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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Commercial Argument against Separation

By Joseph Galloway (1731–1803)

[Born in Maryland. Died in England, 1803. Cool Thoughts on the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence. 1780.]

WHEN America shall have a separate and distinct interest of her own to pursue, her views will be enlarged, her policy will be exerted to her own benefit, and her interest, instead of being united with, will become not only different from but opposite to that of Great Britain. She will readily perceive that manufactures are the great foundation of commerce, that commerce is the great means of acquiring wealth, and that wealth is necessary to her own safety. With these interesting prospects before her, it is impossible to conceive that she will not exert her capacity to promote manufactures and commerce. She will see it to be clearly her interest, not only to manufacture for herself but others. Laws will be made granting bounties to encourage it, and duties will be laid to discourage or prohibit foreign importations. By these measures her manufactures will increase, her commerce will be extended, and, feeling the benefits of them as they rise, her industry will be exerted until she not only shall supply her own wants, but those of Great Britain itself with all the manufactures made with her own materials. Nor will this reasoning appear to be merely conjectural to those who will consider the roving and fluctuating nature of commerce. If we look into history, we shall there see her at different periods in the possession of the Phœnicians, Carthaginians, and Venetians. Germany and France lately enjoyed her, and supplied Great Britain with their manufactures. Great Britain at present folds her in its arms.

But the length of time which Great Britain shall sustain her importance among commercial nations entirely depends on the wisdom of the present measures. If she should give up her dominion over America, her commerce in a little time must perish; should she retain America, nothing can deprive her of it. For, although, should the ties of interest and policy be once severed by the violence of war, passion and resentment, which nothing but great length of time can efface, will succeed; and alliances with other nations, to the detriment of Great Britain, in the mean time will be made: yet should she again be united with us in the same common interest and policy, the task will not be difficult to induce her to pursue what is most profitable to herself, the cultivation of the earth, and the raising raw materials for the manufactures of Great Britain for ages to come. She will attend to and pursue that business, which, under this circumstance, will most naturally and profitably contribute to the common interest of both countries. She will find that she can raise raw materials and dispose of them to Great Britain for greater profits than she can manufacture them, and receive in return all the necessaries and luxuries of life cheaper than she can procure them from other nations. Here her true interest will coincide with and strengthen her political attachments, provided those attachments are formed and maintained on a broad, liberal, and just foundation; I mean, when the same measure of power shall be exercised over her people, and the same enjoyment of privileges shall be granted to them, as are exercised over and enjoyed by the subjects in Great Britain; for it does not require much knowledge of the principles upon which all societies are founded, and of the dispositions of men, to see that nothing short of this policy can shut the door of jealousies, discontents, and separation between the subjects of the same state.