Economic Future of the Union * 1818
Still more hopeless is the promise of the manufacturing mania, "that it will make us independent of foreign nations," when combined with its other promise of providing a market for agriculture. The promise of a market . . . can only be made good, by reducing the agricultural class to a tenth part of the nation, and increasing manufactures by manufactural exportations. This reduction can only be accomplished by driving or seducing above nine-tenths of the agricultural class, into other classes, and the increase by a brave and patriotic navy. . . . By exchanging hardy, honest and free husbandmen for the classes necessary to reduce the number of agriculturists, low enough to raise the prices of their products, shall we become more independent of foreign nations? What! Secure our independence by bankers and capitalists? Secure our independence by impoverishing, discouraging and annihilating nine-tenths of our sound yeomanry? By turning them into swindlers, and dependents on a master capitalist for daily bread.
There are two kinds of independence, real and imaginary. The first consists of the right of national self-government; the second of individual taste or prejudice. The yeomanry of the forest are best calculated to preserve the first, and the yeomanry of the loom are best calculated to feed the second. . . .
The manufacturing mania accuses the agricultural spirit of avarice and want of patriotism, whilst it offers to bribe it by a prospect of better prices, whittles down independence into cargoes of fancy goods, and proposes to metamorphose nine-tenths of the hardy sons of the forest into everything but heroes, for the grand end of gratifying the avarice of a capitalist, monied or paper interest. . . .
Hatred of England, a pretended zeal for national honour; and the real craft of advancing the pecuniary interest of a few capitalists; have conspired to paint a protecting duty system, into so strong a resemblance of patriotism and honesty, as to lead agriculture by a bridle made of her virtue and ignorance, towards the worship of an idol, compounded of folly and wickedness.