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small claims, and leave a sufficiency of the precious metals in circulation.
Money in this city continues very plenty, and will doubtless remain so for a length of time. Sound stocks, from the scarcity of means of investment, maintain their high rates; but the description denominated sound, is becoming more circumscribed. United States, and New York State and City alone, of the public stocks in this market, maintain their high character. Ohio and Kentucky have been looked upon with favor; but their continuing to borrow when cautious capitalists think they are passing their resources, has injured their standing. Ohio, at the late session of its legislature, authorized a loan of $1,500,000 seven per cent. stock, interest and principal payable in New York in direct contravention of a law of March, 1842, authorizing an issue of $500,000 foreign stock, and pledging the faith of the State, that no more than that amount should be issued. This has had a serious influ
ence upon its credit, added to the doubts about its ability to pay its interest Kentucky never pledged itself by statu tory law to issue no more stock, but it was understood that such would be its policy; under which circumstances the appearance of some new bonds bearing date in March, 1843, had an injurious effect. The stocks of both of these States fell. New York and Government stocks alone remain firm.
The abundance of money in the banks has led to a salutary reform in the small Spanish coin in circulation. This coin has been in circulation on an average, thirty years, and is consequently depreciated by abrasion about 8 per cent. The Post Office department and the banks have therefore decided to take them only at their real value. The following will show the actual value of the coins, according to experiments made at the United States mint on large quantities taken promiscuously from the circulation.
REAL VALUE OF SPANISH SMALL COIN, OFFICIAL, AND THE RATES AT WHICH THEY ARE TAKEN BY BANKS AND THE GOVERNMENT.
66 or 1 66
or 6 cents, Following this movement, many of the small shopkeepers have also refused them, except at their real value. The banks of some of the neighboring cities have pursued the same course. This occasions some loss and inconvenience to the public, but it will be of a temporary nature, and be rewarded by the procuration of a sound American currency. It is a fact, singularly illustrative of the difficulty of rooting out a national currency, that most all the retail trade is calculated in English money, that is, shillings and pence, after a lapse of seventy years since its abolition. So inveterate is habit, that repeated regulations of the rates of postage have uniformly conformed to the denominations of foreign coin floating among us, rather than to the national coins of the United States. Postages for short distances have been 6, 12, and 18: cents; that is, eighths and s xteenths, the Spanish division, instead of tenths and twentieths, the
American fractions of the dollar. The resolution of public bodies to recognize only the United States coinage, will do more to promote the decimal method of calculation in trade, than any other circumstance.
The general condition of trade in the United States displays the anomalous features of a great abundance of money, accompanied by exceedingly low and falling prices, extending over a period of many months. This state of affairs in the United States, arises from the change from a paper to a cash system of business, causing money to accumulate in certain quantities, until it forces its way into the hands of the produce holders; it is temporary in its nature, and is already working its own cure. In Great Britain, however, the same features are apparent in a more marked degree, and are the result of causes, which have been gradually producing that result since the commencement of the present century. These are the
consequence of a burdensome national debt, in connection with the protective manufacturing system. The enormous taxation in Great Britain, amounting to £50,000,000 per annum, over a period of forty years, making an aggregate sum equal to £2,150.000,000, or the incredible sum of $10,000,000,000, has been taken from the industrious masses, and one-half of it given to two hundred and ninety-seven thousand holders of government stock, and the remainder spent in foreign subsidies, supporting armies and navies abroad, and placemen at home. This process has divided the whole mass of the population into two classes; the one a small class, enormously rich, and the other a large class, embracing a vast majority of the people, miserably poor. This latter class is constantly and hourly increasing in number and misery. This condition of the people of England, is made apparent in the increasing manufactured exports of the country, while the imports of raw material do not keep pace with them; showing, that less is consumed within the country, owing to the diminished ability of the people to purchase. Hence the home trade, which the whole protective policy of England for centuries has sought to build up, has been destroyed by the credit system, operating in connection with that "protection." The credit system has entailed enormous taxes upon the people, while the corn laws, to protect landed proprietors, have kept the indispensable articles of food very high. In seasons of scarcity, the price of bread has risen to famine rates, and those
prices added to the taxes, have absorbed the whole means of the people, and utterly deprived them of the means of consuming manufactured goods. It has long been a well known fact, that when bread is cheap in England, the home trade is good and work plenty. When bread is dear, the trade falls off, and laborers are thrown out of employ in seasons of scarcity in consequence of that scarcity. During the past year, the exports of England have been very large, while the duties on consumable goods have fallen off alarmingly. This state of things grows out of the fact, that the minority of the English people are agriculturists, and high prices of grain benefit only the few rich. The great mass of the people purchase breadstuffs out of their earnings, and a rise in the price is an additional tax, which is compensated by diminished purchases of goods. The decrease in consumption from this cause accumulates stocks, and the prices fall very low without producing the usual result, viz., encouragement of consumption. When the mass of the consumers are without means, it matters not how low the articles sell. They cannot purchase at any price. The only vent for the goods is then the foreign markets. Thus the increasing distress of the English people has been the most powerful cause of her maintaining her supremacy in foreign markets. The rapid progress of their fall in prices from this cause, is seen in the following table, showing the quantities and value of her leading articles of export, in 1831 and 1841:
QUANTITIES AND VALUE OF THE LEADING ARTICLES OF EXPORT FROM GREAT BRITAIN, IN 1831 AND 1841.
These seven articles constitute the principal exports. The fall in price has been enormous, it will be observed. The yards of cotton goods exported in 1841, at the prices of 1831, would have produced £21,907,830, whereas they produced only two-thirds of that sum; or, in other words, the manufacturers gave, in 1841, 219,000,000 yards of cotton cloth more, for the same sum of money, than they did in 1831. Low as were these prices in 1841, they are much lower now. It is very evident that this state of affairs must have an end. The continued reduction of prices cannot go on, and moreover it is no longer of any avail in maintaining the
foreign markets, because, imitating the policy of England, six hostile tariffs have been passed by as many different nations during the past year, aiming at the exclusion of British goods from their territories. The export of linen yarn, it will be observed, grew up almost altogether in the ten years embraced in the above table. France was its chief place of destination, and that country last summer excluded it by a tariff which operates as a prohibition, although but 20 per cent. ad valorem. The following is a table, in kilogrammes, of the imports of linen yarn and thread into France, for a number of years.
QUANTITY OF LINEN YARN IMPORTED INTO FRANCE.
This shows the rapid extension of the linen manufacture in France, and which will receive some check by depriving her manufacturers of their usual cheap supply of yarns from England; but it is a serious blow to the English spinners, as yarns, both cotton, woollen and linen, have increased in export much more rapidly than the goods. These can now be supplied upon the continent, and the manufacturing system of England totters to its base.
In the United States the situation of things is precisely the reverse. Here the large proportion of the population, according to the census, 3,700,000 out of 5,000,000 of active people, are agriculturalists, and these form the great mass of consumers of goods; consequently, when agricultural produce is high, an effect reverse of that in England takes place. More goods are consumed and trade becomes better. The farmers in this country are now in the position of the manufacturers in England; that is, they produce more than the other classes consume, and are both dependent upon foreign markets to take off the surplus. The manufacturers of
England want cheap bread stuffs, and the farmers of the United States want cheap goods. Here is a mutual dependence which the citizens of either nation have been debarred from availing themselves of by onerous tariff laws. The English government has, however, been driven into an important step towards remedying the difficulty. It is by permitting the United States' wheat and flour to be admitted into England by way of Canada, at a fixed duty equivalent to 7 cts. per bushel for wheat. The United States' duty on wheat is 25 cts. per bushel. This is a matter of the highest importance to both countries, more particularly the great West, the inexhaustible soil of which is capable of feeding the world. The additional cost of transportation through Canada will make the expense equivalent to a fair duty on wheat from New York, but the great desideratum of a fixed duty is obtained. The importance of a fixed duty may be seen in the fact that four thousand six hundred and seventy-five barrels of flour sent from this city to Liverpool in May, 1841, paid duty, £2,720; a similar lot
in September paid £520; a similar lot in December, £5,133. In this enormous fluctuation there is too much hazard for a regular business; none but speculators engage in it. The demand is never regular; hence even the business of the producer becomes specula
tive. In estimating the probable effect of the low fixed duty on western produce, we may first recur to the business heretofore done in it with Britain and her dependencies. For this purpose we have compiled the following table:
EXPORTS OF FLOUR AND WHEAT AND PROVISIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES, AND THE VALUE SENT TO GREAT BRITAIN AND EACH OF HER COLONIES, FOR A SERIES OF YEARS.
This trade, it would appear, has almost entirely grown up during the last three or four years of scarcity in the mother country. The exports in 1829-30 were large, because in those years there was also a scarcity. It would appear from these facts that agriculturalists are entirely dependent for a foreign market upon the state of the crops in England. When those crops are short, and prices rise very high, and the duty in consequence is very low, an immediate outlet is found for large quantities. The new regulations ensure a permanently low duty, affording a steady market to the produce of the great west.
Prior to 1830 the quantity of American agricultural produce exported was very small, owing to the restrictions on the trade with the British colonies which then existed. On the 5th October, 1830, Gen. Jackson, being then President, issued a proclamation in accordance with an existing act of Congress, opening the ports of the United States to British vessels and their cargoes coming from British possessions, which were admitted to entry in the ports of the United States, from the islands, provinces, and colonies of Great Britain. The beneficial effect of this
liberal policy is seen in the above table, in which it will be observed that the total agricultural export to Britain and her dependencies in 1829, was $2,917,178, or 35 per cent. of the whole export from the United States. This trade gradually increased, until in 1840 and 1841 the average export to Britain and its colonies was $8,500,000, or 63 per cent. of the whole export of the United States. The colonial market for the produce of the farmers grew up almost altogether under the effect of that wise and liberal measure.
The importance of this outlet, aside from the direct advantage to the grow ers, is immense to the general trade of the country. When a surplus is raised above the wants of the community, and there is no vent for it, the money value of the whole production sinks to an extent far greater than the gross value of that surplus. With a certain market for the superabundant production, prices cannot well go be low a point which will yield a profit to the farmers. On that profit depends all the internal trade of the U. States. It is the absence of an excess in the money value of produce above the cost of its production, which is the true cause of the present depression in the
domestic trade of the United States. Hence the short-sightedness of the manufacturers, who, in their eagerness to monopolize the whole trade of the country, procure the passage of a prohibitive tariff, which, by keeping out foreign goods sent to relieve the markets of their surplus produce, retains that surplus upon the market, thereby sinking the money value of the whole so far as to destroy their own markets for manufactures. The country is becoming well supplied with specie, and the destruction of the banking system insures that no more goods, whether domestic or foreign, will be bought than can be paid for, a result that no tariff can ever effect. The quantity of goods that can be purchased depends on the prices which can be obtained abroad for produce. The higher those prices the greater the quantity which will go forward, and the more values will be enhanced at home. These are high prices which enrich the people. Those fictitiously caused by paper impoverish them.
There never was a period when the real wealth of the west was in so rapid a process of development as now. The states are rapidly filling with immigrants, whose collective labor prodigiously swells the volume of produce which is seeking a market. There are now over 350,000 barrels of flour at the different lake ports, besides large quantities of other produce, awaiting the opening of the spring navigation, and any outlet for it is desirable, more particularly one that affords so large and steady a market as is promised by the new regulation of the English government. Nothing can so much promote the lasting welfare of both nations, as an amalgamation of their inte rests, naturally consequent upon a removal of legal restriction upon the acts of individuals. The proclamation of 1830, although in advance of the movements of the British government, wisely paved the way to that trade, to which the necessities of England and the distress of its people will force its rulers to throw open the door on a liberal footing.
NEW BOOKS OF THE MONTH.
The Sinless Child, and other Poems, by ELIZABETH OAKES SMITH. Edited by John Keese. Wiley & Putnam, New York. W. D. Ticknor, Boston. 1843. 12mo. pp. 177.
The criticism that would not be charmed into a delighted forgetfulness of all its sterner duties, by some of the sweet passages of this Poem, and by the general tone of moral beauty, and high, celestial spirituality, pervading the whole, would be worse than the vigilant ferocity of Cerberus himself; and equally fit and worthy to succeed to the place of that celebrated cur, if he should ever forfeit it by a second nap on his post, such as even he was once betrayed into under the spell of a mortal lyre. For ourselves, having no such ambition, we frankly confess that we have neither eye to see, nor bark to reprove, any artistic defects which a less willing and sympathizing reader may find out for himself if he pleases, in this delicate creation of a very sweet and gentle muse. A longer elaboration, with a more severe and sustained effort of the powers which some of its fragmentary beauties suffi
ciently attest, would have produced a poem entitled to command a higher rank in literature, and a more lasting existence than we pretend to claim for this, and more commensurate with the ambition, and at the same time the poetic capabilities, of the subject. We only hope that the fair author will not be spoiled by the praises which have been already liberally bestowed on it by the press, and be tempted to indulge what is already her besetting danger-that of writing too fast and too easily, for the fugitive demands of periodical publication. She has the Poet in her soul, and we not only hope to see her yet do even a fuller justice to herself than she has thus far done, but claim it from her as a right, created by the exhibition of such promise and partial performance. We would gladly embellish our page by extracting some of the passages which have been marked, in the copy before us, by a fairer hand, guided by a more delicately sympathizing taste than our own; but are compelled by our limits to be content to refer the reader to the beautiful volume itself for the verification of our praise.