The British National debt.
In 1844 the national debt of Great Britain
amounted to seven hundred and eighty-seven million five hundred and ninety-eight thousand one hundred and forty-five pounds sterling, with annual interest and expenses to the tune of thirty million four hundred and ninety-five thousand four hundred and fifty pounds. In 1858 it reached eight hundred and four millions four hundred and forty-five thousand four hundred and eighty-three pounds, but the annual charges was only twenty-eight million five hundred and one thousand four hundred and seventy-nine pounds. The loan contracted to meet the wants of the famishing Irish
, in 1847-'8, was wholly paid off in five years. The addition made to the debt by the Russian
war was thirty-six million six hundred and forty-five thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven pounds, and of this three million five hundred and thirty-six thousand three hundred and five pounds have since been extinguished; but at the present rate of re-payment twenty years will be occupied in the process.
Taking into account the increased taxation of 1854-'5-'6, the total cost to England
of the struggle with Russia
cannot be estimated at less than seventy million pounds.--Taking into consideration, however, the large imported increase of the population of Great Britain
since that time, and the unparalleled expansion of trade in the same period, the actual burden of the debt is probably not so great as it was fifteen or twenty years since.--One prominent and favorable feature of the British
debt is, that its stock is almost exclusively held by Englishmen and other nations of the British Empire
, so that when the interest is paid, it is merely transferred from one portion of the national family to another.
It is all kept at home.
But the mammoth foreign debt which the Northern
journalists propose to contract for the purpose of carrying on this atrocious war against the South
, will be due to Europeans — generally to English capitalists.
The money paid for interest will have to be sent abroad.
So that the prospective national debt of the United States
will be a very different affair from the national debt of Great Britain
, even supposing they were certain of resources to fall back upon to pay the interest.