Skip to content


Choose a Chapter | Purchase the eBook

1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Plain Calculations: What will be the cost and consequence of the war? What will be the Gain?

» Return to Document Reader
» Worksheet

When the people of a free country, who are not the slaves of any man's ambition, passions or policy, are carried into a war, the most dreadful of human afflictions, they have a right to demand clear and satisfactory answers to these questions:

What will be the cost and consequence of the war? What will be the gain?

PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, whose hard and honest labour must supply the treasure to be wasted in the war now forced upon you, and whose blood must buy every advantage to be gained by it, count the cost and count the gain, for yourselves.--Put away all prejudice, passion and party feeling; and you can, every man of you, decide the question as well as the cabinet at Washington--Decide for yourselves, and you will, at least, be sure you decide honestly, and without any intrigue or false influence.

Suppose then that this war shall terminate most successfully;--there shall be no disappointment, no disaster, no disgrace;--we shall get all we expect; all that the makers of this war have promised themselves or you--WHAT IS IT?

THE CONQUEST OF CANADA.

Inquire then what will this Canada cost us; and what will it be worth when we get it? We will have no exaggeration or misrepresentation; it would only deceive ourselves. If Canada, this promised land, shall be taken, it must be done by the usual means of war--Men and Money--Proclamations, we have seen, wont do the business.

How many men? and How much money?

When we consider how and by whom Canada is defended, how many forts and military posts it contains, the amazing strength of Quebec, one of the strongest places in the world, and the intolerable climate of that country for a great part of the year, we are very moderate when we say it cannot be taken without the sacrifice of, at least, THIRTY THOUSAND LIVES, to say nothing of the hardships and sufferings of those who survive. What sort of men will be the thirty thousand thus slaughtered and lost? Will they be a gang of vagabonds such as are picked up in Europe for standing armies? No--they must be good and useful citizens; the honest yeomanry of our country, fathers of families. A regular standing army of any great force cannot be obtained in this country--we have not the stuff for it. We are all too happy and too thriving to turn soldiers for five dollars a month.--We love our families and our homes; our fields and our firesides too well to exchange them for the misery of a camp and the tyranny of military upstarts. The experiment has been made and it failed--the raw material for a standing army seems to be already exhausted here, and I hope we shall not import it. The recruiting for the army of 25,000 men began in May last, and not more than 6000 have been obtained. Yet no pains have been spared--Land, rum, and the promise of glory have combined their influence to induce inlistment.

But Men must be had or Canada cannot be taken. It is true that by our constitution the militia cannot be compelled to march out of the United States--they are for defence and not for invasion. If they may be taken to Canada, they may be taken to Russia. But what are constitutions, or laws, or the rights of the people in the fury of war? Ask the miserable people of Europe. The power that forces the war upon you, can also force upon you its own means of carrying it on.--Shall we then live to see the system of

FRENCH CONSCRIPTION

adopted in this land of liberty, and all of us become the wretched slaves of military despotism--Fellow Citizens, look to this before it is too late; before your children are torn from you to perish under the walls of Quebec, and you are drawn like criminals to a foreign land, to return to your peaceful homes no more.

HOW MUCH MONEY will this conquest cost? and WHERE IS IT TO BE GOT? It cannot be denied, for it is proved by Mr. Gallatin's estimates, that at least

Thirty Millions of Dollars

will be wanted by the government for every year during the war. The administration papers tell us it will probably last about six years.Then we shall, at the end of six years misery, have Canada, at the cost of

One Hundred and Eighty Millions of Dollars

And who is to pay this money? Where is it to come from? Not from commerce and the merchant--All trade is at an end. It must come then from the hands and mouth of Labour; from the FARMER and MECHANIC. to prove this beyond all contradiction, look at the following

list of taxes, prepared for and produced by the war, which have been reported to Congress, by Mr. Gallatin's direction. The bills are already drawn, and the passing them postponed until the first Monday of November next, when the Elections will be over. Could these rulers believe the people are such fools and children as to be deceived by this shallow contemptible artifice?

LIST OF WAR TAXES.

1. A bill to lay and collect a direct tax within the United States (land tax)

2. A bill for the assessment and collection of direct taxes and internal duties.

3. A bill imposing additional duties on the tonnage of ships and vessels.

4. A bill to retain 25 per cent. on the drawbacks allowed by law.

5. A bill laying a duty on IMPORTED SALT.

6. A bill to establish the office of commissioner of the revenue.

7. A bill to lay duties on licences to retailers of wines, spirituous liquors and foreign merchandize.

8. A bill to lay duties on carriages for the conveyance of persons.

9. A bill to lay duties on licences to Distillers of spirituous liquors.

10. A bill laying duties on sales at auction of foreign merchants dize, and of ships and vessels.

11. A bill laying duties on sugar refined within the United States.

12. A bill laying duties on bank notes and on notes of hand; and on foreign bills of exchange of a certain description.--STAMP TAX.

13. A bill making further provision for the collection of internal duties.

Until these taxes can be raised the war is to be carried on by Treasury Notes, or in other words, PAPER MONEY; by which the national debt will be increased many millions, and by which so many honest people were ruined in the last war.

When Canada shall be conquered by thus exhausting and ruining ourselves--WHAT IS IT WORTH? We shall have a cold inhospitable country, full of fortifications, military posts, and containing a large fortified city: all of which must be maintained at an enormous expense from

our own treasury. The population of Canada never has paid any tax to any government, and never will. It has cost the British many millions every year, and will be a constant drain on the United States both of men and money.

Who then gains any thing by the conquest of Canada?

The President and his friends and parasites. Here will be a new government to be established; a large army to be stationed. EXECUTIVE PATRONAGE will have a fine field to feed the hungry advocates of this war. A great number of civil officers, a much greater number of military officers must be appointed; and the President will take care to reward those who have supported him in HIS WAR; for it is not the war of the PEOPLE, inasmuch as they have EVERY THING TO LOSE AND NOTHING TO GAIN BY IT.




Reference : America: A Narrative History, 6th Edition, Chapter 9; Inventing America, Chapter 9; Give Me Liberty, Chapter 8



Section Menu

Organize

Learn

Connect

Multimedia

Norton Gradebook

Instructors now have an easy way to collect students’ online quizzes with the Norton Gradebook without flooding their inboxes with e-mails.

Students can track their online quiz scores by setting up their own Student Gradebook.