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be true gen
tions of individuals, vnaided by government. Wiih my friend from South Carolina (Mr. Lowndes) I coneur in this as a general maxim, and I also concur with him that there are exceptions to it. The foreign policy which I think this country ought to adopt, presents one of those exceptions. It would perhaps be better for mankind, if, in the intercourse between nations, all would leave skill and industry to their unstimulated exertions. But this is not done; and if other powers will incite the industry of their subjects, and depress that of our citizens, in instances where they may come into competition, we must imitate their selfish example. Hence the necessity to protect our manufactures. In regard to internal improvements, it does not follow that they will always be constructed whenever they will afford a competent dividend
upon the capital invested. It may erally that, in old countries, where there is a great accumulation of surplus capital, and a consequent low rate of interest, they will be made. But, in a new country, the condition of society may be ripe for public works long before there is, in the hands of individuals, the necessary accumulation of capital to effect them; and, besides, there is generally, in such a country, not only a scarcity of capital, but such a multiplicity of profitable objects presenting themselves as to distract the judgment. Further—the aggregate benefit resulting to the whole society, from a public improvement, may be such as to amply justify the investment of capital in its execution, and yet that benefit may be so distributed among different and distant persons, that they can never be got to act in concert. The turnpike roads wanted to pass the Allegany mountains, and the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, are objects of this description. Those who will be most benefited by these improvements, reside at a considerable distance from the sites of them; many of those persons never have seen and never will see them. How is it possible to regulate the contributions, or to present to individuals so situated a sufficiently lively picture of their real interests, to get them to make exertions in effectuating the object, commensurate with their respective abilities ? I think it very possible that the capitalist, who should invest his money in one of these objects, might not be reimbursed three per centum annually upon it; and yet society, in various forms, might actually reap fifteeen or twenty per centum. The benefit resulting from a turnpike road, made by private associations, is divided between the capitalist who receives his tolls, the lands through which it passes, and which are augmented in their value, and the commodities whose value is enhanced by the dimin
ished expense of transportation. A combination, upon any terms, much less a just combination, of all those interests, to effect the improvement, is impracticable. And if you await the arrival of the period when the tolls alone can produce a competent dividend, it is evident that
you will have to suspend its execution long after the general interests of society would have authorized it.
Again, improvements, made by private associations are generally made by local capital. But ages must elapse before there will be concentrated in certain places, where the interests of the whole community may call for improvements, sufficient capital to make them. The place of the improvement, too, is not always the most interested in its accomplishment. Other parts of the Union—the whole line of the seaboard—are quite as much, if not more interested in the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, as the small tract of country through which it is proposed to pass. The same observation will apply to turnpike roads passing through the Allegany mountain. Sometimes the interest of the place of the improvement is adverse to the improvement and to the general interest. I would cite Louisville, at the rapids of the Ohio, as an example, whose interest will probably be more promoted by the continuance, than the removal of the obstruction. Of all the modes in which a government can employ its surplus revenue, none is more permanently beneficial than that of internal improvement. Fixed to the soil, it becomes a durable part of the land itself, diffusing comfort, and activity, and animation on all sides. The first direct effect is on the agricultural community, into whose pockets comes the difference in the expense of transportation between good and bad ways. Thus, if the price of transporting a barrel of flour by the erection of the Cumberland turnpike should be lessened two dollars, the producer of the article would receive that two dollars more now than formerly.
But, putting aside all pecuniary considerations, there may be political motives sufficiently powerful alone to justify certeia internal improvements. Does not our country present such ? How are they to be effected if things are left to themselves ? I will not press the subject further. I am but too sensible how much I have abused the patience of the commitiee by trespassing so long upon its attention. The magnitude of the question, and the deer interest I feel in its rightful decision, must be my apology. We are now making the
last effort to establish our power, and I call on the friends of Congress, of this House, or the true friends of State rights, (not charging others with intending to oppose them, to rally round the constitution, and to support by their votes on this occasion, the legitimate powers of the legislature. If we do nothing this session but pass an abstract resolution on the subject, I shall, under all circumstances, consider it a triumph for the best interests of the country, of which posterity will, if we do not, reap the benefit. I trust, that by the decision which shall be given, we shall assert, uphold, and maintain, the authority of Congress, notwithstanding all that has been or may be said against it.
[The resolution of giving the power of Congress 1. to appropriate money to the constrnction of Military and Post Roads, make canals, and improve water courses, was adopted : Yeas 90; Nays 75: 2. to construct such roads: lost: Yeas 82; Nays 81: 3. to construct roads and canals for commercial purposes: lost : Yeas 71 ; Nays 95: 4. to construct canals for Military purposes: lost: 81 to 83.]
ON THE EMANCIPATION OF SOUTH AMERICA.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MARCH 24, 1818.
[The several Provinces, or Countries, of South America, having been enabled to shake off the yoke of servitude to Spain and Portugal daring the long and desperate wars by Napoleon against the nations of the Peninsula, and having gallantly maintained their independence by vanquishing the armies sent against them after the fall of Bonaparte, the friends of liberty in this hemisphere believed that the time had now come when the eldest and most powerful of the American Republics might fitly and justly take the lead in acknowledging that independence, in the face of hostile Europe, and in defiance of the 'Divine Right of Kings to rule. Accordingly, when the ‘Bill providing for the Civil and Diplomatic Expenditures' of 1818 came before the House, in Committee, Mr. Clay moved to insert an item of $18, 000 for the salary and outfit of a Minister to Brazil-as the oldest and most stable of the independent governments of South America--which motion he supported in the following Speech:]
I RISE under feelings of deeper regret than I have ever experienced on any former occasion, inspired, principally, by the painful consideration, that I find myself, on the proposition which I meant to submit, differing from many highly esteemed friends, in and out of this House, for whose judgment I entertained the greatest respect. A knowledge of this circumstance has induced me to pause; to subject my own convictions to the severest scrutiny, and to revolve the question over and over again. But all my reflections have conducted me to the same clear result; and much as I value those friends great as my deference is for their opinions I cannot hesitate, when reduced to the distressing alternative of conforming my judgment to theirs, or pursuing the deliberate and mature dictates of my own mind. I enjoy some consolation, for the want of their co-operation, from the persuasion that, if I err on this occasion, I err on the side of the liberty and happiness of a large portion of the human family. Another, and, if possible, indeed, a greater source of the regret to which I refer, is the utter incompetency, which I unfeign
edly feel, to do any thing like adequate justice to the great cause of American independence and freedom, whose interests I wish to promote by my humble exertions in this instance. Exhausted and worn down as I am, by the fatigue, confinement, and incessant application incident to the arduous duties of the honorable station I hold, during a four months' session, I shall need all that kind indulgence which has been so often extended to me by the House.
I beg, in the first place, to correct misconceptions, if any exist, in regard to my opinions. I am averse from war with Spain, or with any power. I would give no just cause of war to any power—not to Spain herself. I have seen enough of war, and of its calamities, even when successful. No country upon earth has more interest than this in cultivating peace and avoiding war, as iong as it is possible honorably to avoid it. Gaining additional strength every day ; our numbers doubling in periods of twenty-five years; with an income outstripping all our estimates, and so great, as, after a war in some respects disastrous, to furnish results which carry astonishment, if not dismay, into the bosom of states jealous of our rising importance-we have every motive for the love of peace. I cannot, however, approve, in all respects, of the manner in which our negotiations with Spain have been conducted. If ever a favorable time existed for the demand, on the part of an injured nation, of indemnity for past wrongs from the aggressor, such is the present time. Impoverished and exhausted at home, by the wars which have desolated the peninsula ; with a foreign war, calling for infinitely more resources, in men and money, than she can possibly command, this is the auspicious period for insisting upon justice at her hands, in a firm and decided tone. Time is precisely what Spain now most wants. Yet what are we told by the President in his message at the commencement of Congress? That Spain had procrastinated, and we acquiesced in her procrastination. And the Secretary of State, in a late communication with Mr. Onis, after ably vindicating all our rights, tells the Spanish minister, with a good deal of sang froid, that we had patiently waited thirteen years for a redress of our injuries, and that it required no great effort to wait longer! I would have abstained from thus exposing our intentions. Avoiding the use of the language of menace, I would have required, in temperate and decided terms, indemnity for all our wrongs ; for the spoliations of our commerce ; for the interruption of the right of depot at New Orleans, guarantied