Report on the Subject of Manufactures - Alexander Hamilton

Report on the Subject of Manufactures - Alexander Hamilton...

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Report on the Subject of Manufactures Alexander Hamilton December 5, 1791   The Secretary of the Treasury, in obedience to the order of the House of Representatives of the 15th day of January,  1790, has applied his attention at as early a period as his other duties would permit  to the subject of Manufactures;  and particularly to the means of promoting such as will tend  to render the United States independent on foreign  nations for military and other essential supplies. It ought readily to be conceded that the cultivation of the earth – as the immediate and chief source of subsistence of  man –  as the principal source of those materials which constitute the nutriment of other kinds of labor – as  including a  state most favorable to the freedom and independence of the human mind – one, perhaps, most conducive to the  multiplication of the human species – has intrinsically a strong claim to pre-eminence over every other kind of  industry. But, that it has a title to anything like an exclusive predilection (fondness), in any country, ought to be admitted with  great caution. That it is even more productive than every other branch of industry requires more evidence than has yet  been given in support of the position. That its real interests, precious and important as without the help of  exaggeration, they truly are, will be advanced, rather than injured, by the due encouragement of manufactures, may, it  is believed, be satisfactorily demonstrated. And it is also believed that the expediency of such encouragement in a  general view may be shown to be recommended by the most cogent and persuasive motives of national policy…. Manufacturing establishments not only occasion a positive augmentation of the produce and revenue of the society,  …they contribute  essentially to rendering them greater than they could possibly be, without such establishments.  These circumstances are – 1. The division of labor. 2. An extension of the use of machinery. 3. Additional employment to classes of the community not ordinarily engaged in the business. 4. The promoting of emigration from foreign countries. 5. The furnishing greater scope for the diversity of talents and dispositions which discriminate men from  each other. 6. The affording a more ample and various field for enterprise. 7. The creating in some instances a new, and securing in all, a more certain and steady demand for the  surplus produce of the soil.
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