« PreviousContinue »
The following table gives some of the principal items, showing the increase of exports of 1878 over the year 1877: Increase in horned cattle
$2,303,708 Increase in barley..
1,857,000 Increase in corn...
6,409,000 Increase in wheat and flour..
53,164,000 Increase in cotton...
8,381,000 Increase in bacon
2,237,000 Increase in cheese.
1,102,000 Increase in lard ......
4,451,000 Increase in preserved meats
These tables speak volumes for agriculture, and show a great increase in the last few years.
France, with an area of 201,000 square miles, has a population of about 36,000,000, or 182 persons to the square mile. At the last ce asus Texas, with an area of 274,000 square miles, had a population of less than 1,000,000, or about 4 people to the square mile, while her soil and climate is equal, if not better, than that of France or any other country.
Belgium, with an area of 11,373 square miles, has a population of 5,336,634, or about 469 people to the square mile, while we bave a dozen
tes with a larger area, equally fertile soil, and better climate, with less than 20 people to the square mile.
Germany, with an area of 212,091 square miles, has a population of 42,727,3C0, or about 200 persons to the square mile.
Great Britain and islands, with a population of 31,628,338, has an area of 121,230 square miles, or about 268 persons to the square mile.
The United States, with an area of 3,603,884 square miles, has a population of about 45,000,000, or 13 persons to the square mile, and if we take the States only, and exclude the Territories, the population is 22 persons to the square mile.
We have more than 2,000,000,000 acres of land, with a soil and climate unsurpassed, and adapted to the production of almost everything necessary to the wants and comfort of mankind, three-fourths of which can be used for agricultural purposes, and much of it-indeed more than onehalf-can be purchased for less than the rental value per acre for a single year of the agricultural lands of England, France, Germany, and Belgium.
These figures show that we have ample territory, with agricultural facilities to support a population of many hundred millions, and then not be so densely populated as the countries above narned.
In substantial prosperity and progress, in all that makes a nation great, we must soon take the lead of all other countries; and New York, supported by our vast agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial resources, at no distant day ought to and will be the financial and commercial center of the world, as London is to day.
This prospect should stimulate the encouragement of agriculture and commerce, which must contribute so largely to this result. It must, however, be admitted that, instead of doing so, the tendency and effect of our national legislation has been to encourage other industries and
the building up of towns and cities at the expense of the soil, the mine, and commerce.
Several of the countries of Europe are now overcrowded with people, and it is a question whether or not they can long support the increasing population. There is trouble to-day in England and Germany from this
Lord Derby, in a recent address made at Liverpool on the subject of the present depression in England, stated in substance, “after much reflection,” that England could not afford to pay large sums for food to America and other countries and compete with them in manufactures, and advised as a remedy wholesale emigration to America and Australia.
While we do not want the paupers from other countries, yet we have ample farming lands and room for all persons devoted to honest industry.
TARIFF AND OTIIER LEGISLATION AGAINST THE FARMER.
The duty on articles used by farmers averages about 421 per cent.
On iron and steel it is from
Per cent. 35 to 50
25 40 to 30 35 to 60
40 50 to 68
60 50 to 60
The farmer pays the above duties and many more, and the eastern or manufacturing States receive the greater part of the benefit.
Then, again, most all the internal revenue comes from the tax on two items of agricultural products, one produced directly and the other indirectly from the soil.
The revenue from the tax on tobacco in 1878 was $40,091,754 67; spirits and liquors, $60,357,867.58-total, $110,459,622.25; and this comes almost entirely from the southern and western States.
In 1877 Virginia paid internal revenue tax to the amount of $7,932,220, which is more than twice as much as all the New England Slates combined paid, and West Virginia paid $161,030.50, which is more than the States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont together paid.
The following table shows the receipts from tobacco and spirits in the States named, for the year 1878:
This tax is mainly paid by agricultural States, as the above tableshows, and falls directly or indirectly on the farmer, while manufactures and other industries of the non-agricultural States are aided by protection at the expense of the former.
So in one way or another the burdens of taxation fall heaviest on the farmer and agricultural interests, against which there should be some relief.
AID RENDERED BY DIFFERENT GOVERNMENTS TO AGRICULTURE. From reliable sources we learn there was expended, for the year 1877, by some of the governments of Europe, in aid of agriculture, the following sums : Austria and Hungary...
• £1,099,025 or $5,195,125 France, for agriculture and commerce .110,672,050 francs or $20,534,410 Prussia....
10,459,343 marks or $2,612,340 Italy, for agricultural and commerce..
. 10,863,981 livres or $2,715,995 Russia, for agriculture and public lands .18,434,912 rubles or $14,826,184 Great Britain.....
£159,118 or $795,590 Sweden
$651,737 United States....
$17,4686 The following appropriations for the years named will be sufficient to illustrate the difference in the amounts appropriated for the various departments of the General Government :
These figures show how liberally the prosperous and progressive European governments aid and encourage agriculture and how little we do for this great interest. Russia, our great and principal agricultural rival, spends in support of agriculture and in respect of her public lands, more than seventy times as much as the United States, and the little kingdom of Sweden more than three times as much as this great nation.
We have what is called a department of Agriculture, with a commissioner at its head, whose salary is $3,000 per annum, and the next highest salary is $1,900, while there are a large number of employés in other departments whose chiefs of divisions or heads of bureaus receive from $3,000 to $6,000 salary per annum. The salaries of the
The salaries of the Agricultural Department are either too low or the others are too high.
In the Senate the Commitee on Agriculture is composed of five, while most of the other committees have from seven to nine members. The Committee on Commerce has nine and on Railroads eleven members. Why should not the Commitee on Agriculture be made equal to any committee of the Senate ? The slender aid we render in the way of appropriation and the attention given to agriculture in Congress indicate that we hold it inferior in importance to industries of much less magnitude and moment. The Commissioner of Agriculture within the last few years has done well, considering the limited means at his command, and de. serves credit. Considering the vast importance of agriculture to the country, the number of people engaged in it, the interests dependent upon and affected by it, it seems to me that it deserves and demands at our hands more attention and substantial aid. There is nothing sectional or political about agriculture, and all parts of the country are interested in it.
A large amount of agricultural products are imported which might and ought to be grown within our own borders.
The following table from the Bureau of Statistics shows the amount and value of sugar and molasses imported from 1869 to 1878: