QUERY XIX
 
        _The present state of manufactures, commerce, interior and
exterior trade?_

        Manufactures
        We never had an interior trade of any importance.  Our exterior
commerce has suffered very much from the beginning of the present
contest.  During this time we have manufactured within our families
the most necessary articles of cloathing.  Those of cotton will bear
some comparison with the same kinds of manufacture in Europe; but
those of wool, flax and hemp are very coarse, unsightly, and
unpleasant: and such is our attachment to agriculture, and such our
preference for foreign manufactures, that be it wise or unwise, our
people will certainly return as soon as they can, to the raising raw
materials, and exchanging them for finer manufactures than they are
able to execute themselves.

        The political oeconomists of Europe have established it as a
principle that every state should endeavour to manufacture for
itself: and this principle, like many others, we transfer to America,
without calculating the difference of circumstance which should often
produce a difference of result.  In Europe the lands are either
cultivated, or locked up against the cultivator.  Manufacture must
therefore be resorted to of necessity not of choice, to support the
surplus of their people.  But we have an immensity of land courting
the industry of the husbandman.  Is it best then that all our
citizens should be employed in its improvement, or that one half
should be called off from that to exercise manufactures and
handicraft arts for the other?  Those who labour in the earth are the
chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts
he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.
It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which
otherwise might escape from the face of the earth.  Corruption of
morals in the mass of cultivators is a phaenomenon of which no age
nor nation has furnished an example.  It is the mark set on those,
who not looking up to heaven, to their own soil and industry, as does
the husbandman, for their subsistance, depend for it on the
casualties and caprice of customers.  Dependance begets subservience
and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools
for the designs of ambition.  This, the natural progress and
consequence of the arts, has sometimes perhaps been retarded by
accidental circumstances: but, generally speaking, the proportion
which the aggregate of the other classes of citizens bears in any
state to that of its husbandmen, is the proportion of its unsound to
its healthy parts, and is a good-enough barometer whereby to measure
its degree of corruption.  While we have land to labour then, let us
never wish to see our citizens occupied at a work-bench, or twirling
a distaff.  Carpenters, masons, smiths, are wanting in husbandry:
but, for the general operations of manufacture, let our work-shops
remain in Europe.  It is better to carry provisions and materials to
workmen there, than bring them to the provisions and materials, and
with them their manners and principles.  The loss by the
transportation of commodities across the Atlantic will be made up in
happiness and permanence of government.  The mobs of great cities add
just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the
strength of the human body.  It is the manners and spirit of a people
which preserve a republic in vigour.  A degeneracy in these is a
canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.