Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 4, Chapter 7c: English Colonies

Chapter 7c: English Colonies

37The English colonies in North America have progressed the fastest.


"Plenty of good land, and liberty to manage their own affairs their own way, seem to be the two great causes of the prosperity of all new colonies."

39 In the plenty of good land, the English colonies of North America are inferior to the colonies of Spain and Portugal.

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    The engrossing of uncultivated land was more restrained in the English colonies than in any other.
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    Secondly, in Pennsylvania there is no right of primogeniture.
  • In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, the right of Majorazzo takes place in the succession of all those great estates.
  • The French colonies are subject to the custom of Paris.
  • "But in a new colony a great uncultivated estate is likely to be much more speedily divided by alienation than by succession."
  • The plenty and cheapness of good land are the principal causes of the rapid prosperity of new colonies.
  • But the labour employed in land improvement and cultivation affords the greatest and most valuable produce to
  • The labour of the English colonists are more employed in the improvement and cultivation of land.
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      The labour of the English colonists is likely to afford a greater and more valuable produce.
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      Fourthly, the English colonies have been more favoured in the disposal of their surplus produce.
    44 Some nations gave up the whole commerce of their colonies to an exclusive company.

    45 Other nations did not establish an exclusive company. 46 Other nations leave their colony trade free to all their subjects who carry it from the ports of the mother country.
    Words: 1871
    Next: Chapter 7d: Enumerated Commodities