The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 296

the attention of Great Britain.

10. But, in proportion to the increase of the colonies, a vast demand
is growing for British manufactures; a glorious market, wholly in
the power of Britain, in which foreigners cannot interfere, which
will increase, in a short time, even beyond her power of supplying,
though her whole trade should be to her colonies.

* * * * *

12. It is an ill-grounded opinion, that, by the labour of slaves,
America may possibly vie in cheapness of manufactures with Britain.
The labour of slaves can never be so cheap here, as the labour of
working men is in Britain. Any one may compute it. Interest of
money is in the colonies from 6 to 10 per cent. Slaves, one with
another, cost 30_l._ sterling per head. Reckon then the interest of
the first purchase of a slave, the insurance or risque on his life,
his clothing and diet, expences in his sickness, and loss of time,
loss by his neglect of business, (neglect is natural to the man,
who is not to be benefited by his own care or diligence) expence of
a driver to keep him at work, and his pilfering from time to time,
almost every slave being, from the nature of slavery, a thief, and
compare the whole amount with the wages of a manufacturer of iron or
wool in England, you will see, that labour is much cheaper there,
than it ever can be by negroes here. Why then will Americans purchase
slaves? Because slaves may be kept as long as a man pleases, or has
occasion for their labour, while hired men are continually leaving
their master (often in the midst of his business) and setting up for
themselves. §8.

13. As the increase of people depends on the encouragement of
marriages, the following things must diminish a nation, viz. 1. The
being conquered; for the conquerors will engross as many offices, and
exact as much tribute or profit on the labour of the conquered, as
will maintain them in their new establishment; and this diminishing
the subsistence of the natives discourages their marriages, and
so gradually diminishes them, while the foreigners increase. 2.
Loss of territory. Thus the Britons, being driven into Wales, and
crouded together in a barren country, insufficient to support such
great numbers, diminished, till the people bore a proportion to the
produce; while the Saxons increased on then abandoned

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