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to illustrate them by cases with which
every person is familiar.
is familiar. In doing this, he is aware that he may at times have become chargeable with repetition. Sometimes, the same case may have been introduced a second time, for the sake of illustrating a different principle. At other times, the same fact may belong equally to two different divisions of the subject. In this latter case, he has introduced it the second time instead of referring the reader to what has been said before, because he believes that readers rarely take the trouble to make use of a marginal reference.
The principles of Political Economy are so closely analogous to those of Moral Philosophy, that almost every question in the one, may be argued on grounds belonging to the other. He has not, however, thought it proper, in general, to intermingle them, but has argued economical questions on merely economical grounds. For this reason, he has omitted many considerations which are frequently introduced into discussions on this subject. For instance, on the question of protecting duties, it is frequently urged, that, if a contract have been made by the government with the manufacturer, that contract is morally binding. This, it will be perceived, is a question of Ethics, and is simply the question, whether men are or are not morally bound to fulfil their contracts. With this question, Political Economy has nothing to do. Its only business is, to decide whether a given contract were or were not wise. This is the only ques
tion, therefore, treated of in the discussion of this subject in the following work.
It may possibly be urged that the Author, having had no experience in mercantile business, should have left this subject to be treated of, by practical men. To this he has only to reply, that principles belong to all men ; that there seemed very little hope that this subject would be undertaken by men engaged in active business ; and that he could not perceive why his doing, as well as he was able, a work which seemed to be necessary,
prevent any one else from doing it as much better as he saw fit.
It has been to the Author a source of regret, that the course of discussion in the following pages, has unavoidably led him over ground which has frequently been the arena of political controversy. In all such cases, he has endeavored to state what seemed to him to be the truth, without fear, favor, or affection. He is conscious to himself of no bias towards any party whatever, and he thinks that he who will read the whole work, will be convinced that he has been influenced by none. While he cherishes for his fellow citizens who are engaged in political warfare, every feeling of personal respect, he desires it to be believed that he entertains for party itself, whether political, ecclesiastical or social, the opinion which “befits him as an American, a Christian, and a gentleman.” *
* Col. Hutchinson, when speaking in the British Parliament, respecting the part which he had taken in the King's death.
In the hope that these pages will be found
January 16, 1837. }