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and are carried on to advantage; but they are generally such as require only a few hands, or wherein great part of the work is performed by machines. Goods that are bulky, and of so small a value as not well to bear the expense of freight, may often be made cheaper in the country than they can be imported; and the manufacture of such goods will be profitable wherever there is a sufficient demand. The farmer! ■n America produce indeed a good deal of wool and flax, and none is exported—it is all worked up; but it is in the way of domestic manufacture, for the use of the family. The buying up quantities of wool and flax, with the design to employ spinners, weavers, &.i. and form great establishments, producing quantities of linen and woollen goods for sale, has been se\eral timer attempted in different provinces; but tin se projects have generally failed, goods of equal value being imported cheaper. And when the gove nmeuts have been solicited to support such schemes by encouragements, in money, or by imposing dutiei en importation of such goods, it has been generally refused, on this principle, that if the country is ripi fo. the manufacture, it may be carried on by private persons to advantage, and, if not, it is folly to think of forcing nature. Great establishments of manufacture require great numbers of poor do the work for small wages; those poor are to be found in Europe, but will not be found in America, till the lands are all taken up and cultivated, and the excess of peo. (tie who cannot get land want employment. The manufacture of silk, they say, is natural in France, as that of cloth in England, because each country produces in plenty the first material; but if England will have a manufacture of silk as well as that of cloth, and France of cloth as well as that of silk, these unnatural operations must be supported by mutual prohibitions, or high duties on the importation of each other'sgoods; by which means the workmen are enabled to tax the home consumer by greater prices, while the higher wages they receive makes them neither happier nor richer, since they only drink more and work less. Therefore the governments in America do nothing to encourage such
projec ts. The people by this means are not imposed on either by the merchant or mechanic: if the merchant demands too much profit on imported shoes, they buy of the shoemaker; and if he asks too high a price, they take them of the merchant: thus the two professions are checks on each other. The shoemaker however has, on the whole, a considerable profit upon his labour in America, beyond what h*ad in Europe, as he can add to his price a sum nearly equal to all the expenses of freight and commission, risk or assurance, ifcc. necessarily charged by the merchant. And the case is the same with the workman in every other mechanic art. Hence it is, that the artisans generally live better and more easily in America than in Europe; and such as are good economists make a comfortable provision for age, and for their children. Such may, thereforemove with advantage to America.
In the old long-settled countries of Europe, all arts, trades, professions, farms, &c. are sn full, that it is difficult for a poor man who has children to place them where they may gain, or learn to gain, a decent livelihood. The artisans, who fear creating future rivals in business, refuse to take apprentices, but upon conditions of money, maintenance, or the like, which the parents are unable to comply with. Hence the youth are dragged up in ignorance of every gainful art, and obliged to become soldiers, or servants, or thieves, for a subsistence. In America the rapid increase of inhabitants takes away that fear of rivalship, and artisans willingly receive apprentices from the hope of profit by their labour, dur.ng the remainder of the time stipulated, afterthey shall be instructed. Hence it is easy for poor families to get their children instructed; for the artisans are so desirous of apprentices, that many of them will even give money to the parents, to have boys from ten to fifteen years of age bound apprentices to them, till the age of twenty-one; and many poor parents have, by that means, on their arrival in the country, raised money enough to buy land sufficient to establish themselves, and to subsist the rest of the family by agriculture. These contracts for apprentices are made before a magistrate, who regulates the agreement according to reason and justice; and, having in view the formation of a future useful citizen, obliges the master to engage by a written indenture, not only that, during the time of service stipulated, the apprentice shall be duly provided with meat, drink, apparal, washing and lodging, and at its expiration with a complete new suit of clothes, but also, that he shall be taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be well instructed in the art or profession of his master, or some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his turn to raise a family. A copy of this indenture is given to the apprentice or his friends, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. This deEire among the masters to have more hands employed in working for them, induces them to pay the passage of young persons of both sexes, who, on their arrival, agree to serve them one, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned a trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught an art their poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness, are in a great measure prevented. Industryand constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; and infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having theirpiety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with whioh he has been pleased to favoui the whole country.
THOUGHTS ON COMMERCIAL
Of Embargoes upon Corn, and of the Poor.
In inland high countries, remote from the sea, and whose rivers are small, running from the country, and not to it, as is the case with Switzerland; great distress may arise from a course of bad harvests, if public granaries are not provided, and kept well stored. Anciently, too, before navigation was so general, ships so plenty, and commercial transactions so well established; even maritime countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is now the facility of communication between those countries, that an unrestrained commerce can scarce ever fail of procuring a sufficiency for any of them. If indeed any government is so imprudent as to lay its hands on imported corn, forbid its exportation, or compel its sale at limited prices, there the people may suffer some famine from merchants avoiding their ports. But wherever commerce is known to be always free, and the merchant absolute master of his commodity, as in Holland, there will always be a reasonable supply.
When an exportation of corn takes place, occasioned by a higher price in some foreign countries, it
11 common to raise a clamour, on the supposition that we shall thereby produce a domestic famine. Then follows a prohibition, founded on the imaginary distresses of the poor. The poor, to be sure, if in distress, should be relieved; but if the farmer could have a high price for his corn from the foreign demand, must he by a prohibition of exportation be compelled to take a low price, not of the poor only, but of every one that eats bread, even the richest? The duty of relieving the poor is incumbent on the rich; but by this operation the whole burden is laid on the farmer vi.o is to relieve the rich at the same time. Of lht ioo", too, those who are maintained by the parishes have no right to claim this sacrifice of the farmer : as -vhile they have their allowance, it makes no difference l> them, whether bread be cheap or dear. Those working poor, who now mind business only five or four days in the week, if bread should bo a> dear as to oblige them to work the whole six required by the commandment, do not seem to be aggrieved, so as to have a right to public redress. There wi I then romrin, comparatively, only a few familbsit every disuict, who fiom sickness or a great number of children, will be so distressed by a high price ol corn, as need relief; and these should be tak u care of by particular benefactions, without restraining the fanner's profit
Those who fear, that exportation may so far drain the country of corn, as to starve ourselves, fear what never did, nor never can happen. They may as well, when they view the tide ebbing towards the sea, fear that all the water will leave the river. The price of corn, like water, will find its own level. The more we export, the dearer it becomes at home; the more is received abroad, the cheaper it becomes there and as soon as these prices are equal, the exportation stops of course. As the seasons vary in different countries, the calamity of a bad harvest is never universal. If, then, all ports were always open, and all commerce lice, ever}- maritime country would generally eat bread at the medium price, or average of all the harvests; which would probably be more equal than we can make it by our artificial regulations, and