Front Page Titles (by Subject) ESSAY No. XXI. - The Principles of Free Trade
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ESSAY No. XXI. - 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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ESSAY No. XXI.
march 3, 1830.
Desponding tone of the Southern papers as to the prospect before us. Apathy of the merchants beginning to wear off. Symptom of a change of public opinion beginning to appear.
WE are sorry to observe the desponding tone which has lately appeared in several of our Southern and South-western papers, in relation to a modification of the tariff; for although we cannot but admit that present indications are far from being favourable to the expectation of a repeal during the present session of Congress, yet we feel a strong persuasion that another year will alter the face of things. At the present moment there are several elements working towards the accomplishment of that desirable object. One is, that the apprehension of the establishment in the United States of the Holy Inquisition, in conformity with the principles of the bill recently reported by the Committee on Manufactures, has infused a little life into the dry bones of the merchants of the Northern cities, and aroused them from the lethargy and indifference to their rights which they have displayed ever since the passage of the tariff act of 1828, and which has been carried to such an extent, that, with the meekness of sheep led to the slaughter, they have submitted to their fate without so much as a murmur. A few symptoms of revival have just now begun to appear. We ourselves have seen the necessity so urgent of a co-operation on the part of the mercantile interest of the North with the agricultural interests of the South, that not content with the arguments employed in our editorial columns, we have resorted to other means of operation. Overlooking the fact that, since the establishment of our journal at Washington, our list of subscribers in the four commercial cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, instead of increasing, has diminished so greatly as not to leave us in the whole two hundred and fifty who have considered the unfurling of our “Banner” in the cause of free trade, as worthy of their patronage, we have written private letters to a few spirited individuals, urging them to employ their exertions in getting up, if possible, some expression of public opinion, by which their fellow-labourers in the cause of the country at the South, should not have reason to apprehend, as many of them do, that they have all deserted the standard of freedom and gone over to the enemy. The indications are favourable, but we cannot say sufficiently so to remove from our minds the apprehension that the inquisition bill may yet become a law; and we will take this occasion to remark to our commercial friends, that unless some strong remonstrances be presented, and that without delay, there are grounds for fearing that their worst apprehensions will be realised. They cannot expect their friends who are less interested, to make more active exertions than themselves.
A second cause which is operating in our favour, is the ruin and devastation now stalking over the face of the country, and which are visiting the same misery upon tens of thousands of deluded individuals, which the banking system, another offspring of legislative folly, spread over the land some twelve years ago. The wool growers and wool manufacturers are every where suffering from the excess of competition, and nothing prevents an immediate wide-spread bankruptcy but the hopes that some miracle will be wrought to save them from total destruction. A third cause, and one more powerful than either of the others, and which in fact is the chief occasion of the low price of goods, is smuggling, which, by degrees, is undermining the morals of the nation, and which at no distant day is to accomplish the total annihilation of all the unnatural cotton and woollen manufacturing establishments in the country. Smuggling is destined to accomplish, what reason and a sense of justice have thus far failed to do; and although we most deeply deplore that good is to be wrought by the agency of such improper means, yet there is one consolation left us, which is, that the advocates of the American System will have nobody to blame but themselves for the consequences.