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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/310

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

scanty and processes are simple there are no division and no association of labor. The account that one of the best of American historians gives of the Northwest Territory might be accepted as a description of this primitive state, and realizes Fichte's ideal of a geschlossener Handelstaat (closed trade state). Shut in by mountains, the people raised their own flax and sometimes grew their own wool, which they spun and wove at home. They made their own spinning wheels and looms, as they made their own furniture. They tanned their own leather and cobbled rude shoes of it. Of Indian-corn husks they spun ropes and manufactured horse collars and chair bottoms. Barrels and beehives were formed of sawn hollow trees. They extracted sugar from the maple and tea from the sassafras root. Their boats were dug-out canoes. In colonies of later foundation this self-sufficing stage, which repeats an earlier period in the mother country than the time when the colony was given off, is dropped, though there are traces of it everywhere to be found. Sheep countries give birth to the woolen industry. New Zealand reduplicates the woolen manufactures of England and, owing to protective duties, has attained a deserved success. New South Wales, with finer wools, has not succeeded, for no other apparent reason than that she refuses to impose such duties. For it is to be observed that it is under legislative protection—bounties, bonuses, drawbacks, export and especially import duties—that almost every colonial industry has grown up, as the industries of the mother country grew up. Sometimes the profit in a particular undertaking is exactly equal to the amount of the import duty, and it is seldom greater. By taking extravagant advantage of the liberty long refused (as leave to manufacture was long refused to the North American colonies), but at length conceded, to impose import duties, an Australasian colony, misled as much by its own splendid energy as by evil counselors (Carlyle among them), built up a whole artificial system of industries which sank in ruinous collapse when the boom had passed. Independent industries spring first from the soil. Gold and silver mining lose their wild adventurous character, and become regular industries, worked by companies with extensive plants. The digging of gum in Auckland (bled from the gigantic Kauri pine) is operated by merchants who keep the gum diggers in a species of serfage. The discovery of coal makes native industries possible or remunerative, but till iron has been found the system is incomplete. All countries, and therefore all colonies, are late in reaching this stage; the most advanced contemporary colonies have not yet reached it. None the less have they followed England with swifter steps, if with less momentum, into the modern age of iron—that Brummagem epoch which has the creation of markets for its war