Front Page Titles (by Subject) ESSAY No. LXXIII. - The Principles of Free Trade
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ESSAY No. LXXIII. - 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. LXXIII.
december 15, 1830.
Vote in Congress upon a resolution to repeal the duty on sugar.
THE vote taken in the House of Representatives, on the 13th instant, upon the resolution offered by Mr. Haynes, of Georgia, relative to a reduction of the duty on Sugar, may be considered as far from an unfavourable one. Our readers will recollect, that a resolution, offered on the 15th of December, of last year, by Mr. Conner, of North Carolina, for a reduction of the duty on Salt, was defeated in the same manner, and by nearly an equal vote, the yeas being 78 for, and the nays 92 against, consideration; and yet, before the close of the session, the duty on salt was reduced.
In order that a proper view of the subject may be presented, we have arranged the votes on this question geographically, and they stand as follows;
Of the absentees, it is fair to presume that those from New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana—in number, fifteen—would, had they been present, have voted in favour of consideration; and thus, leaving the other fifteen to go to the other side, the vote would have stood, 115 to 98, giving a majority of 17. Now, admitting this to be the case, it is evident that a simple change of nine votes would make the difference between consideration and no consideration. We hope that our friends in Congress will look at this, and show the same perseverance that their opponents did, who thought their victory half accomplished, when they came within thirty or forty votes of being a majority. If, however, they should fail this year, success must await them at the next session of Congress. None of the elections for members of Congress, which have taken place during the present year, have added strength to the tariff party, as far as we know, but, in Maine and New York, there have been several changes the other way—enough, we think, to turn the scale, without relying upon the other causes which are now in operation and gradually producing a re-action in public sentiment.
But, upon what principle is the duty on sugar to remain untouched? The people of Georgia and Mississippi, where alone it is cultivated, out of Louisiana, tell you, by the votes of their representatives, that they do not want protection. All the Southern and Southwestern states, except Louisiana, say the same thing. That government must be over-kind and over-paternal, which forces its favours upon those who do not want them. We dare say, that, if the iron-masters, and the cotton and woollen manufacturers, were to petition Congress for a repeal of their protecting duties, the Southern representatives would not insist upon forcing them upon them; and we see no reason why a similar acquiescence should not be displayed in this case.
That Louisiana should be in favour of the continuance of the duty, is as natural as that the people of Pawtucket, Lowell, and Patterson, should be in favour of the cotton and woollen duties. People every where have a wonderful fondness for pocketing other people’s money, without giving an equivalent for it; and there are few men so virtuous as to refuse a legal monopoly, if it were offered them for nothing. In another part of our paper will be found some remarks upon this sugar question written before we saw this movement in Congress.
As regards the vote given on the 16th, upon Mr. Barringer’s resolution, to reduce the duty on iron, cotton-bagging, coarse woollen goods costing less than fifty cents per square yard, and brown sugar the yeas and nays upon which will be found under our Congressional head, the result was what might have been anticipated. The moment an attempt is made to attack more than one object at a time, the combination spirit is excited, and a host is rallied in defence of fifty wrongs against which, singly, a majority would probably be opposed.
The different results of these two votes will show the necessity of attacking the system in detail. The forces we have to oppose are not a solid column. They consist of detached squads, and are to be cut off by platoons. Let the duty on sugar be reduced, and Louisiana is then restored to our ranks, where she properly belongs. Let the duty on cotton-bagging and hemp be reduced, and Kentucky will have nothing to wed her to the American System. Let the duty on iron be reduced, and Pennsylvania belongs to us. The rest must surrender at discretion, and, like magnanimous conquerors, we could then display a generosity to the vanquished, which they, in the days of their success, never dreamed of extending to those whose interests were destroyed by their selfish policy.
In this first movement on the sugar duty, we are glad to see Georgia in the advance. She is one of the states which has been most strongly tempted to go over to the enemy, as having made some progress in the cultivation of sugar. We are pleased, also, to see Mississippi by her side—and, as the whole South and Southwest, except Louisiana, have gone almost en masse against it, we hope never again to hear the protection of sugar brought out, as it is daily, in the tariff papers, as a Southern measure.