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THE

AMERICAN REVIEW.

No. LXXXIII.

FOR NOVEMBER, 1851.

POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

"To most men experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the tract it has passed."-COLERIDGE.

66

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A HISTORY of modern political questions, ration of this stupendous measure for the if faithfully executed,-a true account being extension of our trade and commerce, with given of the opponents and the defenders of no impediment whatever thrown in the way the measures, and, if carried, their results — of its operation, but, on the contrary, two whether confirming or refuting their advo- most unprecedented, uncalculated, and uncates, by the undeniable facts of their ope- looked for helps to its operation (what ration, -would be the most interesting and "aids” they would have been to Mr. Walkimportant of all political books.

er's “ reflections,” could he also have foreSuch a book, being written up to this seen them !)—a famine in Europe following present November, A.Þ. 1851,would, among an unprecedented crop in these States, and its complicated details, contain no instance the discovery of an inexhaustible gold field, of a measure so palpably refuting, by the facts —the following is the result. We were to of its actual operation, the arguments and export, according to Mr. Walkerpredictions of its advocates, as the tariff of

In the year 1848,

$222,898,350 1846. It happened, by the unfortunate con

1849,

329,959,993 trivance of the Fates, that the powerful party

1850,

488,455,056 which executed with such heroic resolution Such, good reader, was the enormous this fearful experiment upon a prosperous prediction of the results of this great meacountry, had a leader and spokesman who, sure. Let us now compare these fancies lacking the modesty which usually accompa- with the facts, as they actually occurred. nies such greatness, and the discretion which The oficial statement of the exports for his wisdom and station naturally demanded, these same years was as follows :proclaimed to the world, in the same man

1848,

$139,934,121 ner that a veritable quack doctor would em 1849,

132,666,955 ploy, the inevitable effects of his nostrum 1850,

134,900,265 upon the body politic; tempting his victions

The result of this, it will be perceived, is : through their imaginations and their hopes, Aggregate of Mr. Walker's estimate by holding up before them the most dazzling

of exports for the years 1848, '49 results. The famous reports of Mr. Secretary and '50,

1,041,303,399 Walker are known unto all men, and are Aggregate of official statements for

the same years, most lamentable instances of the folly of

400,501,341 human predictions.

Leaving a balance of

$640,802,058 In less than five years from the inaugu In favor of Mr. Walker's—imagination ! NEW SERIES.

25

VOL. VIII.

NO. V.

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