Irving Murray Scott.

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other hand, the imported paupers, festering with disease, will
be each, during life, a yearly tax of about $100 on our indus-
tries ; while their descendants, likely to inherit largely the ail-
ments of their progenitors, will be for generations a source of
national care, expense, and weakness.

Again, with respect to physical power, it is found if 300 foot
tons of energy to each able-bodied male, 3,000 to each horse,
and 4.000 to each horse-power of steam engines, be adopted as
the standard of measure, that for 1885 the industrial energy of
Europe is equivalent to 730,000,000 man-power. In other
words, the numerical strength of the great labor army of des-
potic Europe is equivalent to seven hundred and thirty million
able-bodied men. Estimating the industrial energies of China,
and of all other nations whose labor conflicts with ours, equiv-
alent to 310,000,000 man-power, then will these allied labor
energies of despotism amount to 1,040,000,000 man- power ;
in other words, to an army of able-bodied men, one billion and
forty million strong. By reference to the statistics, the indus-
trial energies of the besieged army of American labor is found
equivalent to 260,000,000 man-power. Thus, the numerical
strength of the allied armies of European and Asiatic servile and
pauper labor is seen to be equal to four times the numerical
strength of the American army of free labor.

This disparity in strength is a just cause of solicitude for
protection, especially since the advantages enjoyed and the
progress made by American labor are such as to excite more
and more the envy of despotism and its servile forces. Indeed,
labor is more remunerative in the United States than in any
other country on the globe. Thus in 1880, the surplus of wages
of operatives over the cost of food per week was in Europe
$2.25, in the United States $8.00. In other words, by equal
economy, the savings of labor in the United States are two
hundred and fifty-five per cent, above the savings of labor in
Europe. Thus, " the rates of wages in the United States,
roughly estimated, are more than twice those of Belgium, three
times those of Denmark, France, and Germany, one and a
half times those in England and Scotland, and more than three

times those in Italy and Spain"; while " the prices of the
necessaries of life are lower in the United States than in any
of the foregoing countries."

The statistics of Massachusetts from 1860 to 1883 show that
taking an average, the general weekly wages of the employees
in nearly all the industries was 75^ per cent, higher in Massa-
chusetts than in Great Britain. These statistics further show
that the living, though fifty per cent, better in Massachusetts
than in Great Britain, costs only six per cent more: Now, as
we come west from Massachusetts, the wages increase, and the
cost of living diminishes. Thence, it is safe to say, that in the
United States the average wages are seventy-five per cent,
higher than the wages are in Great Britain, and that the living,
though fifty per cent, better in the United States, costs no more
than the inferior living of Great Britain.

In making these comparisons, it will be borne in mind that
the wages of the operatives of Great Britain are fifty per cent,
higher than the average European wages, and seventy per cent,
above the wages of Continental Europe. It will also be borne
in mind, that even the cheap wages of Continental Europe in
their turn indefinitely exceed the starvation wages of China.
Now, as in physics, two bodies possessing different degrees of
heat at first, soon become, by contact, uniform in temperature,
so in industry will the wages of free labor, and the wages of
servile labor, different at first, soon become uniform by con-
tact. Night follows day with no greater certainty.

The occurrence of war, liable at any time between our
country and foreign countries, or between foreign nations them-
selves, with which in either case we are engaged in commerce,
presents another cogent reason why American labor, or in
other terms, American industries, ought to be fostered by pro-
tection. The attainment of the greatest independence of the
products and capital of foreign nations is our true policy. Es-
pecially at this time does it behoove us to put our house in
order, for the signs of the times indicate that the peace of the
world is not long assured. " Clouds, indeed, and darkness rest
upon the future."

Having shown by a few of the many reasons, that American
labor ought to be protected, I proceed to consider the second
of the two capital leading questions : " What ought that pro-
tection to be ?"

The answer in brief is : The development of the natural re-
sources of the country, so as to meet most fully the require-
ments of the people ; the restriction of both foreign immi-
gration and foreign imports that are injurious to our domes-
tic affairs ; and the fostering of commerce with foreign nations
especially those of the American continent by which com-
merce we shall stimulate home industry, and advantageously
dispose of our surplus productions, in exchange for products
not indigenous to our country.

The development of the natural resources of our country is
the most important requisite in the attainment of wealth, pros-
perity, and happiness by our people ; for by it employment is
given to labor ; every hand willing to work is busy with re-
quiting toil ; every mouth well fed, and every man, woman,
and child sheltered, and clothed in comfort. By it, increasing
thrift obtains, progress in all the worthy objects of life is pro-
moted, and independence secured. Chiefly by it a savage wil-
derness-has been turned into our glorious Union, and the most
extensive and the only honorable conquests made, " not by
destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, and the
happiness of the human race."

Much, however, as has been accomplished, the development
of the natural resources of our country is but in its infancy.
Millions of acres of land are still uncultivated. Immense for-
ests are still in solitude. Billions of mineral wealth are locked
in the mountain vaults ; innumerable forces are reposing in our
coal beds, and other vast, perpetual forces are running to waste
in our numerous streams. These, all these, remain to be de-
veloped by the future hand of industry.

The restriction of both foreign immigration and foreign im-
ports that are injurious to our domestic affairs, should be written
on the title page of every American work on political economy,
taught in our public schools and at the home fireside, pro-

claimed from the American pulpit, and made the fundamental
law of the land. I have already shown by indubitable proof
that Chinese immigration and European pauper immigration are
injurious are a curse to our domestic affairs. They should,
therefore, be restricted to the extent of utter prohibition.

For the determination of what foreign imports are injurious
to our domestic affairs, Joshua Gee, a British writer of great
force and clearness, furnishes us with the proper standard in
these words : " The surest way for a nation to increase in riches
is to prevent the importation of such foreign commodities as
may be raised at home."

But so great and varied are the natural resources of our
country, that the rigid application of this standard will be ob-
jected to by some, on the ground that it will entirely destroy
our foreign commerce, and thereby work a great injury to those
engaged in it. True, foreign factors now reaping princely for-
tunes would be injured. But that injury falls on them, and
not on us. The foreign commercial fleet would be injured ;
but the fact does not concern us, especially since that fleet grew
to its present vast proportions largely by the destruction of our
commercial fleet by piracy, in guise of foreign neutrality. It
thus appears that no loss would accrue to us by the rigid en-
forcement of thjs rule. On the contrary, American labor, at
present unemployed, would be greatly benefited by manufac-
turing the commodities which now come to us laden with ex-
cise and other foreign taxes. These imports, in 1880, amounted
to $761,000,000.

Further : Is the assumption true, that by the rigid enforce-
ment of this rule, our foreign commerce would be entirely de-
stroyed? In consequence of its enforcement would foreign
nations buy from us appreciably less meat, grain, cotton, and so
on, of articles which they must have and cannot secure else-
where on equally favorable terms ? Reference to the statistics
of the United States for 1880 shows that our total domestic ex-
ports, exclusive of gold and silver, amounted to $824,000,000.
These exports consisted mostly of crude material. Indeed, the
value of the three items, bread-stiifls, provisions, and raw cot-


ton, was $627,000,000. Taking into account other items,
almost equally important, such as living animals, hay, rosin,
tar, pitch, mineral oil, whale and other animal oils, seeds, to-
bacco, masts, lumber, quicksilver, copper and other metals, it
is seen that American manufactures proper are but slightly
represented in foreign markets ; that foreign nations buy of us
those commodities only which they cannot do without. Even
entire prohibition of foreign importations, then, would not re-
act injuriously upon our export commerce.

Illustrative of the relative values of the world's markets
home and foreign to American industry, let the item of cereals
be taken as a representative case. According to the statistics,
the value of our cereal products in 1880 was $1,400,000,000.
Of these products, England consumed one-ninth part, and all
foreign countries one-fifth part. Our home market, then, un-
der existing circumstances, is worth to agriculture four times
as much as the markets of the balance of the world. It has
already been shown that the value of our manufactures in 1880
was $5,400,000,000 ; that they paid for crude material $3,400,-
000,000, and that they paid labor $1,000,000,000 ; that is, paid
as wages an amount equal to three-fourths the value of the
entire agriculture products.

But in presence of these facts, some political economists
have the effrontery to say that these manufactures have been
protected by legislation to the injury of agriculture and other
industries. Now, as the grain-growing States have increased
more in wealth than the manufacturing States, the conclusion
is unavoidable that its manufactures have been fostered to the
benefit of agriculture, and not to its injury. Indeed, propor-
tionate to the protection given, manufactures will be the thrift
of agriculture and other industries ; for they are members of
the same body, deriving their energy, growth, and health from
the pulsations of the same heart. Statistics further show that
the accumulations of our national wealth, obviously due for the
most part to the production of home industries, by restriction
of foreign importations, were in 1880 $47,500,000,000, and at
the present time are by estimate $56,000,000,000 ; of which


latter amount, $.17.500,000,000 have been amassed since 1850,
notwithstanding our great civil war, and the destruction of our
commerce. This gain alone in the last thirty-six years exceeds.
by several billions of dollars, the entire national wealth of any
other country on the face of the globe.

According to Mulhull, the national wealth of England, the
gi vat leading nation of the world, in foreign commerce, was in
1880, $42,000,000,000. Thus we perceive that commerce and
the vaunted free-trade accumulated nearly $5,500,000,000 less
for England in 2000 years, than home industry and protection
accumulated for the United States in thirty-six years.

Besides, there seems no good reason to doubt that full pro-
tection of all our domestic industries, by entirely prohibiting
the importation of " such articles as could, on any tolerable
terms, be manufactured at home," would have increased this
difference many fold.

In further considering this great problem of political econ-
omy, the fact is to be borne in mind that the population of
Europe doubles in one hundred years, and that the population
of the United States doubles in twenty-five years. Thus, in
one hundred years the ratio of increase here is eight times the
ratio of increase in Europe. Our home market, as already
shown, is at present worth four times the value of the European
market to our agricultural industry, as a representative case.
This order of things continuing, the value of our home market
to American agriculture in a century will be equal to thirty-two
times that of the European market to it. But this order of
things is not likely to endure long. England, hitherto furnish-
ing the principal market for our cereal exports, is already sup-
plying her requirements in this line, more than formerly, from
Russia, India, Australia, and Canada ; besides, the United
States, long before a century shall have passed, will evidently
be noted for their exports of manufactures, rather than for those
of cereals. The energies of agriculture will be strained to sup-
ply home wants, and American labor will require protection,
not more by the restriction of foreign imports, than by the en-
couragement of exporting domestic manufactures. Indeed,


sound policy dictates the fostering of commerce with foreign
nations especially those of the American continent by which
commerce we shall stimulate home industry, and advanta-
geously dispose of our surplus productions in exchange for
products not indigenous to our country.

In shaping our general policy, we should not fail to profit by
the saying of Mr. Robertson in the House of Commons, that :
" The British policy is nothing more or less than for the Eng-
lish to get a monopoly of all markets for their manufactures,
and prevent other nations, one and all, from engaging in them."
This has been the talisman of English success. But its potency
relatively lessens by the touch of the mightier wand of progress.
How far this bold policy may be adopted is a question since
the laws of morality apply with equal force to nations as to in-
dividuals. " Nothing is truly just which is inconsistent with
humanity." Nations as individuals have the moral right toput
forth their energies to the utmost in developing their manufac-
turing, commercial,- and other industries ; but they have no
moral right to prevent other nations engaging in similar pur-
suits in honorable competition. The destruction of our com-
merce by a nominally friendly power, was a practical example
of the policy announced by Mr. Robertson. The act which
would have sent an individual to the gallows was no less a
crime by being virtually national. The policy, however, of
getting a monopoly of all markets for our manufactures by
honorable means, is sound, and ought to be pursued to the
fullest extent, for the protection of American labor.

" The law of nations enjoins upon every nation the punctual
observance of benevolence and good-will, as well as justice to-
wards its neighbors." This is the true policy of a nation that
would prosper, be happy and long endure. It beats swords
into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks, and converts im-
poverishing standing armies of war into those of peaceful in-
dustry, by which innumerable homes are cheered with the
objects of comfort and luxury, and the state enriched.

This policy, pursued by the United States towards Mexico,
Central and South America, will secure the monopoly of their


markets for the manufactures <>f American labor. The aggre-
gate area of these countries exceeds twice that of Europe, in-
cluding proximate islands. Their natural resources equally
surpass those of that grand division of the globe. Indeed,
their exuberant fertility yields an abundant harvest, with but
little exertion of the cultivator. A few of the many and valua-
ble products that here grow in profusion are: cocoa, coffee,
corn, Paraguay tea, sugar-cane, cotton, tobacco, vanilla, cin-
chona, sarsaparilla, olives, cocoa-palm, almond, sesame, and
flax ; trees respectively yielding the balsam of Peru, India-
rubber, copal, and camphor; dye-woods, building timber, and
cabinet woods in great variety, as oak, pine, fir, cedar, ma-
hogany, rosewood, and so on ; in fine, vegetable products
exceeding enumeration in variety. Their mineral resources,
as gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, zinc, quicksilver, coal, and
so on, are unlimited. Statistics show that the world's aggre-
gate production of gold and silver, from 1493 to 1875,
amounted to $10,800,000,000, of which $6,632,000,000, or
two-thirds of the word's total production of the precious
metals since the discovery of America, came from the mines
of Mexico and South America. Yet. but little more than
''prospecting" of these mines has been accomplished. The
resources of these countries in "the cattle upon a thousand
hills," and in the endless herds of cattle that fatten on the vast
and fertile plains, are, in the eye of political economy, quite as
inestimable as are their resources in mineral wealth. Mulhull
predicts that the United States, now exporting large quantities
of meat to European markets, will, ten years hence, require
of that article all which they shall raise, and that Europe will
turn to South America to supply her wants with that com-

Now, progress does not loiter. The immense resources of
these countries are to be developed ; the broad, fertile fields are
to be tilled ; the rich, exhaustless mines worked ; the extensive
forests of timber and choice woods are to be felled, and their
material reared and fashioned into objects of usefulness and
beauty ; the rare products that minister to man's comforts, or

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delight his senses, are to be gathered for his uses ; and the end-
less herds of cattle are to be utilized as food for millions of the
human race. Shall these developments be made under the
guidance of European nations, and to the advantage of
European labor? or shall they be made under the guidance
of the United States, and to the advantage of American

To effect these developments, manufactures to the value of
billions of dollars will be required. Shall they be the manu-
factures of European labor, or of American labor ?

Our geographical position defies competition. Seas roll be-
tween Europe and this matchless prize ; while to us it is at
hand. The locomotive, the most efficient agent of commerce,
practically annihilates distance. Indeed, from that noble emi-
nence whither the firm steps of reason, not*the airy wings of
fancy, bear us, are seen looming the possibilities of no distant
future ; the several divisions and subdivisions of the American
continent joined with links of steel ; and the locomotive, that
great apostle of progress and civilization, going forth and pro-
claiming the glad tidings that the necessaries, comforts, and
luxuries indigenous to the different climes are for the enjoy-
ment of the whole American family, from the frozen North to
the frozen South, and from ocean to ocean.

Statesmen, why stand ye idle? Justice demands at your
hands that American lab&r shall be afforded the opportunities
of effecting those grand achievements of winning the match-
less prize. Irving M. Scott.

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Online LibraryIrving Murray ScottProtection to American labor → online text (page 2 of 2)