Are there any other Southern rights in dispute?
We hear sometimes of a right to free trade and direct taxation; a right to traffic in African
slaves; a right to Cuba
, to Mexico
, to Central America
willing to fight for these?
Then as to “Southern trade,” which has captivated the imagination of some who have fallen into the secession ranks.
There are many variant and contradictory notions on this point.
Carolina hopes to make a New York of Charleston
claims this bounty for Savannah
demands it for Norfolk
pleases her fancy with the miraculous growth of New Orleans.
The visionaries of Maryland
quietly smile at all these delusions, perfectly confident that the cornucopia is to be emptied upon Baltimore
We say nothing of the heart-burnings and jealousies which these various hopes must engender if any one of these dreams are realized to the disappointment of the others.
We are only concerned to look at the probable result upon Maryland
This supposed commercial advantage is founded upon the idea, much commended in the South
, of free trade with all the foreign world, and heavy restrictions upon the trade with the United States
; a system of commerce built upon complacency on one side and revenge on the other.
The Southern Confederacy, it is presumed, will, in the future permanent arrangement of its policy, encumber one-half of its trade — and that its most indispensable and necessary supply — with heavy duties, and leave the other half, which chiefly concerns its luxuries, free.
Does any experienced merchant believe this?
What will the South
gain by laying duties upon the thousand productions of the North
that now enter so largely into their common household and agricultural wants?
Will they get their farming implements
, their machinery, their wooden ware, their fish, their beef, their hay, their ice, their carriages, shoes, hats, and clothing — any part of their whole inventory of family requisitions — more cheaply for that?
No other country can supply them so well, and the experiment will soon prove that every cent of tax so levied is but a charge upon themselves.
When that is proved, and the passion of the day subsides, it is reasoning against all the motives of human conduct to suppose that a merely vindictive restriction will be allowed to exist.
would soon grow to be in the same category to the South
with all the rest of the world — in war, enemies, in peace, friends; and the free trade system, if practicable at all, will be extended equally to all within the range of Southern commerce.
There are some who think these discriminations will be made with a view to the establishment of large manufacturing interests in the South
But to this there is the obvious reply, that no manufacturing system ever was built up in companionship with free trade; and the Southern Constitution
has already put a veto upon the attempt by a specific prohibition of all power to protect any domestic industry.
The Northern manufactures are sufficiently established and prosperous to compete with the world in free trade, and they will always continue to find a Southern market from their exact adaptation to Southern wants.
But the manufactures of Maryland
, in great part, are precisely those which would wither and perish under the free trade policy.
We could supply no iron from our mines, no iron fabrics from our workshops.
Our great steam enginery, our railroad apparatus, our heavy works of the foundry, our cast and rolled metal, could never hold their own in the presence of free importations from England
It will occur to any one conversant with our workshops, that much of our most important industry here in Baltimore
, and throughout the State
, would be compelled to yield under the pressure of European
Again, free trade implies direct taxation to raise revenue for the support of government.
A glance at this will supply another element for the consideration of those who fancy that Maryland
is to prosper in a Southern Confederacy.
The expenses of the new Government are inevitably to be cast upon a higher estimate than we have ever witnessed in our heretofore harmonious Union.
Large armies and navies are to be provided as the necessary apparatus of government.
Fifty millions a year will not be an unfamiliar experience to the Southern
If that amount is to be levied upon some nine millions of free population, which about represent the present number of the whole of the Southern States
, it affords a ratio of more than five dollars a head.
If but thirty millions be the expenditure, it will be over three dollars a head.
contains near six hundred and fifty thousand free persons, and thus we estimate her annual share of the tax at over three millions per annum, on a fifty million expenditure, and on the supposition of thirty millions, something near two millions per annum.
Our present State tax is about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The addition to this, for the support of the Confederate Government, will, on the first supposed rate of expenditure, be twelve, on the other, eight times the present tax. I give these figures as a formula of calculation which any one may apply to his own estimate of the probable expenditure of the new Government, if its revenues are to be supplied by direct taxation.
How the trade and industry of Maryland
may reconcile themselves to such a system, I leave those to judge who are best acquainted with the tax bills our present necessities impose upon us.
If it should be discovered, as I have no doubt it will be, after some sore and short experience, that this free trade fancy is but an expensive delusion, and that the old, long-tried, universal and inevitable system of duties, known to and practised by all nations, as the most commendable