Front Page Titles (by Subject) ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION. - The Principles of Free Trade
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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION. - Condy Raguet, The Principles of Free Trade 
The Principles of Free Trade illustrated in a series of short and familiar Essays originally published in the Banner of the Constitution, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia, 1840).
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, by Condy Raguet, in the Clerk’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
ToHenry Lee,Esquire, of Massachusetts, ColonelClement C. Biddle,of Pennsylvania, and His ExcellencyRobert Y. Hayne,late Governor of South Carolina.
The conspicuous position held by you in the Northern, Middle and Southern sections of the United States, respectively, among the advocates of Free Trade, during the contest which happily terminated with the adoption of the compromise bill of March 2d, 1833, added to your claims upon the gratitude of the author of these essays for the intellectual aid which you extended to him during the prosecution of his work, have designated you as the particular friends to whom its dedication would be appropriate. To Mr. Lee is the country indebted for that most powerful and conclusive exposition of the practical operation of the Tariff upon the interests of Agriculture, Commerce and Manufactures, “The Boston Report,” which was first published in November, 1827, and to which may be ascribed the first impulse of re-action against the Restrictive System. To Colonel Biddle is it indebted for his instrumentality in disseminating sound views of public policy, through his notes appended to the six American editions of Say’s Political Economy, which have appeared under his editorial superintendence. To Governor Hayne is it indebted, whilst a member of the Senate of the United States, for a series of the most clear and scientific illustrations of the Principles of Free Trade, which have ever been presented to the American community, through the medium of public speeches. And to each of you, gentlemen, is the author indebted for much moral support through correspondence and personal intercourse, in the painful and trying situation in which he was placed for four years, whilst advocating an unpopular, and, at one time, what appeared to be a hopeless cause; and he begs you to accept of the assurance of his sincere acknowledgments, and of his best wishes for your individual health and happiness.
In offering to the public the present volume, the author trusts that a brief sketch of the circumstances under which its contents were originally written and published, will be acceptable to the reader.
During the war which was declared against Great Britain in 1812, and which was terminated in the commencement of 1815, the wants of the government led to a doubling of the duties which had been previously imposed upon foreign commodities. This increase of duties, accompanied as it was by diminished supplies from abroad, and by an increase of the expenses of import in the charges of insurance and freight, naturally augmented the prices of foreign products, and brought into premature existence several branches of domestic manufacture, which could only be sustained by a continuance of war prices. Accordingly, when an adjustment of the Tariff, adapted to a state of peace was about to be made, the manufacturers of cottons and woollens, whose interests were dependent upon a continuance of the double duties, earnestly solicited Congress, not for their permanent retention, but for such a gradual system of reduction as would enable them to avoid the ruinous effects of a sudden repeal. This reasonable request was listened to, and granted; and accordingly, by the act of April 27, 1816, the duties on certain descriptions of cotton and woollen goods were fixed at twenty-five per cent. ad valorem, until the 30th of June, 1819, when they were to be reduced to twenty per cent. Prior, however, to the arrival of this latter period, the manufacturers applied for a postponement of the time at which the reduction should take effect, and so strong an appeal was made by them to Congress, that, on the 20th of April, 1818, a law was passed, fixing the 30th of June, 1826, as the period of reduction. On the same day, two other acts were passed, one, entitled “An act to increase the duties on certain manufactured articles imported into the United States,” comprising manufactured copper, silver-plated saddlery, coach and harness furniture, cut-glass ware, tacks, brads and sprigs, and Russia sheetings; and the other, “An act to increase the duties on iron in bars and bolts, iron in pigs, castings, nails, and allum.”
The first of these acts destroyed the temporary character of the protection afforded by the act of 1816, to cottons and woollens, and the others virtually introduced the right of permanent protection, in reference to the articles therein enumerated, and thus laid the foundation of the restrictive policy, which was adopted as general by the acts of 22d of May, 1824, and May 19, 1828, known by the appellation of the “American System.” By those two laws duties were laid, with the manifest object of protection, upon almost every foreign commodity known to come into competition with the branches of domestic industry then in operation, and so unanimous was the voice of the Northern, Middle, and some of the Western states, in favour of the system, that it was generally deemed, in those sections, to be “the settled policy of the country.”
Amongst the few individuals residing north of the Potomac, who believed that the restrictive policy was adverse to the true interests of the country, and might be at least prevented from being pushed to absolute prohibition by proper efforts, was the writer of these essays, who, with the design of contributing his humble labours to the advancement of what he conceived to be so good a cause, commenced the publication, on the 1st of January, 1829, of a weekly paper, in octavo form, under the title of the “Free Trade Advocate.” After the completion of two volumes of that work, it was, on the 1st of December of that year, enlarged to the quarto form, under the name of the “Banner of the Constitution,” of which the third and last annual volume was completed in December, 1832.
The essays contained in this work comprise a selection from those which originally appeared as editorial in the publication just mentioned. The date of the appearance of each has been retained, for the reason that, as the Tariff from time to time during the three years embraced by the work underwent partial modifications, a history of its gradual reduction is thereby presented. These essays, however, do not reach the period of the final termination of the Free Trade conflict. On the 14th of July, 1832, an act was passed, containing a general modification of the duties, but the concessions therein contained, were not sufficient to satisfy the people of South Carolina, who had been the most conspicuous for their opposition to the restrictive policy. That state, accordingly, on the 24th of November, 1832, passed in convention an ordinance, declaring unconstitutional, and consequently null and void, and not operative in South Carolina after the 1st of February, 1833, the Tariff laws of the United States. The events which followed this measure are too well known to require a recapitulation here. Suffice it to say, that the most important of them was the passage, on the 2d of March, 1833, of a bill, entitled “An act to modify the act of the fourteenth of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and all other acts imposing duties on imports.”
By this act, known as the Compromise Bill, it was provided that all existing duties exceeding twenty per cent. should be gradually reduced to that amount by the 30th day of June, 1842, which, having been satisfactory to S. Carolina, her ordinance was revoked, and thus was terminated a conflict which, at one moment, endangered the peace of the Union, and which it is to be hoped will never again be revived. There is good ground for believing, that the effects of the gradual reduction of the duties will be overcome by the manufacturers in most or all of the branches affected by it, by increased skill, economy, and improved machinery, so that the losses anticipated by them will not be realized. Such a consummation is devoutly to be wished. But should it unfortunately happen, that those amongst them who, for want of capital to procure the most improved machinery, or from possessing barren iron mines, or unfertile sugar lands, cannot stand the competition of the foreign market, should, at a future day, seek to revive the restrictive policy, they must be met as heretofore, by arguments addressed to the understandings of the people. A collection of such arguments, it is confidently trusted, will be found in this volume, which, although containing some matter applicable to a particular time and particular places, will be found to embrace the investigation of almost every question that is likely to be presented in connection with protective duties, for many years to come.
For the information of those who may wish to have access at a future time to a complete history of the Free Trade contest, the author takes the liberty of stating, that, in the two publications above-mentioned, and in the “Examiner,” a semimonthly work in octavo, published by him, of which the second volume was completed in July, 1835, will be found almost every important document and state paper, and an account of almost every movement growing out of the restrictive system which made its appearance, or occurred, subsequent to the year 1828. A copy of each of those works has been presented by the editor to the Library of Congress, the Library of the Pennsylvania Legislature at Harrisburgh, the Philadelphia Library, and the Library of the American Philosophical Society, where they may be seen.