

The men who thus associate for local purposes acquire information, and with it the desire for more; and thus we find them passing freely, as interest may direct them, from one part of the empire to another—a state of things very different from that produced in England by the law of settlement, under which men have everywhere been forbidden to change their locality, and everywhere been liable to be seized and sent back to their original parishes, lest they might at some time or other become chargeable upon the new one in which they had desired to find employment, for which they had sought in vain at home. "The Russian" says our author—

"Has a great disposition for wandering about beyond his native place, but not for travelling abroad. The love of home seems to be merged, to a great extent, in love of country. A Russian feels himself at home everywhere within Russia; and, in a political sense, this rambling disposition of the people, and the close intercourse between the inhabitants of the various provinces to which it leads, contributes to knit a closer bond of union between the people, and to arouse and maintain a national policy and a patriotic love of country. Although he may quit his native place, the Russian never wholly severs the connection with it; and, as we have before mentioned, being fitted by natural talent to turn his hand to any species of work, he in general never limits himself in his wanderings to any particular occupation, but tries at several; but chooses whatever may seem to him the most advantageous. When they pursue any definite extensive trade, such as that of a carpenter, mason, or the like, in large towns, they associate together, and form a sort of trades' association, and the cleverest assume the position of a sort of contractor for the labour required. Thus, if a nobleman should want to build a house, or even a palace, in St. Petersburgh, he applies to such a contractor, (prodratshnik,) lays before him the elevation and plans, and makes a contract with him to do the work required for a specified sum. The contractor then makes an agreement with his comrades respecting the assistance they are to give, and the share they are to receive of the profit; after which he usually sets off to his native place, either alone or with some of his comrades, to obtain the requisite capital to carry on the work with. The inhabitants, who also have their share of the gains, readily make up the necessary sum, and every thing is done in trust and confidence; it is, indeed, very rare to hear of frauds in these matters. The carpenters (plotniki) form a peculiar class of the workmen we have described. As most of the houses in Russia, and especially in the country parts, are built of wood, the number and importance of the carpenters, as a class, are very great in comparison with other countries. Almost every peasant, whatever other trade he may follow, is also something of a carpenter, and knows how to shape and put together the timbers for a dwelling. The plotniki in the villages are never any thing more than these general carpenters, and never acquire any regular knowledge of their business. The real Russian plotniki seldom carries any other tools with him than an axe and a chisel, and with these he wanders through all parts of the empire, seeking, and everywhere finding, work."

The picture here presented is certainly widely different from that presented by Great Britain and Ireland. A Russian appears to be at home everywhere in Russia. He wanders where he will, everywhere seeking and finding work; whereas an Irishman appears hardly to be at home anywhere within the limits of the United Kingdom. In England, and still more in Scotland, he is not acknowledged as a fellow-citizen. He is only an Irishman—one of those half-savage Celts intended by nature to supply the demand of England for cheap labour; that is, for that labour which is to be rewarded by the scantiest supplies of food and clothing. The difference in the moral effect of the two systems is thus very great. The one tends to bring about that combination of exertion which everywhere produces a kindly habit of feeling, whereas the other tends everywhere to the production of dissatisfaction and gloom; and it is so because that under it there is necessarily a constant increase of the feeling that every man is to live by the taxation of his neighbour, buying cheaply what that neighbour has to sell, and selling dearly what that neighbour has to buy. The existence of this state of things is obvious to all familiar with the current literature of England, which abounds in exhibitions of the tendency of the system to render man a tyrant to his wife, his daughter, his horse, and even his dog. A recent English traveller in Russia presents a different state of feeling as there existing. "The Russian coachman," he says—

"Seldom uses his whip, and generally only knocks with it upon the footboard of the sledge, by way of a gentle admonition to his steed, with whom, meanwhile, he keeps up a running colloquy, seldom giving him harder words than 'My brother—my friend—my little pigeon—my sweetheart.' 'Come, my pretty pigeon, make use of your legs,' he will say. 'What, now! art blind? Come, be brisk! Take care of that stone, there. Don't see it?—There, that's right! Bravo! hop, hop, hop! Steady boy, steady! What art turning thy head for? Look out boldly before thee!—Hurra! Yukh! Yukh!'

"I could not," he continues, "help contrasting this with the offensive language we constantly hear in England from carters and boys employed in driving horses. You are continually shocked by the oaths used. They seem to think the horses will not go unless they swear at them; and boys consider it manly to imitate this example, and learn to swear too, and break God's commandments by taking his holy name in vain. And this while making use of a fine, noble animal he has given for our service and not for abuse. There is much unnecessary cruelty in the treatment of these dumb creatures, for they are often beaten when doing their best, or from not understanding what their masters want them to do."

Of the truth of this, as regards England, the journals of that country often furnish most revolting evidence; but the mere fact that there exists there a society for preventing cruelty to animals, would seem to show that its services had been much needed.

The manner in which the system of diversified labour is gradually extending personal freedom among the people of Russia, and preparing them eventually for the enjoyment of the highest degree of political freedom, is shown in the following passage. "The landholders," says the author before referred to—

"Having serfs, gave them permission to engage in manufactures, and to seek for work for themselves where they liked, on the mere condition of paying their lord a personal tax, (obrok). Each person is rated according to his personal capabilities, talents, and capacities, at a certain capital; and according to what he estimates himself capable of gaining, he is taxed at a fixed sum as interest of that capital. Actors and singers are generally serfs, and they are obliged to pay obrok, for the exercise of their art, as much as the lowest handicraftsman. In recent times, the manufacturing system of Western Europe has been introduced into Russia, and the natives have been encouraged to establish all sorts of manufactures on these models; and it remains to be seen whether the new system will have the anticipated effect of contributing to the formation of a middle class, which hitherto has been the chief want in Russia as a political state."

That such must be the effect cannot be doubted. The middle class has everywhere grown with the growth of towns and other places of local exchange, and men have become free precisely as they have been able to unite together for the increase of the productiveness of their labour. In every part of the movement which thus tends to the emancipation of the serf, the government is seen to be actively co-operating, and it is scarcely possible to read an account of what is there being done without a feeling of great respect for the emperor, "so often," says a recent writer, "denounced as a deadly foe to freedom—the true father of his country, earnestly striving to develop and mature the rights of his subjects."[179]

For male serfs, says the same author, at all times until recently, military service was the only avenue to freedom. It required, however, twenty years' service, and by the close of that time the soldier became so accustomed to that mode of life that he rarely left it. A few years since, however, the term was shortened to eight years, and thousands of men are now annually restored to civil life, free men, who but a few years previously had been slaves, liable to be bought and sold with the land.

Formerly the lord had the same unlimited power of disposing of his serfs that is now possessed by the people of our Southern States. The serf was a mere chattel, an article of traffic and merchandise; and husbands and wives, parents and children, were constantly liable to be separated from each other. By an ukase of 1827, however, they were declared an integral and inseparable portion of the soil. "The immediate consequence of this decree," says Mr. Jerrmann,[180]

"Was the cessation, at least in its most repulsive form, of the degrading traffic in human flesh, by sale, barter, or gift. Thenceforward no serf could be transferred to another owner, except by the sale of the land to which he belonged. To secure to itself the refusal of the land and the human beings appertaining to it, and at the same time to avert from the landholder the ruin consequent on dealings with usurers, the government established an imperial loan-bank, which made advances on mortgage of lands to the extent of two-thirds of their value. The borrowers had to pay back each year three per cent of the loan, besides three per cent. interest. If they failed to do this, the Crown returned them the instalments already paid, gave them the remaining third of the value of the property, and took possession of the land and its population. This was the first stage of freedom for the serfs. They became Crown peasants, held their dwellings and bit of land as an hereditary fief from the Crown, and paid annually for the same a sum total of five rubles, (about four shillings for each male person;) a rent for which, assuredly, in the whole of Germany, the very poorest farm is not to be had; to say nothing of the consideration that in case of bad harvests, destruction by hail, disease, &c., the Crown is bound to supply the strict necessities of its peasant, and to find them in daily bread, in the indispensable stock of cattle and seed-corn, to repair their habitations, and so forth.

"By this arrangement, and in a short time, a considerable portion of the lands of the Russian nobility became the property of the state, and with it a large number of serfs became Crown peasants. This was the first and most important step toward opening the road to freedom to that majority of the Russian population which consists of slaves."

We have here the stage of preparation for that division of the land which has, in all countries of the world, attended the growth of wealth and population, and which is essential to further growth not only in wealth but in freedom. Consolidation of the land has everywhere been the accompaniment of slavery, and so must it always be.

At the next step, we find the emperor bestowing upon the serf, as preparatory to entire freedom, certain civil rights. An ukase

"Permitted them to enter into contracts. Thereby was accorded to them not only the right of possessing property, but the infinitely higher blessing of a legal recognition of their moral worth as men. Hitherto the serf was recognised by the state only as a sort of beast in human form. He could hold no property, give no legal evidence, take no oath. No matter how eloquent his speech, he was dumb before the law. He might have treasures in his dwelling, the law knew him only as a pauper. His word and honor were valueless compared to those of the vilest freeman. In short, morally he could not be said to exist. The Emperor Nicholas gave to the serfs, that vast majority of his subjects, the first sensation of moral worth, the first throb of self-respect, the first perception of the rights and dignity and duty of man! What professed friend of the people can boast to have done more, or yet so much, for so many millions of men?"—Ibid, p. 24.

"Having given the serfs power to hold property, the emperor now," says our author, "taught them to prize the said property above all in the interest of their freedom." The serf

"Could, not buy his own freedom, but he became free by the purchase of the patch of soil to which he was linked. To such purchase the right of contract cleared his road. The lazy Russian, who worked with an ill-will toward his master, doing as little as he could for the latter's profit, toiled day and night for his own advantage. Idleness was replaced by the diligent improvement of his farm, brutal drunkenness by frugality and sobriety; the earth, previously neglected, requited the unwonted care with its richest treasures. By the magic of industry, wretched hovels were transformed into comfortable dwellings, wildernesses into blooming fields, desolate steppes and deep morasses into productive land; whole communities, lately sunk in poverty, exhibited unmistakable signs of competency and well-doing. The serfs, now allowed to enter into contracts, lent the lord of the soil the money of which he often stood in need, on the same conditions as the Crown, receiving in security the land they occupied, their own bodies, and the bodies of their wives and children. The nobleman preferred the serfs' loan to the government's loan, because, when pay-day came for the annual interest and instalment, the Crown, if he was not prepared to pay, took possession of his estate, having funds wherewith to pay him the residue of its value. The parish of serfs, which had lent money to its owner, lacked these funds. Pay-day came, the debtor did not pay, but neither could the serfs produce the one-third of the value of the land which they must disburse to him in order to be free. Thus they lost their capital and did not gain their liberty. But Nicholas lived! the father of his subjects.

"Between the anxious debtor and the still more anxious creditor now interposed an imperial ukase, which in such cases opened to the parishes of serfs the imperial treasury. Mark this; for it is worthy, to be noted; the Russian imperial treasury was opened to the serfs, that they might purchase their freedom!

"The Government might simply have released the creditors from their embarrassment by paying the debtor the one-third still due to him, and then land and tenants belonged to the state;—one parish the more of Crown peasants. Nicholas did not adopt that course. He lent the serfs the money they needed to buy themselves from their master, and for this loan (a third only of the value) they mortgaged themselves and their lands to the Crown, paid annually three per cent. interest and three per cent. of the capital, and would thus in about thirty years be free, and proprietors of their land! That they would be able to pay off this third was evident, since, to obtain its amount they had still the same resources which enabled them to save up the two-thirds already paid. Supposing, however, the very worst,—that through inevitable misfortunes, such as pestilence, disease of cattle, &c., they were prevented satisfying the rightful claims of the Crown, in that case the Crown paid them back the two-thirds value which they had previously disbursed to their former owner, and they became a parish of Crown peasants, whose lot, compared to their earlier one, was still enviable. But not once in a hundred times do such cases occur, while, by the above plan, whole parishes gradually acquire their freedom, not by a sudden and violent change, which could not fail to have some evil consequences, but in course of time, after a probation of labour and frugality, and after thus attaining to the knowledge that without these two great factors of true freedom, no real liberty can possibly be durable."—Ibid.

The free peasants as yet constitute small class, but they live

"As free and happy men, upon their own land; are active, frugal, and, without exception, well off. This they must be, for considerable means are necessary for the purchase of their freedom; and, once free, and in possession of a farm of their own, their energy and industry, manifested even in a state of slavery, are redoubled by the enjoyment of personal liberty, and their earnings naturally increase in a like measure.

"The second class, the crown peasants, are far better off (setting aside, of course, the consciousness of freedom) than the peasants of Germany. They must furnish their quota of recruits, but that is their only material burden. Besides that, they annually pay to the Crown a sum of five rubles (about four shillings) for each male person of the household. Supposing the family to include eight working men, which is no small number for a farm, the yearly tribute paid amounts to thirty-two shillings. And what a farm that must be which employs eight men all the year round! In what country of civilized Europe has the peasant so light a burden to bear? How much heavier those which press upon the English farmer, the French, the German, and above all the Austrian, who often gives up three-fourths of his harvest in taxes. If the Crown peasant be so fortunate as to be settled in the neighbourhood of a large town, his prosperity soon exceeds that even of the Altenburg husbandmen, said to be the richest in all Germany. On the other hand, he can never purchase his freedom; hitherto, at least, no law of the Crown has granted him this privilege."—Ibid, 156.

That this, however, is the tendency of every movement, must be admitted by all who have studied the facts already given, and who read the following account of the commencement of local self-government:—

"But what would our ardent anti-Russians say, if I took them into the interior of the empire, gave them an insight into the organization of parishes, and showed them, to their infinite astonishment, what they never yet dreamed of, that the whole of that organization is based upon republican principles, that there every thing has its origin in election by the people, and that that was already the case at a period when the great mass of German democrats did not so much as know the meaning of popular franchise. Certainly the Russian serfs do not know at the present day what it means; but without knowing the name of the thing, without having ever heard a word of Lafayette's ill-omened 'trône monarchique, environné d'institutions républicaines,' they choose their own elders, their administrators, their dispensers of justice and finance, and never dream that they, slaves, enjoy and benefit by privileges by which some of the most civilized nations have proved themselves incapable of profiting.

"Space does not here permit a more extensive sketch of what the Emperor Nicholas has done, and still is daily doing, for the true freedom of his subjects; but what I have here brought forward must surely suffice to place him, in the eyes of every unprejudiced person, in the light of a real lover of his people. That his care has created a paradise that no highly criminal abuse of power, no shameful neglect prevails in the departments of justice and police—it is hoped no reflecting reader will infer from this exposition of facts. But the still-existing abuses alter nothing in my view of the emperor's character, of his assiduous efforts to raise his nation out of the deep slough in which it still is partly sunk, of his efficacious endeavours to elevate his people to a knowledge and use of their rights as men—alter nothing in my profound persuasion that Czar Nicholas I. is the true father of his country."—Ibid, 27.

We are told that the policy, of Russia is adverse to the progress of civilization, while that of England is favourable to it, and that we should aid the latter in opposing the former. How is this to be proved? Shall we look to Ireland for the proof? If we do, we shall meet there nothing but famine, pestilence, and depopulation. Or to Scotland, where men, whose ancestors had occupied the same spot for centuries are being hunted down that they may be transported to the shores of the St. Lawrence, there to perish, as they so recently have done, of cold and of hunger? Or to India, whose whole class of small proprietors and manufacturers has disappeared under the blighting influence of her system, and whose commerce diminishes, now from year to year? Or to Portugal, the weakest and most wretched of the communities of Europe? Or to China, poisoned with smuggled opium, that costs the nation annually little less than forty millions of dollars, without which the Indian government could not be maintained? Look where we may, we see a growing tendency toward slavery wherever the British system is permitted to obtain; whereas freedom grows in the ratio in which that system is repudiated.

That such must necessarily be the case will be seen by every reader who will for a moment reflect on the difference between the effect of the Russian system on the condition of Russian women, and that of the British system on the condition of those of India. In the former there is everywhere arising a demand for women to be employed in the lighter labour of conversion, and thus do they tend from day to day to become more self-supporting, and less dependent on the will of husbands, brothers, or sons. In the other the demand for their labour has passed away, and their condition declines, and so it must continue to do while Manchester shall be determined upon closing the domestic demand for cotton and driving the whole population to the production of sugar, rice, and cotton, for export to England.

The system of Russia is attractive of population, and French, German, and American mechanics of every description find demand for their services. That of England is repulsive, as is seen by the forced export of men from England, Scotland, Ireland, and India, now followed by whole cargoes of women [181] sent out by aid of public contributions, presenting a spectacle almost as humiliating to the pride of the sex as can be found in the slave bazaar of Constantinople.



Compared with Ireland, India, or Turkey, DENMARK is a very poor country. She has, says one of the most enlightened of modern British travellers—

"No metals or minerals, no fire power, no water power, no products or capabilities for becoming a manufacturing country supplying foreign consumers. She has no harbours on the North Sea. Her navigation is naturally confined to the Baltic. Her commerce is naturally confined to the home consumption of the necessaries and luxuries of civilized life, which the export of her corn and other agricultural products enables her to import and consume. She stands alone in her corner of the world, exchanging her loaf of bread, which she can spare, for articles she cannot provide for herself, but still providing for herself every thing she can by her own industry."[182]

That industry is protected by heavy import duties, and those duties are avowedly imposed with the view of enabling the farmer everywhere to have the artisan at his side; thus bringing together the producers and the consumers of the earth. "The greater part of their clothing materials," says Mr. Laing—

"Linen, mixed linen and cotton, and woollen cloth, is home-made; and the materials to be worked up, the cotton yarns, dye stuffs, and utensils, are what they require from the shops. The flax and wool are grown and manufactured on the peasant's farm; the spinning and weaving done in the house; the bleaching, dyeing, fulling done at home or in the village." * * * "Bunches of ribbons, silver clasps, gold ear-rings, and other ornaments of some value, are profusely used in many of the female dresses, although the main material is home-made woollen and linen. Some of these female peasant costumes are very becoming when exhibited in silk, fine cloth, and lace, as they are worn by handsome country girls, daughters of rich peasant proprietors in the islands, who sometimes visit Copenhagen. They have often the air and appearance of ladies, and in fact are so in education, in their easy or even wealthy circumstances, and an inherited superiority over others of the same class." * * * "In a large country-church at Gettorf, my own coat and the minister's were, as far as I could observe, the only two in the congregation not of home-made cloth; and in Copenhagen the working and every-day clothes of respectable tradesmen and people of the middle class, and of all the artisans and the lower labouring classes, are, if not home-made and sent to them by their friends, at least country made; that is, not factory made, but spun, woven, and sold in the web, by peasants, who have more than they want for their family use, to small shopkeepers. This is particularly the case with linen. Flax is a crop on every farm; and the skutching, hackling, spinning, weaving, and bleaching are carried on in every country family."—Pp. 381, 382, 383.

The manufacture of this clothing finds employment for almost the whole female population of the country and for a large proportion of the male population during the winter months. Under a different system, the money price of this clothing would be less than it now is—as low, perhaps, as it has been in Ireland—but what would be its labour price? Cloth is cheap in that country, but man is so much cheaper that he not only goes in rags, but perishes of starvation, because compelled to exhaust his land and waste his labour. "Where," asks very justly Mr. Laing—

"Would be the gain to the Danish nation, if the small proportion of its numbers who do not live by husbandry got their shirts and jackets and all other clothing one-half cheaper, and the great majority, who now find winter employment in manufacturing their own clothing materials, for the time and labour which are of no value to them at that season, and can be turned to no account, were thrown idle by the competition of the superior and cheaper products of machinery and the factory?"—P. 385.

None! The only benefit derived by man from improvement in the machinery of conversion is, that he is thereby enabled to give more time, labour, and thought to the improvement of the earth, the great machine of production; and in that there can be no improvement under a system that looks to the exportation of raw products, the sending away of the soil, and the return of no manure to the land.

The whole Danish system tends to the local employment of both labour and capital, and therefore to the growth of wealth and the division of the land, and the improvement of the modes of cultivation. "With a large and increasing proportion—

"Of the small farms belonging to peasant proprietors, working themselves with hired labourers, and of a size to keep from five to thirty or forty cows summer and winter, there are many large farms of a size to keep from two hundred to three hundred, and even four hundred cows, summer and winter, and let to verpachters, or large tenant farmers, paying money rents. This class of verpachters are farmers of great capital and skill, very intelligent and enterprising, well acquainted with all modern improvements in husbandry, using guano, tile-draining, pipe-draining, and likely to be very formidable rivals in the English markets to the old-fashioned, use-and-want English farmers, and even to most of our improving large farmers in Scotland."—Laing, 52.

The system of this country has attracted instead of repelling population, and with its growth there has been a constant and rapid advance toward freedom. The class of verpachters above described

"Were originally strangers from Mecklenburg, Brunswick, and Hanover, bred to the complicated arrangements and business of a great dairy farm, and they are the best educated, most skilful, and most successful farmers in the North of Europe. Many of them have purchased large estates. The extensive farms they occupy, generally on leases of nine years, are the domains and estates of the nobles, which, before 1784, were cultivated by the serfs, who were, before that period, adscripti glebæ, and who were bound to work every day, without wages, on the main farm of the feudal lord, and had cottages and land, on the outskirts of the estate, to work upon for their own living when they were not wanted on the farm of the baron. Their feudal lord could imprison them, flog them, reclaim them if they had deserted from his land, and had complete feudal jurisdiction over them in his baronial court."—P. 53.

It is, however, not only in land, but in various other modes, that the little owner of capital is enabled to employ it with advantage. "The first thing a Dane does with his savings," says Mr. Brown,[183] British consul at Copenhagen—

"Is to purchase a clock; then a horse and cow, which he hires out, and which pay good interest. Then his ambition is to become a petty proprietor; and this class of persons is better off than any in Denmark. Indeed, I know no people in any country who have more easily within their reach all that is really necessary for life than this class, which is very large in comparison with that of labourers."

To the power advantageously to employ the small accumulations of the labourer, it is due that the proportion of small proprietors has become so wonderfully large. "The largest proportion of the country, and of the best land of it," says Mr. Laing,[184] is in their hands—

"With farms of a size to keep ten or fifteen cows, and which they cultivate by hired labour, along with the labour of the family. These small proprietors, called huffner, probably from hoff, a farm-steading and court-yard, correspond to the yeomen, small freeholders, and statesmen, of the North of England, and many of them are wealthy. Of this class of estates, it is reckoned there are about 125,150 in the two duchies: some of the huffners appear to be copyholders, not freeholders; that is, they hold their land by hereditary right, and may sell or dispose of it; but their land is subject to certain fixed payments of money, labour, cartages, ploughing yearly to the lord of the manor of which they hold it, or to fixed fines for non-payment. A class of smaller land-holders are called Innsters, and are properly cottars with a house, a yard, and land for a cow or two, and pay a rent in money and in labour, and receive wages, at a reduced rate, for their work all the year round. They are equivalent to our class of married farm-servants, but with the difference that they cannot be turned off at the will or convenience of the verpachter, or large farmer, but hold of the proprietor; and all the conditions under which they hold—sometimes for life, sometimes for a term of years—are as fixed and supported by law, as those between the proprietor and the verpachter. Of this class there are about 67,710, and of house-cottars without land; 17,480, and 36,283 day-labourers in husbandry. The land is well divided among a total population of only 662,500 souls."—P. 43.

Even the poorest of these labouring householders has a garden, some land, and a cow;[185] and everywhere the eye and hand of the little proprietor may be seen busily employed, while the larger farmers, says our author—

"Attend our English cattle-shows and agricultural meetings, are educated men, acquainted with every agricultural improvement, have agricultural meetings and cattle-shows of their own, and publish the transactions and essays of the members. They use guano, and all the animal or chemical manures, have introduced tile-draining, machinery for making pipes and tiles, and are no strangers to irrigation on their old grass meadows."—P. 127.

As a natural consequence, the people are well clothed. "The proportion," says Mr. Laing—

"Of well-dressed people in the streets is quite as great as in our large towns; few are so shabby in clothes as the unemployed or half-employed workmen and labourers in Edinburgh; and a proletarian class, half-naked and in rags, is not to be seen. The supply of clothing material for the middle and lower classes seems as great, whether we look at the people themselves or at the second or third rate class of shops with goods for their use."—P. 379.

In regard to house accommodation, he says:—

"The country people of Denmark and the duchies are well lodged. The material is brick. The roofing is of thatch in the country, and of tiles in the towns. Slate is unknown. The dwelling apartments are always floored with wood. I have described in a former note the great hall in which all the cattle and crops and wagons are housed, and into which the dwelling apartments open. The accommodations outside of the meanest cottage, the yard, garden, and offices, approach more to the dwellings of the English than of the Scotch people of the same class."—P. 420.

Every parish has its established schoolmaster, as well as

"Its established minister; but it appears to me that the class of parochial schoolmasters here stands in a much higher position than, in Scotland. They are better paid, their houses, glebes, and stipends are better, relatively to the ordinary houses and incomes of the middle class in country places, and they are men of much higher education than their Scotch brethren." * * * "It is quite free to any one who pleases to open a school; and to parents to send their children to school or not, as they please. If the young people are sufficiently instructed to receive confirmation from the clergyman, or to stand an examination for admission as students at the university, where or how they acquired their instruction is not asked. Government has provided schools, and highly qualified and well-paid teachers, but invests them with no monopoly of teaching, no powers as a corporate body, and keeps them distinct from and unconnected with the professional body in the university."—Pp. 170, 336.

"The most striking feature in the character of these small town populations," says our author—

"And that which the traveller least expects to find in countries so secluded, so removed from intercourse with other countries, by situation and want of exchangeable products, as Sleswick, Jutland, and the Danish islands, is the great diffusion of education, literature, and literary tastes. In towns, for instance, of 6000 inhabitants, in England, we seldom find such establishments as the 6000 inhabitants of Aalborg, the most northerly town in Jutland, possess. They enjoy, on the banks of the Lymfiord, a classical school for the branches of learning required from students entering the university; an educational institution, and six burger schools for the ordinary branches of education, and in which the Lancastrian method of mutual instruction is in use; a library of 12,000 volumes, belonging to the province of Aalborg, is open to the public; a circulating library of 2000 volumes; several private collections and museums, to which access is readily given; a dramatic association, acting every other Sunday; and two club-houses for balls and concerts. A printing office and a newspaper, published weekly or oftener, are, in such towns, establishments of course. Wyborg, the most ancient town in Jutland, the capital in the time of the pagan kings, and once a great city, with twelve parish churches and six monasteries, but now containing no remains of its former grandeur, and only about 3000 inhabitants, has its newspaper three times a week, its classical school, its burger school, its public library, circulating library, and its dramatic association acting six or eight plays in the course of the winter. These, being county towns, the seats of district courts and business, have, no doubt, more of such establishments than the populations of the towns themselves could support; but this indicates a wide diffusion of education and intellectual tastes in the surrounding country. Randers, on the Guden River, the only river of any length of course which runs into the Baltic or Cattegat from the peninsular land, and the only one in which salmon are caught, is not a provincial capital, and is only about twenty-five English miles from the capital Wyborg; but it has, for its 6000 inhabitants, a classical school, several burger schools; one of which has above 300 children taught by the mutual-instruction method, a book society, a musical society, a circulating library, a printing press, a newspaper published three times a week, a club-house, and a dramatic society. Aarhuus, with, about the same population as Randers, and about the same distance from it as Randers from Wyborg, has a high school, two burger schools, and a ragged or poor school, a provincial library of 3000 or 4000 volumes, a school library of about the same extent, a library belonging to a club, a collection of minerals and shells belonging to the high schools, a printing press, (from which a newspaper and a literary periodical are issued,) book and music shops, a club-house, concert and ball-room, and a dramatic society. Holstebro, a little inland town of about 800 inhabitants, about thirty-five English miles west from Wyborg, has its burger school on the mutual-instruction system, its reading society, and its agricultural society. In every little town in this country, the traveller finds educational institutions and indications of intellectual taste for reading, music, theatrical representations, which, he cannot but admit, surpass what he finds at home in England, in similar towns and among the same classes."—P.316.

We have here abundant evidence of the beneficial effect of local action, as compared with centralisation. Instead of having great establishments in Copenhagen, and no local schools, or newspapers, there is everywhere provision for education, and evidence that the people avail themselves of it. Their tastes are cultivated, and becoming more so from day to day; and thus do they present a striking contrast with the picture furnished by the opposite shore of the German Ocean, and for the reason that there the system is based on the idea of cheapening labour at home and underworking the labourer abroad. The windows of the poorest houses, says Mr. Laing—

"Rarely want a bit of ornamental drapery, and are always decked with flowers and plants in flower-pots. The people have a passion for flowers. The peasant girl and village beau are adorned with bouquets of the finest of ordinary flowers; and in the town you see people buying, flowers who with us, in the same station, would think it extravagance. The soil and climate favour this taste. In no part of Europe are the ordinary garden-flowers produced in such abundance and luxuriance as in Holstein and Sleswick."—P. 50.

The people have everywhere "leisure to be happy, amused, and educated,"[186] and, as a consequence, the sale of books is large. The number of circulating libraries is no less than six hundred,[187] and their demands give

"More impulse to literary activity than appears in Edinburgh, where literature is rather passive than active, and what is produced worth publishing is generally sent to the London market. This is the reason why a greater number of publications appear in the course of the year in Copenhagen than in Edinburgh." * * * "The transmission of books and other small parcels by post, which we think a great improvement, as it unquestionably is, and peculiar to our English post-office arrangement, is of old standing in Denmark, and is of great advantage for the diffusion of knowledge, and of great convenience to the people."—Pp. 373, 374.

The material and intellectual condition of this people is declared by Mr. Laing—and he is an experienced and most observant traveller—to be higher than that of any other in Europe;[188] while Mr. Kay, also very high authority, places the people of England among the most ignorant and helpless of those of Europe. The Danes consume more food for the mind

"Than the Scotch; have more daily and weekly newspapers, and other periodical works, in their metropolis and in their country towns, and publish more translated and original works; have more public libraries, larger libraries, and libraries more easily accessible to persons of all classes, not only in Copenhagen, but in all provincial and country towns; have more small circulating libraries, book-clubs, musical associations, theatres and theatrical associations, and original dramatic compositions; more museums, galleries, collections of statues, paintings, antiquities, and objects gratifying to the tastes of a refined and intellectual people, and open equally to all classes, than the people of Scotland can produce in the length and breadth of the land."—P. 390.

High moral condition is a necessary consequence of an elevated material and intellectual one; and therefore it is that we find the Dane distinguished for kindness, urbanity, and regard for others,[189] and this is found in all portions of society. In visiting the Museum of Northern Antiquities, which is open to the public, free of charge, on certain days—

"The visitors are not left to gape in ignorance at what they see. Professors of the highest attainments in antiquarian science—Professor Thomsen, M. Worsaae, and others—men who, in fact, have created a science out of an undigested mass of relics, curiosities, and specimens, of the arts in the early ages—go round with groups of the visitors, and explain equally to all, high and low, with the greatest zeal, intelligence, and affability, the uses of the articles exhibited, the state of the arts in the ages in which they were used, the gradual progress of mankind from shells, stones, and bones to bronze and iron, as the materials for tools, ornaments, and weapons, and the conclusions made, and the grounds and reasons for making them, in their antiquarian researches. They deliver, in fact, an extempore lecture, intelligible to the peasant and instructive to the philosopher."—P. 399.

In place of the wide gulf that divides the two great portions of English society, we find here great equality of social intercourse, and

"It seems not to be condescension merely on one side, and grateful respect for being noticed at all on the other, but a feeling of independence and mutual respect between individuals of the most different stations and classes. This may be accounted for from wealth not being so all-important as in our social state; its influence in society is less where the majority are merely occupied in living agreeably on what they have, without motive or desire to have more."—P. 423.

How strikingly does the following contrast with the description of London, and its hundred thousand people without a place to lay their heads!—

"The streets are but poorly lighted, gas is not yet introduced, and the police is an invisible force; yet one may walk at all hours through this town without seeing a disorderly person, a man in liquor unable to take care of himself, or a female street-walker. Every one appears to have a home and bed of some kind, and the houseless are unknown as a class."—P. 394.

Why this is so is, that, because of the growing improvement in the condition of the people, the land is daily increasing in value, and is becoming divided, and men are attracted from the city to the land and the smaller towns—directly the reverse of what is observed in England. "There is," says Mr. Laing—

"No such influx, as in our large towns, of operatives in every trade, who, coming from the country to better their condition, are by far too numerous for the demand, must take work at lower and lower wages to keep themselves from starving, and who reduce their fellow-craftsmen and themselves to equal misery. Employment is more fixed and stationary for the employed and the employers. There is no foreign trade or home consumption to occasion great and sudden activity and expansion in manufactures, and equally great and sudden stagnation and collapse."—P. 394.

"Drunkenness has almost," we are told, "disappeared from the Danish character," and it is

"The education of the tastes for more refined amusements than the counter of the gin-palace or the back parlour of the whisky-shop afford, that has superseded the craving for the excitement of spirituous liquor. The tea-gardens, concert-rooms, ball-rooms, theatres, skittle-grounds, all frequented indiscriminately by the highest and the lowest classes, have been the schools of useful knowledge that have imparted to the lowest class something of the manners and habits of the highest, and have eradicated drunkenness and brutality, in ordinary intercourse, from the character of the labouring people."—P. 396.

Denmark is, says this high authority, "a living evidence of the falsity of the theory that population increases more rapidly than subsistence where the land of the country is held by small working proprietors;"[190] and she is a living evidence, too, of the falsity of the theory that men commence with the cultivation of the most productive soils, and find themselves, as wealth and population increase, forced to resort to poorer ones, with diminished return to labour. Why she is enabled to afford such conclusive evidence of this is, that she pursues a policy tending to permit her people to have that real free trade which consists in having the power to choose between the foreign and domestic markets—a power, the exercise of which is denied to India and Ireland, Portugal and Turkey. She desires to exercise control over her own movements, and not over those of others; and therefore it is that her people become from day to day more free and her land from day to day more valuable.

Turkey is the paradise of the system commonly known by the name of free trade—that system under which the artisan is not permitted to take his place by the side of the producer of silk and cotton—and the consequence is, seen in the growing depopulation of the country, the increasing poverty and slavery of its people, the worthlessness of its land, and in the weakness of its government. Denmark, on the contrary, is the paradise of the system supposed to be opposed to free trade—that system under which the artisan and the farmer are permitted to combine their efforts—and the consequence is seen in the increase of population, in the growth of wealth and freedom, in the growing value of land, in the increasing tendency to equality, and in the strength of its government, as exhibited in its resistance of the whole power of Northern Germany during the late Schleswig-Holstein war, and as afterward exhibited toward those of its own subjects who had aided in bringing on the war. "It is to the honour," says Mr. Laing [191] —

"Of the Danish king and government, and it is a striking example of the different progress of civilization in the North and in the South of Europe, that during the three years this insurrection lasted, and now that it is quelled, not one individual has been tried and put to death, or in any way punished for a civil or political offence by sentence of a court-martial, or of any other than the ordinary courts of justice; not one life has been taken but in the field of battle, and by the chance of war. Banishment for life has been the highest punishment inflicted upon traitors who, as military officers deserting their colours, breaking their oaths of fidelity, and giving up important trusts to the enemy, would have been tried by court-martial and shot in any other country. Civil functionaries who had abused their official power, and turned it against the government, were simply dismissed."

These facts contrast strikingly with those recently presented to view by Irish history. Ireland had no friends in her recent attempt at change of government. Her leaders had not even attempted to call in the aid of other nations. They stood alone, and yet the English government deemed it necessary to place them in an island at a distance of many thousand miles, and to keep them there confined. Denmark, on the contrary, was surrounded by enemies close at hand—enemies that needed no ships for the invasion of her territory—and yet she contented herself with simple banishment. The policy of the former looks abroad, and therefore is it weak at home. That of the latter looks homeward, and therefore is it that at home she is strong; small as she is, compared with other powers, in her territory and in the number of her population.



Spain expelled the industrious portion of her population, and almost at the same time acquired colonies of vast extent, to which she looked for revenue. Centralization here was almost perfect—and here, as everywhere, it has been accompanied by poverty and weakness. With difficulty she has been enabled to defend her rights on her own soil, and she has found it quite impossible to maintain her power abroad, and for the reason that her system tended to the impoverishment of her people and the destruction of the value of labour and land. Her history tends throughout to show that nations which desire respect for their own rights, must learn to respect those of others.

The policy of Spain has been unfavourable to commerce, internal and external. Exchanges at home were burdened with heavy taxes, and the raw materials of manufacture, even those produced at home, were so heavily taxed on their passage from the place of production to that of consumption, that manufactures could not prosper. The great middle class of artisans could therefore scarcely be found, and the scattered agriculturists were thus deprived of their aid in the effort to establish or maintain their freedom. Towns and cities decayed, and land, became more and more consolidated in the hands of great noblemen on one side and the church on the other, and talent found no field for its exercise, except in the service of the church or the state.

While thus destroying internal trade by taxation, efforts were made to build it up by aid of restrictions on external trade; but the very fact that the former was destroyed made it necessary for thousands and tens of thousands of persons to endeavour to earn wages in the smuggling of foreign merchandise, and the country was filled with men ever ready to violate the law, because of the cheapness of labour. The laws restraining the import of foreign merchandise were easily violated, because its bulk was small and its value great; whereas those interfering with the transit of raw materials were easily enforced, because the bulk was great and their value small; and therefore the whole system tended effectually to prevent the artisan from taking his place by the side of the grower of food and wool; and hence the depopulation, poverty, and weakness of this once rich and powerful country.

Fortunately for her, however, the day arrived when she was to lose her colonies, and find herself compelled to follow the advice of Adam Smith, and look to home for revenue; and almost from that date to the present, notwithstanding foreign invasions, civil wars, and revolutions, her course has been onward, and with each succeeding year there has been a greater tendency toward diversification of employment, the growth of towns and other places of local exchange, the improvement of agriculture, the strengthening of the people in their relations with the government, and the strengthening of the nation as regards the other nations of the earth.

Among the earliest measures tending toward the emancipation of the people of Germany, Russia, and Denmark, was, as has been seen, the removal of restrictions upon the trade in land, the great machine of production. So, too, was it in Spain. According to a return made to the Cortes of Cadiz, out of sixty millions of acres then in cultivation, only twenty millions were held by the men who cultivated them, while thirty were in the hands of great nobles, and ten were held by the church. Under a decree of secularization, a large portion of the latter has been sold, and the result is seen in the fact that the number of owners cultivating their own properties has risen from 273,760 to 546,100; and the number of farms from 403,408 to 1,095,200.[192]

A further step toward freedom and the establishment of equal rights, is found in the abolition of a great variety of small and vexatious taxes, substituting therefor a land-tax, payable alike by the small and the great proprietor; and in the abolition of internal duties on the exchange of the raw materials of manufacture. With each of these we find increasing tendency toward the establishment of that division of employment which gives value to labour and land. From 1841 to 1846, the number of spindles in Catalonia has grown from 62,000 to 121,000, and that of looms from 30,000 to 45,000, while cotton factories had been put in operation in various other parts of the kingdom.[193] Still later, numerous others have been started, and a traveller of the past year informs us that the province of Granada now bids fair to rival Catalonia in her manufactures.[194] In 1841, the total value of the products of the cotton manufacture was estimated at about four millions of dollars, but in 1846 it had risen to more than six and a half millions. The woollen manufacture had also rapidly increased, and this furnishes employment at numerous places throughout the kingdom, one of which, Alcoy, is specially referred to by M. Block,[195] as situated among the mountains which separate the ancient kingdom of Valencia and Murcia, and as having no less than 24,000 spindles, and 12,000 men, in addition to a great number of women and children, engaged in this branch of manufacture.

In regard to the progress of manufactures generally, the following statement, furnished by a recent American traveller to whom we are indebted for an excellent work on Spain, furnishes much information, and cannot be read without interest by all those who derive pleasure from witnessing advance in civilization.[196]

"Of late years there has been a considerable effort to extend and improve the production and manufacture of silk, and the result has been very favourable. The silkworm, formerly confined, in a great degree, to Valencia and Murcia, is now an article of material importance in the wealth of the two Castiles, Rioja, and Aragon. The silk fabrics of Talavera, Valencia, and Barcelona are many of them admirably wrought, and are sold at rates which appear very moderate. I had particular occasion to note the cheapness of the damasks which are sold in Madrid from the native looms. It is not easy to imagine any thing more magnificent, of their kind. The woollen cloths, too, of home manufacture, are, some of them, very admirable, and the coarser kinds supply, I believe, a considerable part of the national demand. In cheapness I have never seen them surpassed. The finer qualities do not bear so favourable a comparison with the foreign article; but those who were familiar with the subject informed me that their recent improvement had been very decided. Many laudable efforts have been made to render the supply of wool more abundant, and to improve its quality, and there has been a considerable importation of foreign sheep, with a view to crossing on the native breeds. The sheep-rearing interest is so very large in Spain, that any material improvement in the quality of the wool must add greatly to the national wealth, as well as to the importance of the woollen manufacture and its ability to encounter foreign competition.

"In the general movement toward an increased and more valuable production of the raw material for manufacture, the flax of Leon and Galicia and the hemp of Granada have not been forgotten. But the article in which the most decided and important progress has been made, is the great staple, iron. In 1832; the iron-manufacture of Spain was at so low an ebb, that it was necessary to import from England the large lamp-posts of cast metal, which adorn the Plaza de Armas of the Palace. They bear the London mark, and tell their own story. A luxury for the indoors enjoyment or personal ostentation of the monarch, would of course have been imported from any quarter, without regard to appearances. But a monument of national dependence upon foreign industry would hardly have been erected upon such a spot, had there been a possibility of avoiding it by any domestic recourse. In 1850 the state of things had so far changed, that there were in the kingdom twenty-five founderies, eight furnaces of the first class, with founderies attached, and twenty-five iron-factories, all prosperously and constantly occupied. The specimens of work from these establishments, which are to be seen in the capital and the chief cities of the provinces, are such as to render the independence and prospective success of the nation in this particular no longer matters of question. In the beginning of 1850, the Marquis of Molins, then Minister of Marine Affairs, upon the petition of the iron-manufacturers, directed inquiries to be made, by a competent board, into the quality of the native iron, and the extent to which the home manufacture might be relied on for the purposes of naval construction. The result was so satisfactory, that in March of the same year a royal order was issued from the department, directing all future contracts to be made with the domestic establishments. This, indeed, has been the case since 1845, at the arsenal of Ferrol, which has been supplied altogether from the iron-works of Biscay. The government, however, had determined for the future to be chiefly its own purveyor, and national founderies at Ferrol and Trubia, constructed without regard to expense, were about to go into operation when the royal order was published."

A necessary consequence of all these steps toward freedom and association has been great agricultural improvement. "The impoverished industry and neglected agriculture of the land," says Mr. Wallis—

"Have received an accession of vigorous labour, no longer tempted into sloth by the seductions of a privileged and sensual life. In the cities and larger towns the convent buildings have been displaced, to make room for private dwellings of more or less convenience and elegance, or have been appropriated as public offices or repositories of works of art. The extensive grounds which were monopolized by some of the orders, in the crowded midst of populous quarters, have been converted into walks or squares, dedicated to the public health and recreation. In a word, what was intended in the beginning as the object of monastic endowments, has been to some extent realized. What was meant for the good of all, though intrusted to a few, has been taken from the few who used it as their own, and distributed, rudely it may be, but yet effectually, among the many who were entitled to and needed it."—P. 276.

At the close of the last century, the value of agricultural products was officially returned at 5143 millions of reals, or about 260 millions of dollars. In 1829, a similar return made it somewhat less, or about 232 millions, but since that time the increase has been so rapid, that it is now returned at nearly 450 millions of dollars.[197]

Twenty years since, the means of transporting produce throughout the country were so bad that famine might prevail in Andalusia, and men might perish there in thousands, while grain wasted on the fields of Castile, because the silos of the latter no longer afforded room to store it. Even now, "in some districts, it is a familiar fact,

"That the wine of one vintage has to be emptied, in waste, in order to furnish skins for the wine of the next—the difficulty and cost of transportation to market being such as utterly to preclude the producer from attempting a more profitable disposition of it. Staples of the most absolute and uniform necessity—wheat, for instance—are at prices absurdly different in different parts of the kingdom; the proximity to market being such as to give them their current value in one quarter, while in another they are perhaps rotting in their places of deposite, without the hope of a demand. Until such a state of things shall have been cured, it will be useless to improve the soil, or stimulate production in the secluded districts; and of course every circumstance which wears the promise of such cure must enter into the calculations of the future, and avail in them according to its probabilities."—Wallis, P. 328.

We see thus that here, as everywhere, the power to make roads is least where the necessity for them is greatest. Had the farmers of Castile a near market in which their wheat could be combined with the wool that is shorn in their immediate neighbourhood, they could export cloth, and that could travel even on bad roads. As it is, they have to export both wheat and wool, and on such roads, whereas if the artisan could, in accordance, with the doctrines of Adam Smith, everywhere take his place by the side of the ploughman and the shepherd; and if women and children could thus everywhere be enabled to find other employment than in field labour, towns would grow up, and men would become rich and strong, and roads could be made without difficulty. Even now, however, there is a rapidly increasing tendency toward the construction of railroads, and the completion and enlargement of canals, and not a doubt can be entertained that in a few years the modes of intercourse will be so improved as to put an end to the enormous differences in prices here observed.[198]

Those differences are, however, precisely similar to those now regarded as desirable by English writers who find compensation for the loss of men, "in the great stimulus that our extensive emigration will give to every branch of the shipping interest."[199] The nearer the place of exchange the fewer ships and seamen are needed, and the richer must grow the producer and the consumer, because the number of persons among whom the total product is to be divided is then the least.

With increased power of association there is a steady improvement in the provision for education. Half a century since, the whole number of students at all the educational establishments in the kingdom was but 30,000,[200] and it had not materially varied in 1835; whereas the number now in the public schools alone, for the support of which there is an annual appropriation of $750,000, is above 700,000, or one to 17 of the population. The primary and other schools reach the number of 16,000; and besides these and the universities, there are numerous other institutions devoted to particular branches of education, some of which are provided for by government, and others by public bodies or private subscription. "No impediment," says Mr. Wallis—

"Is thrown by law in the way of private teachers—except that they are required to produce certain certificates of good character and conduct, and of having gone through a prescribed course, which is more or less extensive, in proportion to the rank of the institution they may desire to open."

As a necessary consequence of these changes there has been a great increase in the value of land, and of real estate generally. Mr. Wallis states that the church property has "commanded an average of nearly double the price at which it was officially assessed according to the standard of value at the time of its seizure," and we need desire no better evidence that man is tending gradually toward freedom than is to be found in this single fact.

It might be supposed, that with the increased tendency to convert at home the raw products of the earth, there would be a diminution of foreign commerce; but directly the reverse is the case. In the three years, from 1846 to 1849, the import of raw cotton rose from 16,000,000 to 27,000,000 of pounds; that of yarn from 5,200,000 to 6,800,000 pounds; and that of bar-iron from 5,400,000 to more than 8,000,000; and the general movements of exports and imports for the last twenty-four years, as given by M. Block, (p. 18,) has been, as follows:—

              Imports, in francs. Exports, in francs.
              —————————- —————————-
    1827……… 95,235,000……… 71,912,000

1843……… 114,325,000……… 82,279,000

1846……… 157,513,000……… 129,106,000

And to this may be added, as since published by the government, the account for

1851……… 171,912,000……… 124,377,000

With each step in the direction of bringing the consumer and the producer to take their places by the side of each other, the people acquire power to protect themselves, as is seen in the freedom of debate in the Chamber of Deputies, and in the extent to which those debates, with their comments thereon, are made known throughout the kingdom by the writers of a newspaper press that, although restricted, has been well characterized as, "fearless and plain speaking." In 1826, Madrid had but two daily newspapers, both of them most contemptible in character. In February, 1850, there were thirteen, with an aggregate circulation of 35,000 copies; and yet Madrid has no commerce, and can furnish little advertising for their support. [201]

With the increase of production and of wealth, and with the growth of the power of association, and of intelligence among the people, the government gradually acquires strength in the community of nations, and power to enforce its laws, as is here shown in the large decline that has taken place in the English exports to Portugal and Gibraltar, heretofore the great smuggling depots for English manufactures,[202]

as compared with those to Spain direct:

                  Portugal. Gibraltar. Spain.
                  ————- ————— ———
    In 1839….. £1,217,082….. £1,433,932…… £262,231
       1852….. 1,048,356….. 481,286…… 1,015,493

The system that looks to consolidation of the land tends toward inequality, and that such has been, and is, the tendency of that of England, wherever fully carried out, has been shown. Those of Germany, Russia, and Denmark tend in the opposite direction, and under them men are becoming daily more independent in their action, and consequently more and more kindly and respectful in their treatment of each other. Such, likewise, is the case in Spain. "The Spaniard," says Mr. Wallis—

"Has a sense of equality, which blesses him who gives as well as him who takes. If he requires the concession from others, he demands it chiefly and emphatically through the concessions which he makes to them. There is so much self-respect involved in his respect to others, and in his manifestation of it, that reciprocity is unavoidable. To this, and this mainly, is attributable the high, courteous bearing, which is conspicuous in all the people, and which renders the personal intercourse of the respective classes and conditions less marked by strong and invidious distinctions, than in any other nation with whose manners and customs I am familiar. It is this, perhaps, more than any other circumstance, which has tempered and made sufferable the oppression of unequal and despotic institutions, illustrating 'the advantage to which,' in the words of a philosophic writer, 'the manners of a people may turn the most unfavourable position and the worst laws.'"—P. 383.

Again, he says—

"If in the midst of the very kindness which made him at home upon the briefest acquaintance, he should perceive an attentive politeness, approaching so near to formality as now and then to embarrass him, he would soon be brought to understand and admire it as the expression of habitual consideration for the feelings of others. He would value it the more when he learned from its universality, that what was elsewhere chiefly a thing of manners and education, was there a genial instinct developed into a social charity."—P. 207.

The "popular element is fully at work," and it requires, says the same author, but a comparison of the present with the past, "to remove all doubts of the present, and to justify the happiest augury." "The lotos of freedom has," he continues—

"Been tasted, and it cannot readily be stricken from their lips. So long as the more important guaranties are not altogether violated—so long as the government substantially, dedicates itself to the public good, by originating and fostering schemes of public usefulness, it may take almost any liberties with forms and non-essentials. Much further it will not be permitted to go, and every day diminishes the facility with which it may go even thus far. Every work of internal improvement, which brings men closer together, enabling them to compare opinions with readiness and concentrate strength for their maintenance; every new interest that is built up; every heavy and permanent investment of capital or industry; every movement that develops and diffuses the public intelligence and energy, is a bulwark more or less formidable against reaction. Nay, every circumstance that makes the public wiser, richer, or better, must shorten the career of arbitrary rule. The compulsion, which was and still is a necessary evil for the preservation of peace, must be withdrawn when peace becomes an instinct as well as a necessity. The existence of a stringent system will no longer be acquiesced in when the people shall have grown less in need of government, and better able to direct it for themselves. Thus, in their season, the very interests which shall be consolidated and made vigorous by forced tranquillity will rise, themselves, into the mastery. The stream of power as it rolls peacefully along, is daily strengthening the banks, which every day, though imperceptibly, encroach on it." —P. 381.

* * * * *


Belgium is a country with four and a half millions of inhabitants, or about one-half more than the State of New York. It is burdened with a heavy debt assumed at the period of its separation from Holland, and it finds itself compelled to maintain an army that is large in proportion to its population, because in the vicinity of neighbours who have at all times shown themselves ready to make it the battle-ground of Europe. In no country of Europe has there been so great a destruction, of property and life, and yet in none has there been so great a tendency toward freedom; and for the reason that in none has there been manifested so little disposition to interfere with the affairs of other nations. It is burdened now with a taxation amounting to about twenty-three millions of dollars, or five dollars and a half per head; and yet, amid all the revolutions and attempts at revolution by which the peace of Europe is disturbed, we hear nothing of the Belgians, whose course is as tranquil as it was before the days of 1848—and this is a consequence of following in the path indicated by Adam Smith.

The policy of Belgium looks more homeward than that of any nation of Europe. She has no colonies, and she seeks none. To a greater extent than almost any other nation, she has sought to enable her farmers to have local places of exchange, giving value to her labour and her land. Where these exist, men are certain to become free; and equally certain is it that where they do not exist, freedom must be a plant of exceedingly slow growth, even where it does not absolutely perish for want of nourishment. If evidence be desired of the freedom of the Belgians, it is to be found in the fact that there is nowhere to be seen, as we are on all hands assured, a more contented, virtuous, and generally comfortable population than that engaged in the cultivation of her fields. The following sketch is from a report published by order of Parliament, and cannot fail to be read with interest by those who desire to understand how it is that the dense population of this little country is enabled to draw from a soil naturally indifferent such large returns, while the Hindoo, with all his advantages of early civilization, wealth, and population, perishes of famine or flies from pestilence, leaving behind him, uncultivated, the richest soils, and sells himself to slavery in Cuba:—

"The farms in Belgium rarely exceed one hundred acres. The number containing fifty acres is not great; those of thirty or twenty are more numerous, but the number of holdings of from five to ten and twenty acres is very considerable.

"The small farms of from five to ten acres, which abound in many parts of Belgium, closely resemble the small holdings in Ireland; but the small Irish cultivator exists in a state of miserable privation of the common comforts and conveniences of civilized life, while the Belgian peasant farmer enjoys a large share of those comforts. The houses of the small cultivators of Belgium are generally substantially built, and in good repair; they have commonly a sleeping room in the attic, and closets for beds connected with the lower apartment, which is convenient in size; a small cellarage for the dairy, and store for the grain, as well as an oven, and an outhouse for the potatoes, with a roomy cattle-stall, piggery, and poultry loft. The house generally contains decent furniture, the bedding sufficient in quantity, and an air of comfort, pervades the establishment. In the cow-house the cattle are supplied with straw for bedding; the dung and moisture are carefully collected in the tank; the ditches had been secured to collect materials for manure; the dry leaves, potato-tops, &c. had been collected in a moist ditch to undergo the process of fermentation, and heaps of compost were in course of preparation. The premises were kept in neat and compact order, and a scrupulous attention to a most rigid economy was everywhere apparent. The family were decently clad; none of them were ragged or slovenly, even when their dress consisted of the coarsest material.

"In the greater part of the flat country of Belgium the soil is light and sandy, and easily worked; but its productive powers are certainly inferior to the general soil of Ireland, and the climate does not appear to be superior. To the soil and climate therefore, the Belgian does not owe his superiority. The difference is to be found in the system, of cultivation, and the forethought of the people. The cultivation of small farms in Belgium differs from the Irish: 1. In the quantity of stall-fed stock which is kept, and by which a supply of manure is regularly secured; 2. In the strict attention paid to the collection of manure, which is skilfully husbanded; 3. By the adoption of rotations of crop. We found no plough, horse, or cart—only a spade, fork, wheelbarrow, and handbarrow. The farmer had no assistance besides that of his family. The whole land is trenched very deep with the spade. The stock consisted of a couple of cows, a calf or two, one or two pigs; sometimes a goat or two, and some poultry. The cows are altogether stall-fed, on straw, turnips, clover, rye, vetches, carrots, potatoes, and a kind of soup made by boiling up the potatoes, peas, beans, bran, cut-hay, &e., which, given warm, is said to be very wholesome, and promotive of the secretion of milk. Near distilleries and breweries grains are given.

"Some small farmers agree to find stall-room and straw for sheep, and furnish fodder at the market price, for the dung. The dung and moisture are collected in a fosse in the stable. Lime is mingled with the scouring of the ditches, vegetable garbage, leaves, &c. On six-acre farms, plots are appropriated to potatoes, wheat, barley, clover, flax, rye, carrots, turnips, or parsnips, vetches, and rye, as green food for cattle. The flax is heckled and spun by the wife in winter; and three weeks at the loom in spring weaves up all the thread. In some districts every size, from a quarter acre to six acres, is found. The former holders devoted their time to weaving. As far as I could learn, there was no tendency to subdivision of the small holdings. I heard of none under five acres held by the class of peasant farmers; and six, seven, or eight acres is the more common size. The average rent is 20s. an acre. Wages, 10d. a day.

"A small occupier, whose farm we examined near Ghent, paid £9 7s. 6d. for six acres, with a comfortable house, stabling, and other offices attached, all very good of their kind—being 20s. an acre for the land, and £3 7s. 6d. for house and offices. This farmer had a wife and five children, and appeared to live in much comfort. He owed little or nothing."—Nicholls's Report.

These people have employment for every hour in the year, and they find a market close at hand for every thing they can raise. They are not forced to confine themselves to cotton or sugar, tobacco or wheat; nor are they forced to waste their labour in carrying their products to a distance so great that no manure can be returned. From this country there is no export of men, women, and children, such as we see from Ireland. The "crowbar brigade" is here unknown, and it may be doubted if any term conveying the meaning of the word "eviction" is to be found in their vocabulary. With a surface only one-third as great as that of Ireland, and with a soil naturally far inferior, Belgium supports a population almost half as great as Ireland has ever possessed; and yet we never hear of the cheap Belgian labour inundating the neighbouring countries, to the great advantage of those who desire to build up "great works" like those of Britain. The policy of Belgium looks to increasing the value of both labour and land, whereas that of England looks to diminishing the value of both.

With every advantage of soil and climate, the population of Portugal declines, and her people become more enslaved from day to day, while her government, is driven to repudiation of her debts. Belgium, on the contrary, grows in wealth and population, and her people become more free; and the cause of difference is, that the policy of the former has always looked to repelling the artisan, and thus preventing the growth of towns and of the habit of association; while that of the latter has always looked to bringing the artisan to the raw material, and thus enabling her people to combine their efforts for their improvement in material, moral, and intellectual condition, without which there can be no increase of freedom.

Russia and Spain seek to raise the value of labour and land, and they are now attracting population. The English system, based on cheap labour, destroys the value of both labour and land, and therefore it is that there is so large an export of men from the countries subject to it—Africa, India, Ireland, Scotland, England, Virginia, and Carolina.



The slave must apply himself to such labour as his master may see fit to direct him to perform, and he must give to that master the produce of his exertions, receiving in return whatever the master may see fit to give him. He is limited to a single place of exchange.

Precisely similar to this is the system which looks to limiting all the people of the earth, outside of England, to agriculture as the sole means of employment; and carried out by smothering in their infancy the manufactures of other nations, while crushing the older ones of India by compelling her to receive British manufactures free of duty, and refusing to permit her to have good machinery, while taxing her spindles and looms at home, and their products when sent to Britain. It is one which looks to allowing the nations of the world to have but one market, in which all are to compete for the sale of their raw products, and one market, in which all are to compete for the purchase of manufactured ones; leaving to the few persons who control that market the power to fix the prices of all they require to buy and all they desire to sell. Cotton and corn, indigo and wool, sugar and coffee, are merely the various forms in which labour is sold; and the cheaper they are sold, the cheaper must be the labour employed in producing them, the poorer and more enslaved must be the labourer, the less must be the value of land, the more rapid must be its exhaustion and abandonment, and the greater must be the tendency toward the transport of the enslaved labourer to some new field of action, there to repeat the work of exhaustion and abandonment. Hence it is that we see the slave trade prevail to so great an extent in all the countries subject to the British system, except those in which famine and pestilence are permitted silently to keep down the population to the level of a constantly diminishing supply of food, as in Portugal, Turkey, and Jamaica. The system to which the world is indebted for these results is called "free-trade;" but there can be no freedom of trade where there is no freedom of man, for the first of all commodities to be exchanged is labour, and the freedom of man consists only in the exercise of the right to determine for himself in what manner his labour shall be employed, and how he will dispose of its products. If the British system tends toward freedom, proof of the fact will be found in the free employment of labour where it exists, and in the exercise by the labourer of a large control over the application of its produce. Are these things to be found in India? Certainly not. The labourer there is driven from the loom and forced to raise sugar or cotton, and his whole control over what is paid by the consumer for the products of his labour cannot exceed fifteen per cent. Can they be found in Ireland, in Turkey, or in Portugal? Certainly not. The labourers of those countries now stand before the world distinguished for their poverty, and for their inability to determine for themselves for whom they will labour or what shall be their reward. Were it otherwise, the "free trade" system would fail to produce the effect intended. Its object is, and has always been, that of preventing other communities from mining the coal or smelting the ore provided for their use by the great Creator of all things, and in such vast abundance; from making or obtaining machinery to enable them to avail themselves of the expansive power of steam; from calling to their aid any of the natural agents required in the various processes of manufacture; from obtaining knowledge that might lead to improvement in manufactures of any kind; and, in short, from doing any thing but raise sugar, coffee, cotton, wool, indigo, silk, and other raw commodities, to be carried, as does the slave of Virginia or Texas with the product of his labour, to one great purchaser, who determines upon their value and upon the value of all the things they are to receive in exchange for them. It is the most gigantic system of slavery the world has yet seen, and therefore it is that freedom gradually disappears from every country over which England is enabled to obtain control, as witness the countries to which reference has just been made.

There are, however, as has been shown, several nations of Europe in which men are daily becoming more free; and the reason for this is to be found in the fact that they have resisted this oppressive system. Germany and Russia, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, and other states, have been determined to protect their farmers in their efforts to bring the loom and the anvil to their side, and to have towns and other places of exchange in their neighbourhood, at which they could exchange raw products for manufactured ones and for manure; and in every one in which that protection has been efficient, labour and land have become, and are becoming, more valuable and man more free.

In this country protection has always, to some extent, existed; but at some times it has been efficient, and at others not; and our tendency toward freedom or slavery has always been in the direct ratio of its efficiency or inefficiency. In the period from 1824 to 1833, the tendency was steadily in the former direction, but it was only in the latter part of it that it was made really efficient. Then mills and furnaces increased in number, and there was a steady increase in the tendency toward the establishment of local places of exchange; and then it was that Virginia held her convention at which was last discussed in that State the question of emancipation. In 1833, however, protection was abandoned, and a tariff was established by which it was provided that we should, in a few years, have a system of merely revenue duties; and from that date the abandonment of the older States proceeded with a rapidity never before known, and with it grew the domestic slave trade and the pro-slavery feeling. Then it was that were passed the laws restricting emancipation and prohibiting education; and then it was that the export of slaves from Virginia and the Carolinas was so great that the population of those States remained almost, if not quite stationary, and that the growth of black population fell from thirty per cent., in the ten previous years, to twenty-four percent.[203] That large export of slaves resulted in a reduction of the price of Southern products to a point never before known; and thus it was that the system called free trade provided cheap cotton. Slavery grew at the South, and at the North; for with cheap cotton and cheap food came so great a decline in the demand for labour, that thousands of men found themselves unable to purchase this cheap food to a sufficient extent to feed their wives and their children. A paper by "a farm labourer" thus describes that calamitous portion of our history, when the rapid approach of the system called free trade, under the strictly revenue provisions of the Compromise Tariff, had annihilated competition for the purchase of labour:—

"The years 1839, 1840, and 1841 were striking elucidations of such cases; when the cry of sober, industrious, orderly men—'Give me work! only give me work; MAKE YOUR OWN TERMS—MYSELF AND FAMILY HAVE NOTHING TO EAT'—was heard in our land. In those years thousands of cases of the kind occurred in our populous districts."—Pittsburgh Dispatch.

That such was the fact must be admitted by all who recollect the great distress that existed in 1841-2. Throughout the whole length and breadth of the land, there was an universal cry of "Give me work; make your own terms—myself and family have nothing to eat;" and the consequence of this approach toward slavery was so great a diminution in the consumption of food, that the prices at which it was then exported to foreign countries were lower than they had been for many years; and thus it was that the farmer paid for the system which had diminished the freedom of the labourer and the artisan.

It was this state of things that re-established protection for the American labourer, whether in the field or in the workshop. The tariff of 1842 was passed, and at once there arose competition for the purchase of labour. Mills were to be built, and men were needed to quarry the stone and get out the lumber, and other men were required to lay the stone and fashion the lumber into floors and roofs, doors and windows; and the employment thus afforded enabled vast numbers of men again to occupy houses of their own, and thus was produced a new demand for masons and carpenters, quarrymen and lumbermen. Furnaces were built, and mines were opened, and steam-engines were required; and the men employed at these works were enabled to consume more largely of food, while ceasing to contend with the agricultural labourer for employment on the farm. Mills were filled with females, and the demand for cloths increased, with corresponding diminution in the competition for employment in the making of shirts and coats. Wages rose, and they rose in every department of labour; the evidence of which is to be found in the fact that the consumption of food and fuel greatly increased, while that of cloth almost doubled, and that of iron trebled in the short period of five years.

How, indeed, could it be otherwise than that the reward of labour should rise? The cotton manufacturer needed labourers, male and female, and so did his neighbour of the woollens mill; and the labourers they now employed could buy shoes and hats. The iron-masters and the coal-miners needed workmen, and the men they employed needed cotton and woollen cloths; and they could consume more largely of food. The farmer's markets tended to improve, and he could buy more largely of hats and shoes, ploughs and harrows, and the hatmakers and shoemakers, and the makers of ploughs and harrows, needed more hands; and therefore capital was everywhere looking for labour, where before labour had been looking for capital. The value of cottons, and woollens, and iron produced in 1846, as compared with that of 1842, was greater by a hundred millions of dollars; and all this went to the payment of labour, for all the profits of the iron-master and of the cotton and woollen manufacturer went to the building of new mills and furnaces, or to the enlargement of the old ones. Unhappily, however, for us, our legislators were smitten with a love of the system called free trade. They were of opinion that we were, by right, an agricultural nation, and that so we must continue; and that the true way to produce competition for the purchase of labour was to resolve the whole nation into a body of farmers—and the tariff of 1842 was repealed.

If the reader will now turn to page 107, he will see how large must have been the domestic slave trade from 1835 to 1840, compared with that of the period from 1840 to 1845. The effect of this in increasing the crop and reducing the price of cotton was felt with great severity in the latter period,[204] and it required time to bring about a change. We are now moving in the same direction in which we moved from 1835 to 1840. For four years past, we have not only abandoned the building of mills and furnaces, but have closed hundreds of old ones, and centralization, therefore, grows from day to day. The farmer of Ohio can no longer exchange his food directly with the maker of iron. He must carry it to New York, as must the producer of cotton in Carolina; who sees the neighbouring factory closed. [205] Local places of exchange decline, and great cities take their place; and with the growth of centralization grows the slave trade, North and South. Palaces rise in New York and Philadelphia, while droves of black slaves are sent to Texas to raise cotton, and white ones at the North perish of disease, and sometimes almost of famine. "We could tell," says a recent writer in one of the New York journals—

"Of one room, twelve feet by twelve, in which were five resident families, comprising twenty persons of both sexes and all ages, with only two beds, without partition or screen, or chair or table, and all dependent for their miserable support upon the sale of chips, gleaned from the streets, at four cents a basket—of another, still smaller and still more destitute, inhabited by a man, a woman, two little girls, and a boy, who were supported by permitting the room to be used as a rendezvous by the abandoned women of the street—of another, an attic room seven feet by five, containing scarcely an article of furniture but a bed, on which lay a fine-looking man in a raging fever, without medicine or drink or suitable food, his toil-worn wife engaged in cleaning dirt from the floor, and his little child asleep on a bundle of rags in the corner—of another of the same dimensions, in which we found, seated on low boxes around a candle placed on a keg, a woman and her oldest daughter, (the latter a girl of fifteen, and, as we were told, a prostitute,) sewing on shirts, for the making of which they were paid four cents apiece, and even at that price, out of which they had to support two small children, they could not get a supply of work—of another of about the same size occupied by a street rag-picker and his family, the income of whose industry was eight dollars a month—of another, scarcely larger, into which we were drawn by the terrific screams of a drunken man beating his wife, containing no article of furniture whatever—another warmed only by a tin pail of lighted charcoal placed in the centre of the room, over which bent a blind man endeavouring to warm himself; around him three or four men and women swearing and quarrelling; in one corner on the floor a woman, who had died the day previous of disease, and in another two or three children sleeping on a pile of rags; (in regard to this room, we may say that its occupants were coloured people, and from them but a few days previous had been taken and adopted by one of our benevolent citizens a beautiful little white girl, four or five years of age, whose father was dead and whose mother was at Blackwell's Island;) another from which not long; since twenty persons, sick with fever were taken to the hospital, and every individual of them died. But why extend the catalogue? Or why attempt to convey to the imagination by words the hideous squalor and the deadly effluvia; the dim, undrained courts, oozing with pollution; the dark narrow stairways decayed with age, reeking with filth, and overrun with vermin; the rotten floors, ceilings begrimed, crumbling, ofttimes too low to permit you to stand upright, and windows stuffed with rags; or why try to portray the gaunt shivering forms and wild ghastly faces in these black and beetling abodes, wherein from cellar to garret

    ——'All life dies, death lives, and nature breeds
    Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
    Abominable, unutterable!'" N. York Courier and Inquirer.

Our shops are now everywhere filled with the products of the cheap labour of England—of the labour of those foreign women who make shirts at a penny apiece, finding the needles and the thread, and of those poor girl's who spend a long day at making artificial flowers for which they receive two pence, and then eke out the earnings of labour by the wages of prostitution; and our women are everywhere driven from employment—the further consequences of which may be seen in the following extract from another journal of the day:—

"A gentleman who had been deputed to inquire into the condition of this class of operatives, found one of the most expert of them working from five o'clock in the morning until eleven at night, yet earning only about three dollars a week. Out of this, she had to pay a dollar and a half for board, leaving a similar amount for fuel, clothing, and all other expenses. Her condition, however, as compared with that of her class generally, was one of opulence. The usual earnings were but two dollars a week, which, as respectable board, could be had nowhere for less; than a dollar and a half, left only fifty cents for everything else. The boarding-houses, even at this price, are of the poorest character, always noisome and unhealthy, and not unfrequently in vile neighbourhoods. With such positive and immediate evils to contend with, what wonder that so many needlewomen take 'the wages of sin?'"

"Among the cases brought to light in New York, was that of an intelligent and skilful dressmaker, who was found in the garret of a cheap boarding-house, out of work, and nor are such instances unfrequent. The small remuneration which these workwomen receive keeps them living from hand to mouth, so that, in case of sickness, or scarcity of work, they are sometimes left literally without a crust."—Philada. Evening-Bulletin.

If females cannot tend looms, make flowers, or do any other of those things in which mind takes in a great degree the place of physical power, they must make shirts at four cents apiece, or resort to prostitution—or, they may work in the fields; and this is nearly the latitude of choice allowed to them under the system called free trade. Every furnace that is closed in Pennsylvania by the operation of this system, lessens the value of labour in the neighbourhood, and drives out some portion of the people to endeavour to sell elsewhere their only commodity, labour. Some seek the cities and some go West to try their fortunes. So, too, with the closing of woollens mills in New York, and cotton mills in New England. Every such ease compels people to leave their old homes and try to find new ones—and in this form the slave trade now exists at the North to a great extent. The more people thus driven to the cities, the cheaper is labour, and the more rapid is the growth of drunkenness and crime; and these effects are clearly visible in the police reports of all our cities.[206] Centralization, poverty, and crime go always hand in hand with each other.

The closing of mills and furnaces in Maryland lessens the demand for labour there, and the smaller that demand the greater must be the necessity on the part of those who own slaves to sell them to go South; and here we find the counterpart of the state of things already described as existing in. New York. The Virginian, limited to negroes as the only commodity into which he can manufacture his corn and thus enable it to travel cheaply to market, sends his crop to Richmond, and the following extract of a letter from that place shows how the system works:—

"Richmond, March 3, 1853.

 "I saw several children sold; the girls brought the highest price.
 Girls from 12 to 18 years old brought from $500 to $800.

"I must say that the slaves did not display as much feeling as I had expected, as a general thing—but there was one noble exception—God bless her! and save her, too!! as I hope he will in some way, for if he does not interpose, there were no men there that would.

"She was a fine-looking woman about 25 years old, with three beautiful children. Her children as well as herself were neatly dressed. She attracted my attention at once on entering the room, and I took my stand near her to learn her answers to the various questions put to her by the traders. One of these traders asked her what was the matter with her eyes? Wiping away the tears, she replied, 'I s'pose I have been crying.' 'Why do you cry?' 'Because I have left my man behind, and his master won't let him come along.' 'Oh, if I buy you, I will furnish you with a better husband, or man, as you call him, than your old one.' 'I don't want any better and won't have any other as long as he lives.' 'Oh, but you will though, if I buy you,' 'No, massa, God helping me, I never will.'"—New York Tribune.

At the North, the poor girl driven out from the cotton or the woollens mill is forced to make shirts at four cents each, or sell herself to the horrible slavery of prostitution. At the South, this poor woman, driven put from Virginia, may perhaps at some time be found making one of the dramatis personæ in scenes similar to those here described by Dr. Howe:—

"If Howard or Mrs. Fry ever discovered so ill-administered a den of thieves as the New Orleans prison, they never described it. In the negro's apartment I saw much which made me blush that I was a white man; and which for a moment stirred up an evil spirit in my animal nature. Entering a large paved court-yard, around which ran galleries filled with slaves of all ages, sexes, and colours, I heard the snap of a whip, every stroke of which sounded like the sharp crack of a pistol. I turned my head, and beheld a sight which absolutely chilled me to the marrow of my bones, and gave me, for the first time in my life, the sensation of my hair stiffening at the roots. There lay a black girl flat upon her face on a board, her two thumbs tied, and fastened to one end, her feet tied and drawn tightly to the other end, while a strap passed over the small of her back, and fastened around the board, compressed her closely to it. Below the strap she was entirely naked. By her side, and six feet off, stood a huge negro, with a long whip, which he applied with dreadful power and wonderful precision. Every stroke brought away a strip of skin, which clung to the lash, or fell quivering on the pavement, while the blood followed after it. The poor creature writhed and shrieked, and in a voice which showed alike her fear of death and her dreadful agony, screamed to her master who stood at her head, 'Oh, spare my life; don't cut my soul out!' But still fell the horrid lash; still strip after strip peeled off from the skin; gash after gash was cut in her living flesh, until it became a livid and bloody mass of raw and quivering muscle.

"It was with the greatest difficulty I refrained from springing upon the torturer, and arresting his lash; but alas, what could I do, but turn aside to hide my tears for the sufferer, and my blushes for humanity!

"This was in a public and regularly organized prison; the punishment was one recognised and authorized by the law. But think you the poor wretch had committed a heinous offence, and had been convicted thereof, and sentenced to the lash? Not at all! She was brought by her master to be whipped by the common executioner, without trial, judge, or jury, just at his beck or nod, for some real or supposed offence, or to gratify his own whim or malice. And he may bring her day after day, without cause assigned, and inflict any number of lashes he pleases, short of twenty-five, provided only he pays the fee. Or if he choose, he may have a private whipping-board on his own premises, and brutalize himself there.

"A shocking part of |his horrid punishment was its publicity, as I have said; it was in a court-yard, surrounded by galleries, which were filled with coloured persons of all sexes—runaway slaves committed for some crime, or slaves up for sale. You would naturally suppose they crowded forward and gazed horror-stricken at the brutal spectacle below; but they did not; many of them hardly noticed it, and many were entirely indifferent to it. They went on in their childish pursuits, and some were laughing outright in the distant parts of the galleries;—so low can man created in God's image be sunk in brutality."

Where, however, lies the fault of all this? Cheap cotton cannot be supplied to the world unless the domestic slave trade be maintained, and all the measures of England are directed toward obtaining a cheap and abundant supply of that commodity, to give employment to that "cheap and abundant supply of labour" so much desired by the writers in the very journal that furnished to its readers this letter of Dr. Howe.[207] To produce this cheap cotton the American labourer must be expelled from his home in Virginia to the wilds of Arkansas, there to be placed, perhaps, under the control of a Simon Legree.[208] That he may be expelled, the price of corn must be cheapened in Virginia; and that it may be cheapened, the cheap labourer of Ireland must be brought to England there, to compete with the Englishman for the reduction of labour to such a price as will enable England to "smother in their infancy" all attempts at manufacturing corn into any thing but negroes for Arkansas. That done, should the Englishman's "blood boil" on reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, he is told to recollect that it is "to his advantage that the slave should be permitted to wear his chains in peace." And yet this system, which looks everywhere to the enslavement of man, is dignified by the name of "free trade."

The cheap-labour system of England produces the slave trade of America, India, and Ireland; and the manner in which it is enabled to produce that effect, and the extent of its "advantage" to the people of England itself, is seen in the following extract from a speech delivered at a public meeting in that country but a few weeks since:—

"The factory-law was so unblushingly violated that the chief inspector of that part of the factory district, Mr. Leonard Horner, had found himself necessitated to write to the Home Secretary, to say that he dared not, and would not send any of his sub-inspectors into certain districts until he had police protection. * * * And protection against whom? Against the factory-masters! Against the richest men in the district, against the most influential men in the district, against the magistrates of the district, against the men who hold her Majesty's commission, against the men who sat in the Petty Sessions as the representatives of royalty. * * * And did the masters suffer for their violation of the law? In his own district it was a settled custom of the male, and to a great extent of the female workers in factories, to be in bed from 9, 10 or 11 o'clock on Sunday, because they were tired out by the labour of the week. Sunday was the only day on which they could rest their wearied frames. * * It would generally be found that, the longer the time of work, the smaller the wages. * * He would rather be a slave in South Carolina, than a factory operative in England."Speech of Rev, Dr. Bramwell, at Crampton.

The whole profit, we are told, results from "the last hour," and were that hour taken from the master, then the people of Virginia might be enabled to make their own cloth and iron, and labour might there become so valuable that slaves would cease to be exported to Texas, and cotton must then rise in price; and in order to prevent the occurrence of such unhappy events, the great cotton manufacturers set at defiance the law of the land! The longer the working hours the more "cheap and abundant" will be the "supply of labour,"—and it is only by aid of this cheap, or slave, labour that, as we are told, "the supremacy of England in manufactures can be maintained." The cheaper the labour, the more rapid must be the growth of individual fortunes, and the more perfect the consolidation of the land. Extremes thus always meet. The more splendid the palace of the trader, whether in cloth, cotton, negroes, or Hindoos, the more squalid will be the poverty of the labourer, his wife and children,—and the more numerous the diamonds on the coat of Prince Esterhazy, the more ragged will be his serfs. The more that local places of exchange are closed, the greater will be the tendency to the exhaustion and abandonment of the land, and the more flourishing will be the slave trade, North and South,—and the greater will be the growth of pro-slavery at the South, and anti-slavery at the North. The larger the export of negroes to the South, the greater will be their tendency to run from their masters to the North, and the greater will be the desire at the North to shut them out, as is proved by the following law of Illinois, now but a few weeks old, by which negro slavery is, as is here seen, re-established in the territory for the government of which was passed the celebrated ordinance of 1787:—

"Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly.

3. If any negro, or mulatto, bond or free, shall come into this State, and remain ten days, with the evident intention of residing in the same, every such negro or mulatto shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanour, and for the first offence shall Be fined the sum of fifty dollars, to be recovered before any justice of the peace, in the county where said negro or mulatto may be found; said proceeding shall he in the name of the people Of the State of Illinois, and shall be tried by a jury of twelve men.

4. If said negro or mulatto shall be found guilty, and the fine assessed be not paid forthwith to the justice of the peace before whom said proceedings were had, said justice shall forthwith advertise said negro or mulatto, by posting up notices thereof in at least three of the most public places in his district; which said notices shall be posted up for ten days; and on the day, and at the time and place mentioned in said advertisement, the said justice shall at PUBLIC AUCTION proceed TO SELL said negro or mulatto to any person who will pay said fine and costs."

Slavery now travels North, whereas only twenty years ago freedom was travelling South. That such is the case is the natural consequence of our submission, even in part, to the system that looks to compelling the export of raw products, the exhaustion of the land, the cheapening of labour, and the export of the labourer. Wherever it is submitted to, slavery grows. Wherever it is resisted, slavery dies away, and freedom grows, as is shown in the following list of—

Countries whose policy looks Countries whose policy looks to cheapening labour. to raising the value of labour. —————————————— ———————————————- The West Indies, Northern-Germany, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Denmark, India, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, United States under the United States under the Compromise, and the tariffs of 1828 and 1842. tariff of 1846.

Population declines in all the foreign countries in the first column, and it became almost stationary in the Northern Slave States, as it is now likely again to do, because of the large extent of the domestic slave trade. Population grows in the foreign countries of the second column, and it grew rapidly in the Northern Slave States, because of the limited export of negroes at the periods referred to. The first column gives the—so-called—free-trade countries, and the other those which have protected themselves against the system; and yet slavery grows in all those of the first column, and freedom in all those of the second. The first column gives us the countries in which education diminishes and intellect declines, and the period in our own history in which were passed the laws prohibiting the education of negroes. The second, those countries in which education advances, with great increase of intellectual activity; and in our own history it gives the period at which the Northern Slave States held conventions having in view the adoption of measures looking to the abolition of slavery. The first gives those foreign countries in which women and children must labour in the field or remain unemployed. The second those in which there is a daily increasing demand for the labour of women, to be employed in the lighter labour of manufactures. The first gives those in which civilization advances; and the second those in which there is a daily increasing tendency toward utter barbarism. We are now frequently invited to an alliance with Great Britain, and for what? For maintaining and extending the system whose effects are found in all the nations enumerated in the first column. For increasing the supply of cheap cotton, cheap corn, and cheap sugar, all of which require cheap, or slave, labour, and in return for these things we are to have cheap cloth, the produce of the cheap, or slave, labour of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

It is as the advocate of freedom that Britain calls upon us to enter into more intimate relations with her. Her opponents are, as we are told, the despots of Europe, the men who are trampling on the rights of their subjects, and who are jealous of her because her every movement looks, as we are assured, to the establishment of freedom throughout the world. Were this so, it might furnish some reason for forgetting the advice of Washington in regard to "entangling alliances;" but, before adopting such a course, it would be proper to have evidence that the policy of Britain, at any time since the days of Adam Smith, has tended to the enfranchisement of man in any part of the world, abroad or at home. Of all the despots now complained of, the King of Naples stands most conspicuous, and it is in relation to him that a pamphlet has recently been published by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, in which are found the following passages:—

"The general belief is, that the prisoners for political offences in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies are between fifteen or twenty and thirty thousand. The government withholds all means of accurate information, and accordingly there can be no certainty on the point. I have, however, found that this belief is shared by persons the most intelligent, considerate, and well informed. It is also, supported by what is known of the astonishing crowds confined in particular prisons, and especially by what is accurately known in particular provincial localities, as to the numbers of individuals missing from among the community. I have heard these numbers, for example, at Reggio and at Salerno; and from an effort to estimate them in reference to population, I do believe that twenty thousand is no unreasonable estimate. In Naples alone some hundreds are at this moment under indictment capitally; and when I quitted it a trial was expected to come on immediately, (called that of the fifteenth of May,) in which the number charged was between four and five hundred; including (though this is a digression) at least one or more persons of high station whoso opinions would in this country be considered more conservative than your own." * * * "In utter defiance of this law, the government, of which the Prefect of Police is an important member, through the agents of that department, watches and dogs the people, pays domiciliary visits, very commonly at night, ransacks houses, seizing papers and effects, and tearing up floors at pleasure under pretence of searching for arms, and imprisons men by the score, by the hundred, by the thousand, without any warrant whatever, sometimes without even any written authority at all, or any thing beyond the word of a policeman; constantly without any statement whatever of the nature of the offence.

"Nor is this last fact wonderful. Men are arrested, not because they have committed, or are believed to have committed, any offence; but because they are persons whom it is thought convenient to confine and to get rid of, and against whom, therefore, some charge must be found or fabricated."[209]

Why is it that the king is enabled to do these things? Obviously, because his people are poor and weak. If they were strong, he could not do them. Men, however, never have anywhere become strong to resist power, except where the artisan has come to the side of the farmer; and it is because he has not done so in Naples and Sicily that the people are so poor, ignorant, and weak as we see them to be. Has England ever endeavoured to strengthen the Neapolitan people by teaching them how to combine their efforts for the working of their rich ores, or for the conversion of their wool into cloth? Assuredly not. She desires that wool and sulphur, and all other raw materials, may be cheap, and that iron may be dear; and, that they may be so, she does all that is in her power to prevent the existence in that country of any of that diversification of interests that would find employment for men, women, and children, and would thus give value to labour and land. That she may do this, she retains Malta and the Ionian Islands, as convenient places of resort for the great reformer of the age—the smuggler—whose business it is to see that no effort at manufactures shall succeed, and to carry into practical effect the decree that all such attempts must be "smothered in their infancy." If, under these circumstances, King Ferdinand is enabled to play the tyrant, upon whom rests the blame? Assuredly, on the people who refuse to permit the farmers of the Two Sicilies to strengthen themselves by forming that natural alliance between the loom and the plough to which the people of England were themselves indebted for their liberties. Were the towns of that country growing in size, and were the artisan everywhere taking his place by the side of the farmer, the people would be daily becoming stronger and more free, whereas they are now becoming weaker and more enslaved.

So, too, we are told of the tyranny and bad faith prevailing in Spain. If, however, the people of that country are poor and weak, and compelled to submit to measures that are tyrannical and injurious, may it not be traced to the fact that the mechanic has never been permitted to place himself among them? And may not the cause of this be found in the fact that Portugal and Gibraltar have for a century past been the seats of a vast contraband trade, having for its express object to deprive the Spanish people of all power to do any thing but cultivate the soil? Who, then, are responsible for the subjection of the Spanish people? Those, assuredly, whose policy looks to depriving the women and children of Spain of all employment except in the field, in order that wool may be cheap and that cloth may be dear.

Turkey is poor and weak, and we hear much of the designs of Russia, to be counteracted by England; but does England desire that Turkey shall grow strong and her people become free? Does she desire that manufactures shall rise, that towns shall grow, and that the land shall acquire value? Assuredly not. The right to inundate that country with merchandise is "a golden privilege" never to be abandoned, because it would raise the price of silk and lower the price of silk goods.

The people of Austria and Hungary are weak, but has England ever tried to render them strong to obtain their freedom? Would she not now oppose any measures calculated to enable the Hungarians to obtain the means of converting their food and their wool into cloth—to obtain mechanics and machinery, by aid of which towns could grow, and their occupants become strong and free? To render any aid of that kind would be in opposition to the doctrine of cheap food and cheap labour.

Northern Germany is becoming strong and united, and the day is now at hand when all Germany will have the same system under which the North has so much improved; but these things are done in opposition to England, who disapproves of them because they tend to raise the price of the raw products of the earth and lower that of manufactured ones, and to enable the agricultural population to grow rich and strong; and the more exclusively she depends on trade, the greater is her indisposition to permit the adoption of any measures tending to limit her power over the people of the world.

The people of China are weak, but does the consumption of opium to the extent of forty millions of dollars a year tend to strengthen them? The government, too, is weak, and therefore is Hong Kong kept for the purpose of enabling "the great reformer" to evade the laws against the importation of a commodity that yields the East India Company a profit of sixteen millions of dollars a year, and the consumption of which is so rapidly increasing.

Burmah, too, is weak, and therefore is her territory to be used for the purpose of extending the trade in opium throughout the interior provinces of China. Will this tend to strengthen, or to free, the Chinese people?

Can the people of this country become parties to a system like this—one that looks to cheapening labour every where? Can they be parties to any system that can be maintained only on the condition of "an abundant and cheap supply of labour?" Or, can they be parties to an alliance that, wherever it is found, so far cheapens man as to render him a profitable article for the export trade?

Who, then, are our natural allies? Russia, Prussia, and Denmark are despotisms, we are told. They are so; but yet so beautiful and so perfect is the harmony of interests under a natural system, that that which despots do in their own defence strengthens the people, and carries them on toward freedom. Denmark is a despotism, and yet her people are the freeest and most happy of any in Europe. It is time that we emancipated ourselves from "the tyranny of words"[210] under which we live, and looked to things. England has what is called a free government, and yet Ireland, the West Indies, and India have been prostrated under the despotism of the spindle and loom, while despotic Denmark protects her people against that tyranny, and thus enables her women and her children to find other employments than those of the field. The King of Prussia desires to strengthen himself against France, Austria, and Russia; and, to do this, he strengthens his people by enabling them to find employment for all their time, to find manure for their farms, and to find employment for their minds; and he strengthens Germany by the formation of a great Union, that gives to thirty millions of people the same advantage of freedom of internal trade that subsists among ourselves. The Emperor of Russia desires to strengthen himself, and he, in like manner, adopts measures leading to the building of towns, the diversification of labour, and the habit of association among men; and thus does he give value to land and labour. He is a despot, it is true, but he is doing what is required to give freedom to sixty millions of people; while all the measures of England in India tend to the enslavement of a hundred millions. We are told of his designs upon Turkey—but what have the people of that country to lose by incorporation within the Russian Empire? Now, they are poor and enslaved, but were they once Russian the spindle would be brought to the wool, towns would cease to decline, labour and land would acquire value, and the people would begin to become free. It may be doubted if any thing would so much tend to advance the cause of freedom in Europe as the absorption of Turkey by Russia, for it would probably be followed by the adoption of measures that would secure perfect freedom of trade throughout all Middle and Eastern Europe, with large increase in the value of man. The real despotism is that which looks to cheapening labour, and the real road to freedom is that which looks toward raising the value of labour and land.

The natural allies of this country are the agricultural nations of the world, for their interests and ours look in the same direction, while those of England look in one directly opposite. They and we need that the prices of all agricultural products should be high, and those of manufactured articles low, while England desires that the latter may be high and the former low. That they and we may be gratified, it is required that machinery shall take its place by the food and the wool; that towns shall arise, and that man shall everywhere become strong and free. That she may be gratified, it is required that the food and the wool shall go to the spindle and the loom; that men, women, and children shall be confined to the labours of the field, and that men shall remain poor, ignorant, and enslaved. The more Russia makes a market for her wheat, the higher will be its price, to the great advantage of the farmers of the world; and the more cotton and sugar she will require, and the higher will be their prices, to the great advantage of the planters of the world. The more Germany makes a market for her wool, the higher will be its price, and the cheaper will be cloth, and the more cotton and sugar she will need. The more we make a market for cotton, the better will it be for the people of India; and the more we consume our own grain, the better will it be for the farmers of Germany. Our interests and theirs are one and the same; but it is to the interest of the British manufacturer to have all the world competing with each other to sell in his one limited market, and the more competition he can create, the cheaper will be products of the plough, and the larger will be the profits of the loom. He wishes to buy cheaply the things we have to sell, and to sell dearly those we have to buy. We wish to sell dearly and buy cheaply, and as our objects are directly the reverse of his, it would be as imprudent for us to be advised by him, as it would be for the farmer to enter into a combination with the railroad for the purpose of keeping up the price of transportation.

Russia and Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Belgium are engaged in resisting a great system of taxation, and they grow rich and strong, and therefore their people become from year to year more free. Portugal and India, Turkey and Ireland yield to the system, and they become from year to year poorer and weaker, and their people more enslaved. It is on the part of the former a war for peace, and fortunately it is a war that involves no expense for fleets and armies, and one under which both wealth and population grow with great rapidity—and one, therefore, in which we may, and must, unite, if we desire to see the termination of the slave trade at home or abroad.

Russia and Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Belgium are engaged in an effort to raise the value of man at home, wherever that home may be, and thus to stop the forced export of men, whether black, brown, or white: England is engaged in an effort to destroy everywhere the value of man at home, and therefore it is that the slave trade flourishes in the countries that submit to her system. We desire to increase the value of man in Virginia, and thus to terminate the domestic slave trade. We desire that corn and cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco may be high, and cloth and iron low; that labour may be largely paid, and that man may become free; and the less our dependence on the market of England, the sooner will our desires be gratified.

* * * * *

Are we then to adopt a system of measures tending to the injury of the people of England? By no means. Her real interests and ours are the same, and by protecting ourselves against her system, we are benefiting her. The harmony of interests is so perfect, that nations cannot be benefited by measures tending to the injury of other nations; and when they allow themselves to be led away by the belief that they can be so, they are always themselves the heaviest sufferers. The sooner that all the agricultural communities of the earth shall come to an understanding, that it is to their interest to withdraw from the present insane contest for the privilege of supplying a single and limited market, and determine to create markets for themselves, the sooner will the English labourer, land-owner, and capitalist find themselves restored to freedom. That the reader may understand this, we must look once more to Ireland. The closing of the demand for labour in that country drove the poor people to England in search of employment. "For half a century back"—that is, since the Union—"the western shores of our island," says a British journalist—

"Especially Lancashire and Glasgow have been flooded with crowds of half clad, half fed, half civilized Celts, many thousands of whom have settled permanently in our manufacturing towns, reducing wages by their competition, and what is worse, reducing the standard of living and comfort among our people by their example—spreading squalor and disease by their filthy habits—inciting to turbulence and discontent by their incorrigible hostility to law, incalculably increasing the burden of our poor rates—and swelling the registry of crime, both in police courts and assizes; to the great damage of the national character and reputation. The abundant supply of cheap labour which they furnished had no doubt the effect of enabling our manufacturing industry to increase at a rate and, to a height which, without them, would have been unattainable; and so far they have been of service."—North British Review, No. 35.

The essential error of this passage is found in the supposition that any set of people or any species of industry, is to profit by the cheapening of labour and the enslavement of man. Nothing of this kind can take place. The true interests of all men are promoted by the elevation, and they all suffer by whatever tends to the depression, of their fellow-men. The master of slaves, whether wearing a crown or carrying a whip, is himself a slave; and that such is the case with nations as well as individuals, the reader may perhaps be satisfied if he will follow out the working of the British system as here described by the reviewer. For half a century Irish labour has been, as we are here told, poured into England, producing a glut in the market, and lowering not only the wages, but also the standard of comfort among English labourers. This is quite true; but why did these men come? Because labour was cheaper in Ireland than in England. Why was it so? Because, just half a century since, it was provided by the Act of Union that the women and children of Ireland should either remain idle or work in the field. Prior to the centralization by that act of all power in the British Parliament, the people of that country had been vigorously engaged in the effort to produce competition for the purchase of labour at home; and had they been permitted to continue on in that direction, it would have risen to a level with English labour, and then it could not have been profitably exported. This, however, they were not permitted to do. Their furnaces and factories were closed, and the people who worked in them were driven to England to seek their bread, and wages fell, because the price of all commodities, labour included, tends to a level, and whatever reduces them anywhere tends to reduce them everywhere. The price of English labour fell because the Act of Union had diminished the value of that of Ireland.

If we desire to know to what extent it had this effect, we must look to the consequences of an over-supply of perishable articles. Of all commodities, labour is the most perishable, because it must be sold on the instant or it is wasted, and if wasted, the man who has it to sell may perish himself. Now we know that an over-supply of even iron, equal to ten per cent., will reduce prices thirty, forty, or fifty per cent., and that an excess of a single hundred thousand bales in the crop of cotton makes a difference of ten per cent. upon three millions of bales, whereas a diminution to the same extent will make a difference of ten per cent. in the opposite direction. Still more is this the case with oranges and peaches, which must be sold at once or wasted. With an excess in the supply of either, they are often abandoned as not worth the cost of gathering and carrying to market. A small excess in the supply of men, women, and children so far reduces their value in the eyes of the purchaser of labour, that he finds himself, as now in England, induced to regard it as a mercy of Heaven when famine, pestilence, and emigration clear them out of his way; and he is then disposed to think that the process "cannot be carried too far nor continued too long."

Irish labour, having been cheapened by the provisions of the Act of Union, was carried to the market of England for sale, and thus was produced a glut of the most perishable of all commodities; and the effect of that glut must have been a diminution in the general price of labour in England that far more than compensated for the increased number of labourers. Admitting, however, that the diminution was no more than would be so compensated, it would follow, of course, that the quantity of wages paid after a year's immigration was the same that it had previously been. That it was not, and could not have been so great, is quite certain; but it is not needed to claim more than that there was no increase. It follows, necessarily, that while the quantity of wages to be expended in England against food and clothing remained the same, the number of persons among whom it was to be divided had increased, and each had less to expend. This of course diminished the power to purchase food, and to a much greater degree diminished the demand for clothing, for the claims of the stomach are, of all others, the most imperious. The reader will now see that the chief effect thus produced by cheap labour is a reduction in the domestic demand for manufactured goods. As yet, however, we are only at the commencement of the operation. The men who had been driven from Ireland by the closing of Irish factories, had been consumers of food,[211] but as they could no longer consume at home, it became now necessary that that food should follow them to England, and the necessity for this transportation tended largely to diminish the prices of all food in Ireland, and of course the value of labour and land. Each new depression in the price of labour tended to swell the export of men, and the larger that export the greater became, of course, the necessity for seeking abroad a market for food. Irish food came to swell the supply, but the English market for it did not grow, because the greater the glut of men, the smaller became the sum of wages to be laid out against food; and thus Irish and English food were now contending against each other, to the injury, of English and Irish labour and land. The lower the price of food in England, the less was the inducement to improve the land, and the less the demand for labour the less the power to buy even food, while the power to pay for clothing diminished with tenfold rapidity. With each step in this direction the labourer lost more and more the control over his own actions, and became more and more enslaved. The decline in the home demand for manufactures then produced a necessity for seeking new markets, for underworking the Hindoo, and for further cheapening labour; and the more labour was cheapened the less became the demand for, and the return to capital. Land, labour, and capital thus suffered alike from the adoption of a policy having for its object to prevent the people of Ireland from mining coal, making iron, or availing themselves of the gratuitous services of those powerful agents so abundantly provided by nature for their use.

The reader may, perhaps, appreciate more fully the evil effects of this course upon an examination of the reverse side of the picture. Let us suppose that the Irishman could at once be raised from being the slave of the landholder to becoming a freeman, exercising control over the application of his labour, and freely discussing with his employer what should be his reward,—and see what would be the effect. It would at once establish counter-attraction, and instead of a constant influx of people from Ireland into England, there would be a constant afflux to that country, and in a little time the whole mass of Irish labour that now weighs on the English market would be withdrawn, and wages would rise rapidly. At the cost of the landholder, it will be said. On the contrary, to his profit. The Irishman at home, fully employed, would consume thrice the food he can now obtain, and Irish food would at once cease to press on the English market, and the price of English food would rise. This, of course, would offer new inducements to improve the land, and, this would make a demand for labour and capital, the price of both of which would rise. These things, however, it will be said, would be done at the cost of the manufacturer. On the contrary, to his advantage Ireland now consumes but little of English manufactures. "No one," says the Quarterly Review, "ever saw an English scarecrow with such rags" as are worn by hundreds of thousands of the people of Ireland. Raise the value of Irishmen at home, make them free, and the Irish market will soon require more manufactured goods than now go to all India. Raise the value of man in Great Britain, and the domestic market will absorb an amount of commodities that would now be deemed perfectly incredible.

How can this be done for Ireland? By the same process under which the man of Germany, Russia, Denmark, and Spain is now passing gradually toward freedom. By providing that she shall be protected in her efforts to bring the consumer to the side of the producer, and thus be enabled to provide at home demand for all her labour and all her food, and for all the capital now deemed surplus that weighs on the market of England. It will, however, be said that this would deprive the English manufacturer of the market he now has in that country. It would not. He would sell more in value, although it would certainly be less in bulk. If Ireland spun her own yarn and made her own coarse cloths, she would need to buy fine ones. If she made her woollen cloth she could afford to buy silks. If she made her own pig-iron she would have occasion to purchase steam-engines. If she mined her own coal she would require books; and the more her own labourer was elevated in the scale of material comfort, and moral and intellectual improvement, the larger would be her demands on her neighbours for those commodities requiring for their production the exercise of mind, to their advantage as well as her own.

The error in the whole British system is, that it looks to preventing everywhere local association and local commerce; and this it does because it seeks to locate in England the workshop of the world. The natural effect of this is a desire to compel all nations to transport their products to market in their rudest form, at greatest cost to themselves, and greatest exhaustion of their land; and the poorer they become, the greater are her efforts at competing with them in the rudest manufactures, to the great injury of her own people. The man who is constantly competing with men below himself, will be sure eventually to fall to their level; whereas, he who looks upward and determines upon competition with those who are above him, will be very likely to rise to their level. If all the world were engaged in perfecting their products, the standard of man would be everywhere rising, and the power to purchase would grow everywhere, with rapid increase in the amount of both internal and external commerce, but the commodities, exchanged would be of a higher character—such as would require for their preparation a higher degree of intellect. At present, all the nations outside of England are to be stimulated to the adoption of a system that affords to their men, women, and children no employment but that of the rude operations of the field, while those in England are to be kept at work mining coal, making pig metal; and converting cotton into yarn; and thus the tendency of the system is toward driving the whole people of the world into pursuits requiring little more than mere brute labour, and the lowest grade of intellect, to the destruction of commerce, both internal and external. The more this is carried into effect the more must the people of England and the world become brutalized and enslaved, and the greater must be the spread of intemperance and immorality. To this, Ireland, India, and all other countries that find themselves forced to press their products on the English market, are largely contributing, and the only people that are doing any thing for its correction are those who are labouring to make a market at home for their products, and thus diminish the competition for their sale in the English market. Were Germany and Russia now to abolish protection, the direct effect would be to throw upon England an immense amount of food they now consume at home, and thus diminish the price to such an extent as to render it impracticable to apply labour to the improvement of English land. This would of course diminish the wages of English labour, and diminish the power of the labourers to purchase manufactured goods, and the diminution thus produced in the domestic demand would be twice as great as the increase obtained abroad. It is time that the people of England should learn that the laws which govern the community of nations are precisely the same as those which govern communities of individuals, and that neither nations nor individuals can benefit permanently by any measures tending to the injury of their neighbours. The case of Ireland is one of oppression more grievous than is to be found elsewhere in the records of history; and oppression has brought its punishment in the enslavement of the English labourer, land-owner, and capitalist. The first has small wages, the second small rents, and the third small profits, while the intermediate people, bankers, lawyers, and agents, grow rich. The remedy for much of this would be found in the adoption of measures that would raise the value of labour, capital, and land, in Ireland, and thus permit the two former to remain at home, to give value to the last.

The evil under which the people of England labour is that they are borne down under the weight of raw produce forced into their market, and the competition for its sale. This, in turn, reacts upon the world—as prices in that market fix the prices of all other markets. What is now needed is to raise there the price of labour and its products, as would at once be done were it possible for all the agricultural nations to become so much masters of their own actions as to be able to say that from this time forward they would have such a demand at home as would free them from the slavery incident to a necessity for going to that market. Could that now be said, the instant effect would be so to raise the price of food as to make a demand for labour and capital in England that would double the price of both, as will be seen on an examination of the following facts. The United Kingdom contains seventy millions of acres, and an average expenditure of only three days labour per acre, at 12s. per week, would amount to twenty-one millions of pounds, or half as much as the whole capital engaged in the cotton trade. No one who studies the reports on the agriculture of the British islands can doubt that even a larger quantity might annually, and most profitably, be employed on the land; and when we reflect that this would be repeated year after year, it will be seen how large a market would thus be made for both labour and capital. The rise of wages would put an end to the export of men from either England or Ireland, and the increase in the home demand for manufactures would be great.

It may be said that the rise in the price of food would give large rents, without improvement in the land, and that the profit of this change would go to the land-owner. In all other trades, however, high wages compel improvements of machinery, and it is only when they are low that men can profitably work old machines. Were the wages of England this day doubled, it would be found that they would eat up the whole proceeds of all badly farmed land, leaving no rent, and then the owners of such land would find themselves as much obliged to improve their machinery of production as are the mill-owners of Manchester. If they could not improve the whole, they would find themselves compelled to sell a part; and thus dear labour would produce division of the land and emancipation of the labourer, as cheap labour has produced the consolidation of the one and the slavery of the other.

To enable Russia and Germany to refrain from pressing their products on the market that now regulates and depresses prices, it would be required that they should have great numbers of mills and furnaces, at which their now surplus food could be consumed, and their effect would be to create among them a new demand for labour with rise of wages, a better market for food to the benefit of the farmer, a better market for capital, and a greatly increased power to improve the land and to make roads and build schools. This would, of course, make demand for cotton, to the benefit of the cotton-grower, while improved prices for food would benefit the farmer everywhere. Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, too, would then have their factories, at which food and cotton would be converted into cloth, and the value of man in those States would rise to a level with that of Mississippi and Alabama—and our domestic slave trade would be brought to an end by precisely the same measures that would relieve England, Ireland, and Scotland from any necessity for exporting men to distant regions of the earth.

Nothing of this kind could at once be done; but Russia, Germany, and other countries of Europe are now, under protection, doing much toward it; and it is in the power of the people of this country to contribute largely toward bringing about such a state of things. Much was being done under the tariff of 1842, but it is being undone under the act of 1846. The former tended to raise the value of man at home, and hence it was that under it the domestic slave trade so much diminished. The latter tends to diminish the value of man at home, and hence it is that under it that trade so rapidly increases. The former tended to diminish the quantity of food to be forced on the market of England, to the deterioration of the value of English labour and land. The latter tends to increase the quantity for which a market must be sought abroad; and whatever tends to force food into that country tends to lessen the value of its people, and to produce their forced export to other countries. As yet, however, we have arrived only at the commencement of the working of the "free trade" system. We are now where we were in 1836, when the making of railroads by aid of large purchases, on credit, of cloth and iron, stimulated the consumption of food and diminished the labour applied to its production. After the next revulsion, now perhaps not far distant, the supply of food will be large, and then it will be that the low prices of 1841-2, for both food and labour, will be repeated.

In considering what is the duty of this country, every man should reflect that whatever tends to increase the quantity of raw produce forced on the market of England, tends to the cheapening of labour and land everywhere, to the perpetuation of slavery, and to the extension of its domain—and that whatever tends to the withdrawal of such produce from that market tends to raising the value of land and labour everywhere, to the extinction of slavery, and to the elevation of man.

The system commonly called free trade tends to produce the former results; and where man is enslaved there can be no real freedom of trade. That one which looks to protection against this extraordinary system of taxation, tends to enable men to determine for themselves whether they will make their exchanges abroad or at home; and it is in this power of choice that consists the freedom of trade and of man. By adopting the "free trade," or British, system we place ourselves side by side with the men who have ruined Ireland and India, and are now poisoning and enslaving the Chinese people. By adopting the other, we place ourselves by the side of those whose measures tend not only to the improvement of their own subjects, but to the emancipation of the slave everywhere, whether in the British Islands, India, Italy, or America.

It will be said, however, that protection tends to destroy commerce, the civilizer of mankind. Directly the reverse, however, is the fact. It is the system now called free trade that tends to the destruction of commerce, as is shown wherever it obtains. Protection looks only to resisting a great scheme of foreign taxation that everywhere limits the power of man to combine his efforts with those of his neighbour man for the increase of his production, the improvement of his mind, and the enlargement of his desires for, and his power to procure, the commodities produced among the different nations of the world. The commerce of India does not grow, nor does that of Portugal, or of Turkey; but that of the protected, countries does increase, as has been shown in the case of Spain, and can now be shown in that of Germany. In 1834, before the formation of the Zoll-Verein, Germany took from Great Britain,

of her own produce and manufactures, only…….. £4,429,727 Whereas in 1852 she took……………………. £7,694,059

And as regards this country, in which protection has always to some extent existed, it is the best customer that England ever had, and our demands upon her grow most steadily and regularly under protection, because the greater our power to make coarse goods, the greater are those desires which lead to the purchase of fine ones, and the greater our ability to gratify them.

Whatever tends to increase the power of man to associate with his neighbour man, tends to promote the growth of commerce, and to produce that material, moral, and intellectual improvement which leads to freedom. To enable men to exercise that power is the object of protection. The men of this country, therefore, who desire that all men, black, white, and brown, shall at the earliest period enjoy perfect freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade, will find, on full consideration, that duty to themselves and to their fellow-men requires that they should advocate efficient protection, as the true and only mode of abolishing the domestic trade in slaves, whether black or white.

* * * * *

It will, perhaps, be said that even although the slave trade were abolished, slavery would still continue to exist, and that the great object of the anti-slavery movement would remain unaccomplished. One step, at all events, and a great one, would have been made. To render men adscripti glebæ, thus attaching them to the soil, has been in many countries, as has so recently been the case in Russia, one of the movements toward emancipation; and if this could be here effected by simple force of attraction, and without the aid of law, it would be profitable to all, both masters and slaves; because whatever tends to attract population tends inevitably to increase the value of land, and thus to enrich its owner. There, however, it could not stop, as the reader will readily see. Cheap food enables the farmer of Virginia to raise cheap labour for the slave market. Raise the price of food, and the profit of that species of manufacture would diminish. Raise it still higher, and the profit would disappear; and then would the master of slaves find it necessary to devolve upon the parent the making of the sacrifice required for the raising of children, and thus to enable him to bring into activity all the best feelings of the heart.

Cheap food and slavery go together; and if we desire to free ourselves from the last, we must commence by ridding ourselves of the first. Food is cheap in Virginia, because the market for it is distant, and most of its value there is swallowed up in the cost of transportation. Bring the consumer close to the door of the farmer, and it will be worth as much there as it now commands in the distant market. Make a demand everywhere around him for all the food that is raised, and its value will everywhere rise, for then we shall cease to press upon the limited market of England, which fixes the price of our crop, and is now borne down by the surplus products of Germany and Russia, Canada and ourselves; and the price will then be higher in the remote parts of Virginia than can now be obtained for it in the distant market of England. It will then become quite impossible for the farmer profitably to feed his corn to slaves.

With the rise in the price of food the land would quadruple in value, and that value would continue to increase as the artisan more and more took his place by the side of the producer of food and wool, and as towns increased in number and in size; and with each step in this direction the master would attach less importance to the ownership of slaves; while the slave would attach more importance to freedom. With both, the state of feeling would, improve; and the more the negro was improved the more his master would be disposed to think of slavery, as was thought of old by Jefferson and Madison, that it was an evil that required to be abated; and the more rapid the growth of wealth, the greater the improvement in the value of land, the more rapid would be the approach of freedom to all, the master and the slave.

It will be said, however, that if food should so much increase in value as to render it desirable for Virginia to retain the whole growth of her population, black and white, the necessary effect would, be a great rise in the price of cotton, and a great increase in the wealth of the planters further South, who would be desirous to have negroes, even at greatly increased prices. That the price of cotton would rise is quite certain. Nothing keeps it down but the low price of food, which forces out the negroes of the Northern States, and thus, maintains the domestic slave trade; and there is no reason to doubt that not only would there be a large increase in its price, but that the power to pay for it would increase with equal rapidity. More negro labour would then certainly be needed, and then would exist precisely the state of things that leads inevitably to freedom. When two masters seek one labourer, the latter becomes free; but when two labourers seek one master, the former become enslaved. The increased value of negro labour would render it necessary for the owners of negroes to endeavour to stimulate the labourer to exertion, and this could be done only by the payment of wages for over-work, as is even now done to a great extent. At present, the labour of the slave is in a high degree unproductive, as will be seen by the following passage from a letter to the New York Daily Times, giving the result of information derived from a gentleman of Petersburgh, Virginia, said to be "remarkable for accuracy and preciseness of his information:"—

"He tells me," says the writer, "he once very carefully observed how mush labour was expended in securing a crop of very thin wheat, and found that it took four negroes one day to cradle, rake, and bind one acre. (That is, this was the rate at which the field was harvested.) In the wheat-growing districts of Western New York, four men would be expected to do five acres of a similar crop.

"Mr. Griscom further states, as his opinion, that four negroes do not, in the ordinary agricultural operations of this State, accomplish as much as one labourer in New Jersey. Upon my expressing my astonishment, he repeated it as his deliberately formed opinion.

"I have since again called on Mr. Griscom, and obtained permission to give his name with the above statement. He also wishes me to add, that the ordinary waste in harvesting, by the carelessness of the negroes, above that which occurs in the hands of Northern labourers, is large enough to equal what a Northern farmer would consider a satisfactory profit on the crop."

To bring into activity all this vast amount of labour now wasted, it is needed to raise the cost of man, by raising the price of food; and that is to be done by bringing the farmer's market to his door, and thus giving value to labour and land. Let the people of Maryland and Virginia, Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee be enabled to bring into activity their vast treasures of coal and iron ore, and to render useful their immense water-powers—free the masters from their present dependence on distant markets, in which they must sell all they produce, and must buy all they consume—and the negro slave becomes free, by virtue of the same great law that in past times has freed the serf of England, and is now freeing the serf of Russia. In all countries of the world man has become free as land has acquired value, and as its owners have been enriched; and in all man has become enslaved as land has lost its value, and its owners have been impoverished.[212]



The English politico-economical system denounced by Adam Smith had not failed before the close of the last century to be productive of results in the highest degree unfavourable to man; and to account for them it became necessary to discover that they were the inevitable result of certain great natural laws; and to this necessity it was that the world was indebted for the Ricardo-Malthusian system, which may be briefly stated in the following propositions:—

First: That in the commencement of cultivation, when population is small and land consequently abundant, the best soils—those capable of yielding the largest return, say one hundred quarters to a given quantity of labour—alone are cultivated.

Second: That with the progress of population, the fertile lands are all occupied, and there arises a necessity for cultivating those yielding a smaller return; and that resort is then had to a second, and afterward to a third and a fourth class of soils, yielding respectively ninety, eighty, and seventy quarters to the same quantity of labour.

Third: That with the necessity for applying labour less productively, which thus accompanies the growth of population, rent arises: the owner of land No. 1 being enabled to demand and to obtain, in return for its use, ten quarters when resort is had to that of second quality; twenty when No. 3 is brought into use, and thirty when it becomes necessary to cultivate No. 4.

Fourth: That the proportion of the landlord tends thus steadily to increase as the productiveness of labour decreases, the division being as follows, to wit:—

Total At the: Product Labour Rent ———- ———- ——— —— first period, when No. 1 alone is cultivated.. 100 100 00 second period " No. 1 and 2 are cultivated. 190 180 10 third period " No. 1, 2, and 3 ".. 270 240 30 fourth period " No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 ".. 340 280 60 fifth period " No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 ".. 400 300 100 sixth period " No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6".. 450 300 150 seventh period " No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ".. 490 280 210

and that there is thus a tendency to the ultimate absorption of the whole produce by the owner of the land, and to a steadily increasing inequality of condition; the power of the labourer to consume the commodities which he produces steadily diminishing, while that of the land-owner to claim them, as rent, is steadily increasing.

Fifth: That this tendency toward a diminution in the return of labour, and toward an increase of the landlord's proportion, always exists where population increases, and most exists where population increases most rapidly; but is in a certain degree counteracted by increase of wealth, producing improvement of cultivation.

Sixth: That every such improvement tends to retard the growth of rents, while every obstacle to improvement tends to increase that growth: and that, therefore, the interests of the land-owner and labourer are always opposed to each other, rents rising as labour falls, and vice-versa.

A brief examination of these propositions will satisfy the reader that they tend inevitably to the centralization of all power in the hands of the few at the cost of the many, who are thus reduced to the condition of slaves, mere hewers of wood and drawers of water for their masters, as will now be shown.

I. In the commencement of cultivation labour is largely productive, and the labourer takes for himself the whole of his product, paying no rent.

II. With the increase of population, and the increased power to associate, labour becomes less productive, and the labourer is required to give a part of the diminished product to the land-owner, who thus grows rich at his expense.

III. With further growth of population land acquires further value, and that value increases with every increase of the necessity for applying labour less productively; and the less the product, the larger becomes the proportion of the proprietor, whose wealth and power increase precisely as the labourer becomes poorer and less able to defend his rights, or, in other words, as he becomes enslaved.

This state of things leads of course to the expulsion of poor men, to seek at a distance those rich soils which, according to the theory, are the first cultivated. The more they are expelled, the greater must of course be the consolidation of the land, the larger the income of the few great farmers and land-owners, and the poorer the labourers. Hence universal discord, such as is seen in England, and has recently been so well described by the Times.[213]

The poorer the people, the greater must be the necessity for emigration; and the greater the anxiety of the landed or other capitalist for their expulsion, because they are thus relieved from the necessity for supporting them; and the greater the rejoicing of the trader, because he supposes they go from the cultivation of poor to that of rich soils. Here we have dispersion, the opposite of that association to which man has everywhere been indebted for his wealth; for the development of his moral and intellectual faculties, and for his freedom.

The soils left behind being supposed to be the poor ones, and those first appropriated abroad being supposed to be the rich ones, it is next held that all the people who go abroad, should do nothing but cultivate the land, sending their corn and their wool to a distance of thousands of miles in search of the little spindle and the loom; and thus does the Ricardo system lead to the adoption of a policy directly the reverse of that taught by Adam Smith.

The necessary effect of this is the discouragement of English agriculture, and the closing of the market for English capital; and the smaller the market for it at home the less must be the demand for labour, and the greater must be the tendency of the labourer to become the mere slave of those who do employ capital. This of course produces further expulsion of both labour and capital; and the more they go abroad, the less, as a matter of course, is the power of the community that is left behind: and thus the Ricardo-Malthusian system tends necessarily to the diminution of the importance of the nation in the eyes of the world.

That system teaches that God in his infinite wisdom has given to matter in the form of man a reproductive power greater than he has given to the source from which that matter is derived, the earth itself; and that, with a view to the correction of that error, man must close his ear and his heart to the tale of suffering—must forget that great law of Christ, "Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you,"—must persuade himself that it is "to his advantage" that the negro slave "shall wear his chains in peace,"—and must always recollect that if men will marry; and have children, and he "stands between the error and its consequence," granting relief to the poor or the sick in their distress, except so far as to prevent "positive death," he "perpetuates the sin." This is the science of repulsion, despair, and death; and it has been well denominated "the dismal science." It is taught in many of the schools of Europe, but England alone has made it the basis of a system of policy; and the result is seen in the fact that throughout all that portion of the world subject to her influence, we see nothing but repulsion, slavery, despair, and death, with steadily increasing weakness of the communities in the general system of the world, as witness Ireland and India, from, which men are flying as from pestilence—the West Indies, Portugal, and Turkey, in all of which population declines, and the communities themselves seem likely soon to perish of inanition.[214]

From every country that is strong enough to protect itself, she is being gradually shut out; and in every one that is strong enough to carry into effect the exclusion, we see a steady increase of the power and the habit of association, and of the strength of the nation. The little German Union of 1827 led to the great one of 1835; and at this moment we have advices of the completion of the still greater one that is to give freedom of internal trade to sixty millions of people, and that is to do for all Germany what the Zoll-Verein has done for its northern portion. The habit of peace and of combined action thus grows in all the countries of the world which protect themselves, while repulsion and discord increase in every one that is unprotected. In one we see a daily tendency toward freedom, while in the other slavery grows from day to day.

It is the complaint of England that, much as she has done for other countries, she receives no kindness in return. She stands at this day without a friend; and this is not so much the fault of any error of intention as of error of doctrine. Many of those who have directed her affairs have been men of generous impulses—men who would scorn to do what they thought to be wrong—but they have, been led away by a system that teaches the rankest selfishness. The Creator of man provided for his use great natural agents, the command of which was to be obtained as the reward of the cultivation of his intellectual powers; and that he might obtain leisure for their improvement, great stores of fuel were accumulated, and iron ore was furnished in unlimited quantity, to enable him, by combining the two, to obtain machinery to aid him in the cultivation of the soil and the conversion of its products. England, however, desires to restrict the use of those great natural agents; and whenever or wherever other nations undertake to call them to their aid, she is seen using every effort in her power to annihilate competition, and thus maintain her monopoly. Of this, the recent proceedings in relation to steam intercourse between this country and Europe present a striking instance; but the maintenance of numerous colonies, avowedly for the purpose of "stifling in its infancy" every effort on the part of other nations to obtain power to convert their coal and their ore into iron, or to convert their iron into machinery that would enable them to command the aid of steam, and thus lighten the labours of their people, while increasing the efficiency of their exertions, is a thing not only not disavowed, but gloried in by her most eminent and enlightened men. The exceeding selfishness of this effort to retain a monopoly of those great natural agents should, of itself, afford proof conclusive to every Englishman that the system that is to be so maintained could not be right; and it would do so, were it not that their system of political economy teaches that every man must live by "snatching the bread from his neighbour's mouth" that the land-owner grows rich at the expense of the labourer; that profits rise only at the cost of wages, and wages only at the cost of profits; and, therefore, that the only way to ensure a fair rate for the use of capital is to keep the price of labour down.

This system is to be carried out by producing "unlimited competition" and in what is it to exist? In the sale of labour; and the greater that competition, the greater will be the profits of the capitalist, and the lower will be the wages of the labourer. The more the competition for the sale of cotton, the cheaper will be the labourer who produces it; and the more perfect the monopoly of machinery, the cheaper must be the labourer who performs the work of spinning the wool and weaving the cloth, but the larger will be the share of the man who owns the spindles and the looms. The fewer the spindles and looms of the world, the cheaper will be cotton and the dearer will be cloth, and the greater the profits of what is called capital; but the less will be the value of the stock in that great bank from which all capital is derived—the earth; and the poorer and more enslaved must be all those who have shares in it, and all who desire to obtain loans from it—the land-owners and the labourers. Such being the tendencies of the system, need we wonder, that it produces repulsion abroad, or that England is now so entirely without friends that in this age of the world—one that should be so enlightened—she talks of increased armaments with a view to defending herself from invasion, and calls on other nations for help? Certainly not. Were it otherwise, it would be wonderful. She is expelling her whole people from the land, and the more they go, the more she is rejoiced. "Extensive as has been the emigration from Ireland which has already taken place, there is," we are told—

"A remarkable proof that it has not been carried too far. There is still no regular demand for labour in the West of Ireland, and wages are still at the low starvation rate which prevailed before the famine."—Economist, (London,) Feb. 12, 1853.

Again, we are told that

"The departure of the redundant population of the Highlands of Scotland is an indispensable preliminary to every kind of improvement."—Ibid.

Further, we are informed that the emigration from England, Wales, and the Lowlands of Scotland has "almost entirely consisted of able-bodied agricultural labourers," and that few or none of the manufacturing population have emigrated, except "a few Spitalfields and Paisley hand-loom weavers."[215] The loss of all these agriculturists, and the rapid conversion of the whole people of the kingdom into mere buyers and sellers of the products of other nations, is regarded as not only not to be regretted, but as a thing to be rejoiced at; and another influential journal assures its readers that the "mere anticipation" of any deficiency in the export of man from the kingdom "would lead to the most disastrous suspension of industry and enterprise," and that "the emigration must not only continue, but it must be maintained with all possible steadiness and activity."[216]

Little effort would seem to be required to bring about the abandonment of England, as well as of Ireland. Of the latter the latest journals furnish accounts of which the following is a fair specimen:—

"The people are fast passing away from the land in the West of Ireland. The landlords of Connaught are tacitly combined to weed out all the smaller occupiers, against whom a regular systematic war of extermination is being waged. * * * The most heart-rending cruelties are daily practised in this province, of which the public are not at all aware."—Galway Mercury.

In the former, we are told that

"The wheel of 'improvement' is now seizing another class, the most stationary class in England. A startling emigration movement has sprung up among the smaller English farmers, especially those holding heavy clay soils, who, with bad prospects for the coming harvest, and in want of sufficient capital to make the great improvements on their farms which would enable them to pay their old rents, have no other alternative but to cross the sea in search of a new country and of new lands. I am not speaking now of the emigration caused by the gold mania, but only of the compulsory emigration produced by landlordism, concentration of farms, application of machinery to the soil, and introduction of the modern system of agriculture on a great scale."—Correspondence of the New York Tribune.

Nevertheless, wages do not rise. Hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of the poor people of the kingdom have now been expelled, and yet there is "no regular demand for labour," and wages continue as low as ever. That such should be the case is not extraordinary, but it will be so if this diminution of the power of association do not result in lowering the reward of labour, and accelerating the dispersion of the labourers. Every man that goes was a producer of something, to be given in exchange for another thing that he required, that was produced by others; and from the moment of his departure he ceases to be a producer, with correspondent diminution in the demand for the cloth, the iron, or the salt produced by his neighbours. The less the competition for purchase the more becomes the competition for sale, and the lower must be the compensation of the labourer. A recent journal informs us that the condition of one class of operatives, the salt-boilers, has "gradually become most deplorable."

"Their wages at present do not average 15s. a week, because they are not employed full time; 2s. 6d. a day is the highest price given, and one of these days consists of fourteen or sixteen hours. In addition to this, some of the employers have latterly introduced a new mode of diminishing the actual payment in wages. As has already been stated, the salt-pans in the course of a few days require cleansing from the impurities and dross thrown down with the process of boiling. The accumulation may vary from one-eighth of an inch to one foot, according to the quality of the brine. Therefore, every fortnight the fires are let out and the pans picked and cleaned, a process which occupies a full day; and this unavoidable and necessary work it is becoming the fashion to require the men to perform without any remuneration whatever; or, in other words, to demand one month's work out of the twelve from them without giving any wages in return!"—Dawson's Merchants' Magazine, February, 1853, 98.

The more steady and active the emigration of the agricultural labourers, and the larger the remainder of factory operatives, the greater must be the necessity for depending on other countries for supplies, and the less must be the power of the nation in the community of nations, the richer must grow the great manufacturer, and the poorer must become the labourer; and, as this system is now being so vigorously carried out, the cause of weakness may readily be understood. It is a natural consequence of the purely selfish policy to which the Ricardo-Malthusian doctrines inevitably lead.

Can such a system be a natural one? Is it possible that an all-wise, all-powerful, and all-merciful Being, having constructed this world for the occupation of man, should have inflicted upon it such a curse as is found in a system of laws the study of which leads to the conclusion that men can live only "by snatching the bread out of the mouths" of their fellow-men? Assuredly not. What, then, are the laws under which man "lives and moves and has his being?" To obtain an answer to this question, we must go back to the proposition which lies at the base of the British system—that which teaches that men begin the work of cultivation with the rich soils of the earth, and are afterward compelled to resort to inferior ones the most important one in political economy; so important, says Mr. J. S. Mill, that were it otherwise, "almost all the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would be other than they are."

Admitting, now, that the law were different, and that instead of commencing on the rich soils and then passing toward the poor ones, they commenced on the poor soils of the hills and gradually made their way down to the rich ones of the swamps and river-bottoms, would not one of the differences referred to by Mr. Mill consist in this, that whereas the old theory tended to establish a constant increase in the necessities of man, with constant deterioration, of his condition and growing inequality among men, the new one would tend to establish a constant increase of his powers, with constant improvement of condition and growing equality among men, wherever the laws of God were permitted to control their operations?

Again, might not another of those differences consist in the establishment of the facts that instead of there having been a mistake on the part of the Creator, there had been a serious one on that of the economists, in attributing to those little scraps of the earth that man forms into wagons, ships, and steam-engines, and which he calls capital, an importance greater than is assigned to the earth of which they are so trivial a portion; and that the latter was the real bank, the source of all capital, from which he can have loans to an extent almost unlimited, provided he recollects that they are loans, and not gifts, and that his credit with this banker, as well as with all others, cannot be maintained without a punctual repayment of the matter borrowed when he has ceased to need it?

Further, as the old theory furnishes propositions to, which the exceptions are seen to be so numerous that every new writer finds himself compelled to modify it in some manner with a view to cover those exceptions, might not another, of the differences consist in its furnishing laws as universally true as are those of Copernicus, Kepler, or Newton—laws that gave proof of their truth by being everywhere in harmony with each other, and productive everywhere of harmony; and would not the following form a part of them?—

I. That the poor and solitary man commences everywhere with poor machinery, and that everywhere, as population and wealth increase, he obtains better machinery, and production is increased. The first poor settler has no cup, and he takes up water in his hand. He has no hogs or cattle to yield him oil, and he is compelled to depend on pine-knots for artificial light. He has no axe, and he cannot fell a tree, either to supply himself with fuel or to clear his land. He has no saw, and he is compelled to seek shelter under a rock, because he is unable to build himself a house. He has no spade, and he is compelled to cultivate land that is too poor to need clearing, and too dry to require drainage. He has no horse, and is obliged to carry his little crop of grain on his shoulders. He has no mill, and is compelled to pound his grain between stones, or to eat it unground, as did the Romans for so many centuries. With the growth of wealth and population he obtains machinery that enables him to command the services of the various natural agents by which he is surrounded; and he now obtains more water, more light, more heat, and more power at less cost of labour; and he cultivates rich lands that yield food more largely, while he transports its products, by means of a wagon or a railroad car, converts it into flour by aid of steam, and exchanges it readily with, the man who converts his food and his wool into cloth, or food and ore into iron,—and thus passes from poor to better machinery of production, transportation, and exchange, with increasing reward of labour, and diminishing value of all the products of labour.

II. That the poor settler gives a large proportion of the produce of his labour for the use of poor machinery of production, transportation, and exchange; but the produce being small, the quantity of rent then paid is very small. He is a slave to the owner of landed or other capital.

III. That with the increased productiveness of labour there is increased facility for the reproduction of machinery required for the production of water, light, fuel, and food; and that this diminution in the cost of reproduction is attended with a constant diminution in the value of all such machinery previously accumulated, and diminution in the proportion of the product of labour that can be demanded as rent for their use; and thus, while labour steadily increases in its power to yield commodities of every kind required by man, capital as steadily diminishes in its power over the labourer. Present l