HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
RULE OF COMMERCE AND FINANCE
THREE divisions of the ruling class united to form the constitution and establish the new government. These were the merchants, the manufacturers, and the planters. The first two at once formed an alliance against the latter to secure control of government. In this alliance the first dominated, since the carrying trade was by far the most highly developed. Its units of capital were larger, its owners more clearly conscious of their class interests, and better equipped to further those interests than the owners of, the essentials of any other industry. In this America was following in the already well-worn track of social evolution. Merchants have generally been the advance guard of the capitalist army, gathering the capital and political power to be later employed and enjoyed by the manufacturers.
Events were especially favorable for the American carrying trade. The year of Washington's inauguration saw the fall of the Bastile and the beginning of the French Revolution. Everywhere the capitalist class was coming into power. Napoleon was to come upon the heels of the Revolution, and for a generation western Europe was to do little besides wallow in its own blood. Unless this fact is kept constantly in mind it is impossible to understand events on this side the Atlantic. While the great commercial nations were fighting one another for
the carrying trade of the world America ran away with the bone over which they were quarreling.
The man who best incarnated the interests and ideas of the merchants and manufacturers of this time was Alexander Hamilton of New York. So true is this that the history of the first twelve years after the adoption of the constitution has been very rightfully designated as the "Hamiltonian period."
The constitution had been formulated and foisted upon the people largely by stealth and deception, aided by a closely restricted suffrage. Even this would not have been possible without the support of the plantation owners of the South. The Southern planter, however, belonged to a social stage that was already of the past. He was to make some desperate efforts to control the American government, was to succeed for a time, and to go down finally only after the bloodiest war of the century. At this moment his economic power appeared to be upon the wane. The cotton gin had not yet produced its revolution, and tobacco cultivation had passed its zenith. The manufacturing class, on the contrary, was just beginning to feel its strength, and it was with this class, its own first-born, that the merchant class joined hands. In this alliance we find the key to the legislation of the period.
The first bill introduced into the new Congress was a tariff bill. Its protective features would be considered very mild to-day, but the debate shows that it was considered a protective measure. This discussion brought out all the contending interests, as every such bill since has done. Pennsylvania wanted a tariff on molasses, rum, and steel. Massachusetts opposed the first and was doubtful of the second, because of the part they
played in her commerce, but was agreed upon the latter. The South opposed a tax on the last two and favored taxing the first. The West, consisting of Kentucky and Tennessee, both of whom were clamoring for admission to the Union, was cajoled into the protection camp by a tariff on hemp to offset their protests against the tax on salt, levied at the behest of the coast merchants and fishers, and bearing heavily on the back country cattle raisers.
This tariff had hardly been enacted into law before Hamilton came forward with the series of proposals whose comprehensiveness and unity of purpose and far-sighted outlook stamp him as one of the greatest exponents of rising class interests, and therefore one of the greatest of what the world calls statesmen that the century has produced.
These measures were designed to carry still farther the plot which began with the constitution. They proposed an interpretation of that document to which but a small minority of the small body who formed it would have agreed. It had been difficult enough to secure its adoption when it was supposed to leave a large measure of autonomy to the states. Now Hamilton proposed and carried through a program of legislation that well-nigh destroyed this autonomy.
Commerce demands a strong central government capable of extending its influence wherever ships sail and goods are sold. To secure such a government having its own sources of income, exercising direct control over the citizen, and tied tightly to the possessors of financial power, was Hamilton's object.
The three most important measures which went to the
building up of this structure were: first, the funding of the national and state debts with the assumption of the latter by the national government; second, the establishment of a national bank ; third, the introduction of a protective tariff and excise tax.
Nothing is so impressive to the bourgeois mind as property relations on a large scale. A government with a great national debt, an interest in a bank, and an independent source of revenue fulfilled all ideals in this respect.
The national debt, domestic and foreign, which was inherited by the new government from the old Confederation amounted to about $42,000,000. Hamilton proposed that this should be increased by the nation assuming the debts incurred by the states during the Revolution and still unpaid, amounting to over $30,000,000. This would give a national debt of nearly $75,000,000. Although there are many individuals at the present time who could undertake the payment of such a debt, it appeared of mammoth proportions to the men of 1790.
The certificates of indebtedness had been steadily depreciating during the Confederation. They were now almost worthless. They were held largely by speculators who had bought them for but a few cents on the dollar. These speculators at once gave their adherence to the proposal_ to make the national government responsible.
The Southern states were especially opposed to this move to strengthen the national government at the expense of the states. The plantation interests were much more closely united to the states and had little need of
a strong central government. Moreover, several of the Southern states had already paid their debts, and this new proposal would simply mean that they would be required to assist in bearing the burdens of other states.1
The South was very anxious that the national capital should be located in their section. For this Hamilton and those he represented cared little or nothing. They were interested in more substantial things. So Hamilton arranged a bargain with Jefferson. By its terms enough votes were to be given by Hamilton to secure the location of the capital on the Potomac on condition that Jefferson delivered sufficient Southern votes to carry the measure, providing for the assumption of state debts. After it was all over, Jefferson made a loud complaint about getting the worst of the bargain, seeming to forget that bargains are made with just that object in view.
Hamilton's supporters insisted that the certificates of indebtedness should be
paid in full, and this without regard to the amounts paid for such certificates
by the present holders. From the point of view of expediency (which is much the
same as statesmanship) this was undoubtedly correct. But when this action was
defended on ethical grounds, with high-sounding protestations of
1. J. S. Bassett, "The Federalist System," p. 34: "The states which had the largest unpaid debts were naturally the most anxious for funding. Of these Massachusetts, Connecticut, and South Carolina were most notable.
On the other hand, the states having the small debts were against the measure, and among them was Virginia, who had paid much of her Revolutionary debt through the sale of western lands. . . . Those persons, and there were many, who favored a strong central government also declared for assumption. In the wake of Virginia followed the states south of her, save South Carolina, while New England was for assumption. The middle states divided, the commercial parts going for, and the agricultural parts against, the measure."
honesty, one is apt to be reminded of another debt that was being repudiated at the very moment such strenuous efforts were being made to pay this one. This was the debt created by forcing the Continental paper money upon farmers in payment (?) for their produce, upon laborers as wages for their toil, upon soldiers in exchange for their lives and their sufferings. These bills had been forced upon such persons by all the power of civil, criminal, and military law, backed up by every form of social ostracism, mob violence, and public pressure that could be devised.
Those to whom it was owed had given, not of their abundance like the holders of
the certificates of indebtedness, but of their poverty. This debt amounted to
over $100,000,000. It was absolutely repudiated by the government of Hamilton.
That repudiation, and consequent loss by the producing class, was one of the
causes of the terrible poverty that prevailed. It is at least possible that some
of the "prosperity" that followed the enactment of Hamilton's measures was due to
the fact that the workers were permitted to produce for use and exchange instead
of for confiscation through a useless currency.1
1 Jefferson has thus described the process of funding and assumption " After the expedient of paper money Lad exhausted itself, certificates of debt were given to the individual creditors, with assurance of payment as soon as the United States should be able. But the distresses of these people often obliged them to part with these for the half, the fifth, and even a tenth of their value ; and speculators had made a trade of cozening them from their holders, by the most fraudulent practices, and persuasion that they would never be paid. In the bill for funding and paying these Hamilton made no difference between the original holders and the fraudulent purchasers of this paper. Great and just repugnance arose at putting these two classes of creditors on the same footing, and great exertions were used to pay the former the full value, and to the latter
The class of bankers was just appearing There were only four banks in the entire country. To supply needed banking facilities and tie this powerful interest to the national government, Hamilton proposed a national bank. He united this proposal to his debt plan in a most skillful manner. The bank was to have a capital of $10,000,000. The national government took $2,000,000 of this, receiving in return a loan of the same amount.
The clever feature of the organization was that the certificates of debt were to be accepted for 75 per cent of the value of any number of shares of stock. As the bank was assured of a monopoly for ten years, its stock, and therefore the certificates of debt, were above par almost from the beginning. Yet it was noticed that although the shares were largely oversubscribed, nearly all the purchasers lived north of the Potomac.
The vote in Congress for its establishment was a direct reflection of the possession of the shares. The measure
the price only which he had paid with interest. But this would have prevented the game which was to be played, and for which the minds of greedy members were already tutored and prepared. When the trial of strength on these several efforts had indicated the form in which the bill would finally pass, this being known within doors sooner than without and especially than to those who were in distant parts of the Union, the base scramble began. Couriers and relay horses by land, and swift sailing pilot boats by sea, were flying in all directions, . . . and this paper was bought up at 5/ and even as low as 2/ in the pound, before the holder knew that Congress had already provided for its redemption at par. Immense sums were thus filched from the poor and ignorant, and fortunes accumulated by those who had been poor enough before. Men thus enriched by the dexterity of a leader would follow of course the chief who was leading them to fortune, and become the zealous instruments of all his enterprises." This passage has been criticized by the defenders of Hamilton who have claimed that it accused Hamilton of dishonesty. That it does not do this is plain to any unbiased reader, and there is every reason to believe that it describes actual facts.
was carried by the solid vote of the Northern commercial and manufacturing states against the solid opposition of the plantation states of the South.
The assumption and funding of the debt by the national government created a bondholding, interest-receiving class who naturally worshiped their creator. It also made necessary a steady national income. If the national government was to pay money regularly and directly to one class of citizens, it must be able to take it directly and regularly from another class.
The next step in Hamilton's program included a protective tariff and an excise tax. His famous "Report on Manufactures," submitted in advocacy of a protective tariff, is admittedly the ablest document produced by more than a century of tariff discussion. There is one essential point in which his argument differs from that offered by high tariff advocates of the present time. Hamilton was not troubled with universal suffrage. It was not necessary for him to placate the "labor vote." He spoke only from the manufacturers' point of view. Therefore he gave as one of the reasons for a tariff the high wages paid in this country, and proceeded upon the basis that such wages were an undesirable handicap which would be overcome as the country grew older.
On the question of child labor also he would scarcely use the language about to be quoted if he were spokesman for the present t high tariff. He says : - "It is worthy of particular remark that, in general, women and children are rendered more useful, and the latter more early useful, by manufacturing establishments, than they would otherwise be. Of the number of persons employed in the cotton manufactories of
Great Britain it is computed that four sevenths are women and children, of whom the greater proportion are children and many of a tender age." The protective tariff, again, like the bank and the national debt, created a class (the manufacturers) peculiarly dependent upon the national government, and who could be reckoned upon to rally to its support and to demand further favors in return for that support.
The rapid growth of manufactures was hindered by the unwillingness of men to work for wages when a whole great continent of untrodden fertile land lay at the western doors of society ready to yield up its bounty to whomever could get upon it and use his labor. Benjamin Franklin had seen this fact and had expressed an opinion that while free land existed, manufacturing would be impossible because no one would work for wages.
This land was now in the hands of the national government, and we find this
taking steps to limit settlement and thereby create a body of wageworkers. Acting
upon the advice of Hamilton, it was provided that no land should be sold from the
public domain except in plots of not less than nine square miles. To still
further debar the small farmer the price of even these great tracts was fixed at
a minimum of two dollars an acre. But lest the work of the land speculators
should be interfered with, long credit was extended to those who could give
1. Ugo Rabbeno, " American Commercial Policy," p. 176 et seq., explains the working of this policy in detail and adds : " Thus at an epoch when it was not yet possible to initiate a protective policy, which would only have made for the interest of too small a class of capitalists, a land policy was nevertheless introduced, which favored all the interests of the capitalists, whether manufacturers - by excluding laborers from the soil and compelling them to work for wages - or agriculturists, by leaving the field open to speculative undertakings on a large scale exclusively. See also Schouler, "History of United States," VoL I, pp. 215-216.
The moderately protective tariff and the land policy combined with a most intense public sentiment in favor of domestic products, amounting to a boycott on foreign products where the domestic was attainable, led to a rapid development of manufactures.
The excise tax filled another role in the working out of Hamilton's plan. It had been supposed that the national government would have no direct connection with individuals, but would reach them only through the state governments. It was with this understanding that the constitution had been finally adopted. This did not suit Hamilton's plans, nor the interests of those he represented. He wished to bring the central government into direct contact with the citizens in their homes. This was the principal purpose of the tax upon the production of whisky. Such a tax was peculiarly fitted to accomplish the purpose in view. It was certain to bring about a conflict with a class already hostile to the central government, and this a class without influence in determining legislation. Corn was the principal crop on the frontier. The range within which it can be marketed in its original form and with crude methods of transportation is extremely limited. It can, however, be changed into two forms that admit of extensive and economical transportation, - pork and whisky. The second of these affords by far the greater profits. It is therefore an invariable rule of historical interpretation that a settlement within the corn belt with imperfect transportation facilities will always have
"moonshine stills." This rule has held good for more than a century, and clear across the continent, without regard to the morality or general law-abiding character of the population.
The frontiersmen of Pennsylvania could see no reason why they should not be permitted to market their corn as a beverage unhindered by a revenue tax. Perhaps some of them had heard of the patriotic smugglers of pre-Revolutionary days, or thought that "taxation without representation" was still a crime, and, since they were nearly all disfranchised by property qualifications, they attempted to resist the law.
This gave Hamilton the opportunity for which he had been waiting. Although the "Whisky Rebellion," as the few isolated attacks upon the revenue officers were called, was of insignificant proportions, Hamilton succeeded in inducing Washington to call upon the troops from the neighboring states, until an army of 15,000 was assembled and marched through the riotous localities. This overwhelming show of force established a precedent for direct interference by the national government with the internal affairs of a state, and gave evidence of the possession of sufficient power to enforce the decrees of the central government.1
This completed the revolution begun when that conference was called at Annapolis.
The whole character of governmental institutions had been transformed. The
1. Dewey, "Financial History of the United States," p. 106 : "The tax was regarded with hostility, particularly in the agricultural regions of the Middle and Southern States. It was asserted that the commercial and importing interests of New England disliked the tariff, but looked with great complacency upon an excise upon an industry in which they were not greatly concerned."
principles of the Declaration of Independence had long ago been cast aside.
The spirit of democracy which was roused to win that struggle had been crushed, and social control had been vested in the class whose lineal descendants have held it until the present time. That such action was essential if a great and powerful nation was to arise upon this continent, few will deny.
Without a strong, central government, controlled by the commercial and manufacturing class at this time, it would have been impossible to have laid the foundation for the great development of subsequent years.
COMMERCE had progressed with seven-league strides under Hamilton's regime. Aided by the upheaval in Europe, American foreign trade grew from $43,000,000 in 1791 to $204,000,000 in 1801.1 Nevertheless, the merchants were driven from power. There were many reasons for this, not all of them directly due to the clash of immediate industrial interests.
The Federalists seem to have become drunk with power. They took the unpopular side in the French Revolution, and sought to suppress all expressions of sympathy with the Revolutionists. The better to do this they passed the "Alien and Sedition Laws," vesting extraordinary powers in the President for the punishment of those who criticized the government, and giving him the power summarily to deport foreigners. There was much opposition to this growing centralization of autocratic power. This brought support to other divisions of the budding capitalist class rather than to the merchants.
The principal industrial divisions of the population struggling for the control
of government were the small farmers, the frontiersmen, the manufacturers, the
merchants, and the Southern plantation owners. It will be at once noted that
these overlap in the actual processes
1 William C. Webster, "General History of Commerce," p. 352.
of industry. This was still more true of their political interests.
Consequently any exact analysis of the play of industrial forces as reflected in political events is almost impossible.
Agriculture in the sense of small, diversified farming was still by far the most common industry. It was much more "diversified" than is advised to-day by even the most enthusiastic opponents of "one-crop" farming. The compilers of the census of 1810 tell us that they have excluded many "doubtful articles" from the manufacturing schedules, which
... from their very nature were nearly allied to agriculture, including cotton pressing, flour and meal, grain and sawmills, barrels for packing, malt, pot and pearl ashes, maple and cane sugar, molasses, rosin, pitch, slates, bricks, tiles, saltpeter, indigo, red and yellow ochre, hemp and hemp mills, fisheries, wine, ground plaster, etc., all together estimated at $25,850,795, making the aggregate value of manufactures of every description in the United States in 1810 equal to $198,613,484.
Here we are at the very birth of the family of modern industries from the great mother industry of agriculture. The whole process of industrial evolution consists of a gradual separation of the production of more and more "doubtful articles" from farming.
Many children of agriculture were just preparing to leave the farm at this time and to take up their abode in factories. The making of cloth was just passing from the "household" stage, where production is in the family and for the family, to the "domestic" stage, where, while production still goes on in the home, the product seeks an outside market.
This domestic stage, of so much importance in European industrial history, was to be but a short tarrying place for American industry on its road to the factory. The two stages were overlapping at this time. The great bulk of manufacturing was still in the household stage. An important portion had reached the point of domestic production for market. Then we learn that "fifteen cotton mills were erected in New England before the year 1808, working at that time almost 8000 spindles, and producing about 300,000 pounds of yarn a year. Returns had been received of 87 mills erected at the end of the year 1808, 62 of which were in operation, and worked 31,000 spindles."1
By 1812 a woolen mill in Middletown, Connecticut, was being run by one of Oliver Evans' engines, invented, designed, constructed, and operated in the United States.2 The relative importance of the different stages of industrial production of cloth is shown by the report of the census of 1810 that 21,211,262 yards of linen, 16,581,299 of cotton, and 9,528,266 of woolen goods were made in families, out of a total production of about 75,000,000 yards. Note that at this period linen leads, with cotton and woolen following. Soon cotton will press to the front and linen be found dragging far in the rear.
The manufacturing interests were still individualistic, or merged with
agriculture. The tariff had aided them, but they were not sufficiently numerous,
coherent, nor energetic to become a political factor.3
1. Leander Bishop, "History of American Manufactures," Vol. II, p. 160.
2. Niles' Register, Feb. 1, 1812, p. 406.
3. Edwin Stanwood, "American Tariff Controversies in the Nineteenth Century," p. 123: "One cannot be surprised that while the foreign trade was growing rapidly and while agriculture was flourishing under the double stimulus of a rapidly increasing and of a profitable foreign vent . . . little attention should be paid to the introduction of manufactures. There was ample employment for all disposable capital in the traffic which gave such large returns; there was no surplus labor to be drawn into new industrial enterprises. Occupation could be found for every man with a mechanical turn in building ships, in building and furnishing the new dwellings and shops required by population and trade, in blacksmithing, shoemaking and other trades connected with the shelter, food and clothing of the people." See also succeeding pages to p. 127.
In the closing year of Washington's administration an epoch-making invention had appeared that wrought a revolution throughout a broad section of the country. This was the cotton gin of Eli Whitney. This invention was the last link that made possible the factory system in the cloth industry. It furnished the cheap cotton that laid the foundation of the factory system of England and the world. It increased the production of cotton in the United States one hundred fold in the seven years following its appearance.
By making profitable the cultivation of the shortfibered upland cotton plant it released chattel slavery and the plantation system from the confines of the tide-water region, and sent them on their career of conquest along the foothills of the Alleghenies to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. It wiped out, almost in a day, the glimmering sentiment for abolition which a constantly falling price of slaves had aroused in the breasts of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and other Virginia tobacco growers. It created a new industrial, and therefore a new political, power, - the slave-owning cotton planter, who was soon to grasp at national domination, to secure it after a short division of power with allied forces, and then to rule su
preme for more than a generation and to be overthrown only when the wage-buying capitalist should wrest the scepter of power by four years of terrible civil war. This new and vigorous industrial interest, pulsing with power, present and potential, contributed strongly to the overthrow of Hamiltonian Federalism and the installation of Jeffersonian individualism, although, as we shall see, the contrast was not so sharp as is sometimes thought.
It was not the old planters of the seaboard that placed Jefferson in the presidential chair. On the contrary, these were more generally Federalist in their sympathies. They were united by many ties of the past, if not of the present, with the New England merchants.1
But the new upland cotton raisers were making common cause with the back country
farmers amid whom they were living. With these were allied the great body of
frontiersmen who had been pouring through Cumberland Gap, down the Ohio, and out
along the Genesee River in New York. These men were always separatist,
individualistic, and Jefferson's philosophy appealed to them. Besides they had
learned of the opposition of isolated New England to Western expansion and the
Western country, and this antagonism had not lost anything in the telling as it
traveled to the West, and it was most cordially returned with ample interest.
Jay's treaty with England in 1794 had not provided for the navigation of the
Mississippi and had almost raised a rebellion in the West as a consequence. The
Southern cotton planters were also apt to remember that John Jay had known so
little of that industry that he had
1. Basset, "The Federalist System," pp. 45, 46.
permitted the inclusion of an article forbidding the export of cotton in American ships, because he did not know that cotton was an American crop.
These new forces, the back country farmers, the frontiersmen, and the new race of upland cotton planters, together with the household manufacturers, made up the elements that overthrew the Federal forces.
Owing to the confusion of interests, the presidential election was extremely close, so close that no one received a majority of the electoral votes. The election, therefore, went to the House of Representatives, where Thomas Jefferson was chosen as President, with Aaron Burr as Vice President. This result was not accomplished without some political intrigue on the part of Hamilton and Aaron Burr, in which a new force was introduced into American politics by the latter. This was the famous Tammany Society of New York which had been founded as a social and philanthropic society in 1789.1
Before the Federalists lost control, they took one more long step in the
perfection of the program of centralization and removal of the government from
democratic control. They had formulated the constitution in secret, secured its
adoption by deceit and gerrymandering, extended its provisions by shrewd
legislation, and made it clearly an instrument of class government. The next step
was to remove the final power of control from the people and vest it in the
courts. The first move toward the accomplishment of this was a series of laws
passed during the very last days of Federal rule, increasing the
1. M. Ostrogorski, "Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties," Vol. II, pp. 150-153.
number of courts far beyond the needs of the country at the time. Every place thus created was at once filled with a stanch Federalist. Tradition says that the work of signing the commissions of these judges was stopped only when a messenger from Jefferson stayed the hand of the secretary at midnight, March 3d. Having thus erected a supreme power beyond the reach of the people, they placed at the head of the judiciary a man who was to carry this usurpation of power to the uttermost limits and to fix it there for a century to come. This man was John Marshall, who occupied the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for thirty-four years, receiving his appointment in 1801. During this time he constantly extended and strengthened the power of his office until it reached proportions undreamed of even by those who founded this government, with the possible exception of Hamilton.1
Lest it may be thought that I exaggerate the extent of the revolutionary usurpation of power by Marshall and its influence on subsequent history, I will quote from an authoritative legal work at this point. Joseph P. Cotton, in his "Constitutional Decisions of John Marshall," says : -
In 1801 one of these `midnight judges,' Marbury, applied for a mandamus to require the issue of his commission, and in 1803 Marshall delivered his opinion on that application. This opinion is the beginning of American constitutional law. In it Marshall announced
1 The Federalist, No. LX=, "Extent of the Authority of the Judiciary," by Hamilton, contains a passage that may possibly be understood to imply the existence of such power, but this is doubtful, and it is certain that no one claimed it openly at the time of the adoption of the constitution.
the right of the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the acts of the national legislature and the executive, the coordinate branches of the government. Such a power had been spoken of in certain opinions, and, indeed, acted upon in unimportant cases in the state courts, but never in the Federal courts. Common as this conception of our courts now is, it is hard to comprehend the amazing quality of it then. No court in England had such power ; there was no express warrant for it in the words of the Constitution ; the existence of it was denied by every other branch of the government and by the dominant majority of the country. Moreover, no such power had been clearly anticipated by the framers of the Constitution, nor was it a necessary implication from the scheme of government they had established. If that doctrine were to be law, the Supreme Court was indeed a final power in a democracy, beyond the reach of public opinion.
This completed the process of usurpation of power and destruction of democratic control which was begun with the first arrangements for a constitutional convention. With this power to declare laws unconstitutional in its possession the Supreme Court possessed an absolute veto on all legislation and was itself out of the reach of the voters.
Jefferson, the representative of Southern plantation, and frontier farmer interests, has always been hailed as the prophet of democracy. But his democracy, in accordance with the interests he represented, was that of individualism, of philosophic anarchy, rather than of associated effort under common management. The cotton plantation owner, whose working class of chattel slaves was
forever debarred from political activity, could easily champion this democracy. He would enfranchise the Northern wageworkers whom he hoped, and rightly, as subsequent events showed, might become his allies against the Northern merchants and manufacturers. The pioneer was always democratic in this individualistic sense. Class distinctions had not yet arisen on the frontier. Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, which were admitted to the Union during this period, were the first states to embody universal suffrage in their constitutions.
This alliance between planter and frontiersman is the key to the political policy of much of this period. This alliance was easier at this time than at any later period. Western emigration was largely from the Southern states. The great stream of peoples was flowing from Virginia and the Carolinas through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and Tennessee. The South saw in this movement an extension of its power into the future as well as geographically.
Much of the work of Jefferson was connected with the West. He had been active in formulating the Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the Northwest Territory during the dying days of the Confederation, and his interest in the Western movement had always been close. He devised the system of land survey by townships, ranges, and sections, that has done so much to make American real estate more thoroughly a commodity than the land of any other country. He bought Louisiana, sent Lewis and Clark, and Pike to explore the Far West, and began the famous Cumberland Road as a part of an extensive system of internal improvements. During this period Congress was always willing to appropriate money
for the settlement of Indian claims, or for the defense of the frontier in Indian wars.
To all these measures the New England commercial interests were hostile. To a certain extent this was a result of sectional isolation as well as material interests. New England had developed a most intense sectional life, with its own customs, prejudices, dialects, religion, and local patriotism, and because of the intensive character of these ideas and institutions, was to impress them deeply upon large sections of the country.
Such isolation and concentration of thought and interests and policy were bound to become separatist when they were antagonized. When the Federalists under Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Laws, Kentucky and Virginia passed resolutions hinting at secession. Now the South and West were in control, with Virginia dominant, and it was the turn of New England, with Massachusetts at the head, to become "treasonable." For several years this section was openly to advocate and secretly to plot secession until another turn in industrial development should give New England interests the ruling hand, when the doctrine of secession would once more take up its abode in the South.1
It was the purchase of Louisiana that particularly aggravated the New England
states. This was an application of their own philosophy in regard to the
constitution. There was no provision in that instrument for
1. McMaster, "History of the People of the United States," Vol. III, pp. 42-48; Wilson, "A History of the American People," Vol. III, p. 184; Hildreth, "History of the United States," Vol. V, p. 584; Von Holst, "Constitutional History of the United States," Vol. I, pp. 185-186.
the purchase of new territory, and no Federalist had ever given as "liberal construction" to a constitutional question as did Jefferson when he purchased Louisiana, and provided for its government directly from the national capital without the consent of the inhabitants, and with little more than a notification to Congress.
However discontented New England might be, it could not be denied that her merchants were prosperous. The high tide of American commerce was reached in 1810 with a total tonnage of 1,424,783 tons. New England ships were in every harbor. The Oriental trade had become especially profitable. The road to India was at last running through America, though not exactly as Columbus had dreamed. With the beginnings of a factory system and the rise of a body of wageworkers there appear traces of organized labor and a struggle between employers and employees. The petitions to Congress for higher tariff and for relief and assistance for various industries all complain of the high wages which must be paid. Such a complaint indicates several things in addition to the political impotence of the wageworkers. It is a fairly sure sign that wages were rising, rather than that they were already high. McMaster concludes from his investigations that,1
The rates of wages were different in each of the three great belts along which population was streaming westward. The highest rates were paid in the New England belt, which stretched across the country from Massachusetts to Ohio. The lowest rates prevailed in the southern belt, which extended from the Carolinas to Louisiana.
1. "History of the People of the United States," Vol. III, pp. 509-515, is a good survey of labor conditions.
In each of these bands again wages were lowest on the Atlantic seaboard, and, increasing rapidly in a western direction, were greatest in the Mississippi Valley.
A contemporary authority furnishes an estimate of the wages paid at this time in the most northern belt, where they were supposed to be the highest. His figures are as follows:1
These wages were certainly not high enough to seem to require any action on the part of Congress to enable the employers to pay them. The figures for the last two years given above confirm the general impression that wages were rising at this time. Skilled workmen were beginning to organize unions, and here and there strikes took place.
Strikes and unions were still illegal. When the cordwainers (a branch of the shoemaking trade) went out on strike in Philadelphia in 1805, they were convicted of conspiracy and fined, after which they opened up a shop of their own and appealed to the public for patronage.
In New York the growth of a wageworking class was
1 Niles' Register, Vol. I, p. 99 (quoting from Blodget's "Economics"; McMaster, in Atlantic Monthly, Vol. LXXV, p. 22, says of 1800: "Soldiers in the army received three dollars a month. Farm hands in New England were given $4 a month and found their own clothes. Unskilled laborers toiled twelve hours per day for fifty cents. Workmen on turnpikes, then branching out in every direction, were housed in rude sheds, fed coarse food, and given $4 a month from November to May and $6 from May to November. When the road from Genesee River to Buffalo was under construction in 1812, though the region through which it went was frontier, men were hired in plenty for $12 per month in cash, and their board, lodging, and a daily allowance of whisky."
having another effect. Here it was laying the foundations for democracy. During the time of the Revolution, the adoption of the constitution, and the Hamiltonian regime, the property qualifications for office and even for the suffrage were so high that the wageworking class was ignored by the politicians. Nor were the members of this class sufficiently numerous to make any effective protest against this disfranchisement.
During the first decade of the nineteenth century, however, a spirit of rebellion against these restrictions began to be felt in New York. This first germ of a labor movement sought to widen the political powers as well as improve the industrial condition of its members. In New York some success was achieved in this direction, and at once there appeared that other phase of class rule under the form of democracy, the political machine. Up to this time candidates had been nominated either by informal gatherings of "prominent citizens" or by caucuses of members of the state legislatures or Congress.2 Now there were signs of so-called "popular" caucuses, and appeals began to be made to labor.
On the whole, this was a period of the beginning of things that are familiar features of the society of three quarters of a century later. It was to be a generation, however, before any of these forces were to become prominent, social features.
Jefferson went into office as the exponent of the idea
1. "Memorial History of New York," Vol. III, pp. 13-14; McMaster, "History of the People of the United States," Vol. III, Chap. XVII; Niles' Register, Vol. I, pp. 80-81, contains table of electoral qualifications in all states.
2. Ostrogorski, "Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties," Vol. II, p. 12.
that the constitution should be "strictly construed," that the central government should be closely limited in its powers, and, above all, should never be used to serve sectional or class interests. Yet never was the constitution stretched farther than by the purchase of Louisiana and its government direct from the White House. The powers which the Federal government exercised in the preliminary steps to the War of 1812, when an embargo was laid on all commerce and Federal officers were given the right of search and seizure, exceeded anything done by Hamilton. The fact that the possession of centralized power led Jefferson to use and extend that power in the interest of those to whom he owed his election, is noted by nearly all historians. Although he came into office talking of the "revolution" due to his election, yet,
The great mass of the men, who in 1800 voted for Adams, could in 1804 see no reason whatever for voting against Jefferson. Scarcely a Federal institution was missed. They saw the debt, the bank, the navy, still preserved ; they saw a broad construction of the constitution, a strong government exercising the rights of sovereignty, paying small regard to the rights of States, and growing more and more national day by day, and they gave it a hearty support, as a government administered on the principles for which, ever since the constitution was in force, they had contended.1
1 McMaster, loc. cit., Vol. III, p. 198.
IT has been noted that with Jefferson a new political force first made itself felt in national politics. This was the frontier. This ever moving frontier has been the one distinctive feature of American society. A full understanding of its influence unlocks many a difficult problem in that history.
He who would write the history of Greece, Italy, or England has but to describe the life of a body of people occupying a peninsula in the Mediterranean, or an island on the edge of the Atlantic. The scene of his story is fixed. But the history of the United States is the description of the march of a mighty army moving westward in conquest of forest and prairie.
The inundating ocean of population was held for a moment by the great Alleghenian dam. At the period we have been considering, it had just sought out the low places and the unguarded ends and was flowing through and around that dam. Along the buffalo paths, the Indian trails, and down the open rivers it was flowing into the great Mississippi Valley. As it flowed it widened the forest trails for the pack trains, and graded them for turnpikes, and finally leveled the hills and spanned the rivers with bridges on which to lay the iron track of the locomotive.
This army had its scouts, its advance guard, its sappers and miners, its army of occupation. These various battalions reproduced in turn the various social stages through which the race has passed. Biology has taught us that the embryo reproduces in syncopated form the various steps in the evolution of living organisms. The ethnologists and the pedagogue know that in the same manner the child moves through mental stages much like those along which the race has traveled. In the same manner the successive stages of settlement in the march of America's army of pioneers tells again the story of social evolution.
The advance guard of hunters, trappers, fishermen, scouts, and Indian fighters reproduced with remarkable fidelity the social stage of savagery. They lived in rude shelters built of logs or of prairie sod, found their food and clothing by the chase, gathered around personal leaders, were often lawless, brutal, and quarrelsome, though frequently they displayed the even more characteristically savage traits of taciturn silence and fatalistic courage. These men penetrated hundreds of miles into the wilderness ahead of all fixed settlements. They sometimes fraternized and lived with the Indians. Such were the French coureurs du bois, who gathered furs from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, exploring rivers that have found place upon the maps only within the last few decades. When these scouts had spied out the land the first body of the main army of conquest appeared. This was composed of the little groups of settlers who clustered along the watercourses and the main lines of advance. These settlements, drawn together for mutual defense
against the Indians, the wild beasts, and the forest fires, and for mutual cooperation in house-raisings, husking, quilting, and logging "bees," with their "common" pastures in the surrounding forest and their democratic social and political organization, were so much like the Germanic "tuns" described by Tacitus, and the AngloSaxon villages of pre-Norman days, that one of the foremost American historians gravely explains the resemblance by the classical reading of New England Puritans.
The people who formed this stage were migratory. No sooner had they carved out a little clearing in the wilderness than they moved on to take up the same task farther west. They too rallied around leaders, generally combined hunting and fishing with farming, and in every war in which the United States has been involved, save the latest, formed its most effective fighters.1
With this social stage came the beginnings of agriculture. It was a crude
cultivation of the soil that borrowed its methods as well as its only important
crop from the Indians. This crop, around which the agricultural life of large
sections of the country has centered up to the present time, was Indian corn, or
maize. This plant seems to have been especially evolved to meet the conditions of
the American frontier. Without it another
1. T. Roosevelt, "The Winning of the West," Vol. V, p. 128:
The men who settle in a new country and begin subduing the wilderness plunge back into the very conditions from which the race has raised itself by the slow toil of ages. The conditions cannot but tell upon them. Inevitably, and for more than one lifetime, . . . they tend to retrograde instead of advancing. They drop away from the standard which highly civilized nations have reached. As with harsh and dangerous labor they bring the new land up toward the level of the old, they themselves partly revert to their ancestral conditions; they sink back toward the state of their ages-dead barbarian forefathers.
generation or more would have been required for the advancing army of settlement to have reached the Mississippi.
It can be grown in the midst of the forest if the trees be "girdled" by removing a ring of bark, which causes the leaves to fall until the sunlight can filter through. A sharpened stake will do for a planting tool if nothing better is at hand. It will produce a considerable crop from virgin soil with little cultivation, and responds richly to added care. It grows rapidly, and its green ears furnish food early in the season. When ripe, it is easy of storage, is not injured by freezing, contains a great amount of nourishment in small bulk, and, what is perhaps most important of all, can be most easily prepared for food. In no one of the various forms in which it entered into the dietary of the pioneer was any elaborate preparation required. On a pinch an open fire to roast the green ears or the ripened kernels sufficed to satisfy hunger. It took the place of the pastures to which the colonists had been accustomed in Europe. As higher stages of agriculture were reached it became the foundation of the entire livestock industry of the nation.1
Following this stage in the East, and preceding it in the West, where the Indians
were held back by the regu-
1. Roosevelt, "Winning of the West," Vol. I, pp. 110-111 ; Massachusetts Agricultural Report, 1853, P. 485; Stickney, "Use of Maize by Wisconsin Indians," p. 71; Shaler, "The United States of America," Vol. I, pp. 26-27; Census of 1880, volume on "Agriculture," Part I, p.135 J. H. Salisbury, "History and Chemical Investigation of Maize "; Parkinson, "Tour in North America," pp. 198-199; Drake, " Pioneer Life in Kentucky," pp. 47-57; Michaux, "Travels," etc., Chap. XII. These are some of the works discussing the importance of corn in this stage of American history and describing the methods by which it was cultivated and prepared for consumption.
lar army and not driven out by the frontiersmen, came a third division composed of the cowboys, herdsmen, ranchmen, as they were variously called. Here we find a reproduction of many features of the nomadic stage of social evolution. When the race passed through this period, the large social unit which the care of the herds demands was supplied by the patriarchal family so familiar in the pages of the Old Testament. In America the rancher with his force of cowboys, cooks, etc., formed a very similar self-supporting unit. We are accustomed to think of this stage as having been confined to the second half of the nineteenth century and the Great Plains region.
Like the other social stages, however, it has traveled across the continent. It
existed wherever abundant pasture could be found, not yet divided into farms, and
not too far from a market to permit the driving of the cattle to the place of
slaughter. This stage was found prior to the Revolution in the Carolinas and
Virginia, on the eastern slope of the Alleghenies.1 It came over
1 John H. Logan, "History of the Upper Country of South Carolina," speaking of prerevolutionary times, says (pp. 151-152):
"Not far from the log hut of the hunter stood that of the cow-driver. . . . The business of stock-raising at this time on the frontier was scarcely less profitable than it is at present (1859) in similar regions of the West. . . . Having selected a tract where cane and pea-vines grew most luxuriantly, they erected in the midst of it temporary cabins and spacious pens. These were used as inclosures in which to collect the cattle at proper seasons, for the purpose of counting and branding them; and from many such places in the upper country, vast numbers of beeves were annually driven to the distant markets of Charleston, Philadelphia, and even New York. . . . These rude establishments became afterwards, wherever they were formed, the great centers of settlements founded by the cultivators of the soil, who followed just behind the cowdrivers in their enterprising search for unappropriated productive lands."
mountains behind the hunters, trappers, and conquerors of the wilderness and flourished in the wild pea pastures along the Ohio. By 1830 this stage was reached on the prairies of Illinois ; a decade later it had crossed the Mississippi, where it was to reach its final spectacular efflorescence on the Great Plains at the foot of the Rockies.
Following the ranch came the small farmer, permanent towns, manufacturing, and the general features of the small, competitive system. From here on to the present the course of evolution will be considered under other heads.
Within each of these stages, and more especially the latter, there have been minor divisions that have moved across the country within the general army at approximately the same rate of speed. Some of these divisions have never occupied certain sections. Changes in methods of transportation have fundamentally altered the whole order of progress of the army. Yet in spite of these deviations from the ideal simplicity that has been sketched, the mighty fact of these onward marching battalions of society is the dominant feature of American history, without a grasp of which that history is an almost unintelligible maze.
When we speak of the "frontier," therefore, it is necessary that we say which frontier is meant, for the advancing crest of each of these waves has been the frontier for that social stage. The word is most frequently applied to the stage in which the wilderness was cleared, the prairie sod broken, and the land made fit for agriculture. As it is used henceforth in this work, unless otherwise defined, it will be applied to that whole series of
frontiers up to the time of the coming of small industries and competitive capitalism.
While the frontier existed, this was the only country in the world that for many generations permitted its inhabitants to choose in which of the historic stages of social evolution they would live. The competitioncrushed, unemployed, or black-listed worker of capitalism moved west into the small, competitive stage with its greater opportunities for self-employment or for "rising." He could move onward geographically and backward historically to the semicommunistic stage of the first permanent settlers who would help him raise his log cabin and clear the ground for his first crop of corn. If he felt himself hemmed in by even the slight restrictions of this stage, he could shoulder his rifle and revert to the wilderness and savagery.
The frontier has been the great amalgamating force in American life. It took the European and in a single lifetime sent him through the racial evolution of a hundred generations. When he had finished, the few peculiar customs he had brought from a single country were gone, and he was that peculiarly twentieth century product, - the typical American. Only since the frontier has disappeared have great colonies grown up in which all the national peculiarities of those who compose them are accentuated by the internal resistance to the seemingly hostile territory about them.
Those individuals who are most commonly instanced as distinctively American are largely born of the frontier and have passed through its successive stages. The frontier has given rise to the only race of hereditary rebels in history. One strange feature of this westward
march has been the remarkable tendency of the same families to remain continuously in the same social stage, moving westward as the succeeding stage encroached upon the one they had chosen. The fathers of those who settled on the Great Plains and in the valleys of the Cordilleras lived in the states of the Mississippi Valley, and their grandparents conquered the forests in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, while the preceding generation had its home in western New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia.
This pioneer race had large families, a high deathrate, but a far higher birthright. It has been pointed out that this applied the principle of natural selection in a most pitiless and effective manner.1 It produced a race physically large and strong, mentally alert, and socially rebellious. It is a race willing to try social experiments. The man who within his own lifetime has seen the whole process of social evolution going on under his eyes is not a believer in the unchangeableness of social institutions.
These social stages have not existed side by side without friction. Each has desired to use the government to further its interests. In this conflict of interest is found an explanation of many political struggles. It was such a clash of interests that made itself felt in the fight over the constitution. It was a factor in the election of Jefferson. It appears again and again throughout American history.
In many respects the description of the frontier and its progress which has been
given here applies only to the non-slaveholding states. While slavery existed
1 Doyle, "English Colonies in America," Vol. V, p. 96.
changed the method of westward advance in the South fundamentally. The
struggle of these two methods of westward movement culminated in the Civil War,
and it was the battle for the frontier that brought the slavery question to a
climax. These various general features of the frontier movement are brought
together in this chapter, not in order to treat them in full, but in order to
emphasize this highly significant phase of American history and make more
comprehensible a whole series of questions which must appear in the consideration
of that history.1
1. F. J. Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," is by far the best discussion of this phase of American history. See also Semple, "American History and its Geographic Conditions," Chap. IV; and Gannet, "The Building of a Nation," p. 39 et seq.
So far as battles, campaigns, glorious victories, great diplomacy, and other similar paraphernalia with which some historians are mainly concerned, the War of 1812 was insignificant. While jingos boast of "how we licked the Britishers," and it occupies much space in our school histories, yet in a wider and more accurate vision this war is seen to be but a small incident in the great world war in which Napoleon was the central figure. Among the many nicknames that have been applied to this conflict is "The War of Paradoxes." It was waged in defense of maritime interests, but the merchant states threatened to secede to stop it. The alleged cause of the war (the English "Orders in Council") was repealed before war was declared. The most important battle of the war (New Orleans) was fought after the treaty of peace had been signed, and the original subject of dispute (impressment of seamen) was never mentioned in the treaty of peace. Finally, the New England states that were so eager for peace were ruined by its coming, and the South that desired war found its prosperity in peace.
Although many generations of children have been taught that this war was a series of "glorious victories," respect for truth compels the statement that the United States was whipped in nearly every campaign, that the
capitol was burned, the coast closely blockaded throughout the war, and in spite of all the stories of how "we humbled the mistress of the seas," the American navy was practically wiped out of existence.
The story of the origin of the war explains some of these contradictions. England was battling with Napoleon for the mastery of Europe and of the world. She was victorious on the seas, and was depending upon that commercial supremacy for resources with which to fight. In this titanic conflict both sides were determined that there should be no neutrals. They could not well make any other decision. The war was so much for commercial supremacy that to admit the existence of a neutral was to give that neutral control of the object for which the struggle was waged.
Napoleon had declared a blockade of England, and England had blockaded nearly all of Europe to ships that had not first cleared from a British port. Napoleon in turn had declared that all ships that did so clear were contraband of war. The result of these "Orders in Council" and "Berlin and Milan Decrees" was that English and French ships preyed upon the commerce of the United States. In spite of this fact, American commerce grew in a most startling manner, until a few New England states were carrying almost one third of the commerce of the world. In her effort to secure sailors to man the gigantic navy required by the Napoleonic wars, England was in the habit of stopping merchant vessels of the United States and impressing such members of their crews as she desired, with the excuse that they were British deserters. To be sure a large percentage of the men so seized were deserters
from the British navy. The great profits of American commerce enabled the shipowners to pay such wages that every British warship anchoring in American waters lost a good portion of its crew.
The plantation interests represented by Jefferson had little understanding or sympathy with the New England merchants. Jefferson was inclined to temporize and experiment. At first the New England merchants were belligerent in their talk and petitions to Congress, but they soon discovered that more money could be made running blockades than in a domestic war, and became the strongest opponents of all retaliatory measures.
The cotton planters, on the other hand, were anxious for war, or at least for some sort of reprisals directed against England.1 They were selling their cotton to that country. The price was low, and the old antagonism between buyer and seller was being felt. This antagonism, however, was not sufficiently sharp to lead to war. It led rather to a series of peculiar legislative acts based upon the idea that a country could be punished by withholding commerce. The result of this attitude was the passage of the "Embargo" and the "Nonintercourse" acts.
These measures were based upon the idea that the trade of a country is a sort of
isolated entity that can be withheld and granted or directed wherever and
whenever such action is desired. By withholding the American trade Jefferson
thought to punish England. The "Embargo" forbade American ships to leave their
harbors save for coast trade. Since a large proportion of
1. U. B. Phillips, "Georgia and State Rights," in Annual Report of American Historical Association, 1901, Vol. II, pp. 99-200.
American histories have been written by persons with New England prejudices, these histories nearly all declare the "Embargo" to have been a terrible failure. In truth it paralyzed many branches of British industry, sent the price of flour to $x9 a barrel in England, caused great petitions to be sent to Parliament begging for relief, and, finally, actually accomplished the object for which it was laid, - secured the repeal of the "Orders in Council," even though the news of that repeal came too late to avert war.1
During the war the New England merchants carried their opposition to the farthest point possible without taking up actual hostilities against the national government. They advocated secession, refused to subscribe to the national loan, encouraged their militia to rebel against orders of the national government, sent large sums of specie to Canada for British drafts, supplied food to the British armies and ships, and in general did everything that would bring a profit and injure the national government.2
This war has also been called "The Second War for Independence." There is more than a little justice in the name. But that independence was not gained at Lundy's Lane, or New Orleans, by Perry on Lake Erie or by the victory of the Constitution over the Guerriere. That independence came through developments in a wholly different field. It was a result of the industrial transformation wrought by the war.
1 McMaster, "History of the People of the United States," Vol. IV, PP. 1-2.
2 Babcock, "Rise of American Nationality," pp. 156-158; Dewey, "Financial History of the United States," p. 133.
The most important event of the period was the birth of a royal heir, the last of the long line of ruling classes that have dominated society since the appearance of private property. This last prince of the line of class rule was the machine-owning capitalist class. The United States census of 1900 is authority for the statement that "the factory system obtained its first foothold in the United States during the period of the Embargo and the War of 1812." To be sure, this same authority assures us that,
The manufacture of cotton and wool passed rapidly from the household to the mill, but the methods of domestic and neighborhood industry continued to predominate, even in these industries down to, and including, the decade between 1820 and 1830; and it was not until about 1840 that the factory method of manufacture extended itself widely to miscellaneous industries, and began rapidly to force from the market the handmade commodities with which every community had hitherto supplied itself.
In spite of the fact that the factory industry had been struggling for a foothold since the beginning of the century, and that much boasting had been made of the extent to which manufacturing was carried on, the opening of the war saw the country in such a dependent condition that the Secretary of War begged that the Embargo be raised temporarily in order that the government might obtain the woolen blankets that were required in the Indian trade, since these could not be produced in the United States.
Any war tends artificially to stimulate manufactures. The purchase of large quantities of uniform articles
favors the factory rather than the household producer. Government specifications frequently provided that the goods must be of American manufacture. With no foreign competition, a limited number of domestic producers, and production inadequate to demand, factories yielded several hundred per cent profit. As had been the case in Europe, the mercantile capitalists had accumulated the capital for the establishment of the factory system. Woodrow Wilson notes that, "The very shipowners of the trading ports had in many instances sold their craft and put their capital into the manufacture of such things as were most immediately needed for the home market."1
Another law of historical evolution is illustrated in the way that the rising social class found expression in the social consciousness. Every effort was made to encourage manufactures. Societies were formed, premiums offered, bounties paid, tax exemptions granted, and every possible means for the fostering of manufactures was put into operation.
The most strenuous efforts were made to entice foreign artisans to America. All
their effects were exempt from duty. Pennsylvania hastened to grant them especial
privileges of citizenship. Many legislatures passed resolutions pledging their
members to wear only homemade goods. To encourage the woolen industry, bounties
were offered for the importation of merino sheep, and Pennsylvania taxed dogs to
raise money with which to import rams of this famous breed.
1 "History of the American People," Vol. III, p. 240; D. B. Warden, "An Account of the United States of America" (1819), pp. 262-263; Matthew Carey, "New Olive Branch," Chap. V.
Manufactures could not fail to flourish under such conditions. In the production of cotton there were 87 mills in 1811 operating 80,000 spindles and producing 2,880,000 pounds of yarn, with 4000 employees. By 1815 there were half a million spindles running, with 76,000 employees, working up 27,000,000 pounds of raw cotton. The iron industry developed to the point where it lacked but 3000 tons of supplying the whole country. It is worthy of note that it now began to center around Pittsburg. Earthenware, glass, cordage, and all manner of wooden ware manufactures shot up into prominence.
The number of patents rapidly increased. The first complete mill for the production of cotton cloth was set up by Francis C. Lowell at Waltham, Massachusetts, in 18r5. Elkanah Cobb, of Vermont, invented a machine for weaving blankets that did the work of several men.
Soon the manufacturing capitalist began to develop even more clearly the outlines of a definite class consciousness. Niles' Weekly Register, the great organ of the manufacturers during the next forty years, was started in Baltimore, September, 1811. From the beginning it was an active defender of protective tariffs. In 1819 we hear it voicing the jealousy of the manufacturers and shipowners for the favor of the national government.
One of the memorials sent by the manufacturers to Congress at this time makes a suggestive complaint and explanation in these words:1
The fostering care bestowed on commerce - the various statutes enacted in its favor - the expense incurred for that purpose - the complete protection