Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 80

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Page 80

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 80
the price in Liverpool. Its value in that market
depends upon the condition of the cotton manufac-
turers in England ; and the tariff laws of other
countries, which check the foreign demand for English
cotton goods, must necessarily lower the price of the
raw material in Liverpool, while it rises nowhere else ;
but, on the contrary, falls everywhere with the fall in
that great mart, through which passes two-thirds of
the crop of the whole world. No matter, then, where
cotton manufactures flourish, unless they flourish in
England, cotton cannot bear a fair price ; and every
attempt to build them up artificially elsewhere, is at
the immediate cost of the cotton grower. Did they
naturally spring up under a system of universal free
trade, and in wholesome competition with England,
they would indicate an actual increase of consumption,,
and prove highly beneficial to us. But tariff laws,
though they may alter the channels of trade, and in
doing so produce, as they invariably do, much mischief,
have no power to increase consumption. On the con-
trary, by increasing the manufacturers' prices where
they are in force, they necessarily diminish it, and
thereby depreciate the raw material. Such laws may
take from one and bestow upon another, to the injury
of the whole, but they cannot create wealth. How
long the present state of things will continue, and in
what it will terminate, cannot be foreseen; but the
fact appears to be clearly established, for the first time
in the history of the world, that, by the skill of political
jugglery, trade, commerce, and manufactures may be
made to flourish, and a sound currency exist, while
agriculture, the acknowledged mother of them all, and
particularly that branch of agriculture which furnishes