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W - John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, vol. 3 Oath - Zollverein 
Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors, ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). Vol 3 Oath - Zollverein
Part of: Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, 3 vols.
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WAGE FUND, The. The wage fund is the term used to characterize that theory of the distribution of wealth which became prevalent in England sbortly after the close of the Napoleonic wars; which was generally accepted upon English authority by American economists, and remained in full virtue unchallenged for nearly half a century. It never crossed the British channel, however, and is practically unknown to the political economy of continental Europe.
—This theory made the capitalist employer to be the residual claimant upon the product of industry. Rent was to be first deducted, the amount thereof to be determined, in the main, according to the Ricardoan formula, with more or less of concession or remission by landlord to tenant, under the influence of personal good feeling or of a public sentiment prescribing a kindly and considerate treatment of the actual cultivators of the soil. Next, wages were to be deducted, the amount thereof to be ascertained, according to the wage-fund formula, of which we are now to speak. There were to remain: profits, composed of interest on the capital employed (including a premium for the insurance of capital against extraordinary risks), and of the remuneration of business management. Profits constituted the share of the product of industry going to the capitalist employer, who, after paying rent and wages, as indicated, retained all the rest as his own. This view of the relation of the several parties to the distribution of wealth was summed up by De Quincey in the saying: "Profits are the leavings of wages," rent not being here mentioned, inasmuch as De Quincey has in view the production of wealth upon the lowest grades of soil, which pay no rent.
—We find no trace of the wage-fund doctrine in Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," published in 1776. Dr. Smith, indeed, writes of "the funds for the maintenance of labor"; but while he thus recognizes the need the laborer has of a pre-existing body of wealth from which he is to be sustained during the period while his labor is bearing its fruit in harvested or marketed products, he did not intimate that the laborer's remuneration was strictly limited to the amount thus required for his immediate sustentation; he did not allege that no part of these funds might be the laborer's own, accumulated from the savings of previous years; he did not assume that these funds were so fixed and definite in amount as to be independent alike of the industrial quality of the laboring class and of any efforts they might put forth to increase their share of the product of industry. So far was Adam Smith from holding this view, that he expressly stated that "the wages of labor are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives."
—Even Mr. Malthus, in his work of 1820, although he gave great prominence to the laborer's need of provisional maintenance during the interval between the rendering of the service and the realizing of the product, failed to intimate any constant or any necessary relation between the funds so employed and the aggregate capital of a country.
—Yet at this time the industrial condition of England had become such through the effects of the Napoleonic wars, and of the ill-devised pauper legislation of parliament, as strongly to suggest the doctrine which was, in 1824, to be announced by Mr. James Mill, and was, for nearly fifty years, completely to dominate all theory of the distribution of wealth, so far as English and American political economy was concerned.
—The wars which, with the intermission of a single year, raged from 1793 to 1815, by checking the importation of grain, drove cultivation in England down to inferior soils, thus raising the proportion of the aggregate produce going in rent to the landlords. The frequent and violent fluctuations of prices through all this period, according to the fortunes of battle by sea and by land, threw no small part of the wealth of the kingdom into the hands of the speculating as distinguished from the producing class. And while these causes were working to prejudice especially the interests of labor, the volume of wealth to be distributed was diminished by the waste of war.
—But it is doubtful whether the effects of all these causes, acting in conjunction to depress the condition and degrade the character of the mass of the English people, were equal to the deleterious influence of the changes in the poor law system of the kingdom, by which the workhouse test for able-bodied paupers was abandoned; by which appropriations were made from public funds, to supplement wages; and by which a premium was put upon births, and an even higher premium upon illegitimate births.
—So efficient for evil were the causes described as operating during this period, that, by the close of the Napoleonic wars, the working classes of England had been reduced to extreme and apparently hopeless misery. Accumulation by the laborer had been rendered impossible, and he was thus rendered completely dependent upon the employer, who was required to advance the whole of his subsistence, in anticipation of the crops or the goods being harvested or marketed. At the same time the average efficiency of the industrial agent had been so impaired, by both moral and physiological causes, and the market for labor had become so crowded, that the laborer's share of the ultimate product rarely exceeded in any degree the sums so advanced in provisional maintenance.
—Under these conditions the subsistence fund became, in fact, precisely equivalent to wages; and it is not at all surprising that English economists, contemplating the state of things reached in their own country, should have come to regard the subsistence fund and wages as necessarily identical, and, in so doing, have evolved the notion of a wage fund.
—The first distinct statement of the doctrine under consideration, is that of James Mill, in his work of 1824. The "Political Economy" of J. R. M'Culloch, published in the following year, contains a positive assertion of the necessary dependence of wages upon the proportion which the whole capital of a country bears to the whole laboring population. Mr. John Stuart Mill, in his great work of 1848, makes the doctrine of a wage fund the keystone of his theory of the distribution of wealth. The following is his statement: "If wages are higher at one time or place than at another; if the subsistence and comfort of the class of hired laborers are more ample, it is and can be for no other reason than because capital bears a greater proportion to population. * * The rate of wages, which results from competition, distributes the whole wage fund among the whole laboring population." Let us add the statement of this doctrine given by Mr. Mill, twenty-one years later, when its validity had been rudely questioned. "There is supposed to be, at any given instant, a sum of wealth which is unconditionally devoted to the payment of wages of labor. This sum is not regarded as unalterable, for it is augmented by saving, and increases with the progress of wealth; but it is reasoned upon as, at any given moment, a predetermined amount. More than that amount, it is assumed that the wage-receiving class can not possibly divide among them; that amount, and no less, they can not but obtain. So that, the sum to be divided being fixed, the wages of each depends solely upon the divisor, the number of participants." ("Fortnightly Review," May, 1869.)
—The first challenge of the dominant theory of wages in England came from a barrister little known to fame, Mr. Francis D. Longe, who, in 1866, issued a pamphlet entitled "A Refutation of the Wage-Fund theory of Modern Political Economy, as enunciated by Mr. Mill, M. P., and Mr. Fawcett, M. P." This pamphlet attracted little attention; not one of the reviews noticed it; and when, three years later, Mr. W. T. Thornton attacked the wage-fund doctrine, he appeared wholly ignorant of its existence. Yet the earlier work was the abler of the two, and nearly covered the whole case against the current economic doctrine. That doctrine, as we have seen, stood upon the asserted need, on the part of the laborer, of provisional maintenance, to be afforded by the capitalist, out of funds previously accumulated. As Prof. Fawcett had stated in his "Manual of Political Economy," "laborers while engaged in any particular industry can not live upon the commodity which their labor is assisting to produce. The plowman who tills the soil, from which in the following autumn the harvest will be gathered, is fed with the wealth which his master has saved, or, in other words, the master pays his laborer's wages from the wealth he has previously saved." That is, because the master must needs pay the laborer something before the harvest, he can not possibly pay him anything after the harvest! To say that the laborer derives a provisional maintenance from the master's capital, is, in Prof. Fawcett's view, precisely equivalent to saying that the laborer derives his wages, his entire wages, from this source. Mr. M'Culloch has left the same assertion of the natural and necessary equivalency of subsistence and wages.
—Upon this open point in the position of the economists Mr. Longe fell with incisive force, He insisted upon the distinction between "the wealth or capital available for the maintenance of laborers," and "the amount of wealth available for the purchase of their work." "The amount of money," reasons Mr. Longe, "which a farmer can afford to advance for the maintenance of laborers, without using the money he gets from the sale of his stock or crops, is unquestionably limited by the amount of wealth at his disposal from other sources; but the amount of money or wealth which the farmer can afford to pay, or contract to pay, as wages, is limited only by the amount of money for which his crops will sell."
—Although Mr. Longe's pamphlet did not even receive the honor of a notice in the reviews, Mr. Thornton, when in 1869 he advanced nearly the same arguments against the current economic doctrine, and, as I must think, with less of clearness and force, achieved an overwhelming triumph. Through an article in the "Fortnightly Review" of May of that year, Mr. John Stuart Mill, after stating the wage-fund doctrine, in the terms already quoted, and adding, "this series of deductions is generally received as incontrovertible: they are found in every systematic treatise on political economy, my own certainly included," proceeded completely to renounce these life-long views. He declared that Mr. Thornton had deprived of all scientific foundation the doctrine so long taught by "all or most economists"; that Mr. Thornton had shown that the barrier (the wage fund) which had "closed the entrance to one of the most important provinces of economic and social inquiry," is but "a shadow which will vanish if we go boldly up to it."
—Mr. Mill's recantation of the wage-fund doctrine produced a deep impression. The "London Quarterly Review" (July, 1871) characterized the wage fund as "a thing, or un-thing (to borrow a German idiom), which is henceforth shunted fairly out of the way of future discussion of all questions affecting labor and labor's wages."
—Yet Mr. Mill's surrender was not wholly acquiesced in by the professional economists. Prof. John E. Cairnes, in his masterly work of 1874, undertook the rehabilitation of the economic doctrine of wages; and, with much care and pains, sought to show that something which might not improperly be called a wage fund, though widely different from the wage fund of the two Mills, of M'Culloch and of Fawcett, does exist, and does limit the amount that can be paid in wages. But the prestige of the old doctrine was destroyed, and the result of successive assaults has been its practical abandonment by the English economists. Prof. W. Stanley Jevons, in the second edition of his theory of "Political Economy," published in 1880, after referring to the general consent of his brethren to give up what was once the keystone of the orthodox theory of the distribution of wealth, writes: "In this matter of wages, the English economists have been living in a fool's paradise. The truth is with the French school."
—In the foregoing sketch of the rise and fall of this economic doctrine, have been intimated the nature and direction of the arguments which have compelled the practical abandonment of it by the economists of to-day. Its great importance in the history of political economy, however, and the fact that it is still found in most of the systematic treatises on the shelves of our libraries, and even in the treatises now used as text books156 in our colleges, render desirable a compact recital of the objections to this theory of the origin and the limit of wages.
—In the first place, the reason for holding this theory of wages assigned by the Messrs. Mill, by Mr. M'Culloch and by Prof. Fawcett, proves to be no reason at all, in view of the distinction first presented by Mr. Longe, between the amount advanced by the employer for the maintenance of the laborer, and the amount to be paid, first and last, for the laborer's services. It is seen at once, in the light of this distinction, that the mere fact that the employer must pay the laborer something, in advance of the harvest, constitutes no reason whatsoever why the employer should not pay the laborer something more, on the completion of the harvest.
—But, again, this doctrine assumes, in all the statements of it we have quoted, that the laborer is always and necessarily dependent on the employer for the entire amount of his subsistence. Now, this state of things did, in fact, exist throughout England, during the period when the doctrines in question came to be formulated. Probably the doctrine would never have arisen but for that state of things. But this condition is not involved in the nature of the relation of the laborer to his employer; nor have there been wanting examples, on a large scale, of the ability of the working classes to accumulate vast sums out of their earnings; witness the deposits of our American savings banks!
—But the wage-fund theory might be true were all the reasons adduced in support of it conclusively proven to be false. Let us, then, examine without prejudice from the mistakes of its advocates, the proposition that wages are paid out of capital, and that the possible amount of wages in any country, at any time, is determined by the amount of capital then and there existing.
—Why does an employer pay wages at all? Surely not to expend a fund of which he finds himself in possession, and of which he regards himself as trustee; but to purchase labor. Why does he purchase labor? Not at all that he may keep it employed; as it might be employed in carrying burdens first up-stairs and then down-stairs again, but he purchases labor as a means to the production of wealth. Why does he produce wealth? Merely that it may be produced, as might be the case had he no personal part in its ownership, no interest in its use or enjoyment? Surely not: unless the most exceptional of mortals, he produces wealth, not for the sake of producing it, but with a view to a profit to himself, individually, therefrom. The mere fact that a person has capital at his command no more constitutes a reason why he should use it in production when he can get no profits, than the fact that the laborer has arms and legs constitutes a reason why he should work when he can get no wages. It is, we see, for the sake of future production, that laborers are employed; not at all because the employer has possession of a fund which he must disburse. Is it not, then, the value of the product, such as it is likely to prove, which determines the amount of wages the employer is both able and willing to pay? If so, it is production, and not capital, which furnishes the motive for employment and the measure of wages.
—But, if production furnishes the measure of wages, the amount so to be paid can not be irrespective of the industrial quality of the wages class, since production varies necessarily, and varies within a wide range, according as that industrial quality is high or low. Therefore, the wage-fund doctrine is false, for it teaches that the rate of wages depends solely upon the proportion which the amount of capital bears to the numbers of the laboring population, altogether irrespective of their industrial quality.
—But even were we to waive consideration of the industrial quality of a laboring population, would it then be true that the amount of possible wages is determined in and by the amount of capital existing; and that the wage fund so constituted forms a predetermined dividend, the divisor of which is to consist of the number of laborers? Precisely this is involved in the wage-fund doctrine, as it was taught, without qualification, down to a recent period. In 1864 Prof. Fawcet delivered a course of lectures in Cambridge university, in which he laid down the following rule: "The circulating capital of a country is its wage fund. Hence, if we desire to calculate the average money wages received by each laborer, we have simply to divide the amount of this capital by the number of the laboring population." The fallacy of this is seen the moment we realize that the purpose for which labor is employed is, not the distribution of a pre-existing fund, but the creation of values, the production of new wealth. This being so, the dividend can not be predetermined irrespective of the number of laborers, since the quantity or amount of the product of industry must itself depend upon the number of laborers. More laborers will produce more wealth—whether proportionately more or not, is aside from the question: fewer laborers will produce less wealth—whether proportionately less or not, we need not here inquire. Therefore the wage-fund doctrine is again shown to be false.
—The only virtue the doctrine we have been considering ever possessed, for practical uses, was in its assertion that an economic reason must exist for any and every advance of wages. Doubtless this explains why some economists still cling to the doctrine, as fearing that if it be abandoned, there will be no barrier against foolish and mischievous claims by the laboring classes for increase of remuneration or reduction of the hours of work. But the proposition that production furnishes at once the motive to employment and the measure of wages, equally establishes a barrier to every claim on behalf of the working classes which can not present a substantial economic reason. The one view of the origin and limit of wages, equally as the other, opposes itself to all demands, in the interest of labor, which are made merely under the impulse of compassion, or philanthropy, or the enthusiasm of humanity.
—The only difference between the two theories is, that by the one the economic force which limits wages is found in the amount of capital, while by the other it is found in the value of the product of industry, to which land, capital and labor jointly contribute. Which rule would be more consonant to sentiments of natural justice is not at issue, though here the preference clearly lies on the side of the rule we propose; the question is, Which corresponds the more closely to the reason of the case and to the just import of industrial statistics? On this issue the movement of economic opinion since 1866 has been overwhelmingly against the wage-fund doctrine.
FRANCIS A. WALKER.
WAGES. The word wages, in its popular use, signifies the remuneration of hired labor. As so used, it is more or less disparaging, being commonly placed in contrast with the words salaries, fees, honorarium, etc., by which it is sought to denote the remuneration of services of a higher or more intellectual character.
—To the economist, however, the word wages has no special reference to manual, as distinguished from intellectual, effort. That term in economic literature has two significations, the one much wider than the other. By the first is embraced, not only the wages of manual labor, hired by an employer; not only the avails of unhired manual labor, as of the smith working in his own shop, or of the peasant proprietor tilling his own lot of ground (due exception being made of rent and interest); not only the salaries of school teachers and public officials, the fees of lawyers and physicians, and the honorarium of the artist; but, also, all sums accruing to the employers of labor, through their own personal supervision and direction of the processes of industry. In a word, wages, in this largest sense, embraces all the material rewards of human exertions and sacrifices which are directed to the production of wealth, as distinguished only from the remuneration paid for the use of land and the remuneration paid for the use of capital.
—In the second and narrower economic sense, while retaining in all other respects the significance attributed to it above, the word wages becomes exclusive of the sums accruing to the employer of labor, as such, who, under the four-fold division of industrial activity specially characteristic of the present age, leases land, so far as this may be essential to his operations, and pays therefor rent; borrows capital, and pays therefor interest; hires labor, paying therefor wages; and has remaining in his hands, out of the product of industry, an amount of wealth, greater or less according to his activity, his enterprise, his prescience, his prudence, and, also, in some measure according to his good or evil fortune.
—The difference, then, between the two senses of the word wages, is found wholly in the fact that the former includes, while the latter excludes, the remuneration received by the employer, as such. The two alike exclude rent and interest, proper. Throughout the present article the word will be used in the latter and more restricted sense, the remuneration—viz., profits—which is received by the employer of labor, as such, forming the subject of a separate investigation.
—The questions relating to wages may be discussed under two titles, General Wages and Particular Wages: the former having reference to the problem of the distribution of wealth between the wages class, as a whole, and other claimants upon the product of industry; the latter, to the problem of the distribution of the aggregate amount of wealth paid, or possibly to be paid, in wages, among the several classes of wage receivers. We shall take up these two divisions of the subject in inverse order.
—I. PARTICULAR WAGES. In any consideration of the comparative remuneration of individuals or classes, it is of the highest importance to preserve the distinction expressed by economists as that between real and nominal wages. Real wages are the remuneration of the laborer, as reduced to the necessaries, comforts or luxuries of life. These are what the laborer works for; these are truly his wages. The money he receives is only a means to that end.
—Real may differ from nominal wages by reason of: First, variations in the purchase power of money. This is a consideration of prime importance, in the comparison of wages, as between one epoch and another. Second, varieties in the form of payment. Wages, though generally reckoned in money, are, to a very large extent, not paid in money. Especially in agriculture, the world over, full payment in money is highly exceptional. The forms, other than money, in which labor is remunerated, are various, the chief among them being rent, where cottages or tenements are provided for the laborer and his family, whether in agricultural or mechanical industry; board, mainly confined to unmarried laborers; and, lastly, a great variety of allowances, perquisites and privileges, such as definite quantities of certain kinds of food, drink or fuel, furnished by the employer; such as the hauling to the laborer's house of wood, coal or peat by the employer's teams, the keep of a cow, the right to take flour at millers' prices or at a fixed price whatever the market rate, the gleaning of fields, etc., etc. So numerous and diverse are the forms of payment of wages to hired laborers in agriculture, that anything like an exact comparison between the rates of real wages in different countries or districts often becomes practically impossible. Third, opportunities for extra earnings, by the head of the family, or by its other members. Thus, a weaver or spinner earning twenty shillings a week, may find places in which his wife and minor children may earn an equal sum, making the income of the family forty shillings. A carpenter or coal-heaver, on the other hand, receiving twenty-five shillings a week, may find himself unable to add anything to the family income through the labor of wife or child. It is evident, therefore, that in any comparison of wages, the total income of the family should be taken as the unit. Fourth, the greater or less regularity of employment. Varying regularity of employment may be due to the nature of the individual occupation, or to the force of the seasons, or to social and industrial causes of a general nature. In agriculture, for example, the nature of the operations involved, and the difference of seasons, cause great irregularity of employment. The rate of wages during the third quarter of the year is generally more than twice that during the first quarter. In this respect, however, there is great difference between different countries. An English farmer is plowing while a New England farmer is hauling wood on the ice and snow. In some countries agricultural operations are spread over eight months; in others, they are confined to four. In the fisheries, also in the so-called building trades, and in most out-door avocations, there is great irregularity in the matter of employment during the different periods of the year. On the other hand, there is nothing in the force of the seasons, or in the nature of the operations involved, to prevent weaving, spinning, shoemaking, paper-making, etc., from proceeding uniformly through twelve consecutive months. Industrial causes, also, like strikes, lock-outs, panics, and so-called hard times, produce great differences in the real rate of wages, where the same nominal rates exist. Fifth, the longer or shorter duration of the power to labor. This consideration is of prime importance, both as between nations and as between the classes of persons pursuing different avocations within the same country. It is evident, that, if two persons begin to labor productively at the same period of life, and continue at work in the same occupation, at the same nominal wages, until death or final disability, the one receives the higher real remuneration who lives and works the longer, since the cost of his maintenance during the period of unproductive labor is properly to be charged upon his wages during the productive period. In the foregoing respect, there are wide differences among nations, which must enter to greatly affect the real remuneration of labor. Dr. Edward Jarvis has stated, that, for every thousand years expended in the developing period upon all who are born, including both those who die, and those who survive to the age of twenty, the consequent laboring and productive years are, in Norway, 1,881; in Sweden, 1,749; in England, 1,688; in the United States, 1,664; in France, 1,398; and in Ireland, 1,148. Moreover, as between different occupations in the same country, there are wide differences in the duration of the power to labor, which must be taken into account in adjusting nominal to real wages. The eminent actuary, Dr. Neison, states that the influence of occupation upon life is so considerable that the mortality in one avocation exceeds that of another by not less than 239 per cent. Taking the period of life, twenty-five to sixty-five, Dr. Neison finds that the mean mortality in the clerical profession, in England, is 1.12 per cent., in the legal, 1.57; in the medical, 1.81. In domestic service, the mortality among gardeners is but.93, among grooms, 1.26; among house servants, 1.67, among coachmen, 1.84. Of the several branches of manufacture, paper shows a mean mortality of 1.45; tin, of 1.61; iron, 1.75; glass, 1.83; copper, 2.16; lead, 2.24; earthenware, 2.57; the mortality among those operatives in the last-named branch of industry, who are known as china-scourers, due to the inhaling of the fine dust floating in the air, being positively frightful. Among the different kinds of mining industry, the range of this effect is even greater, the mean mortality of iron miners being 1.80; of tin miners, 1.99; of lead miners, 2.50, due to the prevalence of asthma and chronic bronchitis; and of copper miners, 3.17, due largely to the excessive heat prevailing in this class of mines. Even these figures, striking as they are, do not exhibit the full effect of the cause under consideration, since the occurrence of permanent disability among operatives of certain classes is out of proportion to the actual occurrence of death. In some of the agricultural districts of England, owing to wretched food and still more wretched lodgings, the laborer, though often long-lived, is early crippled and doubled up by rheumatism.
—The foregoing heads embrace the chief causes which are commonly adduced in reduction of nominal to real wages, i.e., of money wages to wages expressed in terms of what Mr. Malthus calls "food, clothing, lodging and firing." In satisfaction, however, of still other desires of the laborer (using that term in the large sense attributed to it at the beginning of this article), and consequently forming a possible part of his real, as distinguished from his nominal, wages, enter certain other elements which may be found in a high degree in one occupation and in a low degree in another. Such is agreeableness of situation or of work; such is reputableness, or even distinction attaching to the performance of certain services. These are most influential causes in producing differences between real and nominal wages, in not a few departments of labor. One great object for which wealth is expended is to command social consideration. If, then, a certain position of itself gives authority or dignity, this may constitute, to one person, or even to many persons, a fair equivalent for a portion of the remuneration which, in a different avocation, he might expect and be able to exact. A judgeship is often accepted by eminent lawyers who have been accustomed in their professional practice to earn several times the salary of that office. "Forty pounds a year," wrote Adam Smith, in the last century, "is reckoned at present very good pay for a curate, and there are many curacies under twenty pounds a year. There are journeymen shoemakers in London who earn forty pounds a year, and there is scarcely an industrious workman of any kind, in that metropolis, who does not earn more than twenty." The conception of dignity which thus gives preference to one occupation over another, may be wholly false or mistaken, without losing anything of its power to influence the actions of men, which is all the economist has to consider. Thousands of young men, in every large American city, stand around the marts of trade, hoping, by some chance, or by influence or solicitation, to crowd themselves into hard-worked and ill-paid places as clerks, because they deem manual labor degrading, although a skilled mason or carpenter earns twice or thrice as much, and that in a shorter day of labor. On the other hand, there are avocations which are exceptionally unpleasant to the senses, or exceptionally dangerous to life and limb, or exceptionally discreditable, and which, on this account, would naturally, were all other conditions constant, command a higher rate of remuneration. If, in some instances, those who pursue such avocations do not only not receive higher wages, but are compelled to accept a smaller, perhaps a much smaller, remuneration, this is not because the force just adverted to does not operate, but because it is counteracted by another cause, viz., that large numbers of persons are, by reason of ignorance, or misfortune, or disrepute, debarred from more favorable employment, and shut up to one or another avocation of the class described.
—Assuming the proper reduction of nominal to real wages, by allowances on the several foregoing accounts, we next come to inquire what are the causes which produce the wide differences which exist in the wages of labor, as between different countries, and as between particular avocations within the same country.
—As between different countries, the tendency to equality of wages within the same or closely corresponding avocations, varies with the readiness with which emigration or immigration, which we may call the flow of labor, takes place. Between no two countries, however near, and however similar in social or political conditions, is the flow of labor sufficiently easy to secure a close approximation to equality of wages. Adam Smith, in his day (1776), declared that man is, of all sorts of luggage, the most difficult to be transported. "A difference of prices," he says, "which is not always sufficient to transport a man from one parish to another, would necessarily occasion so great a transportation of the most bulky commodities, not only from one point to another, but from one end of the kingdom to another, almost from one end of the world to another, as would soon reduce their prices more nearly to a level." Mr. Ricardo, writing a generation later (1817), assumed that the flow of labor from country to country would be so tardy and difficult as practically to leave the laboring classes to enjoy or to suffer the industrial advantages or disadvantages of their respective countries, without any important influence as the result of immigration or emigration. John Stuart Mill, writing still a generation later (1848), just at the beginning of an age of wonderful progress in the arts of transportation and the communication of news, noted "a visible tendency toward a freer migration of labor and capital, to take advantage of better opportunities of employment and investment." One generation later still, we may say, that, in 1883, the tendency pointed out by Mr. Mill acquires strength from year to year; but that the flow of labor still remains, as between country and country, so difficult and so tardy as to allow very great differences in real wages to remain, through long periods, but little affected by emigration or immigration.
—As between different avocations within the same country, the earlier economists, like Smith and Ricardo, assumed a substantial equality of real wages; and in this they were followed, though with more or less qualification, by John Stuart Mill. In his great work of 1874, Prof. Cairnes, writing with especial reference, we may suppose, to English conditions, proposed his theory of "non-competing groups." "What we find," he said, "is, in effect, not a whole population competing indiscriminately for all occupations, but a series of industrial layers, superimposed on one another, within each of which the various candidates for employment possess a real and effective power of selection, while those occupying the several strata are, for all purposes of effective competition, practically isolated from each other." Prof. Cairnes held the practical isolation of these industrial groups to be not less complete than the isolation which Mill had attributed to the several commercial countries of his day; and he proceeded to apply to such groups, mutatis mutandis, Mr. Mill's law of international values. Whether Prof. Cairnes' view of the structure of industrial society, within any given country, say, England, will be found in all respects just, or not, it is evident that it contains enough of truth to deserve the careful attention of the student of wages. It is doubtless in this direction that the largest contribution to economic science now possible might be made by a competent investigator.
—All the foregoing remarks relative to the rates of wages prevailing in different countries, and in different occupations within the same country, presuppose a practical equality in the powers and qualifications of laborers. In addition, however, to the difference in real wages produced by resistance to the flow of labor from country to country, or from one group of avocations to another group within the same country, are the effects upon the real remuneration of labor within particular avocations, produced by the differences in the powers, the faculties, and the aptitudes of individuals within the same country, and within the same great group of occupations. The rate of wages within any particular avocation will be determined exclusively by the operation of the principle of demand and supply.
—Now, in economics, the words demand and supply alike have reference, 1, to a certain article, and, 2, to a certain price. Demand means the quantity of a given article which would be taken at a given price. Supply means the quantity of that article which could be had at that price. Applying the term supply, in the sense indicated, to any given market for labor, we find that supply reaches its maximum in the number of persons who are capable of rendering the service which is required, and its minimum in the number who are both capable of rendering that service and are willing to do so at the price which the demand for the service causes to be offered. The maximum supply of labor so determined, may, in a given occupation, be so small as, given a large demand for the service to be rendered, to allow a very high rate of wages to be reached, and to be maintained and even increased from generation to generation. Thus, the demand for the services of opera singers of the highest class was, forty years ago, so great as to permit the wages of a prima donna to equal the income of a lord; yet, during the entire human generation that has intervened, this magnificent premium upon operatic art, although open freely even to the peasantry of every land, has not sufficed to reduce, in the slightest degree, the price of such services. On the contrary, that price has steadily risen, under the influence of enlarged demand, until $2,000 is paid for an evening's singing. In a similar way, the wages of the lawyer of the first class is almost wholly uninfluenced by the presence of large numbers of persons of the same profession who would be rejoiced to earn a tenth or a twentieth part of his income.
—Those who perform manual labor, again, seem, as one looks over the face of industrial society, to be organized into certain not very clearly defined "non-competing groups," to use Prof. Cairnes' phrase, within each of which the tendency to the equalizing of wages is in continual, if irregular, progress; but between any two of which, movement is so slow and difficult as to produce painfully small results, even from age to age. If we study the body of skilled artisans, in any country where caste does not exist, and the spirit of tradition is not very strong, we find that the interchange of the trades of carpenter, cabinet maker and carriage builder, for example, is freely made: that these trades, though less freely, interchange with those of blacksmith, mason and plumber, wherever strong reason exists for diminishing the supply of labor in one trade and increasing that supply in another. All the while, however, there is found below the class of skilled artisans a vastly greater class, consisting of factory operatives, of day laborers, etc., who are compelled not only to work for half the wages of the skilled artisan, but also, by what would seem, from almost unvarying recurrence, to be a moral necessity, to bring up their children, in the main, to take their own low places in the industrial order, however crowded and uncomfortable those places may be. Indeed, it may be said that the less desirable the place which the parent fills in life, the smaller his ability to provide for the advancement of his offspring.
—The services performed by the laborer of this last-indicated general class vary almost infinitely in form. So much, however, are the several recognized avocations within this group alike in the demands they make on the mental and physical powers, that a certain movement of labor exists, tardy and difficult, it is true, so tardy and difficult, indeed, as often to allow an individual who has been unfortunate in seeking employment, or has put himself at disadvantage by bad habits, to be cast down into the industrial grade which lies beneath; yet still the tendency to the equalization of wages here continues to operate appreciably, in spite of all obstructions.
—Below the class described as including the ordinary factory operative, the ordinary day laborer, and others receiving an approximately equal remuneration, is found a great body of the more or less helpless, the more or less unfortunate, the very ignorant, the men and women of vicious habits, the weak, the crippled, and the "broken men" of the higher industrial grade. These constitute the lowest stratum of the industrial order. Movement, here, in the nature of change, whether of place or of occupation, is very tardy. A member of this class may with great difficulty pass from one avocation to another within his grade; it is most unlikely that he will ever, by any exertion of his powers, or any effort of self-denial, rise out of the class in which he was born or into which he has fallen.
—We see, in the rude sketch here offered of modern industrial society, as existing, say, in England, how it is that the supply of labor within certain avocations, or groups of avocations, is restricted, so that, after making all needed allowances in reduction of nominal to real wages, the average remuneration of one class may be twice that of another, four times that of a third, though only a small fraction of that received by the members of a class still more fortunate; how it is that this may not only be at a given time, but that the causes which create these differences of condition may go on operating to produce inequality faster than competition can perform its leveling work; and that, thus, the range of wages, wide as it may be at any given time, shall steadily increase from year to year, and from generation to generation.
—It is the effect of education, and, in a lower degree, of political franchises, by promoting the communication of news, from man to man and from place to place, by promoting self-reliance and power of initiative on the part of individuals, and by promoting self-respect and social ambition throughout the community, to promote, also, the flow of labor under economic impulse. Such causes, so far as they produce such effects, are strictly economic causes, to be recognized by the economist, and incorporated in his theory of the distribution of wealth.
—The operation of the forces thus set in motion is clearly to be seen in such countries of the old world as Saxony, Switzerland and Scotland, rising to its maximum probably in the United States of America, where alike the inertia of the laborer and the external resistance to his migration in search of the best market for his services, are so far reduced as to become almost inconsiderable. Nine and a half millions of the native inhabitants of this country at the present time reside in states other than those in which they were born.157 Doubtless an even greater number of those who reside within the states of their birth, are found in alien counties. If we consider only the heads of families in the United States, I personally believe, although no adequate statistical data are available to corroborate this opinion, that not more than one-fourth are to be found within the towns or parishes in which they were born.
—Such a complete subjection of the laborer to economic impulse has, of course, no power to reduce those inequalities of wages which are due to differences in physical or mental strength, activity or persistence. It has no great power to reduce those inequalities which result from early mistakes and misadventures, or from vicious habits and courses, always most influential causes in arranging men upon the industrial scale; yet it has a certain unmistakable efficiency in this direction, through affording the opportunity to blot out a bad record and to begin a new career without prejudice. But over all those inequalities of wages which result from accidents of condition or circumstances, the force indicated has irresistible sway.
—And this, too, is to be taken into account, that in the degree, and in more than the degree, in which the laborer, by change, whether of place or of occupation, secures an increase of his own remuneration, does he also promote the general production of wealth. Whenever the laborer, by the exercise of courage and intelligence, breaks away from the spot or the kind of work in which he has found an inadequate remuneration, and seeks and finds a better market, he does not only that which is best for himself, but that which is best for others. He not only gets more by resorting to the new place or the new trade, but, in the very act of doing so, he gives more also. If in that market his service bears a higher price than elsewhere, this is, of itself, a proof that his service is there in greater demand, more needed, the subject of an intenser want. By all the difference which the change works in his own condition, and, doubtless, by even much more than that difference, is the general industrial system re-enforced and stimulated by that change.
—Hence we say, that freedom and facility of industrial movement as seen at their maximum in the United States, do not only reduce the range of remuneration, as between the classes naturally less favored and those more favored, but it also, by enhancing the productive power of the community, raises the remuneration of the whole body of laborers.
—II. GENERAL WAGES. The question, what portion of the product of industry passes, by the normal operation of economic laws, into the hands of that one of the co-operating agents of production whom we call, in economic discussion, the laborer, was, until fifteen years ago, deemed to have been conclusively and definitively answered by the accepted political economy of England and America. That answer made the capitalist employer to be the residual claimant upon the product of industry. Rent was first to be deducted, the amount to be determined according to the Ricardoan formula. Next, wages were to be deducted, the amount to be determined by the wage-fund formula. There were to remain profits, composed of interest upon capital and of the remuneration of business management. These constituted the share of the capitalist employer, who, after paying rent and wages, according to the formulæ indicated, retained all the rest of the product of industry as his own. In the article next preceding, we have traced the rise and fall of the wage-fund doctrine, and have stated the arguments which have led to its general abandonment by the economists of England and America, opening the way for a philosophy of wages. So long as that doctrine was accepted, wages remained purely a question in long division, and no philosophy of wages was possible. To what view of the distribution of the product of industry economic opinion will ultimately incline, can not be predicted with confidence. In 1871, Prof. Stanley Jevons, decisively rejecting the notion of a wage fund, advanced the proposition that "the wages of a laboring man are ultimately coincident with what he produces, after the deduction of rent, taxes, and the interest of capital." Upon this statement of the law of wages, Mr. Henry Sidgwick, in an article in the "Fortnightly Review" of 1879, remarked as follows: "It is to be observed that it does not attempt to settle the distribution of produce as between employers and employed, except so far as the employer's share consists of interest. That is, it does not help us to determine what Mill calls 'the wages of superintendence.' Now, it is just this latter that, in our practical discussions, usually appears the most prominent element of the problem. What English workmen grumble at, is not the rate of interest, but the undue extra profits which they suppose the employer to be making." Accepting as correct the judgment of Prof. Sidgwick, that the one undetermined point in the theory of the distribution of wealth is that which relates to the "wages of superintendence," the writer of the present article now proceeds to offer a view of profits, in their relation to the other shares of the product of industry, which, if it shall be accepted as based upon a just generalization of the facts of modern industrial society, will indubitably yield a complete and consistent theory of distribution, according to which the laborer, and not, as by the exploded wage-fund doctrine, the capitalist employer, is made the residual claimant upon the product of industry.
—The line of argument which appears to lead to this momentous conclusion is as follows: The successful conduct of business, under free and active competition, must be due either to exceptional abilities or to exceptional opportunities. Whether due more to one than to the other of these causes, could make no difference with what is to follow; just as it makes no difference in the matter of rent, whether the advantages, for productive purposes, of any piece of land under consideration be due to superior fertility or to proximity to market. As the economist, in writing of rent, is wont, for convenience of reasoning and simplicity of illustration, to attribute the productive advantages of land solely to superior fertility, assuming all tracts in question to be equally near the market, so, in the further progress of this paper, the more or less successful conduct of business will be attributed to the possession of higher or lower abilities, all employers being assumed, for convenience of reasoning and simplicity of illustration, to occupy industrial positions equally eligible. When we shall have passed over the field, it will then appear that all our conclusions, upon the foregoing hypothesis, would hold equally true upon the assumption that all differences in the degree of business success were due to differences of industrial opportunity, and not at all to differences of business ability.
—Since, however, it can not be a matter of indifference to the social philosopher whether the power to secure profits be due more to exceptional abilities or to exceptional opportunities, it may be worth while to pause one moment to point out that the former are much the more efficient cause of profits. To justify this assertion, it will be enough to refer to the notorious fact that the great majority of all business houses in the United States which have achieved marked success have been founded by men who owed little or nothing to opportunity, perhaps by those who had to contend at the outset against positive disadvantages or actual misfortunes; while, on the contrary, great houses, enjoying high prestige, wide connections and vast accumulated wealth, are frequently brought to the ground, under the successors of the original founder, for no other reason than that the management, which had been wise and brave and strong, became, in other hands, vacillating, purposeless and unintelligent, or perhaps no worse than merely commonplace and tied to routine. So overwhelming is the preponderance, in this country at least, of business houses owing much or everything to ability, and little or nothing to unearned opportunities or advantages, that no American158 is likely to dispute the proposition that the former are much the more efficient cause of profits.
—Attributing, then, for convenience, the successful conduct of business to ability alone, we have to note, that, were the number of men of a high order of business ability throughout any large community more than sufficient to do all the business of all kinds which there required to be done; were these men, however much surpassing other members of the industrial society, among themselves equal in all respects which concern the conduct of business; and were this class, thus constituted and endowed, so clearly and conspicuously marked that no one of their number should ever fail to be recognized as belonging to it, while, on the other hand, no one lacking business ability in this degree should esteem himself capable of conducting business or be so esteemed, with a view to his obtaining credit, by those who have capital to loan or goods to sell: were these several conditions to be all completely realized, we should then have a situation closely analogous to that which exists in the case of a community around which is found good land, of uniform quality, in amount more than adequate to raise all the produce required. The result would be, either that the employing class would, by forming a combination and scrupulously adhering to its terms and its spirit, create and maintain a monopoly price for their services in conducting the business requiring to be done, which is so improbable as to be altogether out of our contemplation, or else they would, by competing among themselves for the amount of business to be done by them individually, bring down the rate of profits to so low a point that the remuneration of each and every one of this class would be practically equal to what he could earn for himself in other avocations, either as an independent laborer, working in his own shop or on his own lot of land, or, as a wage laborer, hired by some one of his own intellectual class, no more qualified in any way than himself to conduct business. Under such conditions, profits, as distinguished from wages, would be destroyed. The persons actually remaining in the conduct of business would, indeed, earn their subsistence—otherwise the function could not be performed; but, economically speaking, it would make no difference to them whether they did this as employers or as employed.
—In fact, however, the qualifications for the conduct of business are not equal throughout all of a sufficiently numerous class.
—First, we have those rarely gifted persons who, in common phrase, seem to turn everything that they touch into gold; whose commercial dealings have the air of magic; who have such power of insight that they almost appear to have the power of foresight; who are so resolute and firm in temper that apprehensions and alarms or repeated shocks of disaster never cause them to relax their hold or change their course; who have such influence and command over men that all with whom they have to do acquire vigor from the contact, and work for them as they would not work for others.
—Next below, but far below, the class described, we have that much more numerous body of men of business, who possess a high order of talent, merely; whose success is easily comprehended, even if it can not be imitated, by their less gifted competitors; men of natural mastery, sagacious, resolute and prompt in their avocations.
—Then, descending further in the scale, we have men who on the whole do well or pretty well in business; men who enjoy a harmonious union of all the qualities required for the conduct of affairs, though possessing those qualities each in but a moderate degree; or else in whom some defect, mental or moral, impairs a higher order of abilities; men who are never masters of their fortunes, are never beyond the imminence of failure, and yet, by care and pains and diligence, win no small profits from their business, and, if frugality be added to their other virtues, accumulate in time large estates.
—Lower down in the industrial order are a multitude of men who are found in the control of business enterprises, for no very good reason that can be seen by those who know them; men of checkered fortunes, sometimes doing well, but more often ill; some of them, perhaps, filling a place which would not otherwise be filled, but more commonly in business because they have forced themselves into it under a mistaken idea of their own abilities, perhaps encouraged by the partiality of friends who have been willing to place in their hands the agencies of production, or entrust them with commercial or banking capital.
—Now, in my view of the question of profits, we find, in the lower stratum of the industrial order, as thus sketched, a "no profits" class of employers. Notwithstanding all the magnificent premiums of business success, the men of real business power are not so many but that a great part of the posts of industry and trade are filled by persons inadequately qualified, who consequently have a very doubtful career, and realize for themselves, first and last, a very meagre compensation, so meagre that, for purposes of scientific reasoning, we may treat it as constituting no profits at all. Live they do, partly by legitimate toll upon the business that passes through their hands; partly at the cost of their creditors, with whom they make frequent compositions; partly at the expense of friends or by the sacrifice of inherited means. This bare subsistence, obtained through so much of hard work, of anxiety, and often of humiliation, we regard as that minimum which, in economics, we can treat as nil. From this low point upward we measure profits, just as we measure rent upward from the line of the no-rent lands, or lands whose selling price represents an annual interest of only a few cents an acre.
—If the view of the employing class here presented fairly corresponds to the facts of industrial society, profits, manufacturing profits, for example, are, granted only perfect competition, not obtained by deduction from the wages of mechanical labor, any more than rent is obtained by deduction from the wages of agricultural labor; and, secondly, manufacturing profits do not constitute a part of the price of manufactured goods, any more than rent constitutes a part of the price of agricultural produce. All profits are drawn from a body of wealth which is created by the exceptional ability of the employers who receive profits, measured upward from the line of the no-profits employers, just as rents are drawn from a body of wealth created by the exceptional fertility of the rent lands, measured from the level of the lands which bear no rent. The normal price of manufactured goods, of any particular description, is determined by the cost of production of that portion of the supply which is produced at the greatest disadvantage. If the demand for such goods is so great as to require a certain amount to be produced under the management and control of persons whose efficiency in organizing and supervising the forces of labor and capital is small, the cost of production of that portion of the stock will be large, and the price will be correspondingly high; yet it will not be high enough to yield to employers of this grade any more than that scant and difficult subsistence which we have taken as the no-profits line.
—The price at which these goods are to be sold, however, will determine the price of the whole supply, since, in any market, at any given time, there can be but one price for different equal portions of the same commodity. Hence, whatever the cost of production of those portions of the supply which are produced by employers of higher industrial grades, they will command the same price as those portions which are produced at the greatest disadvantage, just as wheat produced on rich lands at a cost of three shillings a bushel is sold for the same price with wheat produced on comparatively sterile lands, at a cost of six shillings a bushel.
—Profits, therefore, do not enter into the price of any commodity; for the price of each and every commodity is fixed by the cost of production of that portion of the supply which yields no profits.
—Do profits come out of wages? Not at all. The employer of the lowest industrial grade, the no-profits employer, must pay wages sufficient to hire laborers to work under his direction. The employer of a higher industrial grade will pay the same wages, no less, no more; but, selling his goods, so far as they are of equal quality, at the same prices as the employer who makes no profits, he will yet be able, by careful study of the sources whence his materials are drawn; by a comprehension of the ever-varying demands of the market; by steadiness and self-control; by organizing force and administrative ability; by energy, economy and prudence, to accumulate a clear surplus, after all obligations are discharged, which surplus is called profits, just as the cultivator of the better soils has a surplus left in his hands, after paying wages for labor and interest for capital, which surplus, in this case called rent, goes to the owner of the soil, as such, be he the actual cultivator or another person.
—It will have been observed, that, throughout this discussion, I closely assimilate profits with rent. I believe this to be a sound and just view of the origin of profits and of their relation to the other shares of the product of industry. If this view shall be approved as correct, the demand of Prof. Sidgwick will be met, and we shall have, for the first time since the destruction of the wage-fund doctrine, a complete and consistent theory of the distribution of wealth. By this theory the residual claimant upon the product is not, as under the old economic doctrine, the capitalist employer, but the laborer. Subject to three several deductions of a definite nature, the wages class will, upon the assumption here made of perfect competition, supplying all the conditions of a really good market, receive all they have helped to produce.
—First. Rent is to be deducted. On the lowest grade of soils there is no rent. On the more productive soils, rent, at its economic maximum, equals the excess of produce after the cost of cultivating the no-rent soils has been deducted; this rent, as has been said, does not affect the price of agricultural produce, nor does it come out of the remuneration of the agricultural laborer. We thus see that the first deduction to be made from the product of industry is of a perfectly definite nature. Rent must come out before the question of wages is considered. The laborer, as such, can not get this, or any part of it, by any economic means. It must go to the owner of the lands unless confiscated by the state, or ravished away by violence.
—Second. From the product of industry must be deducted a remuneration for the use of capital. That remuneration must be high enough to induce those who have produced wealth to save it and store it up, instead of consuming it immediately for the gratification of personal appetites or tastes. This may imply, in one state of society, an annual rate of interest of eight per cent.; in another, of five; in another, of three. The only reason, industrially speaking, for interest being paid at all, is, that by the use of capital production may be enhanced; and the interest so paid is, theoretically, only a part, often, such is the force of competition among would-be lenders, a very small part of the excess of product so generated. Since the product remaining after the payment of interest is always, in theory, equal to what would have been the product had interest not been paid (that is, had the capital for the use of which interest is paid, not been employed), and since, in fact, the product so remaining is always greater in general, vastly greater—at times inconceivably greater—than the product otherwise would have been, we see that that party to distribution whose claims are residual, that is, which takes all which no other claimant carries away, is benefited by every payment of interest on account of capital used in the production of wealth. Indeed, as high interest, under free competition, shows that the contribution made to production through each successive increment of capital is very large, it may fairly be said that the residual claimant upon the product of industry derives a greater relative benefit through the employment of capital where a high rate rather than a low rate of interest is paid.
—The third and last deduction to be made from the product of industry, before the laborer becomes entitled thereto, is what we have called profits, the remuneration of the employer, the entrepreneur, the man of business, the captain of industry, the merchant, manufacturer or banker, who sets in motion the costly and complicated machinery of modern production.
—If I have rightly apprehended the nature of the employer's function and the source of his profits, those profits would, under free and full competition, not form a part of the price of commodities (price being determined by the cost of production under the most disadvantageous conditions, i.e., in this instance, production by the no-profits employers); while no economic means whatsoever would suffice to carry any portion of profits over to wages, even were employers forbidden by law to receive them, just as no economic means can be devised by which rent could be made to enhance wages, even though landlords were forbidden themselves to touch it. In other words, profits consist wholly of wealth created by individual employers, over and above the wealth which would have been produced, in similar industrial enterprises, by the same labor force and capital force, under the control and direction of employers of lower economic efficiency.
—These three shares being cut off, the whole remaining body of wealth daily or annually produced is, according to the economic theory presented, the property of the laboring class: their wages or the remuneration for their services. So far as by their energy in work, their economy in the use of materials, or their care in dealing with the finished product, the value of that product is increased, that increase goes to them by purely economic laws, provided, only, competition be full and free. Every invention in mechanics, every discovery in the chemical art, no matter by whom made, inures directly and immediately to their benefit, except so far as a limited monopoly may be created by law for the encouragement of invention and discovery. Every improvement in their own efficiency as laborers, whether due to quickened zeal, to heightened intelligence or to greater industry, sobriety or thrift, will, by this rule, serve directly to advance their wages. Unless by their own neglect of their own interests, or through inequitable laws, or social customs having the force of law, no other party can enter to make any claim upon the product of industry; nor can any one of the three parties already indicated carry away anything in excess of its normal share, as hereinbefore defined.
—It will appear, at a glance, how widely the result here attained differs from that which was reached under the old economic theory of the distribution of wealth, according to which from the entire product of the exertions and sacrifices of the industrial community is cut off, first, rent, as determined by the Ricardoan formula; secondly, wages, the laborer's share, as determined by the wage-fund formula, the amount possibly to be paid in this way being irrespective of the number and of the industrial quality of the laboring class. All that remains belongs to the capitalist employer. By such a rule of distribution, no gain in the efficiency of the individual laborer, whether taking the direction of greater energy or of greater economy; no mechanical invention, no chemical discovery, however much the capability of production may be increased thereby, can profit the laborer anything, except as it first enhances the profits of the employing class, and thereby adds to the capital of the wage fund, to be thereafter expended in purchasing labor—In opposition to this view, I hold, that, notwithstanding the formal attitude of the laboring class in industry, as hired by the employing class and working for stipulated wages, the normal operation of the laws of exchange is to make the former, in effect, the owner of the whole product, subject to the requirement of paying the definite sums charged against the product on the three several accounts of rent, interest and profits.
FRANCIS A. WALKER.
"WALTHAM SYSTEM," a term much used in connection with the manufacture of cotton and woolen goods during the period from 1814 to 1830. Prior to the war of 1812, the processes of carding, spinning, weaving and fulling, were carried on in separate establishments under different proprietors. But in 1813, in consequence of the inventions of Francis Cabot Lowell, the Boston manufacturing company was enabled to combine all these processes in their establishment at Waltham. Boarding houses for their operatives, and the periodical payment of wages in money, in lieu of payment in provisions and clothing from the factory store, were also introduced. This system was soon afterward introduced at Lowell, and soon became general. The advantages of the Waltham system, alike to manufacturers and workmen, are too obvious to require explanation.
WANTS. Man alone, of all animate beings, possesses the faculty of constantly adding to his wants, and to the means of providing for them. This double faculty, in course of time, very materially modifies human life, and the life of most organic beings; it completely changes the primitive distribution of the different genera of animals and vegetables, as well as their respective proportions. It is that faculty which, in the words of Buffon, "ends by impressing our ideas upon the face of the earth"; the faculty which has given our intellect the exercise that has so prodigiously developed its power, and without which the human mind would have remained but little above that of the different species of apes. To this faculty we must also attribute the multiplication of our race upon the earth, whose spontaneous productions would not furnish sufficient sustenance for a millionth part of those who now dwell upon it.
—The faculty of increasing our wants should always be joined to that of increasing the means of satisfying them, for these two faculties are inseparable, they stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect, and the latter could never act but under the spur of the former; so that we can not logically deplore, with certain schools of pretended philosophers, the continual extension which is given to human wants by the onward march of humanity, without at the same time censuring the increase of the means of subsistence, and of the goods of all kinds which the second faculty, that is, industry, has procured for us.
—Of all the publicists who have maintained the doctrine of the limitation of wants, J. J. Rousseau is the most radical, and the only consistent one; for he is the only one who, looking upon the faculty of extending our wants as a direful gift, has entirely repudiated, at least in theory, all the goods whose production is due to that faculty. According to him, mankind entered upon the path of degradation, from the very day that they thought of substituting a cabin for a cave in the rocks and the foliage of trees, or determined to add the bow and arrow to their teeth or their nails. (Discours sur l'origine de l'inégalité.) If Rousseau had reflected, that, in order to reduce the human race to this manner of living, it would be necessary to sacrifice it almost entirely, he would probably have acknowledged that the advantage of thus elevating a few rare individuals to the condition of the orang-outang, would not be worth such a sacrifice.
—The theorizers of to-day do not push the doctrine of the limitation of wants as far as Rousseau did; and, although they hold the same principle, they assign different motives for it. They consider the generalization of the desire for well-being the principal source of our ills, because it is calculated to develop cupidity, envy and other maleficent motives; and they would counteract it by inculcating austere religious tenets, a contempt for the pleasures of this world, and resignation to present suffering, in anticipation of happiness in a future life. They think of perfecting man's life on earth by contemning and despising it. They assure us that the general observance of their doctrines or precepts is the best means to secure the tranquillity and happiness of nations, and of strengthening social order.
—Unfortunately these modern defenders of what Bentham calls the principle of asceticism, do not preach by example. Fully provided themselves with all that can satisfy most completely awakened wants, it ill becomes them to censure in the impoverished classes the aspiration to a position more or less nearly resembling their own, unless they first themselves renounce the advantages of their position. This, however, they do not do; they very willingly make use of the goods which they pretend to despise; we generally find them very anxious to escape privation, and none of them has yet been able to persuade himself to live in a Diogenes tub. This contradiction between their theory and their practice gives ground for the belief that their faith in the truth and efficacy of their doctrine is not very lively or sincere, and this is probably one of the causes of the fruitlessness of their preaching.
—But even if they were to join example to precept, as did some of their predecessors in past ages, they would succeed no better than did these in inducing mankind to live a life contrary to their instincts. We can not change the nature of things by ignoring it; it remains what it is despite all our opinions and all our errors. The soul of man, such as God made it, and as it manifests itself during the entire time of its union with the body—from the cradle to the grave—is an inexhaustible source of desires (Frederick Bastiat, Harmonies Économiques); and a desire is nothing but a seeking for some satisfaction, or a shrinking from some pain, that is to say, a tendency to well-being.
—This tendency, therefore, is essential to the soul; it is as intimately connected with, and inherent in, our nature, as the mysterious force which attracts them to the centre of the earth is to heavy bodies. All that the will of man can do is to direct this tendency toward some gratifications rather than toward others; but we obey them in all our resolves, even when we constrain present wants in order to enjoy a future gratification, or impose a hardship upon ourselves to escape still greater ones, or resist the temptation to a physical gratification with a view to intellectual or moral pleasure, or even when we practice the greatest possible renunciation, and deny ourselves all of this world's goods with the hope of thus obtaining a happy existence in a better world.
—Among the infinite variety of directions that may be given to our wants, some are more and some less favorable, some are more and some less opposed to the perfecting or improvement of human life. Thus, for instance, nations whose desires are too exclusively directed toward sensual gratifications, soon degenerate, because it is the nature of such gratifications to weaken the vigor and manhood of those who give themselves over to them without restraint, to degrade their affective faculties, to render them at the same time less fitted for intellectual operations, and thus to weaken the principal element of our power. But too absolute a repression of the instincts which urge us to sensual gratifications would be attended with no less pernicious results. Whether this repression be inspired by religious belief, or prompted by the idea—an idea which bears the impress rather of laziness than of philosophy—that it is better for man to stifle his wants than to have to produce the means of satisfying them, the inevitable effect will be to degrade his most precious faculties by allowing them to remain inactive. For it is to their activity alone that we must attribute the immense development which they have acquired, a development which may be estimated by comparing the most civilized portions of the population of Europe with the tribes that have remained almost in their primitive state of barbarism.
—The science of morals point-out to us the reefs upon which our blind tendencies would wreck us; its duty is to show us as clearly as possible the good or evil courses which wants may take, by discovering and indicating to us all the consequences of our inclinations, whether proximate or remote. Of the many courses which these inclinations may take, there is one which will surely lead to our ruin, and others which lead as surely to the progressive improvement of humanity in every respect. It is the part of morals to tell us whither these different courses lead, in order that, while obeying the irresistible impulse of our nature to seek after well-being, we may be less exposed to losing our way.
—In the present state of science this mission of morals is scarcely even outlined, and the only real progress which we have made in this respect for over a century, is due to political economy.
—But, although political economy has thrown a great deal of light upon the consequences of some of the tendencies and habits of mankind taken collectively, its object is not so much to influence us in the direction of our wants as to enlighten us on the general means of insuring their satisfaction. It is for this reason that it takes these wants as they are, and recognizes utility in everything which they cause us to seek, without stopping to examine whether they are rational or not. Those who find fault with it for proceeding in this manner, do not realize that it could not act otherwise without extending its field of investigation beyond measure; that it could not furnish suitable rules to guide us in the choice of our satisfactions, and in the development of our inclinations and tastes, without creating out of whole cloth a science which does not exist. The principles of political economy are in every way independent of the direction our wants take, and they will be none the less true and useful when the progress of morality shall have made the general wants of man better understood, and more strictly conformable to well-being and the perfection of life than they are at present. The natural laws of production, distribution and consumption of the objects of our wants remain the same, no matter what the nature of the satisfactions which these objects procure, and independently of the favorable or injurious results which the habit of these gratifications may have upon individuals and nations. It is with the principles of political economy as with those of mechanics: they remain the same whether applied to the creation of an implement of warfare—an instrument of death and destruction—or suggesting rules for the better employment of the forces employed in the production of means of subsistence. Thus, for instance, the principles of political economy are as well adapted to point out to the savages of North America the general means of obtaining abundantly the alcoholic wants which degrade and kill them, as they are to enlighten civilized nations upon the social conditions most favorable to the increase and diffusion of all that can contribute to the improvement of physical life and of the intellect.
—It is nevertheless true that the progress of morality, without changing anything in the principles of political economy, must aid in rendering the application of those principles more profitable; and the realization of this truth has led most economists to some extent into the domain of morals, while they were seeking to measure the relative extent and merit of different classes of wants, while they were combating the errors and prejudices which favor luxurious and purely frivolous expenses, and condemning those which tend to enervate and degrade nations.
—The wants of nations are never a fixed quantity, they are constantly varying and generally progressive; but they are endowed with such elasticity, even in what concerns food, that experience has frequently shown that great variations may occur in their yearly alimentary production without exercising any proportionate influence upon the number of the population, that the population may increase without an equivalent increase in the quantity of products, and that an increase of general production may coincide with the stationary state of the population. In this latter case the wants of each are more fully satisfied; in the former cases they are necessarily restricted, and there is, consequently, more suffering.
WAR. (See DECLARATION OF WAR, BELLIGERENTS, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS.)
WAR, The Civil
WAR, The Civil. (See REBELLION, THE, in U. S. History.)
WAR DEPARTMENT. One of the executive departments of the United States government, established by act of Aug. 7, 1789. (1 Stat. at Large, p. 49.) The head of this department, officially designated the secretary of war, has charge of all matters respecting military affairs, under the direction of the president; has custody of all records, etc., relating to the army, the superintendence of all purchases of military supplies, the direction of army transportation, the distribution of stores, etc., the signal service and meteorological records, the disbursement of all appropriations for rivers and harbors and their survey and improvement, and the superintendence and supply of arms and munitions of war. The secretary of war is a member of the cabinet (salary, $8,000). He is required to make an annual report to congress, with statement of all appropriations and their expenditure, contracts for supplies or services, reports of surveys, and of improvements of rivers and harbors, returns of the militia in the various states, etc.
—The extensive business of the war department is distributed among ten military bureaus, each under a chief who is an officer of the regular army, and receives a salary of $5,000 while at the head of a bureau. The chief clerk of the department (salary, $2,750) has charge of the correspondence and accounts, communicates between the secretary and department officers, and has general superintendence of 90 to 100 clerks and other employés attached to the secretary's office. The adjutant general of the United States army is at the head of a bureau of 575 clerks, etc. He issues the orders of the president and the general commanding the army, conducts the army correspondence, the recruiting and enlistment service, issues commissions, receives reports and resignations, is custodian of the voluminous army records of the United States, keeps the muster rolls, and makes an annual report of the strength and discipline of the army. The inspector general, with assistance, inspects and reports the condition of the army at all military posts, as well as the accounts of its disbursing officers. The quartermaster general (132 clerks, etc.) has charge of army transportation, clothing, quarters, equipage, forage, wagons, horses and mules, fuel and lights, stationery, hospitals, medicines, etc. He employs and pays guides, spies, etc., defrays funeral expenses, and has charge of the national cemeteries. The commissary general (38 clerks, etc.) is charged with the subsistence department, army rations, and purchase and distribution of the same. The surgeon general (463 clerks, etc.) has control of the medical department, the selection, purchase and distribution of medicines, records of all wounded, disabled and deceased soldiers, the supervision of army surgeons and of the army medical museum at Washington. The latter contains an extensive exhibit of specimens, representing the effects upon the human body of wounds, morbid conditions, etc., with the complete hospital records of the army, and a very extensive library of nearly 60,000 volumes. The paymaster general (60 clerks, etc.) keeps the accounts and disburses the pay of the army, through a large body of paymasters. The chief of engineers (17 clerks, etc.) is commander of the corps of engineers, charged with fortifications, torpedo service, military bridges, river and harbor improvements, military and geographical surveys, etc. The chief of ordnance (36 clerks, etc.) is charged with artillery and all munitions of war, prescribing models and modifications of weapons, and their construction, preservation and distribution to the regular army and to the militia of the states. The chief signal officer superintends the signal service, and the weather bureau, with a corps of instruction in signal duties, prepares and issues maps and charts, and publishes daily meteorological reports from the numerous stations of observation, which are afterward consolidated in permanent form. The judge advocate general receives and reviews proceedings of courts-martial and other military tribunals of the army, and furnishes opinions and reports on questions of law, etc., to the secretary of war.
—The war department is conducted at an annual expense for salaries of $1,936,855 (in 1884), and contingent expenses (including printing) of $340,000. The following is a complete list of the secretaries of war, with their terms of office:
A. R. SPOFFORD.
WARS (IN U. S. HISTORY). I. FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR. This was the first national war of the United States, although no such nation as the United States had as yet a formal existence. Previous wars had been waged by but one colony or a few adjacent colonies in combination. They had been the inevitable Indian wars, such as the Pequot war in 1637, or King Philip's war in 1675, waged by Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the Tuscarora war, in 1711, waged by North and South Carolina; or conflicts with the neighboring French and Spaniards, into which the colonies had been dragged by their connection with the mother country. Such were King William's war, in 1689-97, in which Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York united to attack Canada by land and sea; Queen Anne's war, in 1702-13, in which the fighting was done separately by South Carolina in the south, and by New England, New York and New Jersey in the north; the Spanish war, in 1639-42, in which the brunt was borne by Oglethorpe and his new colony of Georgia; and King George's war, in 1744-8, in which all the northern colonies took part. In the course of these conflicts, an increasing community of interests had brought an increasing number of the colonies to act together; but none of them had been general, and still less could any of them be called quasi-national. The French and Indian war was essentially different from all its predecessors. It was not provoked by European diplomacy, but continued for two years in America before war was declared in Europe. It was not brought on by European interests, but was accepted by the colonies in defense of their own interests. It was waged by all the colonies in common, from New Hampshire to Georgia. In waging it, the first plain distinction appeared between Americans, or "provincials," and Englishmen. (See NATION.) And, as a part of it, the first effort was made to secure a formal union of the colonies. (See ALBANY PLAN OF UNION.)
—In 1748 the Ohio land company was formed, as a Virginia and London speculation. Several of the Washington family were engaged in it, and its object was to develop Virginia's western resources. The peculiar claims of Virginia, from the asserted northwest direction of her northern boundary line, made it doubtful whether the country around what is now Pittsburgh was in Virginia or in Pennsylvania. (See VIRGINIA; TERRITORIES, I.) The Ohio company obtained from the crown a grant of 500,000 acres in this neighborhood, and began preparations to make roads to it through the still unsettled country. The French colonial empire in America then consisted of two settled territories, in Canada and at New Orleans, the two having about one-tenth the population of the English colonies, joined by a line of some sixty forts between New Orleans and Montreal. Many of these forts, such as Detroit and Natchez, have since become the sites of flourishing cities. The country through which the line ran was an Indian territory, with a few French hunters and traders in addition to the garrisons. But the French asserted territorial claims up to the crest of the Alleghanies; and they naturally took alarm as the first feeble wave of English settlement appeared over the mountains. In 1749 they sent an expedition through the present states of Ohio and Kentucky, to bury leaden plates at important points, with the arms of France graven on them, to assert possession of the country, and to warn English traders out of it. In 1752 the rivals came closer together: the Ohio company built Redstone old fort (now Brownsville), on the Monongahela; and in 1753 the French built forts at Presque Isle, now Erie, and on the Alleghany to the south of it. Late in the same year, George Washington, then a young land surveyor, was sent to Presque Isle by Gov. Dinwiddie, of Virginia, to warn off the intruders. They declined to go, and made active preparations to extend their acquisitions.
—The key of the country was the point at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela, now known as Pittsburgh. All parties understood its importance. Late in 1753 Dinwiddie bought from the Indians the right to build a fort there, and sent men to do the work. Early in 1754 came the conflict: the French descended from Presque Isle, drove away the English, and finished the fort themselves, calling it Fort Du Quesne; and the French and Indian war had begun. The battles, such as the defeat of Braddock in 1755, and Johnson's defeat of Dieskau, near Lake George, in the same year, were at first not very creditable to the English and provincials. Their discordant and inefficient efforts were easily foiled by the inferior forces of the abler French leaders. In 1757 Pitt became the head of the English ministry, and order, vigor, sense and success came with him into the English councils. Fort Du Quesne fell the next year, and Quebec in 1759. During the following year the various French forts were taken into possession, and the French empire in America was lost forever. In 1763, by the peace of Paris, Great Britain was formally vested with the jurisdiction of the whole of North America east of the Mississippi, the Floridas being ceded by Spain, the ally of France in the war, in exchange for Havana, which an English expedition had captured two years before. Of her former possessions in North America, France ceded the portion east of the Mississippi to her victorious enemy, Great Britain, and the portion west of that river to her partner in misfortune, Spain.
—The persistence of Great Britain in retaining her conquests from France in North America, and thus relieving her other colonies from the constant danger impending from Canada, was at first sight a great mistake. The French minister for foreign affairs warned the British envoy at the time that the cession of Canada would only clear the way for the independence of the original British colonies; and from 1763 until 1775 French statesmen patiently watched the fulfillment of the prophecy, and were encouraged by the unanimous reports of French agents in North America. It even became the fashion in Great Britain, after the opening of the revolution, to attribute the boldness of the colonists entirely to the cession of Canada. But, after all, the change of jurisdiction in 1763 can not thus be made the universal scape-goat: it but substituted Great Britain for France as an enemy. Burgoyne's expedition would not have been any more dangerous to the colonies under a French than under a British standard. The truth seems rather to be that the cession of Canada would have postponed the day of conflict with the mother country for half a century, if the stupidity of British statesmen had not brought it to a head in 1775. France, Great Britain and all Europe combined could not finally have balked of its prey the Anglo Saxon lust for land; but the cession of Canada to the mother country satiated it peaceably for the time, just as Napoleon's cession of Louisiana in 1803 (see ANNEXATIONS, I.) satiated it again for the time. From this point of view the action of Great Britain in retaining the western territory would seem to have been as blindly wise as her subsequent attempt to "govern" the colonies was blindly foolish.
—II. See REVOLUTION.
—III. See ALGERINE WAR.
—IV. WAR OF 1812. The causes of the "second war for independence," as the war of 1812 is sometimes called, are elsewhere given. (See EMBARGO; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, III.) The internal political difficulties which accompanied it, and the great development of national feeling which followed it, have also been given a separate place. (See CONVENTION, HARTFORD; NATION, II.) It is designed here only to give, in some necessary detail, the course of action which closed it by the treaty of Ghent.
—March 8, 1813, the Russian minister at Washington, Daschkoff, offered to the American government, by direction of the czar, his friendly mediation in the war. Madison accepted it, and nominated, May 29, Bayard, of Delaware (see that state), Gallatin, and John Quincy Adams, then minister to Russia, as negotiators. July 19, the senate confirmed them, except Gallatin, who was secretary of the treasury: the affairs of the treasury were in so critical a condition that the senate refused to sanction his absence from the country. Nov. 4, 1813, while the three American negotiators were in St. Petersburgh, one of them unconfirmed, Castlereagh wrote to the secretary of state, declining the Russian mediation, but offering to treat directly, and suggesting London as the place. It is supposed that Great Britain, not caring to offend Russia or to allow that country's friendship for the United States to influence the final treaty, wished to transfer the negotiations from St. Petersburgh. In January, 1814, Henry Clay and Jonathan Russell were nominated and confirmed as additional negotiators; and Gallatin, who had by this time resigned the treasury, was confirmed.
—In August, 1814, the place of negotiation was transferred to Ghent; and here the five commissioners met Lord Gambier, Henry Goulburn, and William Adams, on the part of Great Britain. The time was hardly propitious for peace negotiations. On the 30th of the previous March the allies had entered Paris in triumph; in April Napoleon had departed for Elba; and the British government was free to settle accounts with the upstart people whose ships had won more flags from her navy in two years than all her European rivals had done in a century. And so, while negotiations were going on, detachments of Wellington's victorious veterans were being shipped to America, there to seize New Orleans and Louisiana, and make possession of them at least nine points of the final treaty of peace.
—Behind the British negotiators were the clamorous demands of the British war party and war newspapers, demands rising, in some cases, to the banishment of President Madison to some convenient Elba. "Better is it," said the "London Times," "that we should grapple with the young lion when he is first fleshed with the taste of our flocks, than wait until, in the maturity of his strength, he bears away at once both sheep and shepherd." Nevertheless, the first demands of the British negotiators must have seemed to them quite moderate. They were: 1, the creation of a permanent and independent Indian territory, between Canada and the United States; 2, that the northern boundary of the United States should run along the southern shore of the great lakes; 3, that the United States should have no forts on the northern frontier, and no war vessels on the lakes, while Great Britain should not be so restricted; 4, that enough of the eastern part of Maine should be ceded to enable the British to build a military road from Halifax to Quebec; and, 5, that the right to use the Mississippi, guaranteed by the treaty of 1783, should be renewed to British subjects, while the American right to the Newfoundland fisheries, guaranteed by the same treaty, should be considered lost by the war. In June, as a last concession, the American government had allowed its negotiators to waive the questions of right of search and impressment, on which the war had been begun; but no instructions could cover such demands as these. They aroused the war spirit in America, when they were announced there, to a higher pitch than ever; and the American negotiators themselves lost their tempers.
—After four months of wrangling, a treaty was made in which not a point of the British demands was granted. This result can not be attributed to any friendly feeling between the two sets of negotiators, for they quarreled unremittingly from the beginning to the end of the negotiation; nor to any accord among the American negotiators, for they quarreled with one another almost as constantly. Clay wished to give up the fisheries and save the Mississippi; Adams wished to give up the Mississippi and save the fisheries: and Gallatin alone was busied in keeping the peace among his colleagues and with the British negotiators. The best explanation seems to be that the treaty was due mainly to the high tone taken by Russia and Prussia, at the congress of Vienna, in defense of neutral rights, and the desire of Great Britain to eliminate the United States from possible complications. Nevertheless, it remains very singular that the British negotiators should have signed a treaty without any mention of Louisiana, while the British expedition for its conquest was still in position before New Orleans, with high hopes of success. The treaty even provided that "all territory whatsoever taken by either party from the other during the war, or which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, * * * shall be restored without delay"; so that the lives of Packenham and his dead were absolutely thrown away, and their victory would have gained no more than their defeat. It is not easy to avoid the feeling that the inside history of the treaty of Ghent is yet to be written.
—The treaty, dated Dec. 24, 1814, at Ghent, and ratified by the senate Feb. 17, 1815, was in eleven articles. The first three provided for peace and the restoration of prisoners; the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, for the northern boundary (see MAINE; NORTHWEST BOUNDARY); the ninth, for the cessation of Indian hostilities; the tenth, for the suppression of the slave trade; and the eleventh, for the exchange of ratifications. It will be seen that the treaty did not touch one of the points on which the United States had declared war. These had been more practically settled: one frigate battle at sea was worth more to that purpose than a host of treaties.
—V. THE MEXICAN WAR. The settlement of Texas by Americans, its secession from Mexico, its annexation to the United States, and its admission to the Union as a state, have been given elsewhere. (See ANNEXATIONS, III.) Before the annexation Gen. Zachary Taylor was stationed in Louisiana, then the southwest frontier of the United States. May 28, 1845, he was ordered to cross the Sabine and take post in Texas, so as to protect it from invasion by Mexico. The apprehended invasion by Mexico did not take place; and, though diplomatic intercourse between Mexico and the United States was interrupted, war did not follow. Corpus Christi, on the western bank of the Nueces, was then the advanced Texas town; and here Taylor made his headquarters for the rest of the year. The territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, a desert in the east but fertile in the west, had been claimed by Texas, but never reduced to possession. During the summer several dispatches were sent to Taylor, authorizing him to advance to the Rio Grande if he saw fit, because of hostile preparations by Mexico, and ordering him, in that case, not to wait for orders from Washington. But Taylor, Oct. 4, in a long dispatch declared that he "did not feel at liberty, under his instructions, particularly those of July 8, to make a forward movement to the Rio Grande without authority from the war department." There the matter rested until the following January.
—In the meantime, Nov. 9, President Polk appointed John Slidell (see LOUISIANA) as ambassador to Mexico, in pursuance of an intimation from Mexico that she would receive a commissioner to settle the Texas dispute. In December the Mexican government declined to receive Slidell in the character of an ambassador, since such a resumption of diplomatic intercourse would imply an abandonment by Mexico of the points in dispute, which had led to the rupture; but the offer to receive him as a commissioner was renewed. This was refused by Slidell. Soon afterward a revolution in Mexico placed a new government in power.
—Before any of these events could be known at Washington, but, as Mr. Buchanan, the secretary of state, admitted, "in anticipation" of them, an order, dated Jan. 13, 1846, was sent to Taylor to advance to the Rio Grande. Taylor arrived at the river March 28, established his camp opposite Matamoras, and was notified by Arista, the Mexican general, after a series of angry communications, that he considered war as already begun. April 26, a party of American dragoons was captured, with some bloodshed, by a superior force of Mexicans. As soon as Taylor's dispatch announcing this event reached Washington, the president sent a message to congress, in which he declared that Mexico had "at last invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil." Two days afterward, congress passed an act authorizing the president to call out 50,000 volunteers; but the gist of the act was in its short and simple preamble: "Whereas, by the act of the republic of Mexico, a state of war exists between that government and the United States." The whigs protested against the preamble, as a falsehood, but it was passed in the house by a vote of 123 to 67, and the whole bill by 174 to 14. In the senate the whole bill was passed by a vote of 40 to 2; five whigs protested against the preamble, and three refused to vote. War had thus begun; and, though the whigs had not been manœuvred quite into an attitude of opposition to it, they were for some time thrown into confusion by their efforts to evade the issue so unkindly thrust upon them. (See WHIG PARTY.)
—The essential facts and dates of the proceedings preliminary to war have been given above. Taken as they stand, they might be considered as a case of blundering into the lucky acquisition of California and New Mexico, for President Polk has not usually been regarded as a very able man. But von Holst, as cited below, has focused upon Polk a great mass of evidence going to convict him of almost Satanic ingenuity in luring Mexico into war. It must be remembered that the Oregon dispute with Great Britain (see NORTHWEST BOUNDARY) was coincident with the series of events above given. It is certain that Mexico was not willing to fight about Texas; and it seems probable, that, in the beginning, she was no more willing to tight single-handed for even the disputed territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. The allegation, then, is that the long delay to order Taylor forward was diligently used in working the dispute with Great Britain apparently to a war point; that Taylor was then ordered forward; that Mexico, relying on Great Britain as an ally, incautiously accepted the gage of war; and that then every point in dispute was given up to Great Britain, peace was settled with that power, and California and New Mexico, the real objects of the war, were squeezed out of the grasp of Mexico. It has been said above that the array of circumstantial evidence is strong: and it is impossible to repress a certain feeling of admiration for the repulsive skill with which the diplomatic combinations were made, if they were really the result of design. The times and seasons were chosen with such consummate adroitness, the advantages gained by them were pressed with such resolute persistence, and the whole scheme was worked out to the end with such a complete repudiation of moral objections to it, that Machiavelli might have been proud to own it as his master-piece. Nevertheless, the conviction remains that Polk had not the ability requisite for the conception of such a plan, and that he was the creature of circumstances rather than their creator. The train of events may fairly have the two interpretations; and, while the first would have been the more natural in the case of Cardinal Richelieu, the second is certainly the more natural in the case of James K. Polk. Given the desire of the government to obtain California and New Mexico in case of war, the constant pressure behind it urging it toward war, and its natural hesitation to base the war on its excessively doubtful claim to the territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande; and a little occasional suppressio veri by the president will explain the whole drift of events without supposing them to be the result of a carefully elaborated plot. But, if the reader inclines to accept the first interpretation, he will find that it is necessary to take Marcy, the secretary of war, not Polk, as the presiding genius.
—During the year 1846 Taylor first drove the enemy in headlong retreat over the Rio Grande, and then followed them and finished the campaign in Mexico. He captured, in Monterey, an army nearly double his own numbers, in spite of very strong natural and artificial defenses. Finally, Feb. 23, 1847, with less than 5,000 undisciplined volunteers, he met and routed more than four times his number, under Santa Anna, at Buena Vista. In the meantime an overland expedition from Fort Leavenworth had captured New Mexico; and the Pacific squadron, aided by Fremont and some irregular land forces, had taken possession of San Francisco and California. The year 1847 ended the war. Scott, with 12,000 men, took Vera Cruz, and forced his way up to the plateau of Mexico before summer set in. In August and September, he beat nearly three times his number in a series of brilliant battles around Mexico, overturned the government, and conquered the peace of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848. (For its results, see ANNEXATIONS, IV., V.; WILMOT PROVISO; COMPROMISES III.; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, V.)
—VI. See REBELLION.—(I.) See 2 Sparks' Writings of Washington, 478 (for the history of the Ohio company); H. B. Adams' Maryland's Influence, 13; 1 Marshall's Life of Washington, 2; 4 Bancroft's United States, 106, 460; 1 Draper's Civil War, 159. (II., III.) See articles referred to. (IV.) See 4-6 Niles' Weekly Register (index under Mediation and Peace); 3 Palmer's Historical Register (1814), 234; 6 Hildreth's United States, 530, 544; John Q. Adams' Works; 5 Pamphleteer; Morse's Life of John Q. Adams, 75 (the best account of the negotiations); 2 Parton's Life of Jackson, 37; Ingersoll's Second War with Great Britain; the treaty of Ghent is in 8 Stat. at Large, 218. (V.) See 3 von Holst's United States, 79, 159, 198 (and index); Statesman's Manual (Polk's Messages); Jay's Review of the Mexican War; Ripley's History of the Mexican War; Ramsey's The Other Side (Mexican authorities); 16 Benton's Debates of Congress, 64, 215; 9 Stat. at Large, 9 (act of May 13, 1846), and 922 (treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo).—(VI.) See authorities under REBELLION.
WASHINGTON CITY. (See CAPITAL, NATIONAL.)
WASHINGTON, George, president of the United States 1789-97, was born in Westmoreland county, Va., Feb. 22, 1732, and died at Mt. Vernon, Va., Dec. 14, 1799. In youth he became a land surveyor, and in the French and Indian war he was advanced to the grade of colonel and commander-in-chief of the Virginia forces, distinguishing himself in Braddock's defeat. In 1759 he married Martha, widow of John Parke Custis; and the care of her extensive property occupied him thereafter, though he was for fifteen years a silent member of the house of burgesses of his colony. He was a delegate to the continental congress in 1774-5, and the general anxiety to keep Virginia steady in resistance to the crown induced his appointment as commander-in-chief of the American forces, June 15, 1775. Whatever the motives may have been that governed his appointment, he very rapidly proved his extraordinary fitness for the place, and became the great and central figure of the revolution. The character of no other public man of the time can so successfully submit to microscopic examination. There seems to have been nothing little in him. Great in defeat, he was greater still in success, and the crowning event of his military career was his surrender of his commission to congress at the close of the war. (For the events of the war see the biographies cited below.)
—After resigning his commission, he retired to Mount Vernon, to put his private affairs in order, and to pursue the line of investments in western lands to which he had been attracted during his early military life. In politics he was most interested in the evident and dismal failure of the confederacy. (See CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF.) During the revolution he had been the trusted adviser of congress and the state governors, and his correspondence with former political and military associates throughout the country now becomes voluminous. Every conscious step toward the formation of a new government was submitted to his inspection and approval, and when the time was ripe he was almost forced into becoming a delegate to, and president of, the convention of 1787. In that body he said little, but in each case his suggestion was final. On the subsequent question of ratification his influence was still greater. Multitudes of voters, particularly in the northern states, who would have hesitated to accept the legal arguments of the "Federalist," and similar publications on either side, supported the new constitution blindly by reason of their confidence in Washington's sound judgment, their certainty that he would not recommend a scheme of government which he thought to be of evil tendency, and the evident fact that the office of president had been cut to his measure by the convention. Here, as in the revolution, there was no getting on without him; and it is as certain as anything can be that the existence of such a character, from 1775 until 1790, changed the whole course of the history of the western continent, and thus of the world.
—In the elections of 1789 and 1792 all the electors voted for him, and he became president. (See ELECTORAL VOTES, I., II.) No succeeding president has received this national compliment of a unanimous vote, the one who came nearest to it, Monroe, being probably the one who least deserved it. The events of Washington's administrations are elsewhere detailed. (See JUDICIARY; CAPITAL, NATIONAL; BANK CONTROVERSIES, II.; EXCISE; APPORTIONMENT; GENET, CITIZEN; DEMOCRATIC CLUBS; JAY'S TREATY; WHISKY INSURRECTION; FAREWELL ADDRESS; X Y Z MISSION; FEDERAL PARTY, I.; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, I., II.) He entered office with the impossible expectation that parties would be eliminated from his government; but his underlying consciousness that parties already existed is shown in his careful division of his cabinet offices between Hamilton and Knox on one side, and Jefferson and Randolph on the other. His expectation was of course disappointed; the companionship of Hamilton and Jefferson in the cabinet was, to use the latter's own comparison, like that of two game-cocks in a pit. As Washington was by nature a sincere, though unconscious, federalist, the progress of party division drove the democratic leaders into opposition, and before the end of the second term all possibility, or even desirability, of further keeping the peace between the two parties was at an end. One party had overcome the prejudices of the people by help of Washington's name, and controlled the government by the continuance of the same help. The other party would have been more than human if it had not been impatient at finding Washington always in the way of its attacks upon its opponent. Its leaders successfully restrained themselves in prospect of his approaching retirement; but their impatience is shown by such symptoms as Jefferson's letter to Mazzei, though Jefferson always denied any intention to attack the president personally. The more violent members attacked Washington in plain terms, even accusing him of drawing more than his salary, publishing forged letters to show his desire to submit to the king during the revolution, and calling him the "step-father of his country." Their malice undoubtedly embittered the closing years of his second term, and yet it was only one of the symptoms which showed that the time was past when he was absolutely necessary, and that, having successfully and strongly built the stage, he must now leave it clear for the actors. The firmness of his hold upon the national heart is proved by the venom of the impatient and yet helpless politicians. He might have died in the office if he had wished it: even after his final decision to retire, two electors obstinately voted for him for a third term in 1796.
—Washington was slow of judgment, and anxious to see all sides of a case and to get all possible opinions upon it, but when he had formed an opinion or a judgment, it was his own, and he seldom changed it. Most of the state papers which pass as Washington's were originally written by other hands, though none of them were given to the world until they had been revised, digested and reproduced by him and made thoroughly his own. His letters, however, are his own; and though their editor has pushed his province of correcting them to an extreme, no editing can conceal the essential nature of the writer as shown in them. The strong judgment, the good sense, the calmness and patience, the consciousness of strength and of the ability to control the strength, the absolute freedom from self-seeking in any form, make his letters a monument which will always justify the instinctive popular estimate of him. Other men have surpassed him in particular phases of character and ability; but, in all phases together, his letters will show that he was the greatest man the earth has yet seen.
—A bibliography of Washingtoniana would be altogether too voluminous for our space. The list of books, tracts and medals relating to his death alone fills two volumes, as collected by F. B. Hough in 1865. Among the lives may be mentioned Marshall's, Irving's, Sparks', A. Bancroft's, Lossing's, Ramsay's and Everett's; Custis' Private Memoirs of Washington; and Rush's Washington in Domestic Life. See also, Sparks' Writings of Washington; 1 Statesman's Manual (for his messages); Gibbs' Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and Adams; Trescott's Diplomatic History of the Administrations of Washington and Adams; Thacher's Life and Military Journal of Washington; Griswold's Republican Court; 2 Pitkin's United States; 3-5 Hildreth's United States; 1 Schouler's United States. There is a forcible pen-portrait of Washington at pp. 77 and 114-126 of Schouler as cited above; and in fiction Thackeray has attempted the same thing in The Virginians.
WASHINGTON TERRITORY, a territory of the United States. Its area is a part of that doubtful portion of the Louisiana cession (see ANNEXATIONS, I.), whose jurisdiction was long a subject of dispute between the United States and Great Britain, but was finally decided to be in the former by the treaty of 1846. (See NORTHWEST BOUNDARY.) It was originally a part of Oregon territory, and, before the erection of that territory into a state, was set off as a separate territory by the act of March 2, 1853. As at first organized, it contained 193,071 square miles, but transfers to Idaho have reduced it to an area of 69,994 square miles. Its population, by the census of 1880, was 75,116, an increase of 213.57 per cent. in the decade previous. Its capital is Olympia, and its governor (1880-84) is William A. Newell.
—The act of March 2, 1853, is in 10 Stat. at Large, 172.
WAYS AND MEANS.
WAYS AND MEANS. (See PARLIAMENTARY LAW.)
WEALTH. In the most ordinary acceptation of the term, the word wealth indicates, and always indicated, especially when it was applied almost exclusively to the precious metals, things having an exchangeable value; but the greater part of economists have applied it to all useful things, even to those which are entirely devoid of such value; but it is always inconvenient in scientific nomenclature to designate by the same word, things which differ by essential characteristics, for such designation invariably causes confusion and misunderstandings. It might easily be shown that a great part of the discussions to which some of the principles of political economy have given rise, was due only to the two-fold meaning given to the words wealth and value, which made them designate both gratuitous utility, that is to say, a utility acquired without cost or labor, and powerless to obtain anything by way of exchange, and the utility obtained by means of labor, and possessed of an exchangeable value. It will, therefore, be of interest to inquire whether the nomenclature of politico-economical science would not be rendered clearer and more precise if it were once well understood that the words wealth and value designated only utilities of this last kind, and this is what we shall attempt to demonstrate. But we must first point out the difficulties which result from the two-fold scientific meaning given to these two words, or the lack of precision in the meaning given to each in the definitions of them by the principal economists. The intimate correlation of these two words, and of the ideas which they awaken, will not allow us to treat of wealth without at the same time treating of value; we will, however, as far as possible confine our observations on the latter word to what is necessary in order to elucidate the question of nomenclature which we are considering: the other questions relating to the subject are considered in the article on VALUE.—"Every man is rich or poor," says Adam Smith, "according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences and amusements of human life. But after the division of labor has once thoroughly taken place, it is but a very small part of these with which a man's own labor can supply him. The far greater part of them he must derive from the labor of other people; and he must be rich or poor according to the quantity of that labor which he can command or which he can afford to purchase. The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labor which it enables him to purchase or command." ("Wealth of Nations," book i., chap. 5.)
—From this we see that Adam Smith at first seems to consider everything useful as wealth, but afterward restricts the qualification to things which have an exchangeable value. "The word value." he says elsewhere, "it is to be observed, has two different meanings; it sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called value in use, and the other value in exchange. The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange; and, on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use. Nothing is more useful than water; but it will purchase scarce anything; scarce anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any value in use, but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it." ("Wealth of Nations," book i., chap. 4.) Here we have the word value used to express both gratuitous utility and utility which brings a price.—"Everybody knows," says J. B. Say, "that things have sometimes a value in use very different from their value in exchange; that common water, for example, has scarcely any value, although very necessary, while a diamond has a very great value in exchange, although of very little service; but it is evident that the value of water is a part of our natural wealth, which does not belong to the domain of political economy, and that the value of the diamond forms a part of our social wealth, which is the only wealth within the province of the science. The word exchangeable is always indispensable, and included in the values with which political economy is concerned; it is unnecessary to repeat it continually, for it is always understood." (Cours Complet, t. i., p. 74.) And again he says, "The value which constitutes wealth is not the arbitrary value which a person attaches to a thing he possesses, and which is purely relative to his particular wants; it is the value given by industry and appreciated by the public." (Ibid., p. 306.) Thus J. B. Say understood by value and wealth only what possesses an exchangeable value, and it was probably only by the example of Smith that he was induced to give to gratuitous utility the name of value in use (valeur d'utilité), or natural wealth.
—Ricardo fully admits the distinction established by Smith between value in use and value in exchange ("The Principles of Political Economy in Taxation," ch. i.); however, in a letter to J. B. Say he maintains that we ought to give the name of wealth only to the things which have an exchangeable value (Œuvres diverses de, J. B. Say. p. 410). In turn J. B. Say writes him: "I can not admit what you and Adam Smith are pleased to call value in use: what is value in use, if it is not utility pure and simple? The word utility is therefore sufficient." (Ibid., p. 409.) This remark is well grounded, and that of Ricardo is not less so.
—M'Culloch recognizes that the double meaning given to the two words value and wealth has not always been clearly perceived, and that at often becomes a cause of confusion and errors hence, from the very beginning of his book, he makes it a rule to use the word value to signify only exchangeable value, and the word wealth only to specify products susceptible of appropriation, and which are obtained only by the use of human labor, and which consequently are not gratuitously acquired, but are possessed of an exchangeable value.—"When exchanges are introduced," says Storch, "the useful things or the values which we possess may serve us in two different ways: first, directly, when we employ them in our own use, and then indirectly, when we exchange them for other values. Thus, therefore, the utility of things is either direct or indirect, and so with their value. Notwithstanding the difference of expression, this distinction is the same as that established by Smith, for Storch includes gratuitous utility in direct value.—"What is value? what is wealth?" asks Rossi. "If common sense answers these questions easily, the books answer them in so many different ways that the critics have reason to assert they have not been answered at all. Once more, value is the expression of the relation which exists between the wants of man and things. Wealth is a generic term which embraces all the objects in which this relation is verified. Every object that can satisfy a human want possesses a value. The object itself is wealth. Thus value and wealth, without being synonymous, are two expressions necessarily correlative. Value is the relation; wealth is the aggregate of all the objects in which this relation is realized. This is what common sense tells us, and science has no right to depart from common sense."
—It is quite evident that Rossi confounds here, as in other parts of his course of political economy, the words value, utility, etc. It is to be regretted, that, after having pretended that the books did not at all answer the questions which he propounded, he himself answers them much more imperfectly than those who preceded him. But the confusion which prevented him from forming an exact idea of value is due to the fact that he admitted, with Smith, a value in use, which is nothing else than utility, and a value in exchange, which is the sole value.
—Frederick Bastiat distinguished perfectly utility from value: utility is what may be called the expression of the relation which exists between the wants of man and things. Value, indeed, supposes utility, but admits of still other characteristics. Bastiat distinguishes gratuitous utility, that is, the utility we enjoy without labor or previous effort, such as the light of the sun, from onerous utility, which is acquired only after a service done. To procure this latter utility we must first overcome a difficulty which stands between the want and its satisfaction; we obtain it by means of the effort or service which by rendering utility onerous prevents it from being transmitted for nothing, and gives rise to value. Exchangeable value is the only value he recognizes; and he clearly demonstrates that the idea which this word expresses must be the result of exchange, and was introduced into the world when two men for the first time agreed to exchange their services or the results of their services. (Harmonies Économiques, p. 170, etc.)
—But Bastiat held that the word wealth should be applied to gratuitous utility only. He distinguishes two kinds of wealth: effective wealth, which comprises all utilities, whether obtained gratuitously or with the assistance of human effort; and relative wealth, which consists exclusively of onerous utilities or utilities which have a price. The more gratuitous utilities increase by the progress of industry, the more effective wealth do nations or the whole human race possess. But the relative wealth of an individual, a family, or a limited agglomeration of individuals, depends upon the amount of values which it possesses, provided the share of the mass of existing wealth, which they can obtain by way of exchange, is proportioned to the sum of these values.
—If we had to distinguish in political economy two kinds of wealth, we would rather admit the distinction made by J. B. Say, between natural wealth and social wealth, than that proposed by Bastiat, as the former seems to us much more exact; but how can Bastiat, who has so ably proved that exchangeable value is the only value, admit wealth without value? An examination of his motives seems worthy of attention, and we hope it will afford us an opportunity of elucidating one of the difficult points of political economy.
—The "science of political economy," he says, "concerns itself with the general welfare of men, with the proportion which exists between their efforts and their satisfactions, a proportion which modifies to advantage the progressive participation of gratuitous utility in the work of production. The science can not, therefore, exclude this element from the idea of wealth. We may conceive two nations, one of which has more satisfactions than the other; but it has fewer values because nature has favored it, and because it meets with fewer obstacles: which is the richer of the two? Nay more, let us take the same people at two different epochs: the obstacles which it has to overcome are the same, but to-day it surmounts them with such facility (it effects, for instance, the transportation of its merchandise, carries on its labor and manufactures with so little effort) that values are, in consequence, considerably reduced. It may therefore adopt either of these two courses, remain content with the same satisfactions as formerly, and turn its progress into leisure. Can its wealth in this case be said to be retrograde, because that wealth possesses less value? Or it may devote its unemployed efforts to increase its enjoyments. In this latter case can we conclude that because the sum of the values of that people has remained stationary, its wealth has remained stationary also? This is a momentous question for political economy. Should it measure wealth by the satisfactions realized or by the values created?" (Harmonies Économiques, p. 234.)
—This is really a very specious argument, and one which, if we are not mistaken, will appear unanswerable to many economists; and yet we believe we can show that all this argumentation is based upon an incomplete notion of value, and forgetfulness of some of its essential characteristics. The question is an important one. Is it true, as Bastiat asserts, that a people who by its progress in industry is enabled to procure the same satisfactions as formerly with less labor, thereby reduce the sum of these values? Or is it true that the latter remain stationary, if this same people, continuing to work as much as formerly, obtain more products? Let us see.
—How is the value of a product, of a service, or of an aggregate of products and services, measured? By the quantity of all other objects having a price which they enable one to obtain in exchange for them. This is an axiom of political economy which has never been contested.
—Let us now suppose that a people has, without greater effort or more human labor than formerly, succeeded in doubling the quantity of the products of all kinds which minister to its wants: we are told that then the value of these products, although their quantity has been doubled, has not been increased; but what is there to base such an assertion on? How is the value of the products measured before and after the doubling? If we measure it as we should do, by the quantity of all objects having a price which each class of products enables us to obtain in exchange, we shall inevitably find that in doubling the quantity of all the products we have likewise doubled their total value, since each class of products can be exchanged against a double quantity of all the others. But it is said that this double quantity will have no greater value than the single quantity had before. How is this possible? We ask again, what is there to base such an assertion on? Since the value of an object can not be better measured than by the quantity of all other objects having a price which can be obtained in exchange for it, is it not plain that a class of products, which, because it has been doubled at the same time that all others have been doubled, enables us to obtain, in exchange, the double of the latter, has doubled in value as well as in quantity? What misleads the mind, and prevents the clear apprehension of this truth, is that value is confounded with price, and it is very true, that if the quantity of money did not increase during this doubling of the other products, the price of the latter might have sunk one-half or nearly one-half; but what clearly proves that it is not their value which is sunk, is that if we suppose the quantity of money to have doubled in the same time as the quantity of all the other products, we shall see that the price of these latter, taken as a whole, must have doubled likewise.
—What next hinders the conception and acceptation of the truth we have just stated, is, that many economists continue to suppose, with Adam Smith, that the value of products is measured by the quantity of human labor employed in their creation—an incorrect notion, which has led to many errors, and which prevents those who adhere to it from recognizing the fact that value may be increased without increasing the amount of labor.
—But the greatest obstacle to a proper appreciation of the question we are considering is, in the first place, that it is too easily forgotten that value is a quality essentially relative, which can not vary in one object without varying at the same time, and in an inverse sense in all others; so that if sugar or wheat falls in value, all other products necessarily rise relatively to wheat or sugar, and that if iron or meat rise in value all other products fall in value relatively to meat or iron; and in the second place, that in considering the value of products the value of the unit is confounded with that of the class, and that when the fall in the value of the unit is observed, that fall is attributed to the entire class, and it is not remarked that the decline is compensated for, and often more than compensated for, by the increase in the quantity, as will appear from the following. It is noticed, for instance, that the use of the knitting machine enables us to produce a pair of stockings with half the labor or cost of production that was needed to produce the same pair of stockings when knit by hand; it is said that the value of the stockings has fallen one-half, and this is true so far as the unit is concerned; but is it equally true that the total value of the production of stockings has been reduced by half, since the introduction of the knitting machine? By no means, and it is very probable, on the contrary, that it has more than doubled; the same is true of the production of books compared with that of manuscripts; of the manufacture of thread by machinery, compared with its production by the wheel or spindle: of transportation furnished by the locomotive, compared with that afforded by the peddler. In these different classes of production, the unit has considerably fallen in value, but the entire class represents a value incomparably greater than that which it possessed before the fall. The value of the unit of products has been more or less reduced in Europe since the beginning of the fifteenth century in many other branches of production, but there is probably not a single one which in the aggregate does not furnish a sum of values much greater than it was before that reduction. The value of products taken en masse is therefore far from being lessened by the effect of industrial progress, what men detract from the value of the unit, they far more than restore by the increase of the quantity. This evidently escaped Bastiat in the passage which we have quoted. He believed that a like quantity of labor could never produce anything but a like sum of values, and that the only result of industrial progress was to increase gratuitous utility: it is, however, very certain that industrial progress increases at the same time utility, which has a price; for nobody, surely, would hesitate to acknowledge that the most industrious peoples are also the richest in exchangeable values Bastiat was imbued with the idea that values would go on constantly decreasing from the effect of industrial progress: this may be admitted in the case of various classes of products so far as the unit is concerned; but, so far as the class or the mass of products is concerned, the effect of this progress up to the present time has been to increase its value considerably, and there is nothing which authorizes us to think that it will be otherwise in the future.
—This is not, therefore, so momentous a question as Bastiat imagined it to be; it may be boldly affirmed that wealth consists of objects possessed of exchangeable value, and that it is proportioned to the sum of those values, measured as it should be.
—Although we realize how tiresome such discussions are to the mind, the desire to render them henceforth entirely superfluous by elucidating as clearly as possible the questions with which they are concerned, induces us to beg the reader's attention a few moments longer.
—J. B. Say regarded, as one of the greatest difficulties of political economy, the solution of the question: As the value of things possessed is what constitutes wealth, why is it, that, the lower prices are in a country, the richer that country is? The question, it seems to us, is not here put in its true terms; for it would be difficult to show that the countries in which products have the lowest prices are always the richest. In certain large countries, as, for example, in Poland, or in certain provinces of Russia, in America, and Hindostan, the principal products (cereals, meat, wood, wool, leather, etc.) are lower in price than anywhere else; and yet these countries can not by any means be reckoned among the richest. It seems evident to us that the problem which the illustrious French economist meant to propound is this: "Wealth being made up of the value of things possessed, how can a nation grow wealthy in proportion as it succeeds in lowering the value of its products by reducing the cost of their production?" J. B. Say answers, that the productive stock of such a nation has then more value, since the services which it furnishes are exchanged for a greater quantity of objects of every kind having a price; but this solution is incomplete, for it does not explain why the wealth produced (and no longer the power of producing) is greater in the country in which the progress of industry has reduced the cost of production, and the value of the different species of products, most.
—To give a complete solution to this question, we must recall, first, that value is an essentially relative quality, and then all that we have said above. It results from this that the lowering of value brought about by industrial progress, in the unit of a class of products, does not diminish the value of the entire class, because it is at the very least compensated for by the increase in the quantity produced, while it increases proportionately the value of all other products relatively to that in which it has become manifest, because it allows these to be exchanged for a larger quantity of the products whose value has fallen.
—We repeat, therefore: on the one hand, there is no reduction in the value of the class of products in which the fall has occurred, the increase in the quantity at least compensating therefor; on the other hand, this fall gives a superadded value to all other classes of products. Is not the final result, therefore, an increase in the sum of values? Thus a fall in the value in the unit of one class of products, may be perfectly reconciled with the increase of sum total of values or wealth.
—This shows why we were able to prove, as we did above, that the doubling of the quantity of all the products obtained without an increase of cost or effort, would necessarily double the sum of their total value, since each class of products would then obtain in exchange a double quantity of all the others.
—What precedes seems to us to have provided sufficiently for the solution of the question of nomenclature which we proposed to ourselves. The quality which renders things capable of satisfying our wants, is called utility. There are utilities like the air we breathe, or the light of the stars, which apply themselves to our wants, without requiring the least preparation or previous effort on our part; moreover, they are not susceptible of private or exclusive appropriation, being equally at the disposal of all. We agree with Bastiat, in classing all the utilities of this sort under the denomination of gratuitous utility. Others can not be applied to our wants except after some service performed by us; they become the property of those who have furnished that service, and they are endowed with a quality which enables their possessor to obtain other utilities of the same class, but of varied species, when he wishes to exchange them. This is the quality which is expressed by the word value. This class of utilities may be comprised under the general term of utility having a price.
—Value exists only by labor and exchange; the value of any particular object is measured, not by the quantity of labor employed in producing it, but by the quantity of all the other objects having a price which can be obtained in exchange for it.
—It is only the utility which has a price that constitutes wealth. The only politico-economical difference between the words wealth and value is, that the latter designates a quality, as Rossi has remarked, while the word wealth indicates the object in which that quality resides.
—There is no value but exchangeable value: what many economists have called value in use is only utility. For an object to possess an exchangeable value, it is not indispensable, as Rossi supposes, that it be in circulation, that is to say, offered in exchange; it suffices that it be recognized to have some value if it be offered for sale; thus public monuments, or the clothes we wear, although they are not offered in exchange, still possess an exchangeable value.
—There is no wealth but that which consists in objects possessing utility having a price. What J. B. Say calls natural wealth is only gratuitous utility.
—When industrial progress enables us without more labor or effort to obtain greater quantities of objects that possess utility having a price, no fall in the sum of values takes place in consequence; for the reduction in value of the unit of the product in which that progress is realized, is immediately compensated for by the additional value acquired, relatively to this object, by all the other products for which it may be exchanged. On the contrary, the result is that the sum of values is increased proportionately to the surplus obtained in the quantity of products; this we think we have fully demonstrated.
—Wealth, therefore, is really proportionate to the sum total of values, and this sum is itself proportionate to the quantity of products of all kinds, and, consequently, to the amount of gratifications we are able to procure.
—The progress of industry, the increase of our power over natural agents, have not, therefore, as Bastiat supposes, the effect of reducing the sum of the utility which has a price. On the contrary, that progress increases it in proportion as it enables us to increase the objects which possess that utility. And this is the reason why the nations whose industry has made most progress are also the wealthiest, in the only legitimate sense of the word, the wealthiest in the utility which has a price in exchangeable wealth.
—Every reduction in the cost of production, and in the value of the unit of any class of products, is none the less a benefit of that industrial progress; but it is a benefit only because it increases the units of that class, and because it gives an additional value to all the other products.
—It seems to us that our propositions relating to the fixing of the meaning of the words value and wealth are sufficiently demonstrated.
WEBSTER, Daniel, was born at Salisbury, N. H., Jan. 18, 1782, and died at Marshfield, Mass., Oct. 24, 1852. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1801, was admitted to the bar in 1805, and served as a federalist congressman from New Hampshire 1813-17. Removing to Boston in 1816, he served as congressman 1823-7, as United States senator 1827-41, as secretary of state 1841-3, as United States senator 1845-50, and as secretary of state from 1850 until his death. (See FEDERAL PARTY, II.; WHIG PARTY; FOOT'S RESOLUTION.)
—Webster's first great success was in the decision of the Dartmouth college case, in 1819, in which he established the principle that a charter granted by a state legislature was a contract, unalterable without consent of the corporation, unless the power of alteration was reserved in the charter. This success made him one of the foremost lawyers of the country; but it was not until 1830 that he became, by his speeches on Foot's resolutions, one of the recognized political leaders of the country. Northern men were exultant in the belief that their representative had overthrown Hayne, and thus indirectly Calhoun also. Southern writers have never admitted this, their reason apparently being that Webster, as well as Hayne, admitted the validity of the argument from authority, on which state sovereignty (see that title) mainly rests, and that he was unable to meet Hayne's, or (afterward) Calhoun's arguments from this source. No one, however, has ever disparaged the brilliancy and force of Webster's eloquence, and from that time he has been confessedly the foremost orator of America, or, as many have thought, of all time. His speeches have a massive directness which, backed by careful polish, extent and precision of knowledge, and power of repartee, made them almost irresistible, and made him an antagonist to be avoided rather than desired.
—A leader so distinguished had a right to think of the presidency, but from 1833 until 1852 this honor was always just beyond his reach. In 1836 he was nominated for the presidency by the Massachusetts legislature, and received fourteen electoral votes. In 1840 he had no chance against the candidacy of Harrison, as in 1848 he had none against the kindred nomination of Taylor, which latter Webster publicly declared to be "one not fit to be made"; the whig opposition to both these nominations had to be concentrated on Clay, and was then unsuccessful. In 1844, all Clay's other rivals being out of the way, Webster had been discredited with the whigs by his very creditable conduct in remaining in Tyler's cabinet to arrange the dangerous and disputed northeast boundary. (See MAINE.) As the convention of 1852 drew near, it was evident that Clay was out of the field, that southern whigs were suspicious of Seward's influence over Scott, and that Webster's chance was now or never. Under these circumstances his speech of March 7, 1850 (see COMPROMISES, V.) was delivered, which aroused such intense indignation in the north. It is difficult to see now why it should have done so, without taking into account the general northern wrath against slavery, which was just coming to the boiling point; and it is difficult to compare the speech itself with the general course of political oratory which had preceded it, without reaching the conclusion that the audience had changed rather than the orator, and that the veteran no longer represented the north. If it was the speech of a candidate, it was unsuccessful. The southern whigs, loudly as they had applauded Webster's speech, took Fillmore as their choice, and Webster had but about 30 of the 293 votes of the convention. His death followed closely upon this final failure.
—See Webster's Works (and Everett's life of Webster in volume I.); Webster's Private Correspondence; Tefft's Webster and his Master Pieces; Whipple's Great Speeches of Webster; Knapp's Life of Webster (1835); March's Reminiscences of Congress (1850); Lanman's Private Life of Webster (1856); Curtis' Life of Webster (1870); 1 Choate's Writings; 3, 4 Everett's Orations; 1 Whipple's Essays and Reviews; Parton's Famous Americans; Loring's Hundred Boston Orators; 6 Harper's Magazine; 31 North American Review, 474; 68 ib., 1; 75 ib., 84; 84 ib., 551.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. It is with proposals to adopt the metric system that this subject now mainly comes up before legislative bodies; and we shall treat it chiefly in this aspect—The English standards for many years subsequent to 1760 were a certain brass weight constituting a troy pound, and a certain brass bar, the distance between two points on which, at a temperature of 62°, constituted a yard. Accurate copies of these were obtained for America in 1827, and have since constituted the standards for the United States. The English standards were destroyed by fire in 1834, but were carefully replaced; subsequently the troy pound has been done away with, and a standard pound avoirdupois substituted. The old unit of capacity was the gallon. It was supposed that a gallon, of whatever commodity, ought to weigh eight pounds; hence the variation of liquid and dry measure, while the further variation of wine and beer measure bears an almost exact proportion to the difference of the troy and avoirdupois pounds. All these standards are still in use in America, but are defined in cubic inches; in England the reforms of 1826 substituted a common "imperial" measure for all the three. Besides these there are more than seventy different units in general use, verified as being determinate multiples or fractions of some one of these standards.
—Up to the end of the last century the systems in use in other parts of Europe were equally chaotic, and bore no relation to one another. Most of them had indeed their foot and their pound, representing somewhat the same length or weight; but there was too much difference in them to be available for anything like exact comparison.
—In the year 1790 the French assembly undertook to lay the foundations of a system in which all the parts should have the simplest mathematical and practical relations to one another, and which should rest ultimately upon some fixed natural standard. Neither of these ideas was new; but they had never—in modern times at least—been put in practice. It was at first proposed to adopt the length of the seconds pendulum as the unit, but finally the ten-millionth part of the earth's quadrant was selected instead, and attempts at determining this were at once instituted. After some preliminary legislation the system was established in France in its present shape in 1799. Its details are familiar; it is only for us to consider the history of its adoption in different countries, whether sudden or gradual, and the advantages and difficulties attending the change.
—In France itself it was not carried through with the completeness which the legislators had expected. The opposition of the lower classes was so great that Napoleon in 1812 adopted a compromise, returning to a certain extent to the old names, but making the pound exactly half a kilogramme, and the foot exactly one-third of a metre. This compromise continued in use till 1840, when, by a decree passed three years earlier, the metric system went into effect in its original form.
—The French conquests at the beginning of this century had extended the use of the system beyond the permanent frontiers of France. In the Netherlands, both Belgium and Holland, its use continued without interruption after the separation from France. Its use for government purposes continued in parts of Italy; and its effect was never lost in Baden. A large part of the states which had been led to introduce it temporarily under French domination, had adopted it permanently before the middle of the century. Neither there nor elsewhere has the change as a general rule taken place suddenly. Either the use of the metric system has been optional for a time and afterward made obligatory; or it has been first introduced in certain departments, such as coinage, postage, customs, or railway freight charges, and afterward made general; or, very commonly, as a transition measure the old standards of the country have been slightly modified so as to be commensurable with the metric system, as in the case of the metric foot and metric pound above mentioned. The dates of these changes in different countries are shown by table in following column, based largely upon the report of J. K. Upton, 45th Cong., 2d Sess., Ex. Doc. 71, which contains many additional details.
—The growth of the system has been so gradual that it is hard to divide it into periods. The decisive points in its history were its partial adoption by the German zollverein in 1852; its complete adoption by Germany and Austria, 1868-76; and the establishment in 1875 of the international bureau of weights and measures at Paris, with representatives of all the leading nations, except England and the United States; even including Russia, which has otherwise done nothing in this direction.
—Both in England and in the United States the metric system is used in scientific work; and in the United States the smaller coins have metric weights; but the act making its use permissive has had no effect upon ordinary business. The subject of making its use compulsory has been agitated in both countries. The British standard commission, in 1869, while admitting the desirableness of the change, deprecated hasty legislation in that direction. In 1877 the house of representatives passed a resolution that the heads of executive departments be asked what objections there were, if any, to making the use of the metric system compulsory. The answers varied exceedingly in their tenor, but the majority were decidedly conservative. The arguments in favor of making the change as soon as possible are the practical convenience of the metric system for calculation and business, the confusion of names under the old system, and the importance of common units in international trade. Against the change is urged the fact that our present standards are well established, that the people are satisfied with them, and that the inconvenience and expense of a hurried change outweigh any practical advantages likely to be felt at present. They are the arguments of conservative feeling, in a case where that feeling is unusually strong.
ARTHUR T. HADLEY.
WEST VIRGINIA, a state of the American Union. Its organization had several peculiarities. Like Vermont, Kentucky, Maine, Texas and California, it had no previous territorial existence; and, like Kentucky and Maine, it was formed from a part of a state already in existence. But, in the cases of Kentucky and Maine, the necessary consent of the legislature of the parent state was so regularly given that no exception could be taken to it; while the existence of West Virginia is based upon a legal fiction by which congress recognized a revolutionary loyal legislature in western Virginia as the legitimate legislature of the state so far as to accept the consent of the former body to the erection of the new state of West Virginia.
—The manner in which the secession of Virginia was accomplished is elsewhere given. (See VIRGINIA.) There had long been a division of interests and feelings between that part of the state west of the Alleghanies and the rest of the state. The former fraction, comprising nearly one-half the territory of Virginia and about one-fifth of her population (355,526 whites and 18,371 slaves), was rather a northern than a southern state in sympathy; its representatives in the Virginia convention opposed secession; and their constituents supplemented parliamentary by forcible opposition. Early in May, 1861, a delegate convention at Wheeling declared the ordinance of secession null and void, and summoned a [Virginia] state convention. It met at Wheeling, June 11, and two days afterward passed an ordinance vacating the state offices arrayed against the federal government. June 20, it elected Frank Pierpont governor of Virginia. July 2, the Virginia legislature, elected under the convention's ordinance, met at Wheeling, and elected United States senators, who were admitted by the senate. Aug. 20, the convention passed an ordinance to create the state of Kanawha, and this was approved by popular vote, Oct. 24. At the same election delegates were chosen to a new convention, which framed the first constitution, now adopting the name of West Virginia. This constitution was ratified by popular vote, April 3, 1862, and in the following month the legislature, representing the forty counties of western Virginia, but claiming to represent the whole state, formally gave Virginia's consent to the erection of the new state. Dec. 31, 1862, West Virginia was admitted by act of congress, the admission to take effect on the adoption of gradual abolition by the new state (see ABOLITION, III.); and the state thus became a member of the Union, June 19, 1863. The whole process of the formation of the state is a difficult problem in American constitutional law. It was evidently revolutionary in the main; but there are many features in it which go to support Sumner's "state suicide" theory. (See RECONSTRUCTION.) After the downfall of the rebellion Virginia admitted the validity of the formation by beginning suit in the supreme court against West Virginia for the restoration of Berkeley and Jefferson counties; but the suit was decided against Virginia in 1871.
—CONSTITUTIONS. The first constitution was framed by a convention at Wheeling, Nov. 26, 1861-Feb. 18, 1862. It provided that the state should "be and remain" one of the United States of America; that only white male citizens should vote; that the senate should consist of eighteen members, chosen for two years, and the house of delegates of forty-seven members, chosen for one year; that the membership of both houses should be reapportioned by the legislature after each census; that the capital should be Wheeling until changed by the legislature; that the governor should be chosen by popular vote for two years, that the judiciary should be elective; and that no slave should be brought into the state. The last feature was changed to a gradual abolition of slavery as above specified. This constitution also made an attempt to introduce the township system of government for local affairs; but the system was repugnant to the feelings of the people, and was abolished by the next constitution. May 24, 1866, an amendment was added disfranchising all persons who had voluntarily given aid and comfort to the rebellion since June 1, 1861; and the provision of the constitution that no one could hold office unless entitled to vote made the amendment still more sweeping. The capital has since remained at Wheeling, except from April, 1870, until May, 1875, when it was located at Charleston. April 27, 1871, an amendment was ratified by popular vote, striking out the word "white" from the suffrage clause, and also the disfranchising amendment of 1866.
—The present constitution was framed by a convention at Charleston. Jan. 16-April 9, 1872. Its principal changes were the increase of the senate to twenty-four members, chosen for four years, and of the house to sixty five members, chosen for two years; a prohibition of registration laws, and of special legislation in a number of specified cases; the increase of the governor's term to four years (see also RIDERS, VETO); and the abolition of the township system.
—BOUNDARIES. The boundaries of the state are not defined in the constitution, which only specifies the counties of Virginia included within it.
—GOVERNORS. Arthur J. Boreman, 1863-9; Wm. E. Stephenson, 1869-71; John J. Jacob, 1871-7; Henry M. Matthews, 1877-81; Jacob B. Jackson. 1881-5.
—POLITICAL HISTORY. Until 1870 the majority of the voters of the state were republican, and its state officers even of that party. Even in 1860 the republicans had contested two of the counties, and had given Lincoln a popular vote of 1,929 in this part of the state. When war finely began, the republicans, under the name of "unconditional Union men," took complete control of the new state. In 1864 Lincoln received nearly 70 per cent. of the total popular vote; and in 1868 Grant received nearly 60 per cent. But when the war ended, the return of disbanded confederate soldiers, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the state, introduced a troublesome complication into politics. At first the dominant party met this by the disfranchising amendment of 1866, enforcing it by registration laws and test oaths, and suppressing resistance by force. The result was that in 1869 the number of disfranchised citizens was officially reported as 29,316, the number of actual voters being about 50,000; and as no disfranchised person could hold office, public business was seriously interfered with in many parts of the state. The first sign of compromise was the "Flick amendment," finally adopted in 1871. It was supported by moderate republicans and democrats, as it combined amnesty with negro suffrage, and in the struggle over it the democrats, or "conservatives," carried the state and the lower house of the legislature in 1870, and the senate in the following year. In 1872 Grant carried the state by a majority of 2,264 out of a total vote of 62,366; but since that time the state has been so steadily democratic that the republicans almost ceased opposition until 1882, when they elected one of the state's four congressmen. In 1882 the legislature was composed as follows: senate, twenty democrats, three republicans, one independent; house, forty-six democrats, seventeen republicans, two independent.
—Among the political leaders of the state have been the following: Arthur J. Boreman, governor (republican) 1863-9, and United States senator 1869-75; Wm. G. Brown, democratic congressman (from Virginia) 1845-9, and Unionist congressman 1861-5; J. U. Camden, democratic candidate for governor in 1868 and 1873, and United States senator 1881-7; Allen T. Caperton, whig member of the state legislature 1853-60, confederate senator 1862-5, and United States senator (democrat) 1875-6; Henry G. Davis, democratic United States senator 1871-8, Nathan Goff, secretary of the navy under Hayes, and republican congressman 1883-5; Frank Hereford, democratic congressman 1871-7 and United States senator 1877-81; John E. Kenna, democratic congressman 1877-85; and Waitman V. Willey, republican United States senator (from Virginia) 1861-3, and (from West Virginia) 1863-71.
—See 2 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; 2 Hough's American Constitutions; authorities under VIRGINIA; 3 Wilson's Slave Power, 142; 2 Draper's Civil War in America, 241; Tribune Almanac, 1861-82; Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia, 1861-82.
WHEELER, William A., vice-president of the United States 1877-81, was born at Malone, N. Y., June 30, 1819, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and served in the state legislature 1850-51 and 1858-9, and in congress (republican) 1861-77. (See LOUISIANA.) In 1876-7 he was elected vice-president. (See DISPUTED ELECTIONS, IV.; ELECTORAL COMMISSION.) See authorities under HAYES, R. B.
WHIG PARTY (IN U. S. HISTORY). I. 1829-33. From 1801 until after the presidential election of 1828 the unity of the democratic or republican party was still nominally unbroken. Membership in it was so essential to political advancement that after 1817 all national opposition to it came to an end. In 1824 the nomination of presidential candidates by a congressional caucus was urged on the ground that all the aspirants belonged to the same party: and, even through John Quincy Adams' administration, the "Adams and Clay republicans," who supported the president, and the "Jackson republicans," who opposed him, steadily acknowledged each other's claim to the party name. (See DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY, III.; FEDERAL PARTY, II.; CAUCUS, CONGRESSIONAL.)
—Notwithstanding this surface unity, there had long been a departure from the original democratic canons, and a break in the dominant party, which first becomes plainly visible after the war of 1812. The idea that the people were to impose their notions of public policy upon their rulers, and not altogether to receive them from their rulers, which the federalists had always detested at heart, had now been accepted by all politicians; but, working under this limitation, a strong section of the dominant party now aimed at obtaining, by Jefferson's methods, objects entirely foreign to Jefferson's programme. This was particularly the case in the northern states, where commerce, banking, and the other interests, not bounded by state lines, on which Hamilton had depended for the building up of nationality, were now supplemented by another, manufactures, non-existent in Hamilton's time. (See NATION.) All these looked to the republican party for a support and protection which the laissez faire of the Jeffersonian theory would have refused them. It is, then, very significant of the republican drift that banking was recognized by a national bank in 1816, commerce by a great system of public improvements in 1821, and manufactures by a slightly protective tariff in 1816, strengthened in 1824 and 1828. (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, III.; INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS; TARIFF.) But this was the federalist policy, with the new feature of a protective tariff, which was at least rudimentary in the federalist policy; and the principal difference between the federalists and the Adams republicans was, that the former intended to be the guides, and the latter the exponents, of the people in carrying out the policy specified. The election of Adams as president in 1824, with his appointment of Clay as secretary of state, long denounced as a guilty bargain, was really the organization of a party, and the work was only hindered by Clay's angry denials of a "bargain." A frank acknowledgment of party birth, with the complete formulation of its principles which was given by President Adams in his annual messages, would have brought an intelligent support; the attempt to retain Jefferson's party name for the Adams faction only served to call attention to their complete departure from Jefferson's theory, and thus repelled every voter to whom "republicanism" was still the touchstone of politics.
—It was not until toward the end of Adams' term of office that any of his followers began to take the step which should have been taken at first, and assumed the name of "national republicans." Even when it was assumed, the assumption was only tentative, and was confined to a few northern and eastern newspapers. To the mass of the Adams party the struggle still seemed to be only one between two wings of the same party, and the result of the election of 1828 showed which of the two seemed the better "republicans" to the country at large. Adams' electoral vote was that of the old federal party, the vote of the New England states, New Jersey and Delaware, sixteen of New York's thirty-six votes, and six of Maryland's eleven votes. But the popular vote showed a wider strength than the federalists had ever had. Jackson's majority was but 508 out of 8,702 votes in Louisiana, a state whose sugar-planting interest was always to incline it toward a protective tariff; 4,201 out of 130,993 votes in Ohio, where New England immigration and ideas were strong, in North Carolina and Virginia 30 per cent. of the popular vote was for Adams; and his total popular vote, in spite of the practical unanimity of most of the southern states, was 509,097 to 647,231 for Jackson. This was at least an encouraging growth for a party which as yet aimed at a total reversal of the republican policy while retaining the republican name.
—The year after Jackson's inauguration was one of sudden political quiet. The newspapers of the year were busied mainly with internal improvements, the first struggle of the railroad toward existence, and the growth of manufactures. It was not until the beginning of the year 1830 that Jackson's drift against the bank, the protective tariff, internal improvements, and the other features of the Adams policy, became so evident that his opponents were driven into renewed political activity. The name "national republican" at once became general. But the new party was at first without an official leader. In October, 1828, an indiscreet or treacherous Virginia friend of Adams had obtained from Jefferson's grandson and published a letter from Jefferson, written three years before, which named Adams as the authority for the allegation of a federalist secession scheme in 1808. (See EMBARGO, SECESSION.) Adams' newspaper organ, the "National Intelligencer," at once confirmed Jefferson's statement, with some corrections, and asserted that the president had known in 1808, "from unequivocal evidence, although not provable in a court of law," that the federalist leaders aimed at "a dissolution of the Union and the establishment of a separate confederation." The former federalist leaders of Massachusetts, or their sons, at once demanded his evidence, which he refused to give, and the quarrel died away in mutual recriminations. Adams' purpose seems to have been to emphasize his own original "republicanism"; but he only succeeded in alienating from himself the legitimate successor of the federal party. His inability to see that he had created a new party cost him the party leadership, which passed at once to Henry Clay. Adams was out of politics, and, when he entered the house again, in December, 1831, came as an anti-masonic representative; Clay, when he entered the senate in the same month, came as the most conspicuous advocate of the Adams policy. Dec. 12, 1831, the national republicans, in convention at Baltimore, unanimously nominated him for the presidency, and John Sergeant for the vice-presidency. No platform was adopted, but an address to the country formulated the party principles very distinctly in its attacks on Jackson's policy. May 7 following, a "young men's national republican convention" met at Washington, renewed the nominations, and adopted ten resolutions indorsing a protective tariff, a system of internal improvements, the decision of "constitutional questions" by the supreme court, and a cessation of removals from office for political reasons. The popular vote of 1832 was proportionally very similar to that of 1828; but the electoral vote was very different. Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey were now democratic; the "unit system" in New York gave the whole vote of that state to Jackson; Vermont gave her votes to the anti-masonic candidates; and the result gave Jackson 219, Clay 49, and others 18. (See ELECTORAL VOTES, XII.) Something was evidently lacking. Support of the United States bank (see BANK CONTROVERSIES, III.) helped the party in the middle and eastern states, but worked against it in the south and west. Support of a protective tariff helped the party in the middle and eastern states, where manufactures flourished, and growers of wool, flax and hemp desired a market in their own neighborhood, but again it exerted an unfavorable influence in the south and west. Too impatient to trust to time and argument for a natural increase of their national vote, and hardly willing to trust to a general system of purchase by "internal improvements" alone, the national republicans began, after the election of 1832, a general course of beating up for recruits, regardless of principle, which was the bane of their party throughout its whole national existence. No delegate could come amiss to their conventions: the original Adams republican, the nullifier of South Carolina, the anti-mason of New York or Pennsylvania, the state-rights delegate from Georgia, and the general mass of the dissatisfied everywhere, could find a secure refuge in conventions which never asked awkward questions, which ventured but twice (in 1844 and 1852) to adopt a platform, and which ventured but once (in 1844) to nominate for the presidency a candidate with any avowed political principles. The "national republicans" formed a party with principles and the courage to avow them; their reckless search for recruits placed their principles at the mercy of their new allies, and the bed became "shorter than that a man could stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he could wrap himself in it."
—II. 1833-53. However heterogeneous was the mass of dissatisfaction in 1833-4, there was community of feeling on at least one point, dislike to the president. In South Carolina, nullification (see that title) had received its death-blow from the president's declared intention to usurp, as the nullifiers believed, the unconstitutional power to make war on a sovereign state; and the bitterness of this feeling was aggravated in the case of their leader, Calhoun, by a preliminary personal dispute with the president. The nullifiers were thus ready and willing to become the allies of the national republicans; and it is asserted by Hammond that Clay's compromise tariff of 1833, which gave the nullifiers a road of retreat, was one consideration for the alliance. The anti-masons of the northern and eastern states (see ANTI-MASONRY) had failed to make any impression in the election of 1832, and in transferring their national allegiance it was easier for them to go to the national republicans, whose leader, Clay, had publicly declared that he had not attended a masonic meeting for years, than to the Jackson party, whose leader was a warm and avowed free mason. In the south, particularly in Tennessee and Alabama, many democrats disliked Van Buren as the predestined successor of Jackson. Their leader was Hugh L. White, and, though his candidacy was at first that of a revolting democrat, his supporters soon came to feel that they were also fighting against the president and his dictation of his successor. In Georgia, the state-rights, or Troup, party, which had ousted the Indians from the state (see CHEROKEE CASE), had really been assisted by Jackson, and opposed by Adams, in accomplishing their purpose. Nevertheless, as a sort of connecting link between the nullifiers and the White party, they became the anti-Jackson party of their state, though their entrance to the general alliance was not perfected until 1835-7. All these elements, indeed, remained in nominally separate existence throughout the year 1833, though their approach was daily becoming closer. Jackson's removal of deposits from the United States bank, Oct. 1, 1833, in defiance of a previous adverse vote of the house (see DEPOSITS, REMOVAL OF), seemed to the entire opposition such a flagrant executive usurpation of power as could not escape popular condemnation, and the national republican leaders seized upon it as an opportunity for cementing their new alliances. The task seemed difficult, in view of the radically different political beliefs of the two leading elements of the alliance, and it was only made possible by the personal character of the opposition to Jackson, and by the political tact of James Watson Webb, of New York, in finding an available party name. His newspaper, the "Courier and Enquirer," had originally supported Jackson, and had been driven into the opposition by the president's course. In February, 1834, he baptized the new party with the name of "whig," with the idea that the name implied resistance to executive usurpation, to that of the crown in England and in the American revolution (see AMERICAN WHIGS), and to that of the president in the United States of 1834. In reality, the objects of the name were to oppose a verbal juggle to the verbal juggle of the opposite party, to balance the popular name of republican or democrat by the popular name of whig, and to give an apparent unity of sentiment to fundamental disagreement. In all these it was successful. The name "took." Within six months the anti-masons and national republicans had ceased to be, and the whigs had taken their places. In the south the change was slower. It was not until after the election of 1836, in which White was unsuccessful, that the White and Troup parties fairly took the name of whigs; and in South Carolina the nullifiers in general never claimed the name, and at the most only allowed whigs elsewhere to claim them as members of the party.
—In 1836 the party was entirely unprepared for a presidential contest. Harrison was nominated for the presidency, as a "people's candidate," by a great number of mass meetings of all parties, and, in December, 1835, by whig and anti masonic state conventions at Harrisburgh, and by a whig state conventions at Baltimore, the former naming Granger and the latter Tyler for the vice-presidency. Harrison's politics were of a democratic cast, but he satisfied the whig requisite of opposition to the president, while he satisfied the anti-masonic element still better by declaring that "neither myself nor any member of my family have ever been members" of the masonic order. Webster was nominated in January, 1835, by the whig members of the Massachusetts legislature, but he found little hearty support outside of his state. White had now gone so far in opposition that copies of the official "Washington Globe," containing bitter attacks upon him, were franked to the members of the Tennessee legislature by the president in person. The legislature, however, in October, 1835, unanimously re-elected White senator, and by a vote of 60 to 12 nominated him for the presidency. Soon afterward, the Alabama legislature, which had already nominated White, rescinded the nomination, having become democratic. The South Carolina element, having control of the legislature, by which electors were to be appointed, made no nominations, and finally gave the state's electoral vote to Willie P. Mangum, a North Carolina whig, and John Tyler, a nullifier. All the factions of the opposition thus had their candidates in the field, and at first sight their discordant efforts might have seemed hopeless. But all the politicians of the time expected a failure of the electors to give a majority to any candidate, and a consequent choice by the house of representatives, in which the opposition, though in a numerical minority, hoped to control a majority of states. These forecasts proved deceptive. Van Buren received a majority of the electoral votes, and became president.
—Van Buren's whole term of office was taken up by the panic of 1837, the subsidiary panic of 1839, and the establishment of the sub-treasury system in 1840, to take the place of the national bank and complete a "divorce of bank and state." (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, IV.; INDEPENDENT TREASURY.) Seldom have so many alternations in political prospects filled a presidential term. In 1837 Van Buren entered office with an overwhelming electoral majority, and his opponents prostrate before him; and within two years the whigs "had the loco-focos at their mercy." So poor had the administration grown that Calhoun and his followers ranged themselves with it again, holding that the executive was now so weak as to be harmless, and that the real danger was from the whigs. Preston, of South Carolina, and John Tyler, were almost the only leading nullifiers who nominally remained whigs. To balance this, the White and Troup party had now come into the whig ranks, the former bringing John Bell as its most prominent leader, and the latter John M. Berrien, John Forsyth, Thos. Butler King, Alexander H. Stephens, and Robert Toombs. Before 1840 returning prosperity had changed the scene. The democrats were now more than confident, they predicted the dissolution of the whig party, and declared that they would be satisfied with nothing less, with no mere victory; and, to crown the whole, they were completely defeated in the presidential election of 1840 by the "moribund" whig party. In the accomplishment of this sudden victory, the whig leaders have been reproached with an entire sacrifice of principle to availability, but it is well to remember that their party was as yet no complete vessel, but rather a raft, composed of all sorts of materials, and very loosely fastened together.
—Of the opposition candidates who had been in the field in 1836 it was evident that Harrison was the only available candidate for 1840. The whig party was not homogeneous enough to take its real leader, Clay, or its perhaps still better representative, Webster; nor had it sunk so low in its own coalition as to take a real democrat like White. Harrison was the favorite of the anti-masonic element; his western life and military services gave him strength at the west; and, in a less degree, at the south; and it was possible in the north and east to keep his very doubtful attitude as to the establishment of a new national bank under cover, while laying special stress on his determination to respect the will of the people's representatives in congress, and to spare the veto. This last point decided his nomination, for the whig leaders saw that his name would bring votes, while under cover of it the real contest could be carried on for congressmen, the actual governing power under Harrison's proposed disuse of the veto. And yet it is plain now that the whig party was more homogeneous in 1840 than it thought itself, and that it had a "fighting chance" of success under Clay. Its leaders ought to have learned this, if from nothing else, from the desperate expedients to which they were driven in the effort to dragoon the convention into nominating Harrison. And never was a convention so dragooned. It met at Harrisburgh, Dec. 4, 1839, and was treated as a combustible to which Clay's name might be the possible spark. By successive manœuvres it was decided that a committee of states should be appointed; that ballots should be taken, not in convention, but in the state delegations; that in each delegation the majority of delegates should decide the whole vote of the state; that the result of each ballot should be reported to the committee of states; and that this committee should only report to the convention when a majority of the states had agreed upon a candidate. The first ballot gave Clay 103 votes, Harrison 94, and Scott 57, and it was not until the fifth ballot that the committee of states was able to report the nomination of Harrison by 148 votes to 90 for Clay and 16 for Scott. In the same fashion Tyler was nominated for the vice-presidency on the following day.
—The "campaign of 1840" was based entirely on Harrison's popularity and the general desire for a change, and under cover of these the whigs carried on a still hunt for congressmen, the real objects of the campaign. In all points they were successful. Log-cabins and hard cider, supposed to be typical of Harrison's early life, were made leading political instruments; singing was carried to an extent hitherto unknown; mass meetings were measured by the acre, and processions by the league; and in November "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," received 234 electoral votes to 60 for their opponents, and were elected. The popular vote was nearly evenly balanced. The whigs had carried New England (except New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, north of the Potomac; and south of it they had carried the "White and Troup party" states, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia, the whig states, Kentucky, North Carolina and Louisiana, and had made an exceedingly close contest in Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri and Alabama. Evidently, the conjunction of Harrison and Tyler had kept all the elements of the opposition well in hand. More important still, the new congress, to meet in 1841, had a whig majority in both houses, though the majority was not sufficient to override a veto.
—In spite of its diversity of opinion, the party had now developed a number of able leaders, Clay and Webster at their head, who for the next half dozen years were fast giving their party a definite policy, very similar to that of its most valuable element, the former national republicans. Among these were, Evans, Kent and Fessenden, of Maine; Slade, Collamer and George P. Marsh, of Vermont; J. Q. Adams, Winthrop, Choate, Everett, John Davis, Abbolt Lawrence and Briggs, of Massachusetts; Truman Smith, of Connecticut; Granger, Fillmore, Seward, Spencer, N. K. Hall, Tallmadge, Weed and Greeley, of New York; Dayton, of New Jersey; Forward, Meredith and Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania; Bayard, Clayton and Rodney, of Delaware; Kennedy, Cost Johnson and Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland; Archer, Botts, Leigh and W. B. Preston, of Virginia; Graham, Mangum, Rayner, Clingman and Badger, of North Carolina; Legaré, of South Carolina; Berrien, Forsyth, King, Stephens and Toombs, of Georgia; H. W. Hilliard, of Alabama; S. S. Prentiss, of Mississippi; Bell and Jarnagin, of Tennessee; Crittenden, Morehead, Garret Davis, Wickliffe, John White and Underwood, of Kentucky; McLean, Giddings, Vinton, Corwin and Ewing, of Ohio; R. W. Thompson and Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana; and Woodbridge and Howard, of Michigan. Of the old nullifier element, Rives, Wise, Gilmer and Upshur drifted off to the opposite party under Tyler's leadership.
—Harrison's sudden death, and the accession of Tyler, were severe blows to the rising party, for they placed it temporarily under the feet of the remnants of its former allies, the nullifiers, just as it had begun to learn that it had a policy of its own which nullifiers could not support. But the whigs themselves, and particularly Clay, made the blow needlessly severe. Seeing here an opportunity to secure for himself an undisputed party dictatorship in a war on Tyler, he declared war and carried it on a l'outrance. Its bank details are elsewhere given. (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, IV.) In 1842, by the act of Aug. 30, the whigs secured a protective tariff, closely following that of 1832, but only after sacrificing a section continuing the distribution of land to the states (see INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS), because of which Tyler had vetoed the whole bill. In the elections of 1842 for the second congress of Tyler's term, the democrats obtained a two-thirds majority in the house, a result usually regarded as an infallible presage of the succeeding presidential election. And yet the whigs do not seem to have really been weakened. Their convention met at Baltimore, May 1, 1844, the first and last really representative convention of the party. For the presidency Clay was nominated by acclamation; and for the vice-presidency Theodore Frelinghuysen, then of New York city, was nominated on the third ballot. For the first time the party produced a platform, a model in its way, as follows: "that these [whig] principles may be summed up as comprising a well-regulated national currency; a tariff for revenue to defray the necessary expenses of the government, and discriminating with special reference to the protection of the domestic labor of the country; the distribution of the proceeds from the sales of the public lands; a single term for the presidency; a reform of executive usurpations; and generally such an administration of the affairs of the country as shall impart to every branch of the public service the greatest practicable efficiency, controlled by a well-regulated and wise economy." Even beyond the day of election the whigs were confident of success. But their original ally, Calhoun, had been for some years at work on a project which was, directly and indirectly, to dissolve the fragile bond which as yet united the northern and southern whigs, and made them a national party. It seems wrong to attribute the proposed annexation of Texas (see ANNEXATIONS, III.) entirely to a desire for extension of the slave area: it seems to have been a subsidiary object with southern democratic leaders to throw into politics a question which would cost Clay either his northern or his southern support, and the scheme was more successful even than they had hoped. The popular vote was nearly equal, and the electoral votes were 170 for Polk to 105 for Clay; but in the former were included the thirty-five votes of New York and the six votes of Michigan. In both these states the Polk electors were only successful because the abolitionists (see ABOLITION, II.) persisted in running a candidate of their own. Had their votes gone to Clay, as they would have done but for Calhoun's "Texas question" and Clay's trimming attitude upon it, Clay would have been president by 146 electoral votes to 129, and a very slight popular majority. What added bitterness to the disappointment was, that the democrats had taken a leaf from the whig book of 1840, by being protectionist in some states, and free trade in others; that Polk's majority of 699 in Louisiana was the fruit of about 1,000 unblushingly fraudulent votes in Plaquemines parish; that fraudulent voting and naturalization were charged upon the New York city democrats; and that Texas annexation had cost Clay the vote of all the southern states except Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. The consequent bitterness of feeling died away, except in one respect, the foreign vote and its almost solid opposition to the whigs. "Ireland has conquered the country which England lost," wrote one of Clay's correspondents after the election; and the permanence of this feeling did much to turn the whig party into the "native American," or "know-nothing" party of after years.
—The question of Texas annexation had not sufficed to destroy the bond between northern and southern whigs, for, while both opposed this and subsequent annexations, the former did so for fear of slavery extension, and the latter nominally on economic grounds, but really for fear of the introduction of the slavery question into politics. But the war with Mexico gave their opponents another opportunity, which they used. The act recognizing the existence of war with Mexico declared the war to have arisen "by the act of the republic of Mexico." The object was to force the whigs to vote against the war, a vote much more dangerous to a southern than to a northern whig, or else array the two elements of the party against one another. The whigs managed to evade it, however, most of them by refusing to vote, some senators by adding formal protests to their affirmative votes; and fourteen in the house and two in the senate (Thomas Clayton and John Davis) found courage to vote against the bill. During the war the whigs voted steadily for supplies to carry it on, on the principle that an American army had been thrust into danger and must be supported; so that the democrats made very little political capital out of it. Indeed, the next congress, which met in 1847, had a slight whig majority in the house, a strong indication of a whig success in the presidential election of 1848.
—But the "Wilmot proviso" (see that title) had been introduced, and it was to find at last the joint in the whig armor. As the effort to restrict slavery from admission to the new territories went on, it became more evident month by month that it would be supported by the mass of the northern whigs, and opposed by the mass of the southern whigs, and month by month the wedge was driven deeper. Men began to talk freely of a "reorganization of parties," but that could only affect the whigs, for their opponents were already running the advocates of the proviso out of their organization. As the presidential election of 1848 drew near, the nomination of Taylor, urged at first by mass meetings of men of all parties, became more essential to the whigs. The democrats, after banishing the proviso men, were sufficiently homogeneous to be able to defy the slavery question; no such step could be taken by the whigs, and they needed a candidate who could conceal their want of homogeneity. In the north Taylor's antipathy to the use of the veto power was a guarantee that he would not resist the proviso, if passed by congress; in the south he had the tact which enabled him to answer an inquiring holder of 100 slaves thus briefly and yet suggestively: "I have the honor to inform you that I, too, have been all my life industrious and frugal, and that the fruits thereof are mainly invested in slaves, of whom I own three hundred. Yours truly. Z. Taylor." And his nomination was pressed harder upon the whigs by his declared intention to remain in the field in any event, as a "people's candidate." Nevertheless, when the whig convention met at Philadelphia, June 7, 1848, though Taylor had 111 votes, Clay had 97, Scott 43, Webster 22, and 6 were scattering. It was not until the next day, on the fourth ballot, that Taylor was nominated by 171 votes to 107 for all others. Fillmore was nominated for the vice-presidency on the second ballot, by 173 to 101 for all others. Clay had thus received his discharge from party service, for he was now over seventy years of age, and evidently this was his last appearance before a whig convention. To Webster, also, though five years younger than Clay, the blow was severe, and he publicly declared Taylor's nomination one which was eminently unfit to be made; but he and the other northern whigs finally supported the nomination. Taylor carried all the middle and eastern states (except Maine and New Hampshire), and, in the south, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee, and was elected by 163 to 127 electoral votes. In both the north and the south he had also a plurality of the popular vote, the vote for Van Buren (see FREE-SOIL PARTY) preventing him from having a majority. But the election of Taylor was in itself deceptive. It was the result of democratic division in one state, New York, whose thirty-six votes would have elected Cass by an exact reversal of the electoral votes as above given. The division had really very little basis in principle, but was one of those contests between national and state party "machines" which have always been common in that state (see NEW YORK); but it sufficed to elect Taylor, and to give the whigs almost as many representatives in congress as their opponents.
—The meeting of the new congress in 1849 showed the first strong sign of whig dissolution. A half dozen southern whigs, headed by Toombs of Georgia, insisted on a formal condemnation of the proviso by the whig caucus; and when that body refused to consider the resolution, the Toombs faction refused to act further with the party. The loss was not large, but it was the opening which was very soon to be fatal. All through the session, which ended with the compromise of 1850 (see COMPROMISES, V.), the whole body of southern whigs exhibited a growing disposition to act together, even in opposition to the northern whigs, wherever the interests of slavery were brought into question. On the final votes, in August and September, 1850, it is practically impossible to distinguish southern whigs from southern democrats. Not that the northern whigs generally resorted to anything stronger than passive opposition: Thaddeus Stevens' suggestion, after the passage of the fugitive slave law, that the speaker should send a page into the lobby to inform the members there that they might return with safety, as the slavery question had been disposed of, lights up the whole line of policy of the northern whigs during 1850. They saw only that action of any kind must offend either their southern associates or their own constituents, and in either event ruin the party; and like the prudent man who foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, they took temporary refuge in refusal to act.
—Such a policy could not be permanent, and yet most of the northern whig leaders at first thought that they could at least make its advantages permanent; that they could retain their southern associates by acquiescing, however unwillingly, in the final decision, and their northern constituents by their unwillingness to indorse the decision itself. Taylor's death, in 1850, and Fillmore's accession, committed the northern whigs to the official policy of regarding the compromise of 1850 as a law, to be obeyed until repealed, and of opposing any attempt to repeal it as a reopening of the slavery excitement. Webster's speech of March 7, 1850, which is far oftener reviled than read, was really only the first declaration of this policy and one of the least objectionable. But the popular clamor which it excited was largely an indication that northern whig leaders were already out of sympathy with a large fraction of their constituents. In several northern states schisms opened at once, the most prominent instances being those between the "conscience whigs" and the "cotton whigs" in Massachusetts, and the "silver gray" or administration whigs, and the dominant Seward faction in New York. But the general spread of any such schism was not possible. No new leaders had been developed as yet to take the place of the old ones, who still held their hands on the party machinery; reflection, and the absence of further agitation, made the mass of northern whigs willing to retain their southern wing, if the events of 1850 could be tacitly treated as a past episode in the party history; and the first twenty months of Fillmore's administration went by with a great deal of murmur, but no open revolt. While there was no great disposition to excommunicate men like Seward and Giddings, who retained whig views on every subject outside of the slavery agitation, there was at least a disposition to relegate them to the limbo of "free-soilers" and disclaim responsibility for them.
—In the spring of 1852 the southern whigs again intervened to finally break up the party. For twenty years they had accepted a northern alliance mainly as a point of resistance to southern democracy, and they had now consorted with their old opponents long enough to have lost their abhorrence of them. As the presidential election of 1852 approached, they prepared an ultimatum for the northern whigs which they must have known meant either the division or the defeat of the party. At the whig caucus, April 20, 1852, to arrange for the national convention, a southern motion was made to recognize the compromise of 1850 as a "finality." The motion was evaded, as not within the powers of the meeting, but its introduction was ominous. Northern whigs were willing to yield to such a recognition, tacitly: to do so expressly would have hazarded their majority in every northern whig state. But, when the whig national convention met at Baltimore, June 16, the southern ultimatum was pressed again, and more successfully. The platform was in eight resolutions: 1, defining the federal government's powers as limited to those "expressly granted by the constitution"; 2, advocating the maintenance of both state and federal governments; 3, expressing the party's sympathy with "struggling freedom everywhere"; 4, calling on the people to obey the constitution and the laws "as they would retain their self-respect"; and 7, urging "respect to the authority" of the state as well as of the federal government. Of the remaining three, the fifth and sixth are the last economic declaration of the party, as follows: "5. Government should be conducted on principles of the strictest economy; and revenue sufficient for the expenses thereof ought to be derived mainly from a duty on imports, and not from direct taxes; and in laying such duties sound policy requires a just discrimination, and, when practicable, by specific duties, whereby suitable encouragement may be afforded to American industry, equally to all classes and to all portions of the country. 6. The constitution vests in congress the power to open and repair harbors, and remove obstructions from navigable rivers, whenever such improvements are necessary for the common defense, and for the protection and facility of commerce with foreign nations or among the states—said improvements being in every instance national and general in their character." The eighth and last was the southern ultimatum, as accepted and formulated by the recognized northern leaders, the words "in principle and substance" being interlined in the draft by Webster at the suggestion of Rufus Choate. "8. That the series of acts of the 32d congress, the act known as the fugitive slave law included, are received and acquiesced in by the whig party of the United States as a settlement in principle and substance of the dangerous and exciting questions which they embrace; and, as far as they are concerned, we will maintain them and insist upon their strict enforcement, until time and experience shall demonstrate the necessity of further legislation to guard against the evasion of the laws on the one hand and the abuse of their powers on the other—not impairing their present efficiency: and we deprecate all further agitation of the question thus settled, as dangerous to our peace, and will discountenance all efforts to continue or renew such agitation, whenever, wherever or however the attempt may be made; and we will maintain this system as essential to the nationality of the whig party and the integrity of the Union." This was the famous resolution that gave rise to the popular verdict upon the party, "died of an attempt to swallow the fugitive slave law." The other resolutions were adopted unanimously: this by a vote of 212 to 70, the latter all from northern whigs.
—Three candidates were before the convention. On the first ballot Fillmore had 133 votes, Scott 131, and Webster 29. On the second ballot, the votes for Fillmore and Scott were reversed, and from this point there was little change until, on the 53d ballot, Scott was nominated by 159 votes to 112 for Fillmore and 21 for Webster. Graham was then nominated on the second ballot for the vice-presidency. Scott's availability was much like that of Taylor, less the latter's popularity: his military services were great, and very little was known of his political opinions. But the whigs were beaten long before election day. In the north the eighth resolution cut deep into the whig vote, and it gained no votes in the south. For some unintelligible reason Scott had been the candidate of the anti-slavery vote in the convention, and he was believed to be much under the influence of Seward: the consequent refusals of southern whigs to vote made the popular vote in southern states noticeably smaller than in 1848. As a result of both influences the whigs carried but four states, Massachusetts and Vermont in the north, and Kentucky and Tennessee in the south, and even these by very narrow majorities. Scott and Graham were defeated; out 71 whigs were chosen out of 234 representatives in the next congress; 22 of these were southern whigs, most of whom, like A. H. Stephens, had publicly refused to support Scott in 1852, and were soon to be openly democrats; and the great whig party was a wreck. The country had no use for it: its economic doctrines were not a subject of present interest, and on the overmastering question of the extension of slavery it could neither speak nor keep silence without sealing its own fate.
—III. 1853-60. For the first few months of Pierce's term there was an unwonted quiet in politics. New men sought to build up a new party on the ruins of the whig organization by utilizing the old whig feeling against the foreign vote (see AMERICAN PARTY); and, as this promised a possible escape from the slavery question, the remnants of the whig party in 1856 indorsed the "American" nomination of Fillmore and Donelson, "without adopting or referring to the peculiar doctrines" of the party which had at first nominated him. But, by this time, most of the former northern whig vote had gone into the new republican party (see its name) under new leaders, while a large part of the former whig leaders had gone into the democratic party. Thus the former element gave the republican party its economic doctrines, while the latter lost all distinction as it changed its habitat. Still, the whig remnants lived on in a few northern states until 1857-8, when they were finally absorbed into the republican party. In 1860 the old whig element in the border states nominated Bell and Everett (see CONSTITUTIONAL UNION PARTY), and was still strong enough to dispute the southern states with the ultra democracy; but the outbreak of the rebellion dissipated this last trace of the once-powerful whig party.
—The history of the party nominally covers a quarter of a century, 1828-52, but it must be confessed that its real and distinct existence covers only about four years, 1842-6, and that its only real party action was its nomination of Clay in 1844, with the possible exception of Clay's nomination in 1831. During all the rest of its history the party was trading on borrowed capital, and its creditors held mortgages on all its conventions, which they were always prompt to foreclose. And yet it had its own office to perform, for in its members, rather than in its leaders, was preserved most of the nationalizing spirit of the United States. (See NATION, III.) In this sense, if we may not altogether accept the epitaph suggested by one of its leaders, that "the world was not worthy of it," we may at least believe that the nation was not ready for it.
—There is no good history of the whig party. Ormsby's History of the Whig Party gives so much space to events before 1824 that only the last 200 pages treat of events thereafter, and the treatment is itself of little value. Niles' Register, though a periodical, is about the best record of the party, though Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Slave Power is more convenient. The American Whig Review, published monthly 1844-52, will give the party's view of its own work; and 2 A. H. Stephens' War Between the States, 237, will give the inside history of the party's downfall. Its platforms in full may be found in Greeley's Political Text Book of 1860, 11-18. See also 2 von Holst's United States; North American Review, January, 1876 (W. G. Sumner's "Politics in America"); Wise's Seven Decades; 8-16 Benton's Debates of Congress; 2 Hammond's Political History of New York; Sargent's Public Men and Events; Clay's Works, Private Correspondence, and Colton's Life and Times of Clay; Webster's Works, Private Correspondence, and Curtis' Life of Webster; Adams' Memoir of John Quincy Adams; Everett's Orations and Speeches; Seward's Works; Coleman's Life of Crittenden; Tuckerman's Life of Kennedy; Prentiss' Memoir of S. S. Prentiss; Choate's Writings, and Parker's Reminiscences of Choate; Winthrop's Speeches and Addresses; Cleveland's A. H. Stephens in Public and Private; the series of biographies in the Whig Review; the antagonistic authorities under DEMOCRATIC PARTY; and authorities under articles referred to, particularly BANK CONTROVERSIES, III., IV.; DEPOSITS, REMOVAL OF; CENSURES; INDEPENDENT TREASURY; BROAD SEAL WAR; INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS; ABOLITION; COMPROMISES, V.; FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW; AMERICAN PARTY; REPUBLICAN PARTY.
WHISKY INSURRECTION (IN U. S. HISTORY), a revolt against the execution of a federal excise law, which came to a head in western Pennsylvania and was suppressed in 1794.
—The series of disorders to which the above general name is given, were the outcome of a number of moving causes. 1. The western counties of Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, among or beyond the Alleghanies, were far removed from the main body of American civilization. The distance to the seaboard was three hundred miles; roads were few and bad; to secure any profit from grain it was necessary to convert it into the more portable form of whisky; and whisky was the money of the community, in the general scarcity of cash. Under these circumstances a tax levied specially upon the distillation of whisky seemed to the mountaineers an invidious selection of themselves for imposition, a singling out of a few counties for taxation in order to relieve the richer east. 2. The people of these counties had been so long exempt from the fetters of the law that they felt the first touch keenly. Lying within an area whose jurisdiction had long been disputed by Virginia and Pennsylvania (see VIRGINIA, TERRITORIES), they had generally escaped any troublesome interference from either state. In 1783 the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania had sent a special agent to remonstrate with "those deluded citizens in ye western counties who seemed disposed to separate from ye commonwealth and erect a new and independent state." Canada was not far away to the north; Spain not much farther to the southwest; and between the two lay the great and unoccupied "northwest territory," to the west of Pennsylvania. Who can tell how many abortive negotiations with agents of one or the other power, with the erection of a new and nominally independent northwestern power as an ultimate object, were never committed to paper, but died with the backwoodsmen who had conducted them? It is certain that, when Genet (see that title) reached the United States in 1793, his infallible instinct for troubled waters at once led him to send his agents to Kentucky and western Pennsylvania; and when the last scene in the present insurrection was being acted, the more reckless leaders showed their hand by urging the formation of a new state. When vague dreams of empire had been so long cherished, it was intolerable that they should be broken in upon by the summons of a federal exciseman, and this sudden dissolving of frontier independence had very much to do with the whole difficulty. 3. In any event, an excise law had always been odious to English and Americans from the necessary power given to officers to enter houses and search. Blackstone had curtly said that "from its original to the present time its very name has been odious to the people of England"; and Noah Webster's predecessor, Dr. Johnson, had defined it as "a hateful tax, levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but by wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid." The continental congress, in a proclamation to the people of Canada, in October, 1774, had warned them that they would be "subjected to the impositions of excise, the horror of all free states"; and an English pamphleteer, long before, had said, "We know what a general excise is, and can not be ignorant that it bath an army in its belly." The constitution plainly gave congress power to lay and collect excises; but it was certain that the exercise of the power would be difficult and dangerous; and the first project of an excise was defeated in congress, June 21, 1790. In the following year, when the project was revived, the Pennsylvania senators were instructed by their legislature to oppose such a law, "established on principles subversive of peace, liberty, and the rights of the citizens." 4. Complicated with all these reasons was a political opposition to the excise, which will be more in place under the main reason for its passage.
—Hamilton's reason for insisting upon the passage of an excise law must be judged from the standpoint of the statesman, not from that of the financier, though a hope of future revenues might have been considered. If we take into account the expense of suppressing the inevitable insurrection which it provoked the excise cost as much for collection as it produced, and the sides of its account were fairly balanced. Hamilton had prescience enough to forecast this immediate result, and yet he felt that great gain would come from the passage of the law. His reason, as given in the letter to Washington cited below, was, that it was necessary to assert at once the power of the federal government to lay excises, which the people were accustomed to look upon as a state prerogative, and that "a thing of the kind could not be introduced with a greater prospect of easy success than at a period when the government enjoyed the advantage of first impressions, when state factions to resist its authority were not yet matured, and when so much aid was to be derived from the popularity and firmness of the actual chief magistrate." But this last paragraph shows that there was an ulterior design, and that Hamilton was endeavoring to find the line of least resistance in exhibiting to the states for the first time that which had never before been heard of, "the authority of the national government." Heretofore, "authority" had been in the state governments, and the functions of the national government, if there ever was any, were to recommend, to remonstrate, to soothe, and to bear rebuffs with patience and becoming humility. Somewhere the new national authority must be first brought upon the stage, and no safer or more undeniably legal opportunity could be imagined than in the suppression of an insurrection against an excise law. To assert that Hamilton willfully sought to provoke as weak a sedition as possible in order to make its suppression easy and certain, would be a hard saying if his object had been personal advantage, or if a hecatomb of innocent victims could be invoked in condemnation of his plans. But neither was true: not only was the success of his plan perfect and bloodless, but there seems to have been no trace of self-seeking in it. He was playing for high stakes (see NATION), and he played, as his antagonists did in 1800-1, with the rigor of the game. That he used opportunity, the disorganization of the opposition, the constitutional permission to lay excises, and the presidency of Washington, with such skill and effect, shows only what a master of the game he was.
—Had Hamilton's purpose been plainly stated, to force an issue on which he could safely introduce the "authority of the national government" to popular view, the excise law would have received little support from a people or from politicians accustomed to regard the states as sovereign and independent, and the federal government as their creature. (See STATE SOVEREIGNTY.) But he took one step after another so skillfully that he ended, as he began, with the almost unanimous support of the people, who concurred in maintaining a national authority which they had hardly dreamed of ten years before. Nevertheless, there were some of the opposition, particularly Jefferson, who detected and vainly endeavored to counteract Hamilton's design. Their failure was one great moving cause of the rise of the new republican party (see DEMOCRATIC PARTY, I.), but it also helped to give the leaders of the new party the bitter dislike which they always cherished for Hamilton. That he had forced them to learn new ideas was bad enough, but it was intolerable that he should also compel them to kiss the rod to which they had unwillingly submitted. Their evident wrath has given some credence to a notion that some of them had been laying plans for a general disruption of the Union, and that Hamilton's shrewdness in provoking a premature explosion had balked them. The only documentary evidence to this effect is in a passage of an intercepted dispatch of Fanchet, Genet's successor, in 1794 (see RANDOLPH, EDMUND), that the insurrection was "indubitably connected with a general explosion for some time prepared in the public mind, but which this local eruption would cause to miscarry, or at least check for a long time." But the Frenchman's characteristic use of the word "indubitably," his failure to support it by any evidence from Randolph or elsewhere, and the failure of every other attempt to find any such evidence, put his passage out of court. Democratic anger came altogether from the discovery that the power of the federal government must thereafter be considered as a factor in American politics, together with the independence of the states and of the citizen. They could no longer say, as was said in congress in 1794, that their constituents "love your government much, but they love their independence more"; for the federalists could retort, as Tracy, of Connecticut, did to Gallatin in 1796, that, "whatever might be the case in other parts of the Union, his constituents were not of a temper to dance round a whisky pole one day cursing the government, and sneak the next day into a swamp on hearing that a military force was marching against them." In this alteration of the fundamentals of political discussion was the head and front of Hamilton's offending.
—The excise bill became a law March 3, 1791. Little open resistance was made to it in Virginia or North Carolina, but in Pennsylvania the agitation was headed not only by violent men, one Bradford being the most noted, but by abler and quieter leaders, such as William Findley, then and for many years afterward a member of congress; John Smilie, also a member of congress after 1792, and Albert Gallatin. (See his name.) The first meeting to protest against the law was held at Redstone old fort, now Brownsville, July 27. Its proceedings were moderate; but another meeting, Aug. 23, in Washington county, nearest to the Virginia line, and most disordered, resolved to consider as an enemy any person who should take office under the law. Violence could not but follow this, and it began Sept. 6, with the tarring and feathering of a revenue officer. Throughout the winter the disturbance smoldered, but it was so threatening that an act was passed, May 2, 1792 (see INSURRECTION), empowering the president to use militia in suppressing disturbances within a state. With it went another act, May 8, reducing the duties. An attempt to hire an office in Washington county for the revenue officers, in August, led to renewed disorder, and the president felt compelled to warn the rioters, by a proclamation of Sept. 15, to abandon their unlawful combinations. Occasional tarrings and featherings followed throughout the year 1793, but the law itself was not as yet very effectively exercised. Early in 1794 the organization of secret societies began, coincident with the introduction into the house of representatives of a plan to secure and collect the excise duties; and these seem to have made full preparations for resistance. One great reason for the popular dislike to this particular law was, that offenses under it were cognizable only in federal courts, and that an accused person would therefore be compelled to journey to Philadelphia, at the other end of the state, to answer the charge. To backwoodsmen this was certainly no slight grievance; and congress very justly removed it in the act of June 5, 1794, giving state courts concurrent jurisdiction of excise offenses, so that accused persons might be tried in their own vicinage. But while the law was in process of passage, and before its mitigation could be taken advantage of, some fifty writs were issued at Philadelphia, May 31, against various persons in the western counties. These were served in July; as each was served, the person served joined the mob which followed the marshal; the cry was raised that "the federal sheriff was taking away people to Philadelphia"; and the short-lived whisky insurrection began. The marshal was captured, and sworn to serve no more processes; the inspector fled down the Ohio, and thence around through a wilderness to Philadelphia; and within two days the operation of the law was stopped. It is not known who was responsible for the issue of the writs of May 31, which were the spark for the explosion. There is no evidence whatever that Hamilton had anything to do with it.
—The insurgents, two days after the outbreak, seized the mail from Pittsburgh, in order to ascertain the names of those of their fellow-citizens who were opposed to them. A mass meeting was called for Aug. 1, on Braddock's field. Some 7,000 armed men were present; a county judge presided, and Gallatin acted as secretary; none, even of those who disliked the posture into which affairs were growing, dared to remonstrate; and a reign of terror was begun, Bradford being the ruling spirit. Personal violence was offered to any person suspected of obeying the law, and the more reckless spirits began active preparation to call out the whole force of the counties for a defensive war against the United States.
—The emergency had now come, and the manner in which it was met showed to the dullest understanding the difference between the present government and that which had been balked by Shay's rebellion. (See CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF.) The federalist members of the cabinet instantly advised the calling out of militia; and, when Gov. Mifflin of Pennsylvania declined to take the initiative, the "national authority" showed that it no longer was absolutely dependent on the state governments. A certificate of the existence of the insurrection was obtained from a federal judge; a proclamation from the president, Aug. 7, ordered the insurgents to disperse; a requisition for 15,000 militia was issued to the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland; and Sept. 1 was fixed as the date for the departure of the troops. A federal commission of three persons, and a state commission of two, preceded the troops with offers of amnesty on full submission. The mission was apparently a failure. It found Gallatin, Findley, Brackenridge and the other leaders of standing engaged in a desperate effort to induce submission, but impeded by Bradford and the reckless borderers, who terrorized every meeting they attended. Aug. 28, the controlling committee of sixty met at Redstone old fort. Bradford urged armed resistance, but Gallatin, by securing a secret ballot, obtained a resolution, 34 to 23, to accede to the proposals of the federal commissioners. These proposals were mainly that town meetings should be held Sept. 11, that the people should vote yea or nay on the question of submission, that those who voted yea should obtain amnesty by signing a declaration of submission, and that the unanimity of the vote should govern the movements of the troops. Many, however, refused to sign the declaration, for the reason that they had taken no part in the outrages, and had no need of amnesty; and the reckless part of the insurgents supplemented the meagreness of the vote by a renewal of the outrages, and even by an attempt to seize the commissioners on their way home.
—The report of the commissioners was so unfavorable that the president issued a new proclamation, Sept. 25, giving notice of the advance of the troops, mostly volunteers. Washington accompanied them to Carlisle, where he left the chief command to Gov. Lee, of Virginia. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops were led by Govs. Mifflin and Howell; the Virginia troops by Gen. Morgan; and the Maryland troops by Samuel Smith, a member of congress from Baltimore. Hamilton accompanied the expedition throughout. In the meantime a new popular convention, Oct. 2, had sent Findley and another commissioner to the president with unanimous assurances of submission; but the president could see no evidence that the assurances represented any general feeling. Another meeting, Oct. 24, therefore declared that all suspected persons ought to surrender at once for trial, and that it would be perfectly safe to open inspection offices and put the excise laws in operation immediately; and four commissioners were appointed to carry these resolutions to the president. No halt took place in the movement of the troops, however. They arrived in the disturbed district early in November, and their commander, after giving the inhabitants time to obey his proclamation and take advantage of the proffered amnesty, arrested by a general sweep those accused persons who had not yet exonerated themselves. These culprits, however, were insignificant. Bradford and the more violent leaders had fled the country, and the more moderate leaders had protected themselves by taking advantage of the amnesty: as Wolcott, a warm federalist, expressed it, "all the great rogues, who began the mischief, had submitted and become partisans of the government." The result was, that two or three were tried and convicted, and these were pardoned. But there was for a long time an angry feeling that Hamilton, Knox and Judge Peters had acted as a "star chamber" in their manner of taking testimony, and in their sending a number of accused persons to Philadelphia, "to be imprisoned for ten or twelve months without even an indictment being found against them."
—The first show of force had suppressed the insurrection, and the troops returned home, leaving 2,500 men, under Morgan, who encamped in the disturbed district throughout the winter. Its suppression had been almost bloodless, but two persons having been killed, and these in personal conflicts with soldiers for which the soldiers were punished. But the effects were greater than if a "Peterloo" battle had been fought. The early political struggles of the United States are none the less important because they were peaceful; and the bloodless suppression of the whisky insurrection is as significant in its way as the bloody emergence of the English nation from the chaos of the heptarchy. For five years the people had been enjoying all the comforts of a national government without feeling any of the responsibilities which accompanied them; and the politicians had been developing the idea that individual obedience to the federal government under the constitution was to be as fundamentally voluntary as state obedience had been under the confederation, that all Americans were by nature good citizens, and that discontent with a law was prima facie evidence that the law was bad and ought to be repealed. The year 1794 completed what the year 1787 began; it revealed a power which, though seldom exerted, must always be finally decisive. The swiftness and thoroughness with which the resistance had been put down; the evident fact that, as Wolcott said, "the whole resources of the country would be employed, if necessary"; and the reflection that a part can never be equal to the whole: all combined to show the hopelessness of any future insurrection which individual dissatisfaction could be expected to produce. It is clearly within bounds to say, that this single lesson would have been sufficient to free the United States from future danger of insurrection but for the influence of slavery in binding together a number of states in organized insurrection. Its influence is certainly evident in a comparison of the congressional debates before and after it occurred. Before 1794 there is in many of the speakers almost an affectation of voluntary obedience to federal laws, and of monition to others not to provoke resistance. After that year, this characteristic disappears almost entirely, and the debates have no longer the background of possible club law.
—A broader result is easily visible now, though few others than Jefferson and Hamilton saw it then. If a federal army, without the summons of the governor or legislature, was to march through a state to suppress resistance to federal laws within the state, state sovereignty, in its hitherto accepted sense, could hardly be found by searching. Little was said at the time, but when the federal party was finally overthrown, one of the first steps in reform was the abolition of the excise laws by the act of April 6, 1802. (See STATE SOVEREIGNTY.)
—See 4 Hildreth's United States, 498; 1 von Holst's United States, 94; 1 Schouler's United States, 275; 2 Pitkin's United States, 421; 1 Tucker's United States, 552; Bradford's Federal Government, 84; 1 Gibbs' Administrations of Washington and Adams, 144; Wharton's State Trials, 102; authorities under GALLATIN, HAMILTON and JEFFERSON; 3 Jefferson's Works (edit.1833), 308; 4 Hamilton's Works, 231 (letter to Washington); 6 Pennsylvania Hist. Soc. Memoirs, 117 (Ward's "Insurrection of 1794") 188 (James Gallatin's "Memoir on the Insurrection"); Findley's History of the Insurrection; Brackenridge's Incidents of the Insurrection; 11 Pennsylvania Archives; the acts of March 3, 1791, May 8, 1792, June 5, 1794, and April 6, 1802, are in 1 Stat. at Large, 202, 267, 380, and 2:148; the proclamation of Sept. 25, 1794, is in 1 Statesman's Manual, 54.
WHISKY RING, the popular name for an association of revenue officers and distillers to defraud the government of the internal revenue tax on distilled spirits. The nature and natural effect of this tax are so fully described elsewhere that it is needless to do more than refer to them. (See DISTILLED SPIRITS.) It is only intended to enter a little more minutely into the formation and operation of the ring.
—The ring had its origin in St. Louis, when the "liberal republican" movement had achieved its first success. (See MISSOURI, LIBERAL REPUBLICAN PARTY.) The distillers were assessed by the revenue officials for money with which to secure the support of an influential St. Louis newspaper. The ring soon widened, and in 1874 it had spread into national proportions. Distillers who refused to enter it were watched, and entrapped into technical violations of law. Then, having become liable to seizure, they had to choose between ruin and surrender to the ring. There were branches at Milwaukee, Chicago, Peoria, Cincinnati and New Orleans, and an agent, who has not been legally identified, at Washington; but the headquarters of the ring were still at St. Louis. It had acquired so large an influence in the national republican party, that, when the new secretary of the treasury, Bristow (see ADMINISTRATIONS), issued an order to transfer supervisors, which would have thrown the ring into confusion, the politicians obtained a direct countermand of the order from the president. The special treasury agents were corrupted, and the ring maintained its ground.
—When the statistics of the St. Louis merchants' exchange for 1874 were published, a comparison of the shipments with the revenue returns showed that about $1,200,000 of taxes had not been paid. Nevertheless, the secretary of the treasury was unable to reach the individuals at fault, for the ring had prompt information from the department itself of any step toward investigation. Early in February, 1875, the editor of the "St. Louis Democrat," Mr. George Fishback, sent a message to Mr. Bristow, offering to furnish him with a trustworthy agent, who would unearth the frauds. The secretary accepted the offer, and Mr. Fishback named Mr. Myron Colony, secretary of the cotton exchange. Mr. Bristow appointed the solicitor of the treasury, Mr. Bluford Wilson, to co-operate with him, and the work was begun.
—At first the attempt was made to watch the operations of suspected distilleries, the amount of grain carried in and of liquor carried out; but the officials and distillers discovered the attempt, and suspended the frauds until they had organized gangs of ruffians and driven away the detectives. Then Mr. Colony, under pretense of collecting statistics of the city's receipts and shipments, placed a man at each landing and freight depot, to copy bills of lading. The copyists were ignorant of the purpose of their employer, and were directed to copy the records of all staple articles, including whisky. Finally, by assorting the bills, Mr. Colony had a description of all shipments of liquors by each distillery for three months, with the serial numbers of the stamps. Comparison with the official returns of course laid the whole fraud bare; and, within a month after Mr. Colony's appointment, he had made all the leading houses of St. Louis liable to seizure. The work was then transferred to special agents of the internal revenue bureau most of whom were kept in ignorance of the real object of their investigations; and a new commissioner of internal revenue, ex-senator Pratt, of Indiana, was appointed. Under his direction, experts compared the returns of other distilleries with the records already obtained, and thus the secretary was enabled, through his agents, to work up similar frauds at Milwaukee and Chicago, and to discover the manner in which the distillers. by connivance of the officials, accomplished the frauds, by shipping secretly barrels whose contents they had reported as "dumped" into the common cistern of the distillery for storage. Finally, May 10, 1875, the blow fell simultaneously at St. Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago, by the seizure of all the implicated distilleries, sixteen in number, and as many rectifying houses. The records seized enabled the government to make further seizures in almost every important city in the United States, for the seizure of May 10 had been entirely unexpected and unprepared for. One telegram had gone from Washington to St. Louis. "Lightning will strike on Monday. Inform our friends in the country." But it was found that the sender and receiver of the message were both opponents of the ring; and, with this exception, no intimation of the secretary's purposes seems to have passed outside of his own little circle. As a result of this secrecy of operation, the government was able to bring into court a total amount of about $3,500,000 of property seized, with suits on gaugers' bonds, and indictments against 238 persons, including distillers, rectifiers, wholesale liquor dealers, collectors, deputy collectors, supervisors, gaugers, storekeepers, and other persons. It was shown that the government had been defrauded of about $1,650,000 of taxes during the ten months from July 1, 1874, to May 1, 1875.
—When the papers in the case were first laid before President Grant, he indorsed one of them with directions to "let no guilty man escape," and had supported Bristow heartily. But the first effort of the ring was to persuade the president that Bristow's zeal was inspired by a desire to obtain the presidency. The investigators had come to believe that the president's private secretary, Babcock, was one of the ring, and they directed his movements to be watched. The letter, which ordered the fraud to be exposed "from bottom to top," was stolen from the office of the government counsel: and, when it reached Babcock, the letters "W. H." had been added at the end of a line after the word "top," so as to make it appear to be the intention to investigate the White House from bottom to top. A press copy of the letter exposed the interpolation, and prevented the removal of Wilson, for which the president had hastily given orders on first reading the letter. This, however, was but one of the efforts which were made from every side to break up all confidence and co-operation between the president and the secretary: others seem to have been more successful.
—Indictments for conspiracy to defraud, and for destruction of public records, began in June, 1875, and continued throughout the year. The most important were those against John A. Joyce, revenue special agent, John McDonald, supervisor, Wm. O. Avery, chief clerk in the treasury department, and General O. E. Babcock. The trials began in the autumn at Jefferson City, Mo. Joyce was convicted, Oct. 23, McDonald Nov. 22, and Avery Dec. 3. One of the leading counsel for the government in these prosecutions was John B. Henderson, of Missouri. In the Avery trial he had occasion to introduce certain suspicious telegrams from Babcock, and he commented on them and on the president's general action in the case in terms which, to say the least, were indiscreet. "What right," said he, "had Babcock to go to Douglas [the former internal revenue commissioner] to induce him to withdraw his agents? What right had the president to interfere with Douglas in the proper discharge of his duties, or with the secretary of the treasury? Why did Douglas bend the supple hinges of his knee, and permit any interference by the president?" Henderson claimed that this language was meant only to justify the president in not interfering; but it must be evident that the president could not have been fairly expected to endure this mode of attacking the whisky ring. Henderson was removed; but his place was given to Jas. O. Broadhead, a leading democratic lawyer of St. Louis, Dec. 9 the federal grand jury indicted Babcock. Babcock had already asked for a military court of inquiry, to investigate the charges against him in the Avery trial, and the president was strongly disposed to direct the attorney general to suspend all civil proceedings in the Babcock case, and turn the matter over to the military court. This was successfully resisted by Bristow; but the court was granted, and met at Chicago, Dec. 9. The attorney general directed the district attorney to send to the military court his evidence against Babcock, and the names of his witnesses; but the district attorney (Dyer) refused to obey an order which would have made him punishable for contempt of court. The military court met, suspended its proceedings, and soon afterward dissolved.
—The Babcock trial began Feb. 8, 1876. One of the most important witnesses, a gauger named Everest, who was alleged to have personal knowledge of payments to Babcock by the ring, had been induced to go to Europe. District attorney Dyer had induced him to return by a promise of exemption from prosecution, met him in Philadelphia, and obtained an outline of his testimony. As soon as this became known, the attorney general issued an order to the district attorneys at St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee, dated Jan. 26. 1876, ordering them to give no promises of exemption, but to punish every guilty person, who should be convicted or should confess his guilt. It is hardly necessary to say that this letter excited a general indignation, and was looked upon as an official effort to screen Babcock.
—It must be confessed, that, in spite of the fact that there was not a breath of suspicion upon the president personally, there was a very general feeling that he was to some extent on trial with his private secretary; and there was an equally general feeling of relief when the jury. Feb. 24, brought in a verdict of not guilty. Immediately afterward the president took another private secretary in Babcock's place.
—Most of the remaining defendants either plead guilty or were convicted; and a few, in whose cases there were extenuating circumstances, were non-prossed. Of the leading defendants, Avery, McKee and Maguire were pardoned in about six months.
—In March, 1876, a select committee was appointed by the house of representatives to ascertain whether any federal official had aided or given information to the defendants. It sat for six months, examined a great number of witnesses, and gave their testimony in House Misc. Doc., No. 186, 1st session, 44th congress, 1875-6. The whole makes up a startling revelation of the political methods of the time and of the disgraceful and dangerous condition of the civil service.
—Every effort had been made to blacken the private and public character of Secretary Bristow, but without the slightest success. In the spring of 1876 he opened an attack upon a whisky ring on the California coast. Here, at last, he was beaten. As soon as his investigations became dangerous, a California senator demanded the removal of several of the more active special agents of the treasury at San Francisco. The secretary refused, but was not supported by the president; and in June, 1876, he resigned. His retirement relieved the ring from further prosecution: but its active energies were broken and were never revived.
C. 8 J.
WHITE, Hugh Lawson, was born in Iredell county, N. C., Oct. 30, 1773, and died at Knoxville, Tenn., April 10, 1840. He removed to Tennessee with his father in 1786, was admitted to the bar in 1795, and served as judge of the state supreme court 1801-7 and 1809-15, as state senator 1807-8 and 1817-18, and as United States senator 1825-33 and 1837-40. In 1836 he received twenty-six electoral votes, from Tennessee and Georgia, for the presidency, being the representative of that "state rights" southern faction which thereafter became the southern wing of the whig party. (See WHIG PARTY, I.) See Nancy H. Scott's Memoir of White; 2 Benton's Thirty Years' View, 184.
WHITE LEAGUE. (See KU-KLUX KLAN.)
WILMOT PROVISO (IN U. S. HISTORY). Although this principle has been baptized with the name of David Wilmot, a democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, who attempted to apply it in 1846 to the territory about to be acquired from Mexico, it is in reality the outcome of that principle of congressional control over the territories which has constantly been applied in practice since the nation first owned territories. The ordinance of 1787 (see that title) prohibited slavery in the northwest territory; and in the territory southwest of the Ohio the prohibition of slavery was not imposed, because congress, in accepting the cessions of it by the states, had voluntarily bound itself not to do so. In the organization of the territories, while congress has allowed the election of the lower house of the legislature by the people, it has always retained to the national government the appointment of the judges and of the governors, with a veto on the territorial legislatures, and has even retained a power to veto, in the last resort, the action of territorial governors and legislatures together. Its power to prohibit polygamy and slavery in the territories has always rested on exactly the same foundation. (See TERRITORIES.) In the case of slavery it would probably never have been denied, but for the influence occasioned by the growth of slavery. Jefferson's prohibition of slavery in both the northwest and southwest territories came within a hair's breadth of success in 1784; and the more limited prohibition of 1787 had practically no opposition. In the case of Missouri, in 1819-20, there was hardly any denial in the south, while there was a unanimous affirmation in the north, of the power of congress to prohibit anything in the territories, even slavery. The southern argument was altogether different from any such denial. It showed that the national government had acquired the territory west of the Mississippi, when slavery was permitted therein by law; that it had taken no steps whatever to prohibit slavery therein, but had allowed it to extend north through Missouri; and that, when Missouri had thereby become a slave state through the continued policy of congress, confirmed by the admission of Louisiana as a slave state in 1812, it was not just, by a sudden reversal of policy in the case of Missouri, to destroy property rights which congress, at least by laches, had allowed to grow up. Leaving out of question the morality of slavery, the southern reasoning was just, and indeed, mutatis mutandis, was exactly the reasoning of the free-soilers of after days. In 1820 (see COMPROMISES, IV.), congress recognized its justice: it refrained from touching slavery in that part of the annexation where it had been allowed to grow up, in the states of Louisiana and Missouri, and in the territory of Arkansas; but it took absolute assurance for the future by prohibiting slavery forever in the rest of the annexation, that part lying north of latitude 36°30'. The mistake lay in allowing this to go forth as a compromise, a bargain, a division of territory between the sections, instead of a plain exercise of rightful power by congress, coupled with an act of condonation for the past. There could then have been no attempt to stamp the Wilmot proviso in 1846 as a novelty in American legislation.
—I. BEFORE ANNEXATION. Prohibitions of slavery were inserted in the organization of the new territories formed from the Louisiana purchase, Iowa in 1838, and Minnesota in 1849, by the following provision: "The laws of the United States are hereby extended over and declared to be in force in the said territory, so far as the same, or any provision therefore, may be applicable." The prohibition of slavery therein, passed in 1820, thus attached to them as organized territories. It was very doubtful whether Oregon was really a part of the Louisiana purchase (see NORTHWEST BOUNDARY), and for greater safety an explicit prohibition of slavery was inserted in the first house bill to organize the territory. In this form the house passed the bill, Feb. 3, 1845, by a vote of 140 to 59. Pending difficulties with Great Britain made the organization of the territory at that time a matter of doubtful prudence, and it was not considered by the senate until after the treaty of June 15, 1846.
—All parties who voted for the annexation of Texas did so with a silent recognition of slavery therein, as established by local law. But the remainder of the Mexican republic was absolutely barred to slavery, at first by a decree of the dictator Guerrero in 1829, and then by the constitutions of the Mexican republic. If, then, any portion of it should be annexed to the United States, it would come in as free territory, just as all other acquisitions had been slave territory when acquired. Early in the Mexican war an arrangement seems to have been made by the administration with the banished Mexican president, Santa Anna, by which he was to be allowed to return to Mexico, reorganize his party, and conclude a peace on the basis of a payment by the United States for a cession of territory. Aug. 8, 1846, in a special message, the president asked for the appropriation of a sum of money for "the adjustment of a boundary with Mexico such as neither republic will hereafter be inclined to disturb," that is, for the purchase of Mexican territory outside of Texas. Such a bill, appropriating $2,000,000, was at once introduced in the house, and debate was limited to two hours. Northern and southern whigs were alike opposed to any acquisition of territory, for fear of introducing with it the question of slavery: and White, of New York, and Winthrop, of Massachusetts, now expressed their party's views clearly and forcibly. Most of the northern democrats, while determined on acquisition of territory, were equally determined that it should remain free. Brinckerhoff, of Ohio, at once drafted, and Wilmot introduced, the amendment afterward famous as the "Wilmot proviso," as follows: "provided that [as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the executive of the moneys herein appropriated] neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted." The words in brackets were not essential, except under temporary circumstances, and the remainder forms the Wilmot proviso proper, as it is usually cited. It followed the language of the ordinance of 1787.
—Remarkably little opposition was made to this first appearance of the proviso, and that little came from southern democrats who alleged that the territory in question was already free; that the proviso was thus needless; and that it was also mischievous, as a piece of supererogatory and offensively anti-southern legislation, which would provoke the election of extreme southern representatives and endanger the Union. This view will be found best stated by Benton, as cited below, and he himself was one of the first victims. (See MISSOURI.) The proviso was quietly accepted: the house decided it in order by a vote of 92 to 37, and adopted it (83 to 64) and the whole bill (85 to 79) on the day of its introduction. Two days afterward, on the last day of the session, the senate voted, 19 to 10, to take up the bill for consideration. Lewis, of Alabama, moved to strike out the proviso. Davis, of Massachusetts, argued against the motion, and persisted in his argument until the time fixed for adjournment came, and he was cut off in the full flow of debate. The proviso thus fell with the bill. It was claimed at the time that it would have been passed by the votes of all the free-state senators, and those from Delaware and Maryland; but Wilson makes a very convincing showing that it would have been voted down. Nevertheless the denunciations of Davis' action in democratic newspapers and in the "Union," the official newspaper at Washington, were far more severe than in those of their opponents. Cass, in conversation, censured Davis severely. Polk, in his message of the following December, without any condemnation of the proviso, expressed his regret that the bill had not passed, and his confidence that a majority of both houses was still in favor of it. The legislatures of every northern state east of Indiana, excepting Maine, but including Delaware, formally approved the proviso, democrats and whigs uniting in the vote. Everything seemed to point to its passage, as a democratic measure, at the following session.
—Before the following session the southern members had been naturally forced into an attitude of stronger opposition to the proviso. Every southern aspirant to a seat in congress was certain to represent the sitting member's active or passive support of the proviso as an act of treason to the south; and thus all the southern democrats, who desired an acquisition of territory, were arrayed against the proviso. Southern whigs, who were against the acquisition, could safely vote against the proviso with its bill, and could carry enough northern whigs with them on that issue to preserve the national integrity of their party. How were northern democrats to keep their party intact? This pressing question was answered by the evolution of the new dogma of "popular sovereignty" (see that title) in the territories, by virtue of which the status of slavery in any territory was to be remitted to the decision of the people of the territory. Urged at first as a prudent way of settling the difficulty, it almost immediately became the touchstone of democracy, and Wilmot and democrats who supported him were driven out of the party.
—Jan. 4, 1847, in the house, Preston King, of New York, asked leave to offer a bill like that of the previous session, changing $2,000,000 to $3,000,000, but adding the proviso. Before it could be considered, bills of like nature, but without the proviso, had been reported in both houses. In the senate the southern whigs unsuccessfully tried to add a prohibition of any purchase of territory; and the bill, without the proviso, passed March 1. In the house the proviso was moved by Wilmot as an amendment, Feb. 8, renewed by Hamlin, Feb. 15, and adopted by a vote of 115 to 106. Douglas unsuccessfully trying to restrict it to territory north of latitude 36° 30'. March 3. in the house, the proviso was added to the senate bill in committee of the whole by a vote of 90 to 80, but rejected on the report of the committee (97 to 102); and the bill, without the proviso, was finally passed (115 to 81).
—In the meantime, a bill to organize Oregon territory, with a provision that the inhabitants should enjoy all the privileges, and be bound by all the prohibitions and restrictions, of the ordinance of 1787 (which prohibited slavery), was passed by the house, Jan. 16, 1847. But Oregon was now to be linked in, for a time, with the territory to be annexed; and the senate, after twice committing the bill, laid it on the table, March 3.
—II. AFTER ANNEXATION AND BEFORE COMPROMISE. Before any further measures could be attempted at the next session, peace had been concluded, Feb. 2, 1848, and the great territories of California and New Mexico (see ANNEXATIONS, IV., for their extent) had been transferred to the United States. The fact of possession greatly changed political conditions. Southern democrats simply continued to oppose the proviso; northern democrats now opposed it by force of the doctrine of popular sovereignty; and southern whigs, who had opposed it together with the $3,000,000 bill, on account of the acquisition of territory, found little difficulty in continuing the opposition after annexation. In short, the proviso had now no friends in congress, excepting a part of the northern whigs and the few remaining Wilmot democrats. Only the imminent presidential election of 1848, and the unknown possibilities of a northern free-soil uprising, prevented the organization of the territories, without the proviso, in the spring of 1848; and the lost opportunity was not easily regained.
—May 29, 1848, the president called the attention of congress to the pressing necessity of organizing Oregon territory; and the necessity was emphasized by the fact that the popular provisional government (see OREGON) had begun to make laws forbidding slavery. The necessary bill, which Douglas had reported, Jan. 10, was at once brought up; Hale offered as an amendment a section imposing the prohibitions, as well as the privileges, of the ordinance of 1787; and debate continued until July 12. A select committee of eight was then chosen, and it reported, July 18, a bill in thirty-seven sections, commonly known as the "Clayton compromise," from the chairman of the committee, organizing the territories of Oregon, California and New Mexico together. No power was given to the territorial legislatures to legislate on slavery, and questions of its legality or illegality in any particular territory were to be decided by the territorial courts, with a right to appeal to the United States supreme court. In this form the bill was passed, July 26, but the house laid it on the table by a vote of 112 to 97, and it was never revived. The majority was made up of seventy-four northern whigs, thirty northern democrats, and eight southern whigs. Aug. 2, the house passed an Oregon bill, with the section relating to the ordinance of 1787. Aug. 10, the senate passed it with an amendment declaring the Missouri compromise line to extend to the Pacific, and to be binding in all future organizations of territories: and on the following day the house non-concurred. Aug. 12, the senate receded, passed the bill as it originally came from the house, and Oregon was a free territory. The secret of the senate's action was in the Buffalo convention three days before, and the nomination of candidates pledged against extension of slavery. (See FREE-SOIL PARTY.)
—The southern leaders were doubly embarrassed at the meeting of congress in December, 1848. The discovery of gold in California, Jan. 19, 1848, was increasing the population so rapidly that a state government would soon be even more necessary than a territorial government; and the mass of northern democrats in congress were so thoroughly provoked by Taylor's election through southern electoral votes as to be ready even for the proviso. Nothing could have postponed the proviso but the shortness of the session, and the still controlling influence of the south in the senate. Congress had hardly organized, when the house, Dec. 13, by a vote of 108 to 80, instructed the committee on territories to bring in territorial bills for California and New Mexico, "excluding slavery therefrom." The committee, one week later, reported the California bill, but it was not reached until Feb. 26, 1849. The next day it was passed by a vote of 126 to 87, almost exactly sectional. The New Mexico bill was reported Jan. 8, but was not reached. In the senate the California bill was referred, but never considered, and the committee was discharged, March 3. In place of it, an unsuccessful attempt was made to tack a senate bill to the appropriation bill. (See RIDERS, II.) At the adjournment the territories were still left unorganized.
—No one, as yet, denied the right of the people of a territory, when forming a state constitution, to prohibit slavery; and the new administration (Taylor's) at once undertook to solve the problem by procuring the formation of state governments in both California and New Mexico. In both of these the Wilmot proviso was a part of the state constitution. This forced the further proceedings into a new line, which is detailed elsewhere. (See COMPROMISES, V.) In reviewing the whole current of events, at the close of September, 1850, it will appear that the object of the proviso, the prohibition of slavery, had been successfully attained in all the territory outside of the Louisiana purchase, except the modern state of Nevada, and the territories of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona (then included in New Mexico); and that, as to the excepted portions, the Mexican laws abolishing slavery therein had never been interfered with by American laws. But the struggle over the Wilmot proviso, which was essentially only a declaration of the existing law of the territories, was a very sufficient warning that some influence was at work, which would resist any such declaration for the future. This was the doctrine of Calhoun, that the constitution's guarantee of security to property covered the territories also; and that congress was bound to enforce it in the case of slave property, as well as other property. The objection now seems insuperable that the slaves were always referred to as "persons" in the federal constitution, and as "property" only in state constitutions and laws, which could have nothing to do with the territories But at the time Calhoun's doctrine fell in too closely with southern feeling to be resisted. It was adopted, openly by some, tacitly by others, and the comparative strength of the former class steadily increased. Calhoun's resolutions of Feb. 19, 1847, protesting against discrimination in the territories against any state, were the first, though vague, expression of the doctrine, and their effect was seen in the unanimous resolutions of the Virginia legislature, March 8, following: 1, that such a discrimination was in violation of the compromises of the constitution; 2, that it was to be "resisted at every hazard"; and 3, that, in the event of the passage of the Wilmot proviso or any law abolishing slavery or the slave trade in the District of Columbia, the governor should immediately convene the legislature "to consider of the mode and measure of redress." As the proviso discussion went on, the southern tone grew still warmer; and at the time of the final compromise most of the southern states had statutes or resolutions in existence directing the governor to call a popular convention in the event of the passage of the proviso. (See SECESSION, II.)
—III AFTER THE COMPROMISE. The general ratification of the compromise of 1850 seemed at first to have put an end to the desire for the proviso. When was it to be applied? California was a free state, and the territories had been completely organized, those acquired under the Louisiana purchase having the proviso under the Missouri compromise, and those acquired under the Mexican purchase merely ignoring it. Not content to let well enough alone, the northern democratic leaders, in 1854, attempted to apply the "popular sovereignty" principle to the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska, formed from the Louisiana purchase (see KANSAS NEBRASKA BILL), and thus to wipe out the proviso when it was already established by law. The attempt naturally revived the proviso on a far stronger ground. It was now an evidently conservative effort to reapply to the Louisiana purchase the prohibition which had been its organic law from 1820 until 1854; and it thus secured a breadth of support greater than it could have obtained in 1849-50, and became the basis of a great northern party. (See REPUBLICAN PARTY, I.) But of course the new party could not be content to limit the assertion of the proviso to the Louisiana purchase: law for one territory was law for all, for Utah and New Mexico as well as for Kansas and Nebraska; and thus the work of 1850 was to be done over again, with no chance now for compromise. In 1857 the supreme court decided that the proviso had always been unconstitutional in the case of any territory (see DRED SCOTT CASE); but this had little effect on the supporters of the proviso. They still asserted the right of congress to impose a prohibition of slavery upon the territories, disregarding the obiter dicta of the supreme court, and leaving the constitutional question to be decided by the court when the case should come directly before it. Against this permanent programme a bald negative was but a poor reliance; the south was compelled to choose between admitting the validity of a prospective prohibition, or taking Calhoun's extreme ground of the duty of congress to protect slavery in the territories. It chose the latter (see DEMOCRATIC PARTY, V.), its ultimatum being expressed in Jefferson Davis' senate resolutions of May 24-25, 1860. The most important of these, in this connection, were the fourth and fifth; as follows: "4, that neither congress nor a territorial legislature, whether by direct legislation or legislation of an indirect and unfriendly character, possesses power to annual or impair the constitutional right of any citizen of the United States to take his slave property into the common territories, and there hold and enjoy the same while the territorial condition remains; 5, that, if experience should at any time prove that the judicial and executive authority do not possess means to insure adequate protection to constitutional rights in a territory, and if the territorial government should fail or refuse to provide the necessary remedies for that purpose, it will be the duty of congress to supply such deficiency." At least a part of these resolutions was explained by a territorial law of New Mexico, in 1859, establishing slavery. It was disapproved by the house of representatives, but the senate did not act on the veto bill, so that the territorial slave law remained in force. On the contrary, the eighth resolution of the republican platform in May, 1860, declared "that the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; that, as our republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of congress, of a territorial legislature or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States." The issue was thus fairly made up on both sides: all or nothing. The republican programme was indorsed by Lincoln's election, and secession and war followed. (See SECESSION. III.; REBELLION.)
—IV. FINAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROVISO. The withdrawal of southern senators and representatives left the republicans in a majority in both houses of congress before the end of the session of 1860-61; but they made no attempt to enforce the eighth section of the Chicago platform. The propositions of Crittenden (see COMPROMISES, VI.), and of the peace congress (see CONFERENCE, PEACE), both of which aimed to forbid the future application of the Wilmot proviso to territory south of latitude 36° 30', were rejected; but, on the other hand, the territories of Colorado, Dakota and Nevada were organized without the Wilmot proviso, in entire silence as to slavery, and therefore with all the benefits to the south of the Dred Scott decision. Slavery in the territories remained undisturbed until 1862, immediately after its abolition in the District of Columbia, April 16. (See ABOLITION. III.) In the house, March 24, a bill was introduced "to render freedom national, and slavery sectional," and was referred to the committee on territories. It was reported, May 1, recommitted, and again reported, May 8. It was now a bill to prohibit slavery in the territories, in federal forts, dockyards, etc., in vessels on the high seas, in national highways, and in all places where the national government had exclusive jurisdiction. It was debated until May 12, when it had been modified into a simple prohibition of slavery in the territories, and was then passed by a vote of 85 to 50. In the senate, June 9. its language was slightly changed to the following: "that, from and after the passage of this act, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted"; and it was then passed (28 to 10). June 17, the house concurred (72 to 38); and the bill became law, June 19. It was never brought before the supreme court, in order that its constitutionality might be examined in the light of the yet unreversed Dred Scott decision; but all doubts on that score were removed by the national abolition of slavery in 1865, through the ratification of the 13th amendment. (See CONSTITUTION, III.)
—See 3 von Holst's United States, 286; 1 Greeley's American Conflict, 189; 2 Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Slave Power, 18; Harris' Political Conflict in America, 114; 2 A. H. Stephens' War Between the States, 165; Buchanan's Administration, 18; 1 Dix's Speeches, 179 (Three Million Bill). Gardiner's The Great Issue, 94; 16 Benton's Debates of Congress, 223-254 (Oregon), 399 (summary of Mexican laws abolishing slavery); Cleveland's A. II. Stephens, 343 (and law authorities there cited in favor of the continuance of Mexican laws after conquest); 3 Statesman's Manual, 1613 (Message of Aug. 8, 1846), 1710 (Message of May 29, 1848); 15 Benton's Debates of Congress, 645 (introduction of the proviso); 16 ibid., index under Slavery; 4 Calhoun's Works, 339 (resolutions of Feb. 19, 1847); 1 A. H. Stephens' War Between the States, 409 (Senate resolutions of May 24-25, 1860); 12 Stat. at Large, 432 (act of June 19, 1862); Wilson's Anti-Slavery Measures in Congress, 92. The different shades of opinion as to the proviso may best be studied as follows: moderate democratic (south), 2 Benton's Thirty Years' View, 695 (north), 1 Dix's Speeches, 281; extreme southern democratic, 4 Calhoun's Works, 535 (Speech of Feb. 24, 1849); southern whig, Cleveland's A. II. Stephens, 332 (Speech of Feb. 12, 1847); northern whig, 5 Webster's Works, 253 (Speech of March 1, 1847); free-soil, Horace Mann's Letters and Speeches, 10 (Speech of June 30, 1848); abolitionist, Jay's Review of the Mexican War, 183, and Warden's Life of Chase, 314; administration, 1849-50, 3 Statesman's Manual, 1847 (Message of Jan. 21, 1850). The Democratic Review carefully avoids the subject until September, 1847 (p. 103), and the Whig Review until August, 1848 (p. 193), and then both pronounce against the proviso, the former as an abolition measure, the latter as a democratic measure.
WILSON, Henry, vice-president of the United States 1873-5, was born at Farmington, N. H., Feb. 16, 1812, and died in office at Washington city, Nov. 22, 1875. His name, Jeremiah Jones Colbath, was changed to Henry Wilson by an act of the legislature in 1830. He was self-educated during the time which he could save from his labors as a farm hand and shoemaker. From 1841 until 1852 he served frequently in the state legislature, as a whig with strong anti-slavery opinions. In 1848 he withdrew from the whig national convention, entered the free-soil party, and was its candidate for governor in 1858. He then went into the "know-nothing" organization (see AMERICAN PARTY), but withdrew from it in 1855. Before his withdrawal he had been elected United States senator by a coalition of know-nothings, free-soilers and opposition democrats; and he retained the position as a republican until his election as vice-president. During the rebellion he served as chairman of the senate military committee, and took a leading part in the conduct of the war by congress. His leading work is the History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America; his minor works are the History of the Anti-Slavery Measures in Congress, 1860-64; Military Measures of the United States Congress; History of the Re-construction Measures in Congress, 1865-8; History of the Part of Congress in the War to suppress the Rebellion. See Stowe's Men of Our Times; Mann's Life of Wilson; Nason's Life of Wilson.
WIRT, William, was born at Bladensburgh. Md., Nov. 8, 1772, and died at Washington city, Feb. 18, 1834. He was admitted to the bar in 1794, and practiced in eastern Virginia until 1817, when he became attorney general of the United States, serving until 1829. In 1830 he removed to Baltimore. In 1832 he was the anti-masonic candidate for the presidency (see ANTI-MASONRY, I), and received the seven electoral votes of Vermont. See Kennedy's Memoir of Wirt (1852); 70 North American Review, 255; 92 ib., 277.
WISCONSIN, a state of the American Union, formed from the northwest territory. (See TERRITORIES, ORDINANCE OF 1787.) Its area was included successively in the territories of Indiana. Illinois and Michigan, and was finally organized into the territory of Wisconsin, April 20, 1836. An enabling act was passed Aug. 6, 1843, and under its provisions a convention at Madison, Oct. 5-Dec. 16, 1846, framed a state constitution. An act was then passed, March 3, 1847, to admit the new state under this constitution, if it should be ratified by popular vote. It was rejected by the people, owing to its attempt to prohibit banks and banking, and Wisconsin remained a territory. May 29, 1848, the state was finally admitted under its first constitution.
—BOUNDARIES. As this was the fifth state erected from the northwest territory, which, by the ordinance of 1787, was to be divided into not more than five states, it would seem fitting that Wisconsin should have comprised all the remnant of the original territory. This, however, was not done: five and a half states were really formed, that portion west and north of the western end of Lake Superior being taken from Wisconsin and given to the trans-Mississippi territory of Minnesota. The boundaries of the state, as fixed by the enabling act and accepted by the first constitution, are as follows: Beginning in the middle of Lake Michigan, in latitude 42° 30' north (the northern boundary of Illinois); thence, with the Michigan boundary, through Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and the Menomonee, Brulé and Montreal rivers to Lake Superior; thence through the middle of Lake Superior to the St. Louis river at the head of the lake, up the St. Louis to its first rapids, due south to the St. Croix river, down the St. Croix to the Mississippi, down the Mississippi to the northwest corner of Illinois, and thence east to the beginning.
—CONSTITUTION. The constitution under which the state was admitted, still in force, was framed by a convention at Madison, Dec. 15, 1847-Feb. 1, 1848, and ratified by popular vote March 13. It forbade slavery; gave the right of suffrage to white males over twenty-one, on one year's residence, but with power to the legislature to extend the limits of the elective franchise on ratification by popular vote; fixed the numbers of the assembly at not less than fifty-four nor more than 100, to serve one year, and of the senate at not less than one-fourth nor more than one-third of the assembly, to serve two years; gave the governor, elected by popular vote, a term of two years; made the judiciary elective for a term of years, and removable by address of two-thirds of the members elected to each house; forbade the loaning of the state's credit, or the contracting of a state debt of more than $100,000 except in case of war or insurrection; and made Madison the capital of the state. Slight amendments were made in 1867, 1869 and 1870; in 1871 the legislature was forbidden to pass special laws in a number of specified cases; in 1874 county and municipal governments were forbidden to contract debts to an amount greater than 5 per cent. of their taxable property; and in 1882 the sessions of the legislature were made biennial.
—GOVERNORS. Nelson Dewey, 1848-51; Leonard J. Farwell, 1851-3; Wm. A. Barstow, 1853-5; Coles Bashford, 1855-7; Alex. W. Randall, 1857-61; Louis P. Harvey, 1861-2; Edward Salomon, 1862-3; James T. Lewis, 1863-6; Lucius Fairchild, 1866-72; C. C. Washburn, 1872-4; Wm. H. Taylor, 1874-6; Harrison Ludington, 1876-8; Wm. E. Smith, 1878-82; Jeremiah M. Rusk, 1882-4.
—POLITICAL HISTORY. In national politics the state was democratic until 1856, casting her electoral votes for Cass and Pierce in 1848 and 1852. In 1856, and at every presidential election since that year, the state has been republican, about 55 per cent. of the total popular vote being cast for the republican electors, except in 1876, when it fell to 51 per cent. In more local elections, the results have been closely similar. Until 1855 the state governments and congressmen were democratic, with the following exceptions: in 1851 Gov. Farwell was elected by a temporary coalition of whigs and free-soilers; and until 1852 the southeastern or Milwaukee district elected a free-soil congressman, the southwestern district a whig, and the northeastern district a democrat. The coalition of 1851 dissolved almost immediately, and for the next two years democratic supremacy was hardly disputed. Early in 1854 the organization of the republican party (see that title) was begun, and before July it had been completed, the whig and free-soil committees disbanding, and new committees of whigs, free-soilers and democrats, being appointed in their stead. In the fall elections the new party carried two of the congressional districts and the lower house of the legislature, and elected twelve of the twenty-five senators: the Milwaukee district was now democratic. In the following year, though the democrats carried the lower house and elected all the state officers except the governor, the republicans secured the senate, and, after a struggle, the governorship also. For this office the first official count gave Barstow (dem.) 36,170 votes, and Bashford (rep.) 36,012. Bashford claimed a miscount, took the oath as governor in January, 1856, and brought a quo warranto suit in the state supreme court against Barstow, who had also taken the oath. The assembly voted to recognize Barstow as governor, and the senate voted to recognize him as governor de facto until the decision of the supreme court. Barstow denied the court's jurisdiction, which the court after argument affirmed, Feb. 19. Barstow then withdrew from the case under protest, and left the office to Bashford. Since that time all the governors, with the exception of Gov. Taylor, have been republican, as well as the legislatures, the United States senators and the congressmen, with some exceptions, most of which are noted below.
—In 1856 the republicans again elected the governor, a majority of both houses of the legislature, and as a consequence the United States senator (Doolittle): the democrats again elected the other state officers. This was the last election for many years in which the result was close or doubtful. Since 1863 the Fond du Lac district has always chosen a democratic congressman; and to this must be added the northeastern or Green Lake district in 1859-65, the Milwaukee district in 1863-5 and 1871-85, the Winnebago district in 1875-85, and the general democratic success in 1882. In all other congressional elections the republicans have been successful, having usually five of the six congressmen from 1861 until 1871, and five of the eight congressmen from 1871 until 1881. In the election of 1882, under a new apportionment, the state was entitled to nine congressmen, and the democrats were successful in six of the districts.
—In state politics the most interesting issues have been the Graham law in 1872, and the Potte law in 1874. The former was an act requiring a license for the sale of liquor, together with a bond for the payment of any damages recovered against the seller by a town for the support of an intoxicated person, or by any person injured in the means of support by the sale of liquor to husband, wife, parent or child. It was decided constitutional by the state supreme court in 1873, and, with other moving causes, led to a slight republican reverse in that year; the liberal republicans and democrats elected Taylor governor. March 11, 1874, the Potter law was passed. It was a general railroad law, fixing railroad rates for passengers and freight, and creating a board of commissioners to enforce the law. The railroads took the case to court, and in the interim refused to obey the law; but the case was decided against them by the state court and the federal circuit court, and steps were at once taken to revoke the charters of the railroads for their violation of the law. For the time the railroads yielded, but the good understanding between the "grangers" (see that title) and the democrats gave the latter most of the state officers, and their candidate for governor, Taylor, was only defeated by the close vote of 85,155 to 84,314. But throughout these slight vicissitudes the republicans retained control of the legislature, except that in 1875 their regular candidate for United States senator, Carpenter, was defeated by Cameron, also a republican, through the votes of democrats and "bolting" republicans. The legislature in 1882-3 stands as follows: senate, twenty-four republicans, nine democrats; house, seventy-eight republicans, twenty-two democrats.
—Among the political leaders of the state have been the following: Angus Cameron, republican United States senator 1875-85; Matthew H. Carpenter, republican United States senator 1869-75 and 1879-81; Lucien B. Caswell, republican congressman 1875-83; Orsamus Cole, whig congressman 1849-51, state chief justice at present (1884); P. V. Deuster, democratic congressman 1879-85; Henry Dodge, governor of Wisconsin territory 1836-41, delegate to congress 1841-5, democratic United States senator 1848-57; James R. Doolittle, state circuit judge 1853-6, republican United States senator 1837-69, democratic candidate for governor 1871; Charles Durkee, free-soil congressman 1849-53, republican United States senator 1855-61, governor of Utah territory 1865-70; Charles A. Eldredge, democratic congressman 1863-75; Richard Guenther, republican congressman 1881-5; George C. Hazelton, republican congressman, 1877-83; Timothy O. Howe, state circuit and supreme court judge 1850-55, republican United States senator 1861-79, postmaster general under President Arthur; Wm. Pitt Lynde, democratic congressman 1848-9 and 1875-9; Halbert E. Paine, republican congressman 1865-71; E.g. Ryan, chief justice of the state supreme court; Philetus Sawyer, republican congressman 1865-75, and United States senator 1881-7; Cadwallader C. Washburn, republican congressman 1855-61 and 1867-71, and governor 1872-4; and Charles G. Williams, republican congressman 1873-83.
—The state was named from its principal river, the Wisconsin, "Ouisconsin," a mixed French and Indian word, said to mean "westward flowing."
—See 2 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; 2 Hough's American Constitutions; Wisconsin Historical Society Collections; Lapham's Wisconsin: Its Geography and Topography (1846); Smith's History of Wisconsin (1854); Love's Wisconsin in the Rebellion (1866); 2 Wilson's Slave Power, 409; Wisconsin Reports; Tribune Almanac, 1846-83; Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia, 1861-82; the acts of April 20, 1836, and March 3, 1847, are in 5 Stat. at Large, 10, and 9 Stat. at Large, 178.
WOMAN SUFFRAGE. (See SUFFRAGE.)
WRIGHT, Silas, was born at Amherst, Mass., May 24, 1795, and died at Canton, N. Y., Aug. 27, 1847. He was graduated at Middlebury college in 1815, was admitted to the bar in 1819, and almost immediately entered politics as a democrat. He served as surrogate of Rockland county 1821-4, as state senator 1824-7, as congressman 1827-9, as state comptroller 1829-33, as United States senator 1833-44, and governor 1844-6. About 1824 his ability had made him a leading member of the "Albany regency" (see that title), which controlled the state democratic party; and he held his place in it until his death. Van Buren's failure to receive the democratic nomination for the presidency in 1844 placed the regency in an attitude of armed neutrality toward the incoming administration of Polk; and, when this state of things had developed into open war in 1846. Wright was defeated for re-election as governor by the refusal of administration democrats to vote. His death soon afterward added to the bitterness of feeling between his followers and their opponents, and the state party in 1848 made the conflict national. (See BARNBURNERS; HUNKERS; FREE-SOIL PARTY; NEW YORK; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IV.)
—See Hammond's Life and Times of Wright; Jenkins' Life of Wright; Jenkins' Governors of New York, 722; 12 Democratic Review, 198, and 19 ib., 849 (with portraits); Gillet's Democracy in the United States, 176; 2 Benton's Thirty Years' View, 700.
WYOMING, a district in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, the seat of a long conflict of jurisdiction between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Attention is elsewhere called (see TERRITORIES) to some of the difficulties which were occasioned by the undefined western boundaries of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and the three colonies south of Virginia. In the case of Connecticut the difficulty was increased by the fact that a western prolongation of its territory, passing over the Dutch settlements on the Hudson river, specially excepted under the head of possessions of "any other Christian prince or state." would have taken a strip of land about 120 miles wide from the northern part of Pennsylvania. Connecticut's assertion of her rights took the form of a private association, the "Susquehanna company," organized in 1753, and backed by the colonial government. In 1754 the company sent commissioners to meet the council of the Six Nations at Albany (see ALBANY PLAN OF UNION), in order to purchase the Indian title. Franklin and the other Pennsylvania commissioners, aided by Sir William Johnson, of New York, endeavored to prevent the purchase, but it was effected for £2,000. The eastern boundary was to be an irregular northerly line at a distance of ten miles east of the Susquehanna from latitude 41° north to latitude 42° north; thence two degrees of longitude west; thence 120 miles south; and east to the place of beginning. In 1762 the company sent its first party of settlers, 200 in number; but the Indians attacked and dispersed them, sent a deputation to Hartford in 1763 to repudiate the sale to the company, and in 1768 resold the same territory to Pennsylvania. In 1769 the company, disregarding the Indian transactions, again began to throw immigrants into Wyoming, and a desultory civil war began between the Connecticut settlers and the Pennsylvania men to whom the district had been leased. The former were several times driven altogether out of the valley, and compelled to return to Connecticut, but their persistence was successful within two years in obtaining a permanent lodgment. This result was due in great measure to the faulty land policy of Pennsylvania, whose proprietors, the Penn family, made it their regular policy, whenever it was possible, to grant leases only. Franklin says of Penn's initiation of this policy: "The scene of action being shifted from the mother country to the colony, the department of the legislator was shifted too. Less of the man of God now appeared, and more of the man of the world. One point he had already carried against the inclination of his followers, namely, the reservation of quit rents, which they had remonstrated against as a burden in itself, and, added to the purchase money, without precedent in any other colony; but, he artfully insinuating that government must be supported with splendor and dignity, and that by this expedient they would be exempt from other taxes, the bait took, and the point was carried." It was unnatural to expect that mere lessees would exhibit the same spirit in conflict as men who were maintaining a claim for absolute ownership. In other words, the struggle was between two opposite land systems, that of freeholders and that of leaseholders. While this was the case, the result was not doubtful, and the success of the Connecticut settlers was not displeasing to most of the Pennsylvania people, who disliked the proprietary government and the proprietary land system.
—In 1773 the Wyoming settlement had gained so much strength that it began to have ambitious views of independent existence as a separate colony, and the company, meeting at Hartford, June 2, 1773, adopted a form of government for it. But the legislature of Connecticut, having been fortified by the favorable opinion of a number of the best lawyers in Great Britain, Dunning, Jackson, Widderburn and Thurlow, asserted the colony's jurisdiction over the Susquehanna company's territory. In 1774 it was made a town under the name of Westmoreland, and was to be considered a part of Litchfield county, Connecticut. The town for several years sent delegates to the Connecticut legislature. The breaking out of the difficulties with the mother country suspended all minor disputes, and the contest was suspended throughout the revolutionary war, except that the attack on Wyoming and massacre of its defenders, in July, 1778, seem to have been influenced in a slight degree by the feeling that the settlers were interlopers.
—In 1779 an act of the Pennsylvania legislature transferred all the proprietary quit rents to the state, reserving the proprietors' private property to them, and granting them $524,000 compensation for quit rents, payable in installments after the peace. The new lord of the soil, the state, at once abandoned the leasehold system in future sales, and thus renewed the contest with the Connecticut settlers on equal terms. Under the provision of the articles of confederation which made congress a court of last resort for the trial of title to territory disputed between the states, Pennsylvania brought suit against Connecticut to decide the jurisdiction of Wyoming. The case was heard by five judges at Trenton, and in November, 1782, their unanimous decision, afterward confirmed by congress, was given in favor of Pennsylvania. By this time a number of Pennsylvanians had settled in the territory, and when these proceeded to elect justices of the peace the Pennsylvania legislature, in September, 1783, directed the governor to commission the officers so elected. This began the "war of the Pennamites and the Yankees." The Connecticut settlers had submitted to the decision of congress, and given up their town organization; but they expected that their Connecticut titles to land would be respected or quieted. The conditions offered by Pennsylvania were intolerable: the Connecticut settlers were to surrender half their lands at once, to retain possession of the other half for one year, and were then to surrender the whole to claimants under Pennsylvania titles. The settlers resisted, led by John Franklin and others, and prevented state agents from laying out townships or counties; and their resistance had so much sympathy from the people of Pennsylvania that the legislature, Sept. 15, 1784, suspended proceedings. For the next two years the district was in a very anomalous condition, until in September, 1786, Pickering (see his name) procured the adoption of two complementary measures which bade fair to settle the whole difficulty. Luzerne county was established, and the district was thus brought within the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, and the petitions of the Connecticut settlers for a confirmation of their titles were granted by a confirmatory act. By Pickering's active exertions the settlers were brought to agree to the settlement in May, 1787; but in the following year the legislature, having secured the organization of the county, repealed the confirmatory act, and this shocking piece of bad faith ("unjust and cruel," Pickering calls it) reopened the difficulty. Suits were brought by Pennsylvania claimants against the settlers; but it required more than eight years to decide the first suit, and the unfavorable issue of this one had no effect on the persistence of the other settlers. Finally, April 4, 1799, the legislature passed a compromise act, which secured possession to those who held Connecticut titles, acquired before the Trenton decision of 1782, on the payment of small sums ranging from 8½ cents to $2 an acre. The war of the Pennamites and Yankees was thus ended.
—See Miner's History of Wyoming; Stone's History of Wyoming; Peck's History of Wyoming; 3 Franklin's Works, 123; Pickering's Concise Narrative of the Wyoming Dispute (1798), and authorities under PICKERING.
WYOMING TERRITORY, a territory of the United States, north of Colorado and Utah. Its area (97,883 square miles) was a part of the Louisiana cession (see ANNEXATIONS, I.), except the southwestern strip, about one degree in width, about two-thirds of the length of the territory, and containing 14,320 square miles, which was a part of the Mexican cession. (See ANNEXATIONS, IV.) The territory was organized by act of July 25, 1868, and by the census of 1880 its population is 20,789. Its capital is Cheyenne. The act of July 25, 1868, is in 15 Stat. at Large, 178.
[156.]In spite of Mr. Mill's complete recantation of the wage-fund doctrine, in 1869, his earlier statements are still found, unretracted and unqualified, in the latest edition of his "Political Economy."
[157.]"The full-blooded American," said Michel Chevalier, "is encamped, not established, on the soil he treads upon."
[158.]"Many employers of labor," says Prof. Alfred Marshall, "in some parts of England more than half, have risen from the ranks of labor." Accepting this statement as correct, it is to be noted, that, in addition to business ability being the efficient cause of profits, in comparison of the employer with the non-employer, business ability becomes, in a still higher degree, the cause of profits, as between the employer on a large and the employer on a small scale.