Reason Against a General Prohibition of the Iron Manufacture in His Majesty’s Plantations, c. 1750

Reason Against a General Prohibition of the Iron Manufacture in His Majesty’s Plantations, c. 1750

  • [Note – The Iron Act included a clause that prohibited the colonists from making finished iron products for their fellow colonies. It’s not clear is colonists honored that clause]
  • If the Iron Act’s clause were taken in the strictest of sense, all iron work for ships, houses, mills, farm equipment, etc. will be forbidden to be made in the colonies. That would make life impracticable there because often this type of work is done on the spot, as needed
  • To forbid subject to make iron products when they are not for their own use but also not for exportation seems to infringe people’s rights & liberties, especially since the colonists’ land yields this iron. It’s a violation of their rights not to be able to use part of their own land for their own private purposes
  • If the prohibition were only to be made for the sake of stopping interference with iron workers’ production, all other tradesmen can expect to be forbidden to do & make things that are provided by other craftsmen. Colonists won’t be allowed to make cheese or cider because those products are being made in Cheshire & Herefordshire
  • There’s really no need for this clause. All labor so expensive in the colonies that manufacture of lower quality iron wares can’t compete with quality & pricing of those made in Britain
  • The encouragement of importation of Bar Iron from colonies by removing the duty of £3/ton wouldn’t be sufficient to bring it in since transport costs have to be taken into account. Those effectively prohibit it
  • It’s bizarre that colonists may make their iron into bars but not cast it into pots or other wares in the same fire or heat. We’re now banning shapes

Author: knowit68

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