Thursday, November 30, 2006

Journal of the Senate, "...it was done in full reliance that the best interests, as well as the rights of the country, would be fully protected..":

THURSDAY, March 3, 1842.
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...Mr. Simmons presented the following resolutions, passed by the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations:
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"STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.
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"In General Assembly, January session, A. D. 1842.
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"Resolved, That when this State, in conjunction with the other States of this Union, adopted the constitution of the United States, and surrendered into the hands of the General Government the power of regulating by law our intercourse with foreign nations, it was done in full reliance that the best interests, as well as the rights of the country, would be fully protected, and that our peculiar advantages as an agricultural, commercial, mechanical, and manufacturing nation, would at all times be enjoyed, and receive the fostering care of that Government.
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"Resolved, That the duty of cherishing and protecting the whole labor of the country (which is alone the source of national wealth), and giving to that labor full and permanent assurance of defence against the productions of an exhausted and starving population elsewhere, should be first in the high exercise of powers conceded to Congress, and that a surrender of that principle can eventuate only in a total prostration of all the great interests for which the States became united, and the constitution the great bond of union.
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"Resolved, That the doctrines of free trade, in the present state of commercial restrictions throughout the world, is but an idle abstraction of theorists; and that while the great staples of our agriculture are denied admission into the ports of Europe, unless under duties nearly prohibitory (except the article of cotton, which survives only until the same product is matured in British India), the producer demands and is entitled to receive the home market for his produce, and to realize, from his surplus, such other articles as require the same market, and which are equally entitled to protection from foreign labor.
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"Resolved, That the subdivision of labor is one of the first principles in political economy; and that the great interests of manufactures and the mechanic arts, warmed into being by the legislation of Congress, have established this principle, and made the producers of nearly every article essential to the comforts of life, reciprocally the consumers of all the great products of the land, and given a sure and onward march to national wealth and prosperity; and that the abandonment of the principle of protection will not only destroy this division of labor, and force the whole into the one great pursuit of agriculture, but our country will ere long become exhausted by a drain of all its specie to pay for articles of necessity imported from other countries and produced by their labor.
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"Resolved, That it is equally the duty of Congress to protect the labor of the country from a competition in our own market with
foreign labor, as it is to defend the soil from foreign aggression
. The latter may be repelled by a brave and free people, but a neglect of the former will insidiously undermine all that is valuable, and bring us back to a state of dependance upon Great Britain, as servile as the bondage from which we were relieved by the establishment of ourindependence.
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Resolved, That while we acknowledge the principle that duties should be levied only to supply the wants of an economical administration of the Government, yet those
duties should be discriminative, not only for the protection of our own labor, but also so to countervail the legislation and restrictions of other nations, as to force upon them the principles of reciprocity in trade, and open their markets to us as freely as our own are open to them
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"Resolved, That the principle of levying duties upon the foreign invoice value of goods, with all the frauds consequent upon a reliance on such invoices, gives to the producer abroad the power of fixing the duty, in fact, and to the foreign adventurer the control of our imports, and the business rightfully belonging to our citizens; and that the adoption of this principle loses the character of just and wise legislation, when its only effect is to impair the strength and sacrifice the honor and independence of the country.
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"Resolved, That his excellency the Governor transmit a copy of these resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, with a request that they be communicated to each House, and that they be further requested to use their best exertions to effect such legislation as shall promote the interest of this State, and the whole interest of our common country.
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"True Copy:"WITNESS--"HENRY
BOWEN,
"Secretary of State."
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The resolutions were read.
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Ordered, That they be referred to the Committee on Manufactures, and printed.


Well now, that is interesting, now isn't it?

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