Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 32 of 119
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upon motives more in the usual course of policy among great nations, yet
equally worthy of her as a wise and powerful country. Her objects undoubtedly
are to revive the industry of her East and West India colonies,
to find new markets for her surplus manufactures, and to destroy as far as
possible the rivalry and competition of the manufactures of the United
States. That the abolition of African slavery throughout the Western
world would lead to these results, is altogether probable. At all events,
the plan is sufficiently promising to have engaged the anxious attention of
British statesmen ; and for that reason, if for no other, it is worthy of careful
examination by us.
It is well known that the physical constitution of the African is much
better adapted to tropical climates than that of the European. Indeed, in
those regions of America which are best suited to the production of sugar,
cottoll, and rice, the labor of white men cannot be used to any considerable
extent. The soils and climates of the East and West India colonies of
Great Britain are well adapted to the production of all these articles, and
to these may be added the finer kinds of tobacco. If England could produce
these things, instead of being compelled to purchase them, it would
be an incalculable relief to her people. But this she cannot do, except at
a miuch greater cost than that at which they are now\ afforded by the labor
of slaves. Hence, so far as the industry of her colonies is concerned, she
has a direct interest to abolish slavery in those countries in which the labor
of that class now supersedes the labor of her colonies.
The importance of new markets for her surplus manufactures is obvious
enough. Nations who are free to make their own contracts, and able to
support their own policy, are not apt to give advantages in trade, except
for fair equivalents. Texas is not in that condition ; she must make the
best terms she can, and be contented even with the worst, if they be the
price of her existence as a nation. There is no reason to believe, therefore,
that the demands of England upon that country will be limited to the
simple abolition of slavery. She will expect, in return for her interposition
and protection, a more substantial advantage; and that will be a treaty of
commerce, granting mlore favorable terms to her than to other nations. This
is in the usual course of her policy; and her position, as a friendly mediator
and protector, will give her a fair pretence for such a claim. Texas will
have no alternative but to allow it.
But the third object which she has in view is still more interesting to us.
Even at this day tile United States are her most formidable rival in commercial
enterprise and in manuifacturing skill and industry; and, if we
may judge from our rapid advancement hitherto, the time is not distant
when we shall surpass her in all these particulars. Whatever is calculated
to embarrass our movements or impede our progress is a positive advantage
to her. Let us suppose, then, that her present attempt upon Texas,
and, through her, upon the United States, will succeed. We shall thus be
the better able to estimate the influence which that state of things will
exert upon the United States. The question is not sectional. Although
the first and most disastrous effects of such a state of things would be felt in
the slaveholding States, theyv would extend to and embrace important interests
in every other part of the country. We must contemplate it, therefore,
as a national question, and endeavor to ascertain its bearing upon the
United States as such, and upon the several portions of the United States.
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/32/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .