This danger was foreseen by the Fœderal Convention, and they have wisely avoided it by appealing directly to the people.1
The landholders and farmers are more than any other men concerned in the present decision, whether the proposed alteration is best they are to determine; but that an alteration is necessary, an individual may assert. It may be assumed as a fixed truth that the prosperity and riches of the farmer must depend on the prosperity, and good national regulation of trade. Artful men may insinuate the contrary-tell you let trade take care of itself and excite your jealousy against the merchant because his business leads him to wear a gayer coat, than your economy directs. But let your own experience refute such insinuations. Your property and riches depend on a ready demand and generous price for the produce you can annually spare. When and where do you find this? Is it not where trade flourishes, and when the merchant can freely export the produce of the country to such parts of the world as will bring the richest return? When the merchant doth not purchase, your produce is low, finds a dull market-in vexation you call the trader a jocky, and curse the men whom you ought to pity. A desire of gain is common to mankind, and the general motive to business and industry. You cannot expect many purchasers when trade is restricted, and your merchants are shut out from nine tenths of the ports in the world. While they depend on the mercy of foreign nations, you are the first persons who will be humbled. Confined to a few foreign ports they must sell low, or not at all; and can you expect they will greedily buy in at a high price, the very articles which they must sell under every restriction.