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and threatened scarcity in particular districts. Such, however, is the variety of soils, of climates, and of products, within our extensive limits, that the aggregate resources for subsistence are more than sufficient for the aggregate wants. And as far as an economs of consumption, more than usual, may be necessary, our thankfulness is due to Providence, for what is far more than a compensation, in the remarkable health which has distinguist.ed the present year.
Anidst the advantages which have succeeded the peace of Europe, and that of the United States with Great Britain, in a general invigoration of industry among us, and in the extension of our commerce, the value of which is more and more disclosing itself to commercial nations, it is to be regretted that a depression is experienced by particular branches of our manufactures, and by a portion of our navigation. As the first proceeds, in an essential degree, from an excess of imported merchandise, which carries a check in its own tendency, the cause, in its present extent, cannot be of very long duration. The evil will not, however, be viewed by Congress, without a recollection, that manufacturing establishments, if suffered to sink too low, or languish too long, may not revive, after the causes shall have ceased; and that, in the vicissitudes of human asfairs, situations may recur, in which a dependence on foreign sources, for indispensable supplies, may be among the most serious einbarrassments.
The depressed state of our navigation, is to be ascribed, in a material degree, to its exclusion from the colonial ports of the nation most extensively connected with us in commerce, and from the indirect operation of that exclusion.
Previous to the late Convention at London, be. tween the United States and Great Britain, the relative state of the navigation laws of the two countries, growing out of the treaty of 1794, had given to the British navigation a material advantage over the American, in the intercourse between the American ports and British ports in Europe. The Convention of London equalized the laws of the two countries, relating to those ports; leaving the intercourse between our ports and the ports of the British colonies, subject, as before, to the respective regulations of the parties. The British
government enforcing, now, regulations which prohibit a trade between its colonies and the United States, in American vessels, whilst they permit a trade in British vessels, the American navigation loses accordingly; and the loss is augmented by the advantage which is given to the British competition over the American, in the navigation between our ports and British ports in Europe, by the circuitous voyages, enjoyed by the one, and not enjoyed by the Ether.
The reasonableness of the rule of reciprocity, applied to one branch of the commercial intercourse, has been pressed on our parl, as equally applicable to both branches: but it is ascertained,
that the British Cabinet declines all ncgotiation on the subject; with a disavowal, however, of any disposition to view, in an unfriendly light, whatever countervailing regulations the United States may oppose to the regulations of which they complain. The wisdom of the Legislature will decide on the course, which, under these circumstances, is prescribed by a joint regard to the amicable rolations between the two nations and to the just interests of the United States.
I have the satisfaction to state, generally, that te remain in amity with forcign powers.
An occurrence has, indecd, taken place io the Gulf of Mexico, which, if sanctioned by the Spanish government, may make an exception as to that puwer. According to the report of our naval commander on that station, one of our public armed vessels was attacked by an overpowering force, under a Spanish commander, and the American flag, with the officers and crew, insulted, in a manper calling for prompt reparation. This has been demanded. In the mean time, a frigate and a smaller vessel of war have been ordered into that Gulf, for the protection of our commerce. It would be improper to omit, that the representative of his Catholic Majesty, in the United States, lost no time in giving the strongest assurances, that no hostilc ord :r could have emanated from his government, and that it will be as ready to do, as to cxpect, whatever the nature of the case and the friendly relations of the tiro countries shall ha found to require.
The posture of our affairs with Algiers, at the present moment, is not known. The Dey, drawing pretexts from circumstances, for which the United States were not answerable, addressed a letter to this government, declaring the treaty last concluded with him, to have been annulled by our violation of it; and presenting, as the alternative, war, or a renewal of the former treaty, which stipulated, among other things, an annual tribule. The answer, with an explicit declaration that the United States prelerred war to tribute, required his recognition and observance of the treaty last made, which abolishes tribute, and the slavery of our captured citizens. The result of the answer has not been received. Should he renew his warfare on our commerce, we rely on the protection it will find in our naval force actually in the Mediterranean.
With the other Barbary states our affairs have undergone no change. The Indian tribes within our limits
also disposed to remain at peacc. From several of them purchases of lands have been made, particularly favourable to the wishes and security of our frontier settlements, as well as to the general interests of the nation. In some instances, the titles, though not supported by due proof, and clashing those of one tribe with the claims of another, have been extinguished by double purchases; the bene volent policy of the United States preferring the augmented expense, to the hazard of doing injuss tice, or to the enforcement of justice against a feeble and untutored people, by means involving or threatening an effusion of blood. I am happy to add, that the tranquility which has been restored among the tribes themselves, as well as between them and our own population, will favour the resumption of the work of civilization, which had madc an encouraging progress among some tribes ; and that the facility is encreasing, for extending that divided and individual ownership, which es. ists now in moveable property only, to the soil itsell; and of thus establishing, in the culture and improvement of it, the true foundation for a transit from the habits of the savage, to the arts and comforts of social life.
As a subject of the highest importance to the national welfare, I inust, again, earnestly recoinInend to the consideration of Congress, a re-organization of the Militia, on a plan which will form it into classes, according to the periods of life more and less adapted to military services. An efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution, and required by the spirit and safety of srce government. The present organization of our militia is universally regarded as less efficient than it ought to be made; and no organization can be better calculated to give to it its due force, thian a classification which will assign the foremost place in the desence of the country, to that portion of its citizens, whose activity and animation best enable them to rally to its standard.