Free trade in its unlimited sense, such free trade as is preached by the most vociferous of its advocates, means dependence upon foreign sources for everything that can be produced abroad cheaper that it can be made at home. It means death to the manufacturing and mechanical interests of the country, and the conversion of the enterprising mechanics, who now add so much to the industrial wealth of the nation, into agriculturists. It means a glut in the market of all agricultural products, and consequent low prices and discouragement to those engaged in agriculture. It means exposure to sudden deprivation of those necessaries of life for which we rely upon foreign sources, at any time our foreign relations become disturbed, consequent and large advance in their price, and distress resulting from diminished supply. Protection, on the contrary, does not imply prohibition, as it opponents, many of them, unfairly claim. It means only the proper adjustment of tariffs so that we can compete with foreign producers in all those industries, which may, with moderate encouragement, thrive here, and for which we possess equal natural advantages with foreign competitors. It means protection to labor against forced competition with the cheap labor of Europe. It means opportunity for those whose natural genius leads them into other fields of industry than agriculture, to develop that genius and thus add to the mental wealth of the country as well as to its material resources. All cannot be successful farmers or merchants, and any policy which tends to confine the abilities of men to any one channel, however broad that channel may be, is a bad policy. We hear a great deal about the distinction between a revenue tariff and a protective tariff, as though these were and ought to be considered separately; we do not believe in this distinction. We hold that the best revenue tariff will be the one that protects the industries of a commonwealth—the sources from which all revenue must come, notwithstanding the sophistry by which it is attempted to disguise this important and fundamental truth. No more fatal error has ever found adherents in the political history of our country than the doctrine of free trade. When mankind become one nation, one brotherhood; when all produce equally, not alone for self but for the good of the whole; when ignorance, and greed, and lust of power no longer exist; when the millennium has come, free trade will be the thing. Meanwhile we seem to live in an epoch some thousands of years too early for that blissful consummation. The truth of the above proposition is found not only in logical conclusions from well-established premises, but in the history of the United States for the last half century. The tariff of 1833 produced its legitimate results in the ruin of 1837, and the country recovered only under the protective tariff of 1842. The subsequent adoption of a free trade policy in 1846, brought us to the very verge of disaster in 1849, which was staved off for a few years by the gold production of California. But 1857 brought the climax of distress upon the country, and there are many young men who can remember that bitter lesson. To use the words of Henry C. Carey—Once again do we find the country driven to protection, and the public credit by its means so well established as to enable the treasury with little difficulty to obtain the means of carrying on a war whose annual cost was more than the total public expenditures of half a century, including the war with Great Britain 1812. Thrice thus, with the tariffs of 1828, 1842, and 1860, has protection redeemed the country from almost ruin. Thrice thus, under the revenue tariffs of 1817,1834, and 1848, has it been sunk so low that none could be found so poor as to do it reverence. Such having been our experience through half a century, it might have been supposed that the question would be regarded now as settled, yet do we find among us men in office and out of office, secretaries and senators, owners of ships and railroads, farmers, and laborers, denouncing the system under which, at every period of its existence, and more especially i n that of the recent war, they had so largely prospered—thereby proving how accurate has been the description of them by an eminent foreigner as the people who soonest forget yesterday. These are well known and often asserted facts, yet blind to their teachings, the preachers of free trade are urging their views upon the public, and enlisting in their behalf even the services of eminent divines and college professors, in order to win by clap-trap a certain class who ara led by distinguished names and high-sounding titles. Such men, distinguished for their want of financial ability almost as much as for their great acquirements in letters and theology, are the men who are to instruct the country upon political economy None are more likely to be deceived by their special pleading than farmers, and no class would be more seriously injured by theadoption of a free trade policy. Far remov ei from commercial centers, and not conversant with the details of trade, it seems difficult for them to comprehend how cheapening iron and cotton goods should not be beneficial to them. They do not see the connection between the prices of manufactured goods, and the prices of their products, and the value of land. The best way to convince them is to point them to the indisputable fact that when such goods have hitherto advanced in price under the genial influence of protection, their ability to purchase has always advanced in a greater ratio from the consequent increase in the value of farm products. We trust farmers will not permit themselves to be deceived in this matter. Let them judge of the present and the future by the past, which sheds a clear and unmistakable light upon this subject, and in the history of which stand yoked together, invariably, protection and prosperity, free trade and disaster. .it o i- The Manufacture of Mustard, In the preparation of mustard, the seed is first crushed between iron rollers, and then pounded in smooth iron mortars, each about one foot in diameter. These mortars are arranged in a single row, near the walls of some of the rooms, and the crushed seed is pounded in them by large iron bulbs, which are worked by machinery. Each bulb is attached to a long wooden rod, which is raised a few inches by an arm projecting from a rotating shaft, and then falls by its own weight. Several scores of these automatic pestles and mortars soon reduce the crushed seed to the condition of flour and bran, of a dark, dirty color, in consequence of the non-seperation of the seed. The flour and bran are then seperated from each other by means of silk sieves. Eight of these sieves are placed loosely inside a large square horizontal frame of wood, suspended by chains at each of its four corners. Violent eccentric motion is given to the wooden frame, by means of an iron rod passing down its centre, and the sieves have an additional motion of their own in consequence of their being loosely fitted in the frame. In one room alone there are nine of these frames at work, carrying altogether seventy-two sieves of various degrees of fineness. The finer the sieve, the more 293 does tlie mustard improve in color, and the husk is thrown aside to be made into manure cake for the land; two kinds of seed are thus treated, the brown and the white; the former being much more pungent than the latter, and the two descriptions being mixed to suit the public taste.
This article was originally published with the title "Free Trade and Protection" in Scientific American 20, 19, 292-293 (May 1869)