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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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2542. EMBARGO, Effect on industry.—
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2542. EMBARGO, Effect on industry.—

Of the several interests composing those of the
United States, that of manufactures would, of
course, prefer to war a state of non-intercourse,
so favorable to their rapid growth and prosperity.
Agriculture, although sensibly feeling
the loss of market for its produce, would find
many aggravations in a state of war. Commerce
and navigation, or that portion which is
foreign, in the inactivity to which they are
reduced by the present state of things, certainly
experience their full share in the general inconvenience;
but whether war would to them
be a preferable alternative, is a question their
patriotism would never hastily propose. It is
to be regretted, however, that overlooking the
real sources of the sufferings, the British and
French edicts which constitute the actual
blockade of our foreign commerce and navigation,
they have, with too little reflection, imputed
them to laws which have saved them
from greater, and have preserved for our own
use our vessels, property and seamen, instead
of adding them to the strength of those with
whom we might eventually have to contend.
The Embargo, giving time to the belligerent
powers to revise their unjust proceedings, and
to listen to the dictates of justice, of interest
and reputation, which equally urge the correction
of their wrongs, has availed our country
of the only honorable expedient for avoiding
war; and should a repeal of these edicts supersede
the cause for it, our commercial brethren
will become sensible that it has consulted
their interests, however against their own will.
It will be unfortunate for their country if, in
the meantime, these their expressions of impatience,
should have the effect of prolonging
the very sufferings which have produced them,
by exciting a fallacious hope that we may,
under any pressure, relinquish our equal right
of navigating the ocean, go to such ports only
as others may prescribe, and there pay the tributary
exactions they may impose; an abandonment
of national independence and of essential
rights, revolting to every manly sentiment.
While these edicts are in force, no American
can ever consent to a return of peaceable intercourse
with those who maintain them.—
To the Citizens of Boston. Washington ed. viii, 136.
(Aug. 1808)