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extent of the duty imposed upon the foreign articles. Even, therefore, if a tariff designed for the purpose of protecting manufactures had never been conceived, and the impost duties had been strictly and exclusively confined to the purposes of revenue, almost the entire burthen of supporting the Federal Government, would fall upon the staple growing States. When to this view of the subject we add, that of the twenty millions of revenue thus unequally raised, not more than one twentieth is expended in the staple growing States, and the whole of the remainder is poured out on the other parts of the Union in refreshing showers, we have a just picture of one portion of the country exclusively burthened, and another exclusively bountied and benefited by the mere fiscal operations of the common government. What, then, must be the condition of the staple growing States, when we take into the estimate of their burthens, the transcendent injustice of the protecting system? When it is the obvious dictate of justice, that a portion of the Federal revenue should be raised by an excise upon domestic manufactures, with a view to equalize the operation of the Federal taxes, by diminishing the rates of impost duty-we have, added to the gross inequality of the system of revenue and expenditure, a system of prohibitory duties wholly unprecedented in the legislation of any free country, and hastening with most "unrighteous speed” to the consummation devoutly invoked, and impatiently expected by its advocates-the entire annihilation of that branch of our foreign commerce, which belongs almost exclusively to the staple growing States, and which is the only source of their expiring prosperity. A brief and simple analysis of this portion of our foreign commerce, and the bearing of the existing duties and prohibitions upon it, will speak a language of impressive solemnity to the understanding and the heart of every citizen of the Southern States, to which no additional power can be added by the most eloquent commentary. The whole amount of foreign merchandize imported and consumed in 1827, exclusive of articles free of duty, was (omitting fractions) fifty-three millions of dollars. The gross revenue accruing from this source, is estimated at upwards of twenty-one millions of dollars, indicating forty per cent. as the average rate of duty paid upon the aggregate of importations. The whole amount of merchandize imported for consumption, from Great Britain, exclusive of her dependencies, and exclusive also of articles free of duty, was, during the same year, twenty-seven millions of dollars. This amount consisted almost entirely of manufactures of cotton, wool, iron, hemp and glass, and also of salt; articles subject to the highest rate of duty (of course above
forty per cent.) by the tariff of 1824, and now raised by the tariff of 1828, to the prohibitory average of at least sixty per cent. The whole amount of our domestic exports to Great Britain proper, during the same year, was twenty-five millions five hundred thousand dollars, of which cotton constituted twenty-one millions of dollars; tobacco, two millions three hundred thousand dollars; and rice, five hundred thousand dollars; making twenty-three million eight hundred thousand dollars, and leaving only one million seven hundred thousand dollars to be made up by all other domestic productions exported to that country. It is known that the value of domestic productions exported, is assessed at the place of exportation. It may be assumed, therefore, that the value of the cotton, tobacco and rice exported to Great Britain, amounted in that country to twenty-five millions of dollars, which was given in exchange for an equal amount of British merchandize.
It thus appears, that our commerce with Great Britain, constitutes nearly one-half of the whole foreign commerce of the United States, subject to pay duty, and that eleven-twelfths of that half, consists of an 'exchange of the cotton, tobacco and rice of the Southern States, for those articles of British manufacture, against which the ban of the prohibitory system is specifically and almost exclusively directed.
To measure the burthen imposed upon the Southern States, by the amount of the duty laid upon the articles of necessity and comfort which they receive in exchange for their staples, would give no just or adequate conception of the ruinous extent of injury inflicted on them. Even when measured by this standard, however, it is sufficiently startling. It requires but very humble powers of arithmetic to discover, that sixty per cent. upon twenty-five millions of dollars, the sum of their
commerce with Great Britain alone, will amount to the enormous burthen of fifteen millions of dollars. We will not stop to argue the question, whether, under all circumstances, a duty upon the importation of foreign merchandize, is precisely equal to a duty upon the exportation of the produce given in exchange for it. The progress of the tariff has already left that question behind it-a mere matter of curious and empty speculation. We are already brought to consider the more interesting and less doubtful question, whether in the actual state of the commercial relations of Great Britain, a sweeping prohibition of the manufactures she gives in exchange for our staples, is not in its ultimate effects, precisely equivalent to a law prohibiting the exportation of cotton to that country. This question we do not hesitate to answer in the affirmative. It is very apparent that
if we cease to purchase British manufactures, there is no other British production which we can take in exchange for our cotton, tobacco and rice. And it is still more apparent, that if we cease to purchase all British productions, Great Britain cannot, and most certainly will not, purchase our agricultural staples. Even if she were to abstain from all measures of countervailing restriction, the immutable laws of trade would execute their own provisions and enforce their own sanctions. The British manufacturer will naturally seek to obtain raw cotton from those countries where he can obtain a market for the only thing he has to give for it. This will not only be a matter of choice, but of absolute necessity. Under such an impulse, British enterprize and capital will not find it difficult to stimulate the production of cotton in South-America, Egypt and the East and West-Indies, to the full extent of the British demand for it. But this is not all. The discussions in the British Parliament indicate a general concurrence of all parties in the necessity of resorting to measures of retaliation, in consequence of our late tariff. The spirit of moderation and good sense displayed by the distinguished men, both in and out of the ministry, is accompanied by expressions of a serious determination to take some decided step at an early day after the re-assembling of the Parliament. Our solicitude is attracted, therefore, not merely to the grievance of having our commerce subjected to heavy, unequal and oppressive taxation, but to the inevitable catastrophe of its utter annihilation. If the tariff of 1828 is not repealedand speedily repealed--we confidently pronounce the opinion that the existing market for two-thirds of the staples we export, will be irrecoverably lost. It will not be a case of injury, but of ruin; and the business of the patriot will not be that of devising a remedy, but of writing an epitaph. In the mutations of commerce, we rarely witness a resurrection. It is impossible, therefore, to bring within the compass of any statistical estimate, the burden that will be imposed, or the injury inflicted on the the staple growing States, by the policy of which we complain.
It now remains for us to present some views of the existing system of tariff regulations, calculated to shew its bearing upon the great and fundamental principles of constitutional liberty.
In this aspect of the matter, we hold, that whenever the General Government assumes and exercises the power of legislating upon local interests, such assumption involves an entire perversion of the great conservative principle of political responsil:ility. For example, we have shewn that the commerce against which the tariff policy is almost exclusively levelled,
belongs as exclusively to the staple growing States. It is, as to those States, strictly a local interest, and the other States of the Union have no more concern in it, or motive to preserve it, than any foreign power would have, that should happen to be connected with it by the same relations of trade. When, therefore, it is stated, that the States to which this commerce belongs, constitute a small minority in the deliberations of the Federal Legislature, it will be at once perceived, that their rights and interests have no constitutional guaranty against the encroachments of the majority, if that majority can constitutionally interfere with them. It is in vain to say, we should confide in the moderation and justice of that majority. This is not the security which the Constitution has provided against oppression. No wise system of government ever looked to that, as one of the checks and balances of its conflicting powers. We could not give a better definition of slavery than to say, it is that political condition in which one portion of the society is dependent for the enjoyment of all its rights upon the moderation and justice of another. It is to the interest, and not to the moderation and justice of the majority, that we can alone look with the confidence and the consciousness of freemen, for a security against oppression. That is the actual safeguard provided by our Constitution. In every legitimate exercise of the powers of the Federal Government, it is abundantly adequate. While the operations of the common government are confided to the common interest, the majority cannot destroy the rights of the minority, without destroying their own also. In the very nature of things, a community of interest is the essential basis of a Federal Government, and indicates the boundary of its powers. Confined within this limit, the principle of representative responsibility furnishes an equal and a sufficient security to every member of the confederacy, and every citizen of the republic. The citizen of Georgia, claims as his own, the representative from Maine, and confidently submits his rights to his disposal, because that representative cannot sacrifice the interests of that citizen, without also sacrificing, by the same act, the interests of his own immediate constituents. Here, the powers of the government are precisely co-extensive with its responsibility. But when the power of the General Government is extended to interests that are strictly local or sectional, it becomes purely and absolutely despotic. While on the one hand, we should regard the assumption and exercise, by the State Governments, of a power to control those general interests of the Union, which have been committed to the guardianship of the Federal Government, as the very definition of anarchy;
we do not hesitate to say, upon the very same principle, that the assumption and exercise, by the Federal Government, of the power to control, and destroy interests that are merely local, is the very definition of legislative tyranny. It will be seen, upon a moment's reflection, that in both cases, political power acts beyond the sphere, and wholly independent of the restraining influence of political responsibility.
To bring these general views to the test of a practical application, we ask what is the avowed purpose and necessary effect of the tariff policy? Most evidently, the total and absolute destruction of two thirds of the commerce of the staple growing States. Who are they that constitute the majority in Congress, by whom this desolation is effected? Are they the representatives of those who have a common interest with us? Are they the representatives of those who must participate in the burthens imposed, and the calamities inflicted on us? The very reverse. According to their own settled views and habitual expositions, their interest actually consists in the imposition of these very burthens, and the infliction of these very calamities. It is not for us to contend with them as to what really is their interest. They have settled that question for themselves,-irreversibly we fear-and we will not so far interfere with the concerns of other people as to dispute with them about it. Taking it for granted, then, that their interests are what they represent them to be, and what human principle is there to arrest their desolating progress, until our whole commercial prosperity is in ruins, and we “abolished quite?" It is 'upon these very ruins that they are building up the fabric of their own manufacturing prosperity; and the only principle which exists in the system to arrest the progress of tyranny, is the insatiable avai ice of which that
very tyranny is the mere instrument. To rely, under such circumstances, upon the justice and moderation of the majority, for the preservation of our rights and our property, would be the wretched fatuity of ascribing to avarice and selfishness the attributes of disinterested benevolence. It is in vain for us to put aside, or palter with the question. If we concede to a majority, who believe it to be their interest to destroy our most sacred rights, the power to execute their purposes, and acknowledge the obligation of the Southern States, to submit to the outrageous infliction, we voluntarily sign the warrant of our own annihilation, and dig the grave of our own liberty. We will illustrate the principle we have been here considering by bringing to the view of our readers a modification of it, which will be more readily apprehended and more powerfully felt, because intimately and inseparably connected with the most consecrated