Peace Coming through bankruptcy — a Blast from a "Suppressed" Press.
The suppression by Gen. Rosecrans
of the circulation of the New York Metropolitan Record
in his Department, has been a failure, as far as subduing the spirit of that journal is concerned.
The last number contains a scathing review of truthful exposition of the financial condition of the United States
The last hope of keeping gold down in that country, was the passage of Chase
' gold bill.
It was done, but to-day gold in New York is quoted within two cents of the figure at which it stood the day the bill was passed.
The article from the Record,
which we give below, is an able one and will well repay perusal:
Are there any sign of peace?
Are there signs of humanity and reason breaking through the black clouds that hang over our country?
Yes, there are signs of peace, but not humanity and reason.
The authors and managers of the war were lost to those virtues long before the war began.
Peace, when it comes, will come in spite of them.
They will fight against it, plot against it, and abandon the field of blood only when forced by inexorable necessity.
As long as it is possible for the war to last, the party in power will hold to it, from motives of temporary self-defence, as well as of avarice and revenge.
The day of peace and the theatre of their malice and plunder.
Peace is to them what war is to the country — ruin; what the day of judgment is to the sinner, a final settlement of the whole course of crime.
Like the cornered highwayman, they will give up only through exhaustion.
That point cannot be far off. They cannot get on much further without an amount of money it will be impossible to raise by the system of fraud and deception, which appears to be the only means comprehended by the Administration.
In the sums required for the prolonged prosecution of the war, real money does not exist within the reach of the United States
; and printed or counterfeit money is rapidly approaching a crisis where it must burst like a bubble, leaving nothing but its own froth behind it. Already the wily Secretary
trembles for its fate.
His printing presses
are not worn out. It is easy enough to strike off a hundred thousand millions of printed money; but the entangled Secretary
begins at last to comprehend that the faster he prints, the swifter he hurries on the inevitable hour when a ship load of these promises to pay will not be worth the price of a single soldier's uniform.
He begins to understand that his paper balloon is in danger of collapsing at any moment.
To-day the debt is beyond the reach of the real money.
Even the New York Tribune
, of a late issue was forced to confess that the people begin to fear that repudiation is only a question of times.
The New York Times
, moved by a spirit of intelligence and candor quite unaccountable, warned the Administration that it must not hope to mortgage the property of the people to the Government without final repudiation of the whole debt.
Even those blind organs can see that the popular confidence begins to falter.
It must fall, unless the swelling tide of debt is immediately checked.
If, with all the unlimited resources which the banks, the capitalists, and the people so blindly committed to the use of the Administration, it is still unable to meet its obligations, what will be its fate when these props give way — as they are sure to do, either from exhaustion or lack of confidence?
In competency and dishonesty in the management of public funds have run the ship of State almost ashore.
An army of plunderers has assailed the treasury ten times more to be dreaded than all the armed hosts of secession.
The wives and daughters of Government officials and contractors are be spangled with diamonds, while the wives and daughters of our soldiers are freezing or starving in unpitied, in "helpless neglect." It is said that defalcations and theft of Republican officials amount to over a thousand million annually!
While this is going on, the Secretary of the Treasury
, poor wretch, sits there, plunged up to his chin in a sea of treasury warrants.
Which ever way he turns is a boundless prairie of unpaid demands.
To all he says, in the language of the poor man in the Testament, "silver
have I none." The clatter of the printing presses
reminds him that every hour he will have less.
Like a man in Maelstrom, he finds himself swept on by the devouring addles until he is beyond the reach of help or the hope of mercy.
He cries for help!
He throws up his hands in agony!
Nothing can save him from the mighty gulf of waters.
Under the direction of such captains as Lincoln
, the ship of State is whirling round in the outer current of a financial Maelstrom.
Nothing can save it. You may cry "traitor" at every man who tells the truth about the matter, but such cries will not check the speed at which the Administration drives on into bankruptcy.
Let it drive on, since its deluded supporters will not be satisfied until the crash comes.
And when it comes the war must end — and disastrously, disgracefully, to those who have conducted it; but happily to the nation, since we can have peace on no lighter terms.
As it is certain that there can be no step taken to save or reconstruct the Union
until there is an end of fighting, the people will welcome any ordeal, how ever severe, that brings about the beneficent result.
Reckless and shallow men will rave at the mention of the word repudiation.
But their profanity does not mend the matter — does not close the door of even their stolid intellect against the conviction that it is inevitable.
The sum is a simple one.
The interest on the present debt is $1,400,000,000, fourteen hundred millions of dollars every ten years. The annual export of agricultural productions of the North
, for the ten years ending in 1863, amounted to only $63,817,379. Hereafter the surplus wealth of the North
will fall, for a great many years, far below the above figures, because a million of men who have been producers of wealth, have been drawn off into the army, where They have not only ceased to be producers, but have become non producing consumers, and destroyers of wealth already accumulated.
If all the surplus productions of the North and West are hereafter given up to the Government
, they will pay only a fraction of the bare interest on the war debt.
That is, if all the farmers producers and laborers give up to the Government
every dollar of their earnings, except what barely supports life, they can only succeed in paying a fraction of the interest on the Republican
What must become of the principal where the payment of the interest is beyond the possible reach of the people?
Is there any escape, except through the door by which our continental debt was relied off from the shoulders of the people?
Repudiation, therefore, is not a question of right or wrong, but of necessity.
All must agree that repudiation is a very bad thing, but this general condemnation does not remove its inevitability.
Death is an unwelcome visitor to all but all must nevertheless submit to it. The wretch who should advise men, in their lives, to ignore the fact that they must die, has a mate in the fool who would prevent men from discussing this question, so vital to a nation's life.
, in his, in most respects, excellent work on money, says: ‘"Government paper money cannot successfully, for any length of time, perform the functions of money, because it is invariably issued as a financial resource in moments of emergency, generally when war is ruthlessly destroying both life and property.
Government paper money, instead of representing existing results of labor, ready to redeem the paper money on demand of the holders, only represents property and lives already consumed or destroyed, and labor unproductively employed.
How can such paper issues long perform the functions of money, when metallic money cannot perform them, unless constantly redeemed with usual results of labor and with useful services?
Money cannot be redeemed with useful results of labor unless these have been produced, economized, and thus exist for those who desire them in exchange for money."’
Our own continental money, based upon the credit of the Government
of the United States
, is a luminous example of the fate of such money.--We have only to cast our eyes backwards eighty years to get a vision of the path we are travelling now. As the Continental Congress increased its paper issues the price of everything went up, or more properly speaking, the value of the Government
paper went down.
At first this result was foolishly charged to speculators in silver
, just as similar foolish people charge now. All such were denounced as enemies of their country.
In such cases the stores of merchants were broken open, and their goods sold at limited prices by committees appointed by the people.
As early as 1776 Congress resolved that "whoever should refuse to receive in payment continental bills should be declared an enemy of his country." That is, all who did not succeed in making the Government
's mere promise to pay equal to gold
, were to be outlawed.
The penalties inflicted, at different times, to keep up the credit of Government paper were most disgraceful to all concerned in them — ruining many thousands of innocent people, while they could bring no relief to the pressing necessities of the Government
Never was cause more just than our revolution.
Never was a debt more honestly contracted.
But it had to be repudiated, because it was beyond the reach of all real money at the command of the country, and it is not in the power of man to make mere paper promise of Government long pass for money.
It was inevitable that the continental money should sink in value in proportion to the increase of its issue.--The first issue was made in 1775.
The depreciation began in three years afterwards, and went on as follows:
March, 1778, $1 in coin was worth $1.75 in paper.
September, 1778, $1 in coin was worth $16 in paper.
March, 1779, $1 in coin was worth $16 in paper.
September. 1779, $1 in coin was worth $18 in paper.
March, 1780, $1 in coin was worth $40 in paper.
December, 1780, $1 in coin was worth $100 in paper.
May, 1781, $1 in coin was worth $500 in paper.
Not long after these days the holders of Government money paid $20,000 for a bum, and $10,000 for half a pound of tea.
Nobody could complain that the debt was not fairly contracted.
But failure and repudiation were none the less inevitable.
But who, let us ask, when the people come to their senses, will respect the debt which this Administration will leave upon the country?
To be sure they will be told that the debt must be honestly paid.
But who can promise that the people will not take it into their heads to ask if it was honestly contracted?--If one halt is due to the partisan official plunder, and the other half to expenditures recklessly or unconstitutionally incurred, who dare affirm that the people will not, in some moment of desperate impatience, under the crushing load, throw the whole Burden from their shoulders?
The fool or the fanatic may shut his eyes and say all is right, but the wise and the prudent man will calmly question history and the passions of men, and endeavor by the past to form a judgment of the future.
These will be great and absorbing questions pretty soon:
How much of this debt was stolen from the Treasury by the party who saddled us with it?
Is it a Constitutional expenditure of the people's money to buy negroes from the border States and let them loose to compete with us in all the labor markets of our country?
Is it Constitutional to take our money to send squads of negro kissing men and women from Yankeedom to teach antiquated darkeys in the Carolinas how to read the New England
Is it Constitutional to spend the people's money in annually transporting a partisan portion of the army to and from the battle-field to control the Northern
The partisan knave will profess to sniff "treason" in these questions; but the wise man and patriot will regard them as being likely to some day influence the minds and actions of the people.--Those who blindly throw themselves on the national faith and the point of honor, for the burdening labor with enormous unbearable contributions and transmitting that burden unquestioned to posterity, are neither patriots nor statesmen.
The working classes, who cannot be held, either in their own persons or those of their ancestors, to be in any degree responsible for this reckless, unnecessary and unconstitutional expenditure, and to be charged in perpetuity with a burden not to be levied on any property presumed to have been benefited or protected by that expenditure, but on their muscles, brains and sinews, generation after generation.
The theory of the Administration is that the entire property and industry of the nation are mortgaged for the redemption of its paper promises to pay. It seems to be obvious of the fact that all this property is in the hands of individuals, or depends upon the result of individual enterprise.--Behind all this sits the individual will, on which depends entirely the question of the redemption of Mr. Lincoln
's paper promises to pay. We have seen that the whole surplus income of the country will fail a good way short of paying even the interest on the debt, and we must sink interest and principal together, at no distant day, unless a change speedily comes over the dream of the Administration.--That change is not to be hoped for. As well look for life in the dead as to expect wisdom in the Administration.
Must the country, then, abandon the last hope of escape from financial ruin?
It seems inevitable.
But there is a redeemable star shining in this night of a finance.
The day that breaks the paper bubble of the Administration will also stop the useless, the horrible shedding of blood of out countrymen!
The moon sheds its bright beams upon the gloomy visit of the grave yard — so the star of peace shines above the dark gulf of bankruptcy.