James Madison Papers

Notes for Speech in Congress, [ca. 9 April] 1789

Notes for Speech in Congress

[ca. 9 April 1789]

Notes on commercial policy

Importance of right outset—more easy to limit—than unfetter—1. prove that generality—2. point out the exceptions— ⟨in liberty of trade⟩

1 (a) ⟨between⟩ indivil. farmer & manufactu[r]er—do. Manufacr. & do —do. farmer & do—

(b) county & village—village & village—county & County—

(c) nation & nation—as to produce—to manufactures—to produce & manufactures—suppose each nation one [body?]

(d). application to U. S.—agriculture preferable—as appears from spontaneous bias—from high price of labor tho’ provisions cheap—from the exclusive advantage of cheapness of soil wch. like other ⟨natural monopolies⟩ ought to be made use of—compared to peculiar quality—or climate—or machines—fisheries—

Universal freedom presents the most noble spectacle, unites all nations—makes ⟨every man⟩ a citizen of the whole society of mankind—and perfects the good aimed at by the Social union & Civil Govt: this two-fold 1. security vs violence. 2. mutual relief and comfort. Universal intercourse favors the 1st. by abolishing the causes of external violence and making it interest of all to maintain the peace of all. 2 compleates mutual supply of wants by making the superfluities of every Country & every individual tributary to those of every other. (Note—finally reduce all nations to natural advantages—& so far diminish subjects of interchange)

Suppose all the world under one Govt—provinces of one empire—free intercourse desirable as France for their mutual advantage.1

Exceptions— 1. reduce foreign in [e]qualities
◇. encourage ships & seamen.
2. implements of defence independent—(law of neutrality [illegible] delusive)
3. invite manufactures
◇. support existing manufacturers—
4. institute manufactures necessary &—
5. Sumptuary regulations—justice & paymt. of taxes best
6. profit by a monopoly—this however barred by clauses relating to exports.
7. embargo in time of war—this however doubtful—
8. Revenue—

Ms (DLC). JM noted on the verso, “Heads for a discourse.” This is the outline of his speech of 9 Apr. 1789. A less detailed outline of JM’s 9 Apr. 1789 speech is filed at the end of 1784 in the Madison Papers (DLC). It is mounted alongside JM’s notes for his speech of June 1784 for revising the Virginia Constitution. On the verso are JM’s notes on the speeches of Laurance, FitzSimons, Tucker, and Hartley of 9 Apr. 1789, which immediately preceded JM’s speech. Words within angle brackets were added by JM after he had completed the outline.

1The preceding two paragraphs were omitted in the 9 Apr. speech as reported in the Cong. Register description begins Thomas Lloyd, comp., The Congressional Register; or, History of the Proceedings and Debates of the First House of Representatives … (2 vols.; New York, 1789; Evans 22203–4). description ends and the N.Y. Daily Advertiser.

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