Speech of Henry Clay

Speech of Henry Clay

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Excerpt from Speech of Henry Clay: In Defence of the American System, Against the British Colonial System, With an Appendix of Documents Referred to in the Speech

Brown sugar, during ten years, from 1792 to 1802, with a duty of one and a-iialf cents per pound, averaged fourteen cents per pound. The same arti cle, during ten years, from 1820 to 1830, with a duty of three cents, has aver aged only eight cents per ound. Nails, with a duty of five cents per pound, are selling at six cents. Indow glass, eight b ten, prior to the tariff of 1824, sold at twelve or thirteen dollars per hundred eet; it now sells for three dol lars seventy-five cents.

The gentleman from South Carolina, sensible of the incontestable fact of the very great reduction in the prices of the necessaries of life, protected by the American System, has felt the full force of it, and has presented various explanations of the causes to which he ascribes it. The first is the diminished production of the recious metals, in consequence of the distressed state of thecouiitries 111.1v1icl1 they are extracted, and the consequent increase of their yalue relative to that of the commodities for which they are exchanged. But, if this be the true cause of the reduction of price, its operation ought to have been general, on all objects, and of course upon cotton among the rest. And,.in point of fact, the diminished price of that staple is not eater than the dimunition of the value of other staples of our agriculture. Our, which commanded, some years a o, ten or twelve dollars per barrel, is now sold for five. The fall of tobacco has been still more. The Kite foot of Maryland, which sold at from sixteen to twenty dollars per hundred, now produces only four or five. That of Vir inia has sustained an e ual decline. Beef, ork, ever article, almost, pro uced by the farmer, has ecreased in value. Ught not outh Carolina then to submit quietly to a state of things, which is gen eral, and proceeds from an uncontrollable cause? Ought she to ascribe to the accursed tariff what results from the calamities of civil and foreign war, ing iii man countries?

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