Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

selves from the rude gaze of strangers, they ries a speaker or writer, tempting him threw over their faces the only covering they constantly from argument to sentiment, possessed, and stood blindfolded, like the from logic to eloquence, from prose to ostrich, who thrusts her head into the sand,

poetry. and fancies her whole body hidden.”

We venture to say, in conclusion, that if they will only read the essay of Mr. Lewis, nine-tenths of those who are tacitly or

otherwise yielding their assent to this A Defence of Capital Punishment. By somewhat extended opposition to the pun.

GEORGE B. CHEEVER; with an Essay, ishment of death, for the crime of wilful by Professor TAYLER LEWIS. New murder, will be astonished at themselves, York: Wiley & Putnam.

that they have dreamed of deciding such

a question on so superficial an investigaThis is a work demanding a place among tion into the principles involved, as they our regular reviews; and we hope to be have given it. able shortly, by giving it such a place, to contribute something towards a just appreciation of its subject. In the meantime, we cannot too strongly recommend the History of the English Revolution of perusal of these essays to every youthful

1640, from the accession of Charles I.

to his death, by F. Guizot. Translated mind. There has, probably, been too much virulence and party spirit exhibited, in the

by William Hazlitt. Appleton & Co. discussion of this important question, by

M. Guizot is unquestionably one of the both sides. This has been owing, as is usual in such cases, to the importance of culiar phase of mental development or pro

first of philosophical historians. As a pesettling first principles, before proceeding

gress, the philosophical historian is, in a to consequences and results. Mr. Lewis essay is a most valuable contribution great measure, the production of the prestowards a just appreciation of the funda- less than the highest value.

ent age, and one that we rank as of little mental truths involved in the discussion. For depth of thought, force of logic, and attained in civilization, and the science of

Notwithstanding the high point we have clearness of style, we consider it unsurpassed by anything that has recently ap- tion about many grand truths connected

government, there seems little less contenpeared. "If it would not be insinuating with their advancement, than there was some distrust in the preliminary education centuries back. Now, towards the settleof some of those whom we select to make, ment of some of the most important of these mend, and modify our laws, we would most truths, nothing, we venture to say, will cordially recommend that means be taken contribute so much as a philosophic comto place a copy in the hands of every legis- prehension of the great movements, inlator in the land. For we do not know stinctive, wilful or providential, of our where the ground and basis of all true

There are many blind, violent opgovernment and law are more forcibly set

ponents of certain institutions, men and forth. We are disposed to give more credit organizations, that would learn from such

a comprehension, that these too have done, generally, for candor and sincerity, to the and are doing, their part in advancing the opponents of capital punishment, than the great end of Providence-progress in virauthors of this book seem to have given. tue, knowledge, liberty. Opposition to the death penalty has not

The book before us, is one on the combeen confined to those out of the pale of mencement of a great epoch in human orthodox theology. In the leaders of the

progress.

We have above indicated our movement-we mean those acting from opinion of the qualifications of the author some peculiar temperament of mind--the for his task. We cannot, in the space we giving undue prominence to certain sec

have, introduce the necessary modifications ondary truths involved in the question has of that opinion. This, however, is the warped their judgments, and prevented less important. as we shall soon have occatheir seeing, that the avoiding of what ap- sion to make more extended reference to pears an evil to them, would be at the sac

it. We will therefore only add that M. rifice of the great principle that lies at the Guizot, as a Frenchman, a philosophic foundation of all government, Divine and thinker, a statesman, and one standing so human. The inferior minds, still more immediately among and upon the effects of influenced by their feelings than their rea a great epoch, so nearly resembling in some son, are carried along with these by the respects the one he treats of, is well situamere force of the declamation into which ted to give a view of the matter at once that side of the question necessarily hur. candid, striking, and deeply interesting.

race.

[blocks in formation]

THE_Annual Report of our Secretary economists of our day, and (in his Re. of the Treasury, with the documents ap- port, not his Bill) follows them unflinchpended, forming a ponderous octavo of ingly, indiscriminately, to their extreme nine hundred and fifty-seven pages, has conclusions. Foreign legislators may achieved the rare honor of being printed well desire to see the evidence by which for the instruction of the British House he is impelled to such deductions; but of Lords. Although a prophet is pro. if they will but examine that evidence, verbially without honor in his own loose, partial and imperfect as it is, they country, it is yet obvious, here at home, can hardly fail to perceive that bis dethat this compliment to Mr. Walker is ductions were drawn first, and his evinot an empty formality. His Report de. dence collected afterward, for the purvelops principles and commends action pose of sustaining them. This purpose so very different from those which have has been very imperfectly accomplished. hitherto issued from the financial head Mr. Walker's sole object is to comof our Government, so antagonistic in mend to our Congress and people the essence to those propounded by most of most unqualified free trade. He urges his predecessors, and so far outstripping this, as demanded alike by considerations in practical application the dicta of those of revenue and of national prosperity. who have inclined to the same general Let us briefly consider first the question views, that they may well command at- of revenue : tention, as marking an era in our nation That we had recently what is termed a al career. Not that Mr. Walker is, by revenue Tariff—that is, a Tariff adjusted any means, a man of original genius—a without reference to protection, but with creator, so to speak, in finance-like a view to revenue only—is a fact of amHamilton or A. J. Dallas. His instincts ple notoriety. Under the Compromise Act are not creative, but destructive. His of 1833, the duties previously levied were peculiarity consists in the readiness and reduced by one-tenth annually of the thoroughness with which he adopts the excess over twenty per cent., down to theories of the most one-sided political 1842, when no duty higher than

• Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the state of the Finances, &c., &c.— December 3, 1845.

† Tariff Bill, submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury to the Committee of Ways aná Means.-February, 1846.

twenty per cent. remained. For the party here being ready to take it on reatwo or three years preceding, the sonable terms, an agent was dispatched duties exacted had approximated very to Europe to negotiate it. He found our nearly to the supposed revenue standard. Government utterly without credit, and Yet, never in time of peace was the was compelled to return without a bid. revenue so enormously deficient. Mr. The Government had thus, in time of Van Buren became President in 1837, peace and under a revenue Tariff

, touched when the reduction of duties had been the bottom of its resources, and was comnearly half effected, and closed his term pelled to change its policy, or sink into in 1841, when it had been nearly com- confessed and hopeless bankruptcy: Unpleted. During these four years, the der such circumstances, the Tariff of 1842 actual expenditures of the Government —the present Whig Tariff—was enacted. exceeded the actual income by more than Great care having been given to the adthirty millions of dollars, as follows: justment of its details, and a serious

delay having been occasioned by the Actual balance in the Trea

veto by Mr. Tyler of the bill as first presury, March 4th, 1837, $7,000,000 One-fourth of the surplus

sented to him, the present act did not revenue of 1836, withheld

become a law until the close of August, by vote of Congress, at the

1842-too late to be felt in the importaExtra Session of 1837, 9,000,000 tions and revenue of that year. In fact, U. S, Stock ($7,000,000) in

a radical change in our commercial policy U. S. Bank, sold at 115$

requires a year to make itself felt throughper cent., producing over 8,000,000 out all the ramifications of business, and Treasury Notes issued under

thence upon the revenue of the country. Mr. Van Buren,

6,000,000

This Tariff, as well after as before its Government ran behind in Mr. Van Buren's four years* $30,000,000 ety of opprobrious epithet, dolorous pro

enactment, was assailed with every vari. beside heavy claims and dues left un- phecy, and gross imputation. It was paid, especially in Florida, growing out stigmatized as “ The Black Tariff,” of the Seminole War.

Prohibitory, "Anti-Commercial,” “The The revenue had fallen off from over Manufacturer's Tariff,” &c., &c. Prethirty millions per annum, during Gen- dictions that our merchant ships would eral Jackson's last term, to less than now be doomed to rot at their wharves, twenty miliions under Mr. Van Buren, that no new ones would be built, &c., and the actual receipts of 1841 and 1842 &c., were confidently made by the Free -the two years of most strictly revenue Traders. A strike of the sailors in our duties—were less than fifteen millions port for higher wages occurred in Octoper annum. So notoriously inadequate ber, 1842 ; they turned out in procession, was the income afforded by this revenue and paraded our streets; in Wall street Tariff, that one of the last acts of the re- they were harangued by Colonel Heptiring Van Buren Congress of 1837, burn and Major Davezac, two prominent was an act authorizing the issue of an Free Trade orators of that day, who asadditional five inillions of treasury notes, sured them that the black Whig Tariff to enable the new administration to was the sole cause of their depression, struggle on until the regular meeting of and that seamen's wages would not be the next Congress, in December of that better until this Tariff was repealed. The same year. But even this was regarded Tariff still stands, and the average emas utierly inadequate, and General Har- ployment and recompense of seamen rison promptly summoned an extra ses- under it, have been quite as good as during sion of the new Congress, to convene in a like period preceding—we tbink better. September, mainly to take into consider. Ships have been in good demand; shipation the state of the national finances, building has rarely been more active than It assembled accordingly, and was obliged during the past year. to make farther and still farther tem In the summer of 1843, Mr. James K. porary provision, by loans, etc., for the Polk canvassed the State of Tennessee, pressing wants of the Treasury, before as a candidate for Governor, and made provision could be made for its perma- opposition to the new Whig Tariff one nent replenishment. A second loan of his chief themes of oral and written having been authorized in 1842, and no declamation. In the addresses or speech

• These sums are set down from memory, but are substantially correct.

es prepared for the press by himself, we many highly-protected articles, and the find frequent and most confident predic. substitution of rival domestic products. tions that the new Whig Tariff would For the nine months ending June 30, 1843, not only prove most baneful to the ag duties upon dutiable imports was equal to

since the present Tariff, the average of riculture and commerce of the country, 37.84 1-10th per cent. ; for the year ending but that it would also prove destructive June 30, 1844, 33.85 9-10th per cent. ; and to the revenue—that Congress would be for the year ending June 30, 1845, 29.90 compelled to go back to a twenty per per cent.-showing a great diminution in cent. ad valorem, in order to obtain an

the average per centage, owing, in part, to income adequate to the wants of the increased importation of some articles Government. But the Treasury Report bearing the lighter duties, and decreased of the following December exhibited an importation of others bearing the higher increase of revenue under that Tariff, from duty.” some fifteen millions in 1842, to near

“ The condition of our foreign relations, twenty millions in 1843, and this again it is said, should suspend the reduction of was swelled to over THIRTY millions in

the Tariff. No American patriot can de1844, dissipating forever all fears that sire to arrest our onward career in peace the present Tariff would not afford an in- should be the result, it would create an

and prosperity ; but if, unhappily, such come adequate to the wants of the Gov. increased necessity for reducing our presernment. And Mr. Walker, in this Re.

ent high duties in order to obtain sufficient port, officially informs us that the net revenue to meet increased expenditures. revenue for the year ending June 30th, The duties for the quarter ending the 30th 1845, lacked but a fraction of thirty mill. September, 1844, yielded $2,011,885 90 ions of dollars, while he estimates that more of revenue than the quarter ending for the year ending July 1st, 1846, at a

30th September, 1845; showing a very fraction short of twenty-seven millions. considerable decline of the revenue, growThe expenditures of the current year, highly-protected articles and the progres

ing out of a diminished importation of the without making any payments on ac sive substitution of the domestic rivals. count of principal of the public debt, he Indeed, many of the duties are becoming states at twenty-nine and a half millions, dead letters, except for the purpose of and those of the year ending with June, prohibition; and, if not reduced, will 1847, at twenty-tive and a half millions, ultimately compel their advocates to resort exclusive of the sums which may be re

to direct taxation to support the governquired to meet unforeseen contingencies, ment. In the event of war, nearly all the and provide for unexpected appropriahigh duties would become prohibitory, tions by Congress. Could a revenue be from the increased risk and cost of impormore happily adjusted to expenditure tations ; and if there be, indeed, in the than this? Considering that we have opinion of any, a serious danger of such an still a considerable debt to pay off, who their patriotism to impose the lowest rev.

it appeals most strongly to can say that this Tariff affords 100 much

enue duties on all articles, as the only revenue? Yet, says Mr. Walker, means of securing, at such a period, any

considerable income from the Tariff.” “In suggesting improvements of the revenue laws, the following principles Thus we find on pages 3 and 6 have been adopted:

of the Report, an ample antidote to the “ 1st. That no more money should be

terrors vaguely insinuated on page 4. collected than is necessary for the wants

We pass, then, to the next of Mr. Walkof the Government, economically administered.”

er's “principles,” viz. In 1843, the Free Traders were ap- article above the lowest rate which will

“ 2d. That no duty be imposed on any palled by the prospect of too little revenue from this Tariff; now they are alarm- yield the largest amount of revenue.” ed at the prospect of too much. If the facts The principle here enunciated strikes already submitted do not sufficiently dis- directly and palpably at the root of all sipate this apprehension, we will call at- Protection, unless it be the faintest shatention to the following paragraphs from dow of incidentalism. And we wish the Report:

those who have for years been asserting “The receipts for the first quarter of that a Revenue Tariff would afford all this year are less, by $2,011,885' 90, than necessary protection, would but consider the receipts of the same quarter last year. the matter in the light here cast upon it Among the causes of decrease is the pro- by Mr. Walker. Our makers of hats, coats, gressive diminution of the importation of boots and shoes, &a, come before Con

gress

and say in effect, “We ask protec- admirable quality are contracted for at tion for our labor. The articles we sev $77 50, or $10 per ton under the cost of erally produce are equal in quality to any importing British rails. Even twenty rivals, and we afford them as cheap as they per cent. on railroad iron would, as prices can usually be imported, even without du- rule, be a duty clearly prohibitory. Yet ty. Yet the caprices of fashion, the foolish Mr. Walker recommends thirty-a duty preference given by many to articles of as absolutely destructive of importation foreign production, with the frequent re and revenue as if it were one ihousand verses of trade, making glutted markets per cent. We certainly do not object and bankrupt traders abroad, often del- to the duty; we believe the farther imuge us with the rival fabrics of European portation of rails undesirable on any industry, which are crowded into use terms, and that thorough protection to our through the machinery of auction sales, own iron interest will secure us a supply &c., forestalling our markets, deranging of iron cheaper than we could obtain it our business, and often arresting our in- by absolute free trade. But this cannot dustry for months together. We ask you shut our eyes to the glaring contradiction to shut out this foreign competition with between Mr. Walker's proclaimed princiour toil, which is useless and profitless ples and his practice. to the American consumer, while embar “3d. That below such rate discrimirassing and often ruinous to us. Dis- nation may be made, descending in the courage the importation of the rival arti. scale of duties ; or, for imperative reasons, cles, and we, having steady employment the article may be placed in the list of and a sure market, will supply the wants those free from all duty.” of our countrymen cheaper than they are As Mr. Walker does not tell us for now supplied or under existing circum- what purpose " discrimination may be stances can be.”

made," nor what“ reasons” he regards as What is Mr. Walker's answer to this “imperative” for placing an article in the demand ? “ No duty above the lowest free list, this assertion hardly rises to the rate which will yield the largest amount dignity of a“ principle” and may be disof revenue. This rule is fatal to the missed without remark. object sought for. The moment a duty “ 4th. That the maximum revenue duty begins to answer our artisans' purpose, should be imposed on luxuries.” it ceases to answer Mr. Walker's. If

If this is to be regarded as a general twenty per cent. has the effeet desired by our mechanics, it is too high to be

principle," then we need only remark tolerated by the Secretary, and must be that Mr. Walker's bill incessantly defies cut down to fifteen, ten, or still lower, un

it. This “ principle” demands a higher til it shall cease to impede that importa- than is imposed on a necessary like iron,

duty on“ luxuries” like tea and coffee tion which will yield the largest aggregate of revenue, not on the whole scale sugar, molasses or clothing; yet Mr. of duties, but on this particular item.

Walker imposes thirty per cent. on these Surely this is not statesmanship.

and lets those go free. Silks, spices, diaBut having thus stated our own objec- monds, &c., should be placed in the hightion to Mr. Walker's second principle, est instead of the lower schedules, if this we cannot omit to note the fact that he "principle” were regarded. We believe, himself in practice utterly disregards and indeed, that a wisely framed Tariff must resubverts it. His bill utierly defies the gard rather the capacities of our country doctrines of his report. Thus Iron, Coal, to produce the several articles contemplaSugar, Ready-made Clothing, and many

ted than their relative necessity or inutil. other articles are subjected by him to his ity; but Mr. Walker propounds a different highest rate (except on Distilled Spirits,) rule, and propounds it only to disrewhen it is notorious that a lower rate gard it. would produce far more revenue on these “ 5th. That all minimums, and all spe. articles. Railroad Iron, for instance, has cific duties, should be abolished, and ad for many months been worth just about valorem duties substituted in their place$60 per ton in Liverpool, sometimes a care being taken to guard against fraudulittle over, and again falling slightly be. lent invoices, and undervaluation, and to low that standard. Thirty per cent. on

assess the duty on the actual market this price gives $18 duty; add freight and

value.” charges $10, and the cost in New York This is the most important “principle” is $88 per ton. But American rails of evolved by the Secretary, and in our

« ElőzőTovább »