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amendment, and the conviction of its necessity, daily gain ground, and are rapidly overcoming the resistance which bigotry and the self-satisfaction of ignorance would oppose to them. If the new edifice is to be erected on a solid foundation, it is absolutely necessary to understand thoroughly the only system of law which is entirely free from the feudal taint that has infected all the rest. A good style, that we may adduce one argument only in favour of the Civil Law, and omit all others, is so intimately connected with more solid merits, that if we lay aside all other considerations, and take this as the test, and compare the hideous barbarisms and monstrous tautology of an English act of Parliament, or conveyance, with the graceful and perspicuous brevity of the Roman lawyers, we shall appear to ourselves, however mortifying the acknowledgment may be, to contrast the lowest state of mental degradation, with the highest elevation and utmost perfection of the second best gist, reckoning reason as the first, that has been bestowed on man; so supremely excellent were they in speech. All the praises that can be accumulated in words have been heaped up to exalt the glories of the diction of the best ages of Roman jurisprudence; and the whole sum of panegyric is indeed prodigious; but no one, who is familiar with their Demosthenean vigour and frugality, and their oracular dignity of style, will refuse to these sages any portion of the splendid eulogy, which an ardent, but most judicious admirer pours forth with an eloquence not unworthy of the occasion: Nec minorem illi Justitiam in verbis, • quam in rebus adhibuerunt, aptè vocibus utentes, nativasque sedes illis attribuentes, Diisque ipsis dignum orationis genus 6 usurpantes.
· Quo solo scribendi genere non modo Jurisconsulti præstant • Latinis cæteris, verum et Latini antecellunt Græcis : qui, ut . omnia eloquentiæ genera et invenerint, et ad summum perduxe• rint, Jurisconsultorum tamen Romanorum, sicuti scientia, ita
et stylo caruerunt. Habuerunt enim Nostri majestatem sine • luxu, fastum sine pompa, supercilium sine rusticitate, splendorem sine fuco, sine horrore vetustatem, parsimoniam sine macie, sine caligine brevitatem : ac, præ ceteris, melius elegan• tiam cum simplicitate, cum decore proprietatem, et oraculorum sanctimoniam blande cum perspicuitate conjunxerunt.'
Art. IV.-1. An Act in Alteration of the several Acts Imposing
Duties on Imports into the United States, subscribed by the Pre.
sident, 19th May, 1828. 2. Papers relative to American Tariffs. Printed by order of the
House of Commons, 25th July, 1828. 3. Report of a Committee of the Citizens of Boston and its Vicinity,
opposed to a farther Increase of Duties on Importations. Pp. 196. Boston, 1827.
E are truly sorry to observe the illiberal and narrow views
which seem to characterise the proceedings of the United States, with respect to the commercial intercourse between them and other countries. It is a mistake, we find, to suppose that our House of Lords is the only depositary of the prejudices that pervaded the commercial legislation of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and gave a peculiar and not very enviable distinction to the administration of Mr Vansittart, and Mr George Rose. The United States do not merely hold out an asylum for the proscribed liberties and virtues of the Old World; but have kindly taken the superannuated and exploded errors of the mercantile system under their protection. 'Were his Grace of Newcastle, and my Lords Malmesbury, Kenyon, &c. transplanted to the United States, though they might have to lament the want of close boroughs, the admission of Catholics to places of trust and emolument, and the non-existence of tithes, they might still console themselves on having escaped from the sphere of the free-trade system, of having got to a country in whose councils neither a Huskisson nor a Grant was to be found; and whose legislators held the science of Political Economy in as much contempt, and were as ignorant of its principles, as themselves. But if this be, on the one hand, matter of rejoicing to a few individuals amongst us, it is, on the other, a source of regret to all-and fortunately they form the great majority of the British public-who take a juster view of national interests, and who are anxious for the diffusion of liberal principles, and for the advancement of every nation that forms a part of the great commercial commonwealth. We entertain no jealousy of America: If we did, we should hail the enactment of the late Tariff with unmingled satisfaction. But we disclaim any such feeling; and are convinced that none such is entertained towards her by any considerable portion of our countrymen. For our own part we are truly anxious for her prosperity; and being so, we cannot help lamenting the blindness of her statesmen, and regrettiug that they should have become so desperately enamoured of
a system of commercial policy unfavourable to the general interests of nations, and which cannot fail to entail the most pernicious consequences on those by whom it is adopted.
Tho restrictions on industry and the freedom of commerce that still exist in this and other European countries, had their origin in a comparatively dark and unenlightened age. That they have, in the majority of instances, been supported with a blind and bigoted obstinacy, is most true: but, at the same time, it must be conceded, that after an exclusive system has been long acted upon, and has, in consequence, become interwoven with the national institutions and the various interests of society, and given an artificial bias and direction to a large amount of capital and industry, its abolition becomes a work of no common difficulty; and a government may well be excused for pausing, before it proceeds to involve a considerable proportion of its subjects in distress and difficulties, even for the sake of a greater ultimate public advantage. But notwithstanding the formidable obstacles that thus oppose the return from a long-continued, artificial, and exclusive, to a natural and liberal system, it cannot be denied that, in Great Britain, at least, a very great progress has recently been made in this desirable course. The Apprentice laws and the Combination laws have been repealed; the Navigation laws and the old Colonial system have been greatly relaxed; moderate ad valorem duties have been laid on the importation of foreign Silks, and various other articles that were formerly prohibited; the Usury laws will hardly outlive next session, and the most oppressive of all our restrictions—that on the importation of foreign Corn—is now left without any one to defend it whose opinion is entitled to the least attention, and is supported only by the miscalculating rapacity and powerful influence of a majority of the landlords. That changes so extensive, and immediately affecting the interests of a large body of people, should have been effected with so little inconvenience, clamour, and opposition, as have been experienced, must be ascribed partly to the more general diffusion of sounder opinions, and partly to the discretion that has been displayed in the introduction of the new system. Mr Huskisson has not been more distinguished as a bold and extensive, than as a prudent and cautious reformer of our commercial code. It was not, indeed, to be expected that he could be the principal agent in such various and important changes without exasperating many individuals, and rendering himself the object of much calumny and abuse. But we arrogate very little of the prophetical character when we venture to predict, that when the factious brawls and wrangles of the day have been forgotten, it will be universally allowed that the glory is due to Mr Huskisson, of being the first British Minister, whose whole system of commercial policy was founded on sound, liberal, and enlarged principles; and who laboured earnestly and successfully to promote the power, happiness, and glory of his own country, not by seeking to exalt her at the expense of others, but by opening her ports to the ships and goods of all countries, and making her the centre and animating principle of a vast commerce, founded on the gratification of the reciprocal wants and desires that subsist among nations.
The American Ministers had no such difficult task to perform. When their country achieved her independence, she was encumbered with none of those antiquated and vicious systems which had taken root in Europe during the Dark Ages. Her industry was perfectly free and unfettered-Her citizens were at liberty to pursue their own interest in their own way without any bias from government. They were in the very state which the researches of Dr Smith and other ingenious writers had shown was best calculated to forward the progress of a nation in the career of im
provement. The real sources of national power and prosperity Shad been laid open-the exclusive system had been proved to
be contradictory in its principles, and injurious in its results. It had been shown that England and France had not become rich and powerful in consequence, but in despite, of its operation; and the governments of botb, under the guidance of their most celebrated ministers, Mr Pitt and M. Turgot, bad begun to retrace their steps, to abandon the restrictive system, and to adopt one more in accordance with the spread of knowledge and the spirit of the age. In addition to all this extrinsic and foreign experience of the pernicious effect of monopolies and restrictions, the unprecedentedly rapid progress of America herself afforded the most satisfactory and convincing proof of the immeasurable superiority of a free system. She had advanced with giant steps in the career of improvement. The few ragged and needy adventurers who, little more than a century and a half before, had established themselves on the margin of a vast continent, overspread with almost impenetrable forests, and occupied only by a few miserable savages, three thousand miles distant from the dwellings of civilized man, had grown into a mighty people, possessed of strength sufficient to wrest, by force of arms, their independence from the warlike and powerful nation from whom they had sprung! All this had been achieved without the miserable aid of custom-house regulations and protecting duties; and it might have been supposed that so extraordinary a career would have satisfied even the most ambitious.
There were plainly, therefore, two conclusive and unanswerable reasons, why the Legislature of the United States should have abstained from the introduction of the restrictive system : In the first place, the researches of the philosophers, the confes- ! sions of the statesmen, and the experience of other nations, had proved that it was decidedly inimical to the advancement of mankind in opulence and population ; and, in the second place, v the Americans were not entangled in the web of existing restrictions and prohibitions, but had, under a free system, made an advance that had no parallel in the history of nations; and had therefore every motive to continue in the course on which they had fortunately entered.
But strange as it may seem, the best established scientific conclusions, the experience of all ages and nations, and their own progress, failed to convince the legislators of America of the expediency of pursuing that liberal line of policy, from the adoption of which they had already reaped so many advantages. Not satisfied with the progress they had already made, with the enjoyment of free and liberal institutions, and a boundless extent of fertile and unoccupied land, they resolved to call custom-house regulations to their aid! Mistaking the effusions of a few miserable pamphleteers, and the speeches of the Newcastles and Kenyons of the day, for the wisdom of the British nation, they persuaded themselves, that those very restrictions which had clogged and impeded our progress, had been the main causes of our advancement. Instead of dwelling on the advantages of freev competition, their statesmen deemed it productive only of poverty and ruin. Mr Vansittart himself could not have descanted more eloquently on the advantages resulting from the adoption of protecting duties, bounties, and drawbacks; and those who doubted whether the prohibitive system would be so productive, in a pecuniary point of view, as had been represented, appear have generally supported it, on the ground of its being necessary to the independence of the republic, that she should not bave to rely on foreigners for supplies of necessary articles. Selfishness, patriotism, and ignorance, each lent its aid to the introduction of what has been pompously designated by its more ardent supporters, as the • American system ;' and, by a singular contradiction, the regime of prohibitions and restrictions seems now to be firmly established under republican auspices.
Among the supporters of the restrictive system in America, the first place is due to the late General Hamilton. His celebrated Report on the subject of manufactures was presented to the House of Representatives towards the close of 1791. It had a very great effect. It is written with considerable talent, and is well calculated to make an impression on those who have not