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21. Early colonization. Nature goes on adding perfection perfection, from th« poles to the tropics. Richer soils of the world as yet unoccupied, nature being there all-powerful. With the growth of wealth and population man is enabled to turn against her such of her forces as he has mastered—passing steadily from triumph to triumph and subjugating more fertile soils.
g 2. Manufactures always precede, and never follow, the creation of a real agriculture. The country that exports its soil in the form of rude products, must end in the export of men. Trading centralization tends to annihilation of local centres, exhaustion of the soil, and destruction of the value of land and man. Errors of Ricardo-Malthueian teacners. Declining power of association throughout the American Union.
g 3. Error in one community tends to tho production of error in all. British warfare on the manufactures of other nations tends to the production of slavery abroad and at home.
g 4. Tendency towards over-population in the direct ratio of the separation of the prices of raw materials and finished commodities. Countries which follow in the lead of England are those which furnish the facts required for demonstrating the truth of , Malthusian doctrines.
§ 1. Look to the great Asiatic plateau from what quarter we may, we see vast bodies of men passing from it, north, south, east, and west, towards the lower and richer lands of the world, the soils first occupied having been those possessed in the least degree of the food-producing properties. From that point it is that the European races have passed to occupy the lands created for their use. At every stage of progress we see them stopping in their course and giving themselves to the cultivation of the higher and poorer soils —the dry Arcadia and the rocky Attica—the Etrurian and Samnite hills—the Alpine slopes—the sterile Brittany—the Scottish highlands—the Scandinavian mountain-sides—or the rock-bound Cornwall. With the growth of wealth and population, however, we find them everywhere spreading themselves over the lower slopes, and finally descending into the valleys, the facilities for combination increasing with every year; the latent powers of the earth becoming more developed; commodities steadily declining, and man as steadily rising, in value; with corresponding development of the various individualities of the persons of whom the society is composed.
"Nature," as we are told, and as we have reason to know, "goes on, adding perfection to perfection, from the poles to the tropics, except in man." So however, does she, as she passes downwards from the snowy peaks of the Himalaya to the richer soils by which they are surrounded, whether her route be towards Siberian plains, or Gangetic valleys— towards Chinese swamps, or JEgean shores—the world at large being little more than a repetition, on a grander scale, of what is seen in each of its divisions, great and small.
The whole was given for man's use—to be by him subdued; and yet how small is the proportion he has, as yet, subjected to his use I Look almost where we may, the richer soils remain unoccupied—Switzerland abounding in population while the rich lands of the lower Danube are lying waste—men gathering together on the slopes of the Andes while the rich soils of the Orinoco and the Amazon remain in a state of nature— France and Germany, Italy and Ireland, presenting on a smaller scale a state of things precisely similar. Seeing these facts, we are led necessarily to the belief that man has made but little progress in the execution of the divine command; and yet, turn in what direction we may, we are met by the assertion that all the poverty and wretchedness of mankind is due to that one great error in the divine laws in virtue of which population tends to increase more rapidly than the food and other raw materials required for the satisfaction of his wants and the maintenance of his powers. ,
'America," says a distinguished writer of our day, "lies glutted with its vegetable wealth, unworked, solitary. Its immense forests, its savannas, every year cover its soil with their remains, which, accumulated during the long years of the world, form that deep bed of vegetable mould, that precious soil, awaiting only the hand of man to work out all the wealth of its inexhaustible fertility." Looking to the tropics everywhere, we see so rank a luxuriance of growth that the works of man are scarcely abandoned before they commence to disappear under trees and foliage. A space of 100 square metres, containing 100 bananaplants, gives according to Humboldt more than 2000 kilogrammes of nourishing substance—the quantity of nutritive matter obtained being as 133 to 1, when compared with land employed in raising wheat, and as 44 to 1, when compared with potatoes. In Ecuador, this wonderful vegetation never ceases, both the plough and the sickle being required at every season of the year. So is it in Venezuela and in the Peruvian valleys, barley, rice, and sugar, growing in the highest perfection, the climate permitting both planting and reaping throughtalent of all descriptions; and the greater that competition the greater will be the tendency towards absorbing the laborers of all those countries, the centrifugal and centripetal forces then tending daily towards a more perfect balance, with growing power, on the part of all, to make their own election whether to go abroad or remain at home. Whatever tends to invite emigration, is a measure that looks towards freedom. Whatever it may be that tends to compel emigration, its tendency is towards slavery. i>
Early Grecian colonization, as the reader has already seen, was a result of a counter-attraction, and therefore altogether voluntary. Later, when trade and war had become the sole occupation of the people, and when poverty and wretchedness were gradually extending themselves throughout the various classes of the state, colonization wholly lost its voluntary character, the form it then assumed being that of expeditions fitted out at the public cost for supplying the places, and taking possession of the lands, of earlier colonists who were now in course of being ruined by means of measures adopted forthe maintenance of the ever-graspingcentral power.
Under the first of these, local centres, teeming with activity and life, were everywhere created. Directly the reverse of this has been, and is, the tendency of that modern colonization which is based upon the idea of cheapening labor, land, and raw materials of every kind, thus extending slavery throughout the earth. Under it, all local centres tend to disappear; the land declines in its power; production diminishes; the landholder acquires power; competition for the purchase of labor diminishes, while competition for its sale increases from year to year; and man becomes less free —with constantly-growing necessity for fleeing to other lands, if he would not perish of famine at home. Under it, Irishmen have been forced to fly their country, seeking in England and America the food and clothing that could no longer be obtained in their native land. Under it, the world has witnessed the annihilation of the local centres of India, attended with an amount of ruin to which there can be found "no parallel in the annals of commerce." Under it, Asiatic industry, "from Smyrna to Canton, from Madras to Samarcand," has received, as we are told by Mr. McCulloch, a shock from which it is unlikely ever to recover, the result being seen in the large export of Hindoo laborers to the Mauritius, and Chinese coolies to Cuba and Demarara. Under it, little short of two millions of blacks were carried to the British West Indies, two-thirds of whom had disappeared before the passage of the act of Emancipation, leaving behind them no descendants. Tinder it, the people of Turkey and Portugal gradually decline in numbers, local centres disappearing, land declining in value, and the power of production diminishing from year to year. Under it, Canada has been deprived of all power to diversify her industry, and now presents to view vast bodies of people who are wholly unable to sell their labor—her power of attraction, as a corrector of the evils attendant upon transatlantic centralization, having, therefore, wholly ceased. Under it, China has been inundated with opium to such an extent as to have paved the way for a repetition, in that country, of the exhaustive process that has been pursued in India. Under it, the people of these United States have already exhausted many of the older States, and are now repeating the operation throughout the valley of the Mississippi. Look where we may, among the countries subjected to the British system, we find the results the same, the necessity for colonization growing steadily, with constant decline in the productiveness of the soil, and in the value of land and man.
By all the advocates of the Ricardo-Malthusian doctrine the past prosperity of the American people has been uniformly attributed to the abundance of fertile soils at their command. They have been • supposed to be receiving wages for their services, plus the amount that elsewhere would be absorbed as rent. It being, however, the poorer soils that are first appropriated, and the richer ones remaining always unproductive until wealth and population have greatly grown, it is obvious that they have been wasting upon the former a vast amount of labor, while subjecting themselves to a tax of transportation greater than would have been required for the support of armies ten times larger than those of assembled Europe. Rich meadow lands in the Atlantic States have remained in a state of nature while millions of people have sought the West, there to obtain from an acre of land some 30 or 40 bushels of corn, three-fourths of which have been absorbed on their route to the distant markets. Acres of turnips or potatoes yield 12 or 14 tons, whereas the average yield of all the wheat land of the young Ohio is not as many bushels. The refuse of an acre of one would fertilize the poorer acres round it; whereas, the refuse of the other, sent to the distant market, finds its place on the soil of England. Bring the consumer to the side of the pro\
ducer, and the latter may then raise those commodities of which the earth yields by tons. Separate the two, and the farmer finds himself limited to those of which the quantity is counted by bushels or by pounds.
Look where we may, we see that where local centres are created, where mines are opened, furnaces built, or mills established, land acquires value. Why it does so is, that where consumers and producers are brought together it becomes freed from the exhausting tax of transportation, and its owner is enabled to devote his time, mind, and means, towards compelling the rich soils to give forth the vast supplies of food of which they are capable, paying them back the refuse and thus maintaining his credit with the great bank upon which his drafts have become so large. To render meadow land worth the cost of clearing, the farmer must have a market in his neighborhood for his milk and cream, his veal and beef. To enable him to vary his culture, and thus improve his land, he must have facilities for the sale of potatoes and cabbages, as well as for that of rye and wheat. In the absence of that power—his rich lands not being worth the cost of clearing—he flies to the West, there to appropriate more land, to be in its turn exhausted. As a consequence of this it is, that a few millions of people are now scattered over so many millions of square miles, and are forced to devote so large a portion of their time and mind to the effort to obtain roads by aid of which they may economize a portion of that tax of transportation by the payment of which they are now impoverished.
The tendency of the American system is, as a rule, towards abstracting from nature's great bank all that it can be made to pay, giving it nothing in return—that tendency being a direct consequence of its failure to protect the people against that British system which has for its object the cheapening of land, labor, and the rude products of the earth. Such prosperity as has been attained by the people of the United States has not been due to the abundance of the land over which they have been dispersed. In all other countries, men have been most poor when land was most abundant, and when the inhabitants had, apparently, most the choice between the poorer and the richer soils. Fertile land, uncultivated, abounded in the days of the Edwards, yet food was then obtained with far more difficulty than now. It is more abundant in Russia, Ceylon, Buenos Ayres, and Brazil, than in these United States, and yet they make but littlj