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pmjects. The people by this means are not imposed on either by the merchant or mechanic: if the mer. chant demands too much prosit on imported shoes, they buy of the shoemaker; and if he asks too nigh a price, they take them of the merchant: thus the two professions are checks on each cther. The shoemaker however has, on the whole, a considerable profit upon his labour in America, beyond what he bad in Europe, as he can add to his price a sun nearly equal to all the expenses of freight and com mission, risk or assurance, &c. necessarily charger by the merchant. And the case is the same with the workinan in every other mechanic art. Hince 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, therefore move with advantage to America.
In the old long-settled countries of Europe, all arts, trades, professions, farms, &c. are s7 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 gainfulart, and obliged to become soldiers, or servants, or thieves, for a subsistence. In America the rapid in. crease of inhabitants takes away that fear of rivalship, and artisans willingly receive apprentices from the hope of profit by their labour, dur,ng the reinainder of the time stipulated, after they shall be instructed. Hence it is casy for poor families to get their children instructed; for the artisars are so desirous of apo prentices, that many of them will even give money io :he 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 suffcient to establish theinselves, and to subsist the rest of the family by agriculture. These contracts for apprentices are made before a magistrate, who regulates the agreevent according to reason and justice; and, having in view the forma. tion of a future useful citizen, obliges the master to engage by a written indenture, not only that, durmy 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 wel 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 curn to raise a family. A copy of this indent:re is given to the apprentice or his frierds, and the magistrate keeps a recor to which recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. This de sire among the masters to have more hands employed in working for them, induces them to pay the pas. sage of young persons of both sexes, who, on their ar. rival, agree to serve them one, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned a trade, agreeing for a shorter terin, 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 meastire prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preser. vatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Herice bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to pa. rents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised Atheisin is unknown there; and infideliiy rare and secret ; so that persons may live to a great age in that country wi:hout having their piety shocked by meeting with
either an athiest or an infidel. And the Divine po ing seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forberance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with whioh he has been pleased to favou 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 graneries are not provided, and kept well stored. Anciently, too, before navigation was so general, ships so plenty, and commercial transactions so well established ; even maratime countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is now the facility of communication between those countries, than 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 famire from merchants avoiding their ports. But wherever, commerce is known to be always free, and the merchant absolute master nf his commodity, as in Holland, there will always be a reasomable supply.
When an exportation of corn takes place, occa. sioned by a higher price in some foreign countries, i
18 common to raise a clamour, on the supposition that we shall thereby produce a doinestic famine. Then follows a prohibition, founded on the imaginiry dis. tresses of the poor. The poor, to be sure, if in dis. tress, should be relieved ; bu isthe fariner could have a high price for his corn from the foreign demand, must he by a prohibition of exportatiun be compelled to take a low price, not of the poor oily, but of every one that eats bread, even the richest? The duty o ielieving the poor is incumbent on the richi; but by vis operation the whole burden is laid on the farmer who is to relieve the rich at the same time. Or the 900.", too, tnose who are maintained by the parishes Lave no right to claim this sacrifice of the fariner: as while they have their allowance, it makes no differ. mce i tliein, whether bread be cheap or clear. Those vorking poor, who now mind business only five or four days in the week, if bread should be su dear as tu oblige them to work ihe whole six requirent Loy the commandment, do not seem to be aggrievec, so as to have a right to public redress. There wil then remain, comparativeiy, only a few families is every distsict, who fioin sicknuss or a gr at number of children, will be so distressed by a hich price of corn, as need relief; and these should be tak n care uf by particular berefactions, without restraining the farmer's profit.
Those who fear, that exportation may so far drain the couniry of corn, as to starve ourselves, fear what never did, 1 or 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 i becomes at home; the more is received abroad, tho 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 calamily of a bad harvest is never uni. versal. If, hen, all ports were always open, and all coinmerce lice, every maritime country would genierally cat bread at the medium price, or average of all thie harvests; which would probably be more equal Hian we can inake it by our artificial regulations, and therefore a more steady encouragement to agricultura The nation would all have tread at this middlo price; and that nation, which at any time inhumanly refuses to relieve the distresses of another nation, deserves no compassion when in distress itself.
Of the Effect of Dearness of Provisions upon
Working, and upon Manufactures. The common people do not work for pleasure çe nerally, but from necessity. Cheapress of provisions make them more idle; less work is then done, it is then more in demand proportionally, and of course the price rises. Dearness of provisions obliges the manufacturer to work more days and more Sours; thus more work is done than equals the usual demands of course it becomes cheaper, and the manufactures in consequence.
Of an Open Trade. Perhaps, in general, it would be better if government meduled no further with trade, than to protect it, and let it take its course. Most of the statutes or acts, euicts, arrets, and placarls of parliaments, princes, and states, for regulating, directing, or ico straining of trade, have, we think, been either political blunders, or jobs obtained by artful inen for private advantages under pretence of public good. "When Colbert assenibled some of the wise oid merchants of France, and aesired their advice and opinion how he could best serve and promote commerce; their an. swer, after consultation, was in three words only. Laissez nous faire; “ Let us a one."- It is said by a very solid writer of the same nation, that he is wel advanced in the science politics, who knows the full force of that maxim, pas trop gouverner, "not to govern too much;" which, perhaps, would be of more use when applied to trade, than in any other public concern. It were therefore to be wished, that commerce were as free between all the nations of the world as it is between the several counties of Englan.