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vigation and traffic, during the fubjoined years, both of peace and of war:

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56451,254 73,456 - 524,711-11,708,515

57 1760 471,241 - 112,737 - 573,978 - 14,693,270 61 508,220-117,835 -626,055 - 14,873,194 62 480,444 - 120,126 - 600,570 - 13,546,171

Thus, the year 1756 marked the lowest point of the depreffion of commerce; whence it gradually rofe, till it had gained a fuperiority over the unexampled traffic of the tranquil years 1749-5051, if we may judge from the value of exports; and almost to an equality, if we draw our inferences from the tonnage of shipping. The Spanish war of 1762 impofed an additional weight, and we have seen the confequent decline.

When, by the treaty of Paris, entire freedom was again restored to foreign commerce, the traders once more fent out adventures of a still greater amount to every quarter of the world, though the nation was fuppofed to be ftrained, by too great an exertion of her powers. The falutary effects of more extenfive manufactures and a larger trade were inftantly feen in the commercial fuperiority

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of the three years following the pacification of 1763, over those enfuing the peace of 1748, though these have been celebrated juftly as times of uncommon profperity. We fhall be fully convinced of this fatisfactory truth, if we examine the following proofs:



Ships cleared outwards.

Tons English. D° foreign.

Value of cargoes. £•

50609,798 - 51,386 -661,184 - 12,599,112

51 1758 389,842 - 116,002 - 505,844-12,618,335 1759 406,335 - 121,016 - $27,351 - 13,947,788 $764



639,872 - - 68,136 - 708,008 - 14,925,950

The grofs income of the Poft-office, foreign and domeftic, which, it is faid, can alone demonftrate the extent of our correfpondence, amounted,

In 1754, to

In 1764, to

£. 210,663

In the midst of that unexampled prosperity and accumulation of private wealth, Hume talked, in his hiftory, of the pernicious practice of borrowing on parliamentary fecurity; a practice, fays he, the more likely to become pernicious the more a nation advances in opulence and credit, and now threatens the

*The account of the Poft-office revenue is ftated, by the Annual Register 1773, much higher, miftakingly.

very existence of the nation. Even the grave Blackftone, who seems to have been infected by the declamations of the times, wrote of its being indifputably certain, in 1765, that the prefent magnitude of our national incumbrances very far exceeds all calculations of commercial benefits, and is productive of the greatest inconveniencies by the enormous taxes, that are raised upon the neceffaries of life, for the payment of the intereft of the debt; and those taxes weaken the internal ftrength of a ftate, by anticipating thofe refources, which should be reserved to defend it in case of neceffity *. Such fentiments, from fuch men, proceed partly from a narrow view of the subject, and perhaps more from well-meaning defires to do national good, by raifing public apprehenfions, with regard to the fecurity of property, and the fafety of the state.

To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace;
And to be grave, exceeds all power of face.

*Commentaries, vol. i. p. 328, 4th edit,


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The Commercial Failures, in 1763.—Opinions thereon. -The true State of the Nation.-Obfervations on the Peace of 1763.-Various Laws for promoting domeftic Improvements.-Satisfactory Proofs of our Commercial Profperity, at the Epoch of the Colonial Revolt.-Yet, were our Trade and Shipping popularly reprefented as much on the Decline.

T was at that fortunate epoch, that Great Bri

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tain, having carried conqueft over the hostile powers of the earth, by her arms, faved Europe from bankruptcy, by the fuperiority of her opulence; and by the difinterestedness of her spirit. The failures, which happened at Berlin, at Hamburgh, and in Holland, during July 1763, communicated dismay and distrust to every commercial town, on the European continent*. Wealth, it is faid, no longer procured credit, nor connection any more gained confidence: The merchants of Europe remained for fome time in confternation, because every trader feared for himself, amidst the

See the defpondent letter from the bankers of Hamburgh to the bankers of Amfterdam, dated the 4th of August 1763, in the Gentleman's Magazine of this year, p. 422.



ruins of the greateft houses. It was at this crifis, that the British traders fhewed the greatnefs of their capitals, the extent of their credit, and their difregard of either lofs, or gain, while the mercantile world feemed to pafs away as a winter's cloud; They trufted correfpondents, whofe fituations were extremely unstable, to a greater amount than they had ever ventured to do, in the most profperous times: And they made vaft remittances to those commercial cities, where the deepeft diftrefs was fuppofed to prevail, from the determination of the wealthiest bankers to fufpend the payment of their own acceptances. At this crifis the Bank of England discounted bills of exchange to a great amount, while every bill was suspected, as being of doubtful responsibleness. And the British government, with a wife policy, actuated and fupported all *.

On that proud day was published, however, "An Alarm to the Stockholders." By another writer the nation was remembered of "the decrease of the current coin, as a most dangerous circumftance." And by an author, ftill more confiderable than either, we were inftructed-"How the abilities of the country were stretched to their utmoft extent, and beyond their natural tone, whilst trade

* See Confiderations on the Trade and Finances of the Kingdom. Yet, there were only, in England, 233 bankruptcies, during 1763, and 301, during 1764. Of bankruptcies, there were, in England, during 1773-562, and during 1793 -1304-Thus it is by comparison, that we gain accurate knowledge.

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