Slike strani
PDF
ePub

most degree the religious and political opinions of strangers, as well as their manners and customs.

To obtain the preference in exterior Commerce, neither treaties, regulations nor force must be depended upon. Force has but a momentary effect. It destroys that even which it means to protect. Treaties and regulations are useless, if the interests of two nations do not invite them to a mutual intercourse. They are ineffectual, if that attraction does not exist. Treaties, regulations, force, all yield to the impulse or nature of things *.

This force of things in commerce, is but the result of the circumstances in which two nations are, which attract one towards the other, and oblige them to enter into an alliance, rather than with any other nation. These terminate in their mutual interest: it is therefore necessary, in order to create a perpetual commerce between two countries, to give each of them a preponderating interest fo

* Force of things. The political law which governs all, in politics, as in physics. There is a general force whose action is manifeft, which, in spite of wars, treaties, and the manoeuvres of cabiners, governs all events, and carries away men and nations in its course. It is this force of things which overturned the Roman empire, when it food upon a basis disproportioned to its mass; which in the 14th century took from the English one half of France, and in the 18th, has taken from them half of the new world ;-which delivered Holland from the yoke of Spain, and Sweden from that of Denmark. It is this force which destroyed the project of such conquerors as Charlemagne Gengis and Nadir. They ran from place to place; they destroyed mankind to build empires. These empires died with them. This force acts upon commerce as upon revolutions. It is that which, by the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, bereaved the Venetians of their trade to the Indies, and made it pass over sucessively to the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English and the French. Finally, it is the force of things which will decide the great question of the commerce of America.

them to do.

1

C H A P.

[blocks in formation]

Of exterior Commerce, considered in its Means of Exchange,

and its Balance,

WE

E are deceived in believing that commerce,

cannot be established between two nations without gold or silver to balance their accounts. It will be interestirg to enter into some detail on this head, on account of the deficiency of coin in the United States, and the necessity of reducing themselves to the commerce of exchange, being the two principal objections ignorantly brought against a trade with them *.

It

* The scarcity of money in the united states of America, has been grearly ex aç gerated in France. It must be icarct is all new ftares, where nothing shackles industry, where so many things are to be created, and where, in every quarter, there are such quantities of lands to be cleared. In order that money should be plenty in this ftate of creation, mines would be necessary; and at the same time a want of hands and industry clogg d with impediments, circumstances much more unfavourable to foreign commerce, than the scarcity of muney in an active and industrious country. One fact fiems to prove to us, that in independent America, money is found in the most defirable proportion to population, at leaft by taking Europe for the term of comparison. Contracts esteemed good, and of which the

interet

It has been frequently asserted that the balance will be against them; that they can only offer an exchange of merchandise. It is therefore necessary to prove that this great word, balance, is insignificant; that a great commerce may be carried on without money, and that one of exchange is the most advantageous of any.

When a nation pays, with money, the whole, or the balance of its importations, it is said the balance of trade is against it, by which a disadvantageous ideas of its position is meant to be give This is a prejudice easy to be overturned, although entertained by men celebrated for their knowledge.

In effect, whence comes to this country the gold it pays ? It is either from its mines, and in that case it

pays with one of its own productions; or it owes it to artificers who exercise their functions in a foreign country, and even then it pays with a production which originates within its dominions. As long as a nation pays another, directly or indirectly with its own productions, its position cannot be disadvantageous. Therefore the unfavourable word balance, thus attached to the balance of

interest is regularly paid, are sold there at the rate of fix per cent per Annum. Yet thecle aring of lands must produce a much greater benefit; why then is not all the money swallowed up? why remains there enough of it to fulfill these contracts, which produce no more than five or six per cent. Is it not because money is not so fcarce there as people in France imagine? Where the actual state of the Americans is confounded with the distress, in which they were, when they combated for their liberty.

an

an account paid in money, offers no exact and nice idea of the favourable or unfavourable state of a nation.

Gold is also a merchandise, and it may be convenient to one nation according to its relations or connections with another, to pay with money, without its having, for that reason, an unfavourable balance against it.

There is but one cafe wherein the balance against a nation can be declared; it is, that when having exhausted its money and treasures, it remains debtor to another nation. But things could not remain long in this state; fo wretched a foil, unequal to the consumption and exchange of its inhabitants, would soon be abandoned; this, however, cannot happen. Importation presently becomes in proportion to exportation; an equilibrium is established, and the pretended unfavourable balance has not duration enough to give a right of supposing even its existence.

There is as little truth and justice in saying a nation has the balance of trade in its favour, when it receives in money balarices du: to it upon the amount of its exportations. This balance, existing for a certain time, would "heap up specie in the country, and at length render it very miserable. This has never been the cale, yet it would have happened if this fyftem had the least foundation.

The circulation of money depends on two many causes to deduce from its abundance a certain fign

of

[ocr errors]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »