Front Page Titles (by Subject) ESSAY No. CXXIV. - The Principles of Free Trade
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ESSAY No. CXXIV. - 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. CXXIV.
april 11, 1832.
The Flour Trade of the United States. Quantity shipped to Great Britain and her colonies.
EVERY body who has watched the gradual crumbling away of the pillars of the American System, must have seen that, shortly, it would be left without a support sufficient to sustain it. The doctrine of the balance of trade—the high nominal rate of exchange—the exportation of specie—and the great fall in the prices of goods between 1816 and 1831—were at one time relied upon as the main supporters of the rickety fabric. These have, however, all been swept away by the power of truth, leaving but a few more columns to share the same fate. One of these was the dearly cherished doctrine that foreign nations would not take our agricultural productions in exchange for their manufactures. In vain was it urged that Great Britain purchased of us cotton, tobacco, rice, naval stores, and other articles, equal in value to from twenty to twenty-five millions of dollars per annum, and that she was willing to take to a much larger amount if we would take more of her manufactures. All this amounted to nothing: “She will not take our flour,” was the constant cry, and this was sufficient to satisfy all the non-thinkers of the Middle states, who had not brains enough to see, that, by the export of Southern staples, they were able to sell to the Southern people more flour.
Happily, however, for the cause of Free Trade, this argument is taken out of the mouths of the restrictionists by the commercial operations of the last year. It is shown by the Treasury documents, that the quantity of flour exported during the year ending on the 30th September, 1831, to “Great Britain and Ireland,” was 879,430 barrels, which was greater than the total export of flour from the United States to all parts ofthe world, in any one of the eight years between 1821 and 1830, with the single exception of the year 1824, when the number exported was 996,792.
The fact is, that ever since the modification of the British Corn-Laws, in July 1828, by which flour and grain have been admitted, at all times, under far less duties than we impose upon some British iron, and cotton, and woollen goods, our exports of those articles have been gradually increasing, and, in the natural course of things, they must go on increasing. But to the proof, which will be found in the following
In the year 1831, there were exported to the British North American provinces, 150,645 barrels of flour; of which it is highly probable that nearly the whole were re-exported to England, under the very low colonial duty, or, what is the same thing, were consumed in the provinces, in place of an equal number of barrels of colonial flour spared from the consumption, owing to the American supply brought into Canada free of duty. It may therefore fairly be assumed, that Great Britain took from the United States, in the year 1831, upwards of one million of barrels of flour, besides a large quantity of grain—which is more than one-half of the total exports to all other parts of the world. Shall we be told, after this, that a nation which, in 1829 and 1830, took one-fourth of the whole quantity of flour exported, and, in 1831, one-half, refuses to take our flour? A further adherence to this position cannot be honestly maintained.