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agreeable cast. Trade, commerce, permanent evil resulting from it; and manufactures may revive ; by when we investigate the amount of their revival, and by keeping at her revenue, and her commerce, peace, we may have a real sinking and learn the immense wealth of fund, by having in fact an excess her merchants and landholders ; of income above expenditure ; the we are naturally disposed to regard revival of manufactures and com- her as a most prosperous and happy merce may give employment to nation. But the reverse of the numbers still dependent on charity; picture is not seen; it is kept out but the blots on our national cha. of view ; when brought forward, it Tacter will yet remain-namely, the presents a different result: in it large proportion of our population may be seen abject dependence of preferring charity to work; the de. mind, the most grinding poverty, basement of character producing and the most abandoned profligacy; this preference, and in its turn re- not amongst a few, but spread over sulting from it: the other evil is a large proportion of her populathe great increase of crimes, and tion. the apparent inadequacy of the It is certainly the duty of a wise most severe criminal code in exist- government, when its attention is ence to stop the current of crime.
not occupied by war, to devote a That this picture of a large por- large portion of it to the state of the tion of our poor population is not great mass of the people; and overcharged, is too manifest from though in such a country as Britain, documents of the most public no where revenue and expenditure are toriety. In 1776 the poor rates 50 nearly equal, (besides an imwere 1,679,5851.; in the year 1803 mense debt,) much must be overthey had increased to 5,161,8131.; looked or even sacrificed for the and in the year 1815 they amounted time, which is connected with to nearly 8,000,000l. As the popu. the morals and improved condition lation of England since the year of the people, it cannot be expected 1776 has not increased in nearly that the government will take imthe same proportion, it is plain that mediate and decisive measures to the poor at present form a larger root out the evils of pauperism and part of the population than they did depravity of moralsį yel they cerat that period. Besides, in esta- tainly ought to be preparing themblishing this comparison we should selves for such a line of conduct, reflect, that at present the sums and to avoid as much as possible, given by private charity, or through by what they actually do or per. charitable institutions, for the relief mit, adding vigour to these eviis. of the poor, are much greater than As the ministers agreed to the they were in 1776.
appointment of a committee to in. To judge of the real prosperity vestigate the poor laws, it is proand happiness of a nation, and of bable they mean at some future pethe real efficacy of a good govern. riod to reform the administration ment, we must look into the interior of them, or perhaps to alter some of that nation. When we reflect of their provisions and enactments, that Britain has come out of the But hitherto the only step taken by most arduous, protracted, and ex- government of a decisive and per. pensive contest, in which any peo. manent nature, to relieve the poor ple ever engaged, with scarcely any and unemployed, has been to encourage emigration to Canada ; emigrants cross the Atlantic to purand this step they seem to have chase or cultivate? Is it necessary adopted, in order, if possible, to that the inhabitants of Germany turn the channel of emigration, should spend their little all in gainfrom the United States to our own ing the shores of Europe, that they possessions in America. It is not may there sell their liberty and la. probable, however, that the attempt bour, perhaps for years, in order to will s'iceeed on any large scale ; purchase a passage to America ? and, indeed, it has already been in Are there no uncultivated lands in a great measure abandoned. The Germany? Does not the adjoining climate of the United States is so country of Poland present immense much better than that of Canada, tracts of land, which, if cleared that this circumstance alone would and cultivated, would be as producinduce many to prefer the former ; tive as any land in America ? Are besides, there must be a much England, and Scotland, and Ire. greater demand for labour in the land, so completely cultivated, that former, where such immense tracts no ground can be found, on which of land are beginning to be cleared those might labour who are now and settled ; and the greatest pro- forced to cross the Atlantic to seek portion of those who emigrate are subsistence? To these questions, from their circumstances and expe. even as they relate to the United rience much better qualified to la. Kingdom, an answer must be given bour under others than to purchase in the affirmative. Why, therefore, land for themselves. Emigration is emigration not rendered unne. to the United States, not only from cessary by providing land and emGreat Britain and Ireland, but plovment at home? It certainly will from nearly all parts of the conti- not be contended that emigration is nent of Europe, has accordingly a blessing to a country ; that a been excessive ; and certainly, if country is benefited by a diminuthere are no modes by which that tion of population. If, indeed, a part of the population that the ces country is overstocked with people, sation of war, and the decline of it is better that the redundancy manufactures and commerce, have should emigrate than starve at thrown destitute, can be employed home, or become a burthen on in their native countries, it is in those wholabour ;-othen it is necesevery respect much better that they sary, but a necessary evil; it can should emigrate where they can never be a positive and desirable support themselves by their own blessing; and therefore it ought al. labour, than that they should re- ways to be prevented if by any main a burthen on their country- means it can be. men, oppressed with poverty and There are undoubtedly great difabject in mind. But it appears to ficulties attending the plan prous, that they might be supported in posed, of finding land and labour their native countries : their object at home for those who would other. in emigrating to America is either wise emigrate ;-but ought not goto purchase and themselves, or to vernment to endeavour to overcome labour for those who have purchased those difficulties? When war is to it. Are there no lands in Europe be carried on and taxes are to be uncultivated; in exactly the same levied for that purpose, all difficul. condition as those lands which the ties vanish ; the interests and pro. perty of individuals must give way its details and carrying it into exe to what is deemed to be the public cution must necessarily be attended good; andare individualinterests and with many difficulties? property to be infringed upori, only We are aware of one objection when the public good is to be pro- drawn from the doctrines of Mr. moted by the destruction of the hu. Malthus:-it may be said, this mode man species ? Are they to be held of relief would be only temporary ; sacred, when it may be promoted an excess of population would soon by preserving the lives and increas. again take place, and the same miing the comforts of mankind? In sery now felt, would ensue. But all European countries, individuals the reply to this objection is obvior parts of the community have cer. ous: in the first place, it may be tain rights over the waste and un- made to the increased cultivation of cultivated lands ;--but does not the land in America as wellas in Europe; good of the whole require that these it might have been made to the rights should be given up for an first colonization of America : if it adequate compensation, in order were a sound objection, it would lie
, that these lands may support those even against the peopling of the who must otherwise starve, or be world at all. And secondly, it is supported by charity, or emigrate? certainly a worthy object both of Would not the European govern. policy and humanity, to increase the ments be in the end amply repaid, number of those who can support if they purchased these lands, and themselves in independence and disposed of them on low terms? comfort; and by the very terms of Is it not likely that those who are the objection it is admitted, that at now forced to emigrate would pre- the future period anticipated and fer remaining in their native lands, dreaded, there would be a larger provided they could obtain employ- number of people supported in inment? In short, is not this plan dependence and comfort by their practicable, and would it not be ad. own labour than there are at prevantageous, both to government sent. and the people, though arranging
State of the Currency and Finance-National Debt-Sinking Fund-Re
-Expenditure Issue of Exchequer Bills-Rise in the Funds—New Coinage-Partial Resumption of Cash Payments by the Bank of EnglandRise in the Price of Gold and Silver--Consequent Disappearance of the new Gold Coin. N some of our preceding vo- brought by the operation of va.
lumes we have considered the rious circumstances. This state is several principles on which the cur- such as most directly and strongly rency and finances of this country to prove the truth of a position, are at present grounded; or rather sometimes true and applicable with the state into which they have been respect to individuals, but almost
always so with regard to the affairs ly explained. We have already, in of nations, viz. that erroneous, a former volume, given a brief ex: impolitic, and prejudicial measures planation of its nature and origin, or habits may be pursued for such but it may be proper here to exa length of time, and so intimately plain them more fully; and this mixed up with the very frame of in our opinion, is done in the fol. society, that the suffering them to lowing familiar illustration of the continue is almost a less evil than several principles of the funding their eradication. All are afraid system, as applicable to the public that the currency of the country is debt of Great Britain. at present, and has been for some A nation, like an individual, may time, in an unhealthy state; because, contract debts in a variety of diffe. it is in that state which is necessarily rent ways. exposed to great and even sudden When an individual borrows fluctuations of value. But as this money, he may do so, in the first state of our currency has continued place, on the security of his simple so long as to be mixed up with our obligation, granted in the form of financial system; and as, moreover,
a bill, or a bond, for the repayment it has been and is beneficial to cer. of the principal sum in a certain tain classes of the community, the time, with interest. replacing it by the old condition of If he finds his personal security our currency is represented either insufficient, he may pledge his real as an impracticable, a useless, or a property, for the repayment, in dif. disadvantageous expedient. In the ferent ways. year 1817, a bill was passed by par- He may make over to the lender, liament for the resumption of cash. for his repayment, the rents of such payments by the bank in June 1818; a portion of his estate as will be and during the currency of the for- sufficient to pay up the debt in the mer year the bank took measures course of the next year; or he may which indicated a determination to make over such a portion of these resume the payments entirely at the rents as will be sufficient, not to pay specified period.-Before, however, the whole debt in one year, but to we advert more particularly to the pay the interest, and a certain pornature of those measures and their tion of the principal, every year, consequences, it will be proper to and thus to extinguish the whole advert to the finances of last year; debt in a certain number of years. as, to all who understand this branch If he requires money, and yet of political economy it must be ap- does not wish to have his revei ve parent, that the currency of a coun. tied up to this extent, he may obó try and its finance are closely and tain loans, by pledging such parts mutually dependent on each other. of his rents as will be sufficient to
The grand feature in the finances pay the lender a yearly annuity in of Great Britain is its national debt; place of the principal or interest of were this paid off, its revenue, even
the debt. In this case, the lender if taxes were taken off to a large will have no right to demand reamount, would more than equal its payment of the money lent; but, in expenditure. Before, therefore, the place of it, will be entitled to an finance of this country can be
which perly understood, the exact nature either for his life, or that of some of this national debt must be clcar. other person, for a fixed term of
may be, years, or for ever. In all these they are payable; and the lenders cases, the annual payment will vary receive payment of their advances, according to the length of time as the produce of the mortgaged that the annuity will probably en- taxes come in. This mode of raisdure. Annuities for lives will be ing money is carried into effect naturally the highest. Annuities through the medium of the bank of for a term of years will generally England, who make annual ad. be lower than those for lives, as the vances to government, and receive term will be usually longer than from the produce of the taxes mortthe probable endurance of life an- gaged, the amount of these adnuities and perpetual annuities vances, with interest, and, of course, will be the lowest of all.
a profit on the transaction; so that These different modes, by which the taxes thus anticipated are rendebt may be contracted by private dered considerably less productive individuals, are mentioned, as fa. than they would otherwise be. This miliar, but exact illustrations of the method of raising money, theredifferent methods by which the fore, is a disadvantageous and im. public debt of Great Britain has provident one, and ought not to be been contracted.
resorted to, unless it is ascertained A part of this debt consists of that the necessary supplies cannot money borrowed upon the credit of be procured in any less expensive bills or bonds for its repayment, way. exactly similar to those of private
This mode of borrowing money, individuals. Part of the money by anticipation of the taxes, led the raised every year, to meet the ne- way to the system of funding, uncessary supplies, is procured by is- der which the great mass of our suing exchequer bills, navy bills, enormous debt has been contracted. and ordnance bills or debentures; England had no public debt that the nature of which is distinctly ex- deserves the name till the Revolu. plained, by saying, that they are tion. The foundation of it was bills or bonds granted by the state, laid during the war which termi. (and all of the same nature, but nated in the peace of Ryswick in differing in name, merely because 1697. During that war, governthey issue from different offices of ment obtained loans by the megovernment), for repayment of thod of anticipation, which has been money advanced by individuals. already described; that is, on a Another
part of the money raise loan being made, certain taxes were ed by government is procured by mortgaged to such an amount as anticipation of the revenue, as it is it was estimated would pay it up called; or by pledging certain of in a certain small number of years; the taxes for its repayment. Go--for which period the taxes were vernment may raise a sum of mo- accordingly mortgaged. It was ney, by making over to the lender generally found, however, that, at the produce of a certain tax, till the expiration of that term, the prosuch time as the money is repaid. duce of the taxes had been insuffiSuch of the taxes as are annually cient to pay up the loan; and there. imposed, are regularly pledged, or fore the mortgage was prolonged anticipated, every year, for pay- for an additional term. In this ment of sums, which government manner a number of different loans obtains, upon their credit, before were contracted, and a number of