Essays on modernism - LUMI COSMETICOS

As to the justice of proceeding in the manner we have done, it must depend upon the of such a mode of conduct. If the British Parliament are claiming and exercising an unjust authority, we are right in opposing it by every necessary means. If remonstrances and petitions have been heretofore found ineffectual (and we have no reasonable ground to expect the contrary at present), it is prudent and justifiable to try other methods, and these can only be restrictions on trade. Our duty to ourselves and posterity supersedes the duties of benevolence to our fellow-subjects in Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies.

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You argue thus: “Notwithstanding the large landed estates possessed by the British subjects in the different parts of the world, they must be considered as a commercial manufacturing people. The welfare, perhaps the existence, of Great Britain as an independent or sovereign state depends upon her manufactures and trade; and many people in America think that her manufactures and commerce depend in a great measure on her intercourse with her colonies; insomuch that if this should be neglected her commerce would decline and die away, her wealth would cease, and her maritime power be at an end. If these observations be just, they establish the right of the British Parliament to regulate the commerce of the whole empire, beyond possibility of contradiction; a denial of it would be a denial of a right in the British empire to preserve itself. They prove also that all parts of the empire must be subject to the British Parliament, for otherwise the trade of the whole cannot be regulated. They point out also the best mode of raising such a revenue as is necessary for the support and defence of the government, viz.: by duties on imports and exports, because these are attended with the least inconvenience to the subject, and may be so managed as to raise a revenue and regulate the trade at the same time.

Francis Bacon is considered one of the fathers of modern science

With respect to the justice of submitting to impositions on our trade for the purpose of raising a revenue to support the navy by which it is protected, I answer that the exclusive regulation of our commerce for her own advantage is a sufficient tribute to Great Britain for protecting it. By this means a vast accession of wealth is annually thrown into her coffers. It is a matter of notoriety that the balance of trade is very much against us. After ransacking Spain, Portugal, Holland, the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Danish plantations, for money and bills of exchange, as remittances for the commodities we take from Great Britain, we are still always greatly in arrears to her. At a moderate computation, I am well informed that the profits she derives from us every year exceed two millions and a half sterling; and when we reflect that this sum will be continually increasing as we grow more and more populous, it must be evident that there is not the least justice in raising a revenue upon us by the imposition of special duties.

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We ought to blush to acknowledge that this is a true picture of our situation, when we reflect that the enemy’s whole force in the United States, including their American levies and the late reinforcements, is little more than fourteen thousand effective men; that our population, by recent examination, has been found to be greater than at the commencement of the war; that the quantity of our specie has also increased; that the country abounds with all the necessaries of life, and has a sufficiency of foreign commodities, with a considerable and progressive commerce; that we have, beyond comparison, a better stock of warlike materials than when we began the contest, and an ally as willing as able to supply our further wants; and that we have on the spot five thousand auxiliary troops, paid and subsisted by that ally, to assist in our defence.

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Besides this consideration which greatly diminishes the force of the objection, there is another which entirely destroys it. There is a strong reciprocal influence between the prices of all commodities in a State, by which they, sooner or later, attain a pretty exact balance and proportion to each other. If the immediate productions of the soil rise, the manufacturer will have more for his manufacture, the merchant for his goods; and the same will happen with whatever class the increase of price begins. If duties are laid upon the imports in one State, by which the prices of foreign articles are raised, the products of land and labor within that State will take a proportionate rise; and if a part of those articles are consumed in a neighboring State, it will have the same influence there as at home. The importing State must allow an advanced price upon the commodities which it receives in exchange from its neighbor, in a ratio to the increased price of the article it sells. To know, then, which is the gainer or loser, we must examine how the general balance of trade stands between them. If the importing State takes more of the commodities of its neighbor than it gives in exchange, that will be the loser by the reciprocal augmentation of prices; it will be the gainer if it takes less, and neither will gain or lose if the barter is carried on upon equal terms. The balance of trade, and consequently the gain, or loss, in this respect, will be governed more by the relative industry and frugality of the parties than by their relative advantages for foreign commerce.

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The present Congress, respectable for abilities and integrity, by experience convinced of the necessity of change, are preparing several important articles, to be submitted to the respective States, for augmenting the powers of the Confederation. But though there is hardly at this time a man of information in America who will not acknowledge, as a general proposition, that in its present form it is unequal either to a vigorous prosecution of the war or to the preservation of the Union in peace; yet when the principle comes to be applied to practice, there seems not to be the same agreement in the modes of remedying the defect; and it is to be feared, from a disposition which appeared in some of the States on a late occasion, that the salutary intentions of Congress may meet with more delay and opposition than the critical posture of the States will justify.