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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Government Class Book.

Sec.12.  Let us now suppose a domestic article at $3 a yard to take the place of the foreign.  A large portion of the laborers formerly employed in agriculture, are now engaged in building factories and in manufacturing.  These, instead of being producers, have become only consumers of the wheat of the farmers, who now have a market at home, thus saving the duties and the cost of transportation.  As there are now fewer producers, the price of wheat would probably be not less than $1 a bushel.  Therefore a yard of domestic cloth would cost only three bushels of wheat, instead of five paid for the foreign cloth.  And as there would be a corresponding rise in the price of labor, more cloth at $3 a yard could be bought for the avails of a day’s labor than formerly.

Sec.13.  The protection of domestic industry received the early attention of congress.  The second law passed by the first congress under the constitution, authorized “duties to be laid on goods, wares, and merchandises imported;” and among the objects of the law expressed in a preamble one was “the encouragement and protection of domestic manufactures.”  For a long time, however, little was done in the way of protection.  The principal nations of Europe, England included, became involved in war.  A large portion of their laboring population having been called from agricultural pursuits into the armies, a foreign demand was created for American produce; and we were enabled to supply ourselves at less disadvantage with foreign manufactures.

Sec.14.  But after peace had been restored in Europe, and people had returned to their usual employments, the foreign demand for our breadstuffs nearly ceased; and large quantities of foreign goods were again imported, for which our people were unable to pay.  Congress now found it necessary to exercise, to a greater extent, its power to regulate trade, by discouraging importations, and encouraging domestic manufactures, and, in 1816, commenced an effective system of protection.  Laws have from time to time been passed to favor manufactures from cotton, wool, iron, and other materials; and manufacturing is now carried on extensively in this country.  By thus drawing a large portion of the people into manufacturing and mechanical employments, a market has been created at home for more grain, meat, and other agricultural products, than is required to supply all foreign demand.

Sec.15.  The laws relating to foreign commerce prescribe the manner of collecting the revenue.  There is in every port of entry a collector of customs, who superintends the collection of duties.  When a vessel arrives it is submitted, with the cargo and all papers and invoices, to the inspection of the proper officers; and the goods subject to duty are weighed and measured, and the duties estimated according to law.

Chapter XXXIII.

Power to regulate Commerce, continued.  Navigation; Commerce among the States, and with the Indian Tribes.

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