Industrial condition of the free States.
We copy the following article from the Washington National Republican
of the 20th inst.
A statement of the gross earnings of the leading railroads in the free States and of the Erie Canal
, for an average period of eight months past, shows an increase, as compared with the corresponding period of last year of $3,301,139, or about thirteen per cent. The figures last year were $26,242,568. They are now $20,543,707.
This war, so far as the free States are concerned, is not a civil war, but one wholly external.
No hostile foot treads any part of their soil, and their internal peace is perfectly undisturbed.
The same thing, indeed, is true of the greater part of the South
, the peculiar calamity of civil war being confined to Missouri
and portions of Virginia
The total white population of the eleven. Confederate States
is 5,450,711, and this includes Virginia
, of which a portion, containing 400,000 white people, is not only thoroughly loyal, but actually in the possession of the national forces and under the national jurisdiction in all respects.
But this total white population of the Confederate States
is largely exceeded by the mere increase, within the last ten years of the population of the loyal States, which was 6,492,048.
This increase is still going on, and now probably at the rate of 800,000 per annum, and would soon make an equivalent for the loss of the Southern
trade, even if that loss became total and final.
The commerce of the great cities of the North
rests upon no such contemptible and precarious basis as that of the rude industry of a few negroes engaged in raising cotton.
It rests upon the fertility and resources of a continent, and upon the swelling numbers of a free, active, and inventive people.
The destiny of New York, which is to surpass London
, will be none the less surely accomplished if all the Gulf
States were, by some convulsion of nature, submerged in the ocean.
The principal loss to the free States from the present war was in the loss of debts due from the South
, not less than two hundred millions of dollars being computed to have been due to New York alone.
But this is a loss to be suffered but once.
It is not a continuing loss.
The shock has been met and borne, and, although individuals are hopelessly ruined, is already recovered from in a national sense.
Indeed, in a general view, it is not more than half true that this loss resulted from the war. It was really made when the credits were given to the cotton States.
The particular debts due when this war broke out might have been principally paid, if peace had been preserved, but only by incurring new debts.
There has been no time within a generation when the cotton States had the means to pay what they owed.
Their bankruptcy has been really chronic, although concealed by facilities of credit which enabled them to nominally liquidate old debts by contracting new ones.