Trade

31The importation of gold and silver is not the main nor the sole benefit that a nation gets from its foreign trade.

Foreign trade gives a value to their nations' superfluities by exchanging them for something else to satisfy their wants.

The Benefits of the Discovery of the Americas and the East Indies

32 The discovery of America enriched Europe, but not through the importation of gold and silver.

The discovery of America certainly made a most essential change.

The Effect of Portugal's Monopoly of the East

33The discovery of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope happened around the same time.

Great envy against the Portuguese East India companies was caused by:

The envious people frequently said that the Portuguese trade was harmful because of the great amount of silver they export.

The silver exportation to the East Indies from Portgual probably caused plate to became dearer in Europe.

The trade to the East Indies opened a market to:

Such trade increases the production of European commodities and the real wealth of Europe.

Wealth and Metal Money

34 I thought it necessary, at the hazard of being tedious, to fully examine this popular notion that wealth consists in gold and silver.

Restraints and Encouragements from the Idea that Money is Wealth

35 The great object of political economy became to reduce foreign imports for home consumption and increase the exports of domestic produce.

36There were two kinds of restraints on importation.

  1. 37 Restraints on the foreign imports for home consumption which could be produced at home.
  2. 38 Restraints on the imports of goods from countries with which the balance of trade was disadvantageous.

39 Those different restraints consisted sometimes in high duties, sometimes in absolute prohibitions.

40 Exportation was encouraged sometimes by:

41 Drawbacks were given on two occasions.

42 Bounties were given for:

43 Particular privileges were given to some foreign countries for their merchants or their goods, through advantageous commercial treaties.

44 Particular privileges and a monopoly was frequently given for the goods and merchants of the country which established colonies in distant countries.

45 The commercial system proposes to increase the amount of gold and silver in any country by turning the balance of trade in its favour, through six principal means:


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Next:Book 4, Chapter 2a: Restraints on Foreign Imports