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The Issue at Stake.
dity of this already gigantic growth; while in the small degree in which it may begin to operate in particularly thickly settled sections, it must be more than compensated by the increased relative productiveness, both of agriculture and all other branches of industry necessary to life-independent, too, of the beneficial influence of improved and improving hygiene, and general information on the laws of dietetics, on popular health. And if the increase from emigration may be, even while absolutely greater, yet relatively less, it would affect the ratio but in a very
trifling degree, even if not covered by
Who, we repeat, shall question the probability that the ratio of increase of our population will be, and must be, through an indefinite series of years, in the awful depths of which all imagination is bewildered and lost, that which we have assumed-a ratio less than has heretofore marked our progress? What assignable cause is there that can arrest it? With a boundless expanse of fertile territory, within that region of the earth's surface most favorable to human life and the healthful development of all its faculties-a climate which must ever increase in salubrity, from time to time, with the extension of cultivation-an intelligence and enterprise of national character which will not fail to improve to the utmost every natural resource and advantage-the gigantic steps which the science of the present age is daily taking in the development of all the arts of utility, by which the physical sustenance and enjoyment of life can be facilitated and enhanced-the exemption from all possible danger of war, and from the heavy superincumbent pressure of accumulated misgovernment by which the nations of Europe
VOL. XIII.-NO. LXV.
have heretofore been depressed, and stunted even in the natural growth which their physical circumstances and national characters might otherwise have permitted-the perfect freedom, alike of the moral and the animal man, to grow to the full stature and capacity of his nature, with "ample room and verge enough" to spread freely in every direction-in such a state of things, what assignable cause is there, we repeat, that can arrest the progressive increase of our population at a similar rate to that which the past half century has witnessed?
It is in this anticipation that we find the chief reason for the deep, the intense solicitude, which every friend of American liberty and union ought to feel for the broad and strong establishment of sound principles, as the basis of that grand structure of political and civil society which we thus see rising upward toward the heavens before our eyes-such principles as will be adequate to sustain so colossal a fabric. It is for this that the patriot would struggle to reform every vicious institution, the operation of which is found, or is calculated, to exert a de35
moralizing influence on national character. For this, that he would lament to see the baleful poison of that universal passion for wealth so often ascribed to us, sapping and corrupting the roots of all that is truly good and great, accompanied with that spirit of dishonest gambling at the grand national gambling-table of "the credit system," which we call by the more specious name of "speculation." For this, that he would frown sternly upon every attempt to sow discord and jealousy between different sections of the country; and would anxiously cultivate those feelings of harmony and brotherhood, which can only be maintained between great confederated communities, by the peaceful pursuit by each of its own industry and its own interests, without encroachment on those of another by the advantages of partial federal legislation, and without an offensive interference with each other's domestic concerns and institutions. And for this, that, in the working of our complex political machine, he would be anxious to restrain, as much as possible, the central action of the Federal Government, and carry out to the fullest extent that diffusion of power, at the greatest distance possible from the centre, on which the preservation of the Union wholly depends.
If we should be asked if we believe it possible that this Union can hold together a hundred years hence with a population of two hundred and forty millions, or even fifty years hence, with one of sixty-five millions, spreading from Atlantic to Pacific, and northward and southward, as their free natural growth should extend-we answer, yes, provided the theory of the State-Rights doctrine be but fully and fairly carried out into practice. But, administered on any other principles-on such principles as have, for the most part, heretofore governed its action-we must unhesitatingly answer, no. Too strong an action has been propelled outward from the centre, to afford a possibility of its working successfully on a scale so vastly enlarged. Thus continued, it must infallibly dislocate and dissever the system, so soon as the distances and the masses increase to proportions considerably beyond their present dimensions. Such collisions of interest between great sections of country, as we have seen to grow out of the vicious
federal legislation of former, and, indeed of our own times, on Tariffs, National Banks, &c., would inevitably break up the Union, so soon as the weight and momentum of its parts receive a considerable increase by the progress of population and power. The central superincumbent pressure of the Federal Government must never be felt as a heavy burthen, or even as a very sensible weight,-else it will unquestionably be cast off by the section oppressed. It must possess and exercise only vital energy sufficient to hold together the cohesion of the parts, by subserving the few simple concerns felt and confessed by all to be of common usefulness and necessity. If it shall attempt to legislate upon, and for special interests, however large and powerful they may be, it must inevitably go to pieces; and if that political school whose theories and tendencies are avowedly in this direction, as contradistinguished from that whose negative constitutional abstractions they are so wont to ridicule, should be carried into power, as it would be in the person of Mr. Clay, we repeat that it must prove a deep, if not a deadly, blow to the perpetuity of the Union. Indeed, so far do we consider it from being safe to admit that party into power, with all their latitudinarianism of construction and proneness to overworking the conceded powers of the constitution, we rather incline to the belief that it will ere long, be necessary still further to contract the powers and sphere of action of the Federal Government, even below the point to which the worst of us fanatics for State-Rights now strive to confine them.
The above is the point of view in which we look upon the approaching election with the highest interest. It will not, perhaps, be appreciated with the same earnestness of feeling by all of our readers-those who are less disposed to dwell on the slow and insensible operation of abstract principles, than on the more speedy and visible action of specific measures. To the consideration of the latter-to that of all, indeed-it will be sufficient for us to suggest, rather as a topic for their own reflection than one which we have either time or space to develope in the present Article, what must be the pernicious, the fatal influence of the event we are here anxious to deprecate, upon.
the peace and prosperity of the country, through the Currency, and the whole vast extent of concerns dependent upon the currency. Mr. Clay is the head of the national bank party, the paper-money party, the credit-system party, and his election must mean, if it mean anything, national bank, paper-money, credit-system. For God's sake, tell us is that old agony to be agonized through again? Is the business of the country,-is all the infinite variety of interests, moral as well as material, of which that word is the expression-never to be allowed to repose from the perpetual agitations of politics?-never to be allowed that tranquil stability which is its first and last necessary of existence? This, as all know, has been the one main subject of controversy between the two parties during the past three Presidential terms. The Democratic policy has, throughout, been hostile to federal interference with the paper-currency and commerce of the country. In General Jackson's time it made the one step of the refusal to re-charter a national bank, as a federal controlling leader and head of those which the States, in their own bad policy, saw fit to create. In Mr. Van Buren's, it made the further step of the total disconnection of the federal government from all the banks, from the whole paper-money system. Whatever other differences of opinion might exist as to the merits of the Independent Treasury, there could be none that, in this point of view at least, it met one of the most important of the exigencies of the country. It placed its commerce, credit, industry, all that constitutes its "business," at a safe distance beyond the reach of those political disturbances which had heretofore so often distressed and distracted them. This was in itself, as not even the angriest Whig could deny, an immense good, even while he might be most bitterly charging against it other evils or rather the negation of other benefits, which he erroneously considered it within the province and power of the Federal Government to render to these great national interests. And is this salutary policy to be now all undone? Is another national bank to plunge the country into another long convulsion of party struggle, on the one side for its repeal, and on the other for its retention? Is the currency to be
again and for ever tossed to and fro, now, high in the air, and now dragged deep in the mire, as a foot-ball for the kicks of parties? The present state of things is a sort of interregnum, an imperfect kind of approach to a practical sub-treasury without the specie clause, existing, in the absence of other legislation on the subject, under the old laws respecting the organization of the Treasury Department. But it is one which does not even pretend to permanency, and which must, on the decision of the issue now pending between the two parties, give place to the one or the other of the two opposite policies in regard to the currency above alluded to. Čan it be possible that any rational man, after all the light shed on this subject by the events of recent years, can hesitate in his choice? Can it be possible that the accession of the national bank party to power can be regarded, by any mind not wholly phrenzied by partisan passion, in any other light than as the worst calamity that could befall the country?
To avert such a calamity, what ought not to be done-what shall not be done, if necessary-by the Democratic party, in whose hands the destinies of the country now lie, if they are but true to themselves and their noble and sacred cause? Is its risk to be hazardedsay, rather, is its certainty to be incurred-for the gratification of any partial interests, favorite ambitions, or sectional jealousies? Are we to throw away such an election as this is to be, by continued indulgence in these fatal dissensions which time but aggravates, and by which we are already thus distracted and weakened? Perish rather, we say and every true Democrat will echo the sentiment perish rather all of these our most cherished great men, for whom we seem thus about to sacrifice all our most cherished great principles! If the friends of Van Buren and Calhoun cannot or will not unite upon either of the two to the exclusion of the other, with that cordial sincerity of zeal which it has become evident is indispensable to success, the party and the country must not be sacrificed to such rivalries, nor to any of the punctilios of personal pride which might prompt either to object to the secondary position on that splendid ticket which should contain the names of both.,
MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE.
THE general state of commercial affairs remains nearly as represented at the date of our last. For the past year the whole country has made great progress towards emancipating itself from the thraldom of the paper system, and a large amount of sound and healthy business has been done during the past two months. We have now opened upon a new commercial year, as divided by the receipts of those large crops of produce which form the great basis of the business of the United States. The business of the past year has been done mostly for cash, and its results will compare favorably with those of any of the past twenty years of paper ascendancy. The business now doing is not, as the party papers represent it, owing to the influence of a tariff imposed expressly to injure the commerce of the country, by preventing imports. It is the natural result of a specie movement, and a disentanglement of the real wealth of the country from the paper promises of speculators, and was pointed out in our article of September, 1842. We then, after noticing the fact that bank credits had ceased to be the medium of business at New Orleans, the great head of the produce market, and that specie was there demanded, instead of bank promises for produce, remarked as follows:
"This was the immediate cause of a
demand upon the banks here for specie for that quarter, and a most welcome demand it is. It is obtained from the banks only on bonâ fide business paper; and being invested in produce for export, becomes the basis of new foreign bills of exchange, which are the instruments used by the banks to supply themselves with the precious metals from abroad."
This operation commenced, it will be observed, before the present tariff took effect. The result was that $10,500,000 of specie arrived at New Orleans, within a year from the date of that article, near $7,000,000 arrived at Boston, and about $5,000,000 more at this port from Europe, within the same period, and the specie in the Banks of this city has risen from $4,000,000 to $13,000,000. This was the inevitable result of known causes then in operation, being the necessary supply by specie, of that
vacuum in the circulation, caused by the withdrawal of paper. This movement of specie, which, by giving an actual equivalent for the products of the farmer and planter, filled the country with currency, we distinctly pointed out as the commencement of that business, which has, during the past fall, made such advances in prosperity. The same process, nearly, has now again commenced. The purchases of goods by the South and West have been confined to the actual means of the people, and have been paid for in cash. Hence a new crop year has commenced without, as is usually the case at this season of the year, finding them in debt to the North and East. Already specie again begins to move south for the purchase of produce. A large amount will probably again seek that destination, which will be re-supplied to the Atlantic cities from abroad. The highest point in the foreign exchange market has been passed without producing an export of the precious metals, and the material for fresh imports is again on its way abroad. In all this movement of trade, indicating the sound basis on which financial affairs are now fixed, no demand has sprung up for bank facilities. This fact is curiously instructive, evincing as it does, that when trade is healthy it is done for cash, and the purchases of ceeds of their own industry, and no one each class of citizens are with the prohas a use for bank money, even when it can be obtained as now at 3 per cent. per annum. On the other hand, the more business progresses on the present system, the more does capital_accumulate in those institutions. duce goes out of the country, and its proceeds are returned in cash to the seaboard, whence it very slowly distributes itself into all the channels of circulation, whither it is attracted by the low prices of produce. The monied institutions having in consequence found great difficulty in employing their funds, stock loans have continued to be almost their only resource in order to keep up their dividends. The effect of this direction of bank facilities has been to sustain a constant
speculation in stocks. The general improvement in affairs, and the abun
PRICES OF AMERICAN STOCKS IN LONDON AT DIFFERENT PERIODS.
The first column gives the rates before on both sides of the Atlantic there has the failure of the States; the others show the gradual improvement during the present year.
The exceeding abundance of money in London, the continued payment of the dividends on the stocks of the leading states and the high and sustained prices of all stocks here have improved the state of public confidence there in regard to the ultimate payment of the debts, and consequently induced some investments in American stocks. Hence
been a regular advance in stock values, which in itself is a powerful element in bringing about a settlement of state indebtedness. The indebted states are for the most part agricultural in their interests, and the means at their disposal for the discharge of debts and the purchase of goods, grows out of the money values of their produce, which in a great measure depends upon the state of the foreign markets for their sale.