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Christopher Columbus ! It is much larger than the mass of all the precious metals, which at this moment form the circulating medium of the world! It is sometimes rashly said by those who have given little attention to this subject, that all this expenditure was wide distributed, and therefore beneficial to the people ; but this apology does not bear in mind that it was not be. stowed in any productive industry, or on any useful object. The magnitude of this waste will appear by a contrast with other expenditures; the aggregate capital of all the joint stock companies in England, of which there was any known record in 1842, embracing canals, docks, bridges, insurance companies, banks, gas-lights, water, mines, railways, and other miscellaneous objects, was about $835,000,000; a sum which has been devoted to the welfare of the people, but how much less in amount than the War Debt! For the six
ending in 1836, the average payment for the interest on this debt was about $140,000,000 annually. If we add to this sum, $60,000,000 during this same period paid annually to the army, navy and ordnance, we shall have $200,000,000 as the annual tax of the English people, to pay for former wars and to prepare for new. During this same period there was an annual appropriation of only $20,000,000 for all the civil purposes of the Government. It thus appears that War absorbed ninety cents of every dollar that was pressed by heavy taxation from the English people, who almost seem to sweat blood! What fabulous monster, or chimera dire, ever raged with a maw so ravenous! The remaining ten cents sufficed to maintain the splendor of the throne, the administration of justice, and the diplomatic rela
tions with foreign powers, in short, all the proper objects of a Christian State.*
Thus much for the general cost of War. Let us now look exclusively at the Preparations for War in time of peace. It is one of the miseries of War, that, even in peace, its evils continue to be felt by the world, beyond any other evils by which poor suffering Humanity' is oppressed. If Bellona withdraws from the field, we only lose the sight of her flaming torches ; the bay of her dogs is heard on the mountains, and civilized man thinks to find protection from their sudden fury, only by enclosing himself in the barbarous armor of battle. At this moment the Christian nations, worshipping a symbol of common brotherhood, live as in entrenched camps, in which they keep armed watch, to prevent surprise from each other. Recognising the custom of War as a proper Arbiter of Justice, they hold themselves perpetually ready for the bloody umpirage.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at any exact estimate of the cost of these Preparations, ranging under four different heads; the Standing Army; the Navy; the Fortifications and Arsenals; and the Militia or irregular troops.
The number of soldiers now affecting to keep the peace of European Christendom, as a Standing Army, without counting the Navy, is upwards of two millions. Some estimates place it as high as three millions. The army of Great Britain exceeds 300,000 men; that of
* I have relied here an subsequent pages upon McCulloch's Commercial Dictionary ; The Edinburgh Geography, founded on the works of Malte Brun and Balbi ; and the calculations of Mr. Jay in Peace and War, p. 16, and in his Address before the Peace Society, pp. 28, 29.
France 350,000; that of Russia 730,000, and is reck. oned by some as high as 1,000,000; that of Austria 275,000 ; that of Prussia 150,000. Taking the smaller number, suppose these two millions to require for their annual support an average sum of only $150 each, the result would be $300,000,000, for their sustenance alone ; and reckoning one officer to ten soldiers, and allowing to each of the latter an English shilling a day, or $87 a year, for wages, and to the former an average salary of $500 a year, we should have for the
of the whole no less than $256,000,000, or an appalling sum-total for both sustenance and pay of $556,000,000. If the same calculation be made, supposing the forces to amount to three millions, the sum-total will be $835,000,000! But to this enormous sum another still more enormous must be added on account of the loss sustained by the withdrawal of two millions of hardy, healthy men, in the bloom of life, from useful, productive labor. It is supposed that it costs an average sum of $500 to rear a soldier; and that the value of his labor, if devoted to useful objects, would be $150 a year. The Christian Powers, therefore, in setting apart two millions of men, as soldiers, sustain a loss of $1,000,000,000 on account of their training; and $300,000,000 annually, an account of their labor, in addition to the millions already inentioned as annually expended for sustenance and pay. So much for the cost of the standing army of European Christendom in time of Peace. Glance now at the Navy of European Christendom,
Royal Navy of Great Britain consists at present of 557 ships of all classes ; but deducting such as are used
for convict ships, floating chapels, coal depots, the effi. cient navy consists of 88 sail of the line ; 109 frigates; 190 small frigates, corvettes, brigs and cutters, including packets ; 65 steamers of various sizes; 3 troopships and yachts ; in all 455 ships. Of these there were in commission in 1839, 190 ships, carrying in all 4,202 guns. The number of hands employed was 34,465. The Navy of France, though not comparable in size with that of England, is of vast force. By royal ordinance of 1st January, 1837, it was fixed in time of peace at 40 ships of the line, 50 frigates, 40 steamers, and 190 smaller vessels ; and the amount of crews in 1839, was 20,317 men. The Russian Navy consists of two large fleets in the Gulf of Finland and the Black Sea; but the exact amount of their force and their available resources has been a subject of dispute among naval men and politicians. Some idea of the size of the navy may be derived from the number of hands employed. The crews of the Baltic fleet amounted in 1837, to not less than 30,800 men; and those of the fleet in the Black Sea to 19,800, or altogether 50,600. The Austrian navy consisted in 1837, of 8 ships of the line, 8 frigates, 4 sloops, 6 brigs, 7 schooners or galleys, and a number of smaller vessels ; the number of men in its service in 1839, was 4,547. The Navy of Denmark consisted at the close of 1837, of 7 ships of the line, 7 frigates, 5 sloops, 6 brigs, 3 schooners, 5 cutters, 58 gun-boats, 6 gun-rafts, and 3 bomb vessels, requiring about 6,500 men to man them. The Navy of Sweden and Norway consisted recently of 238 gunboats, 11 ships of the line, 8 frigates, 4 corvettes, 6 brigs, with several smaller vessels. The Navy of
Greece consists of 32 ships of war, carrying 190 guns, and 2,400 men. The Navy of Holland in 1839 consisted of 8 ships of the line, 21 frigates, 15 corvettes, 21 brigs, and 95 gun-boats. Of the immense cost of all these mighty Preparations for War, it is impossible to give any accurate idea. But we may lament that means, so gigantic, should be applied by European Christendom to the erection, in time of Peace, of such superfluous wooden walls !
In the Fortifications and Arsenals of Europe, crowning every height, commanding every valley, and frown. ing over every plain and every sea, wealth beyond calculation has been sunk. Who can tell the immense sums that have been expended in hollowing out, for the purposes of War, the living rock of Gibraltar ?
Who can calculate the cost of all the Preparations at Woolwich, its 27,000 cannons, and its hundreds of thousands of small arms ? France alone contains upwards of one hundred and twenty fortified places. And it is supposed that the yet unfinished fortifications of Paris have cost upward of
fifty millions of dollars ! The cost of the Militia or irregular troops, the Yeomanry of England, the National Guards of Paris, and the Landwehr and Landsturm of Prussia, must add other incalculable sums to these enormous amounts.
Turn now to the United States, separated by a broad ocean from immediate contact with the great powers of Christendom, bound by treaties of amity and commerce with all the nations of the earth ; connected with all by the strong ties of mutual interest; and professing a devotion to the principles of Peace. Are the Treaties of Amity mere words ? Are the relations of commerce