Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 4, Chapter 9d: Foreign Economic systems

Chapter 9d: Foreign Economic systems

39 The political economy of modern European nations was more favourable to manufactures and foreign trade, the industry of the towns, than to agriculture, the industry of the countryside.

The Policy of China

40 The policy of China favours agriculture more than all other employments.

41 Manufactures frequently contain a great value in a small bulk.

The policy of India and Egypt

42 The policy of ancient Egypt and India favoured agriculture more than all other employments. 43 The people there were divided into different castes or tribes. 44 The governments of ancient Egypt and India were particularly attentive to the interest of agriculture. 45 "The ancient Egyptians had a superstitious aversion to the sea." 46 The sovereigns of China, ancient Egypt, and India have always derived the biggest part of their revenue from land-tax or land-rent.

Greek and Roman Policy

47 The policy of the ancient Greek and Roman republics honoured agriculture more than manufactures or foreign trade.
Montesquieu
Montesquieu

Mr. Montesquieu remarked that the Hungarian mines always operated with less cost and more profit than the Turkish mines in their neighbourhood.

Very little is known about the price of manufactures in the Greek and Roman times.

48 The greatest and most important commerce of every nation is the commerce between the town and the countryside.

49 Those systems which prefer agriculture impose restraints on manufactures and foreign trade. 50 Thus, economic systems can subvert the great purpose they mean to promote if they: Such systems retard the progress of society towards real wealth and greatness instead of accelerating it.

51 When preference or restraint is completely removed from all systems, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord.

52 The proper performance of those duties necessarily incurs a certain cost.
  1. What are the sovereign's necessary expences
  2. Methods how society may be made to contribute towards defraying the expences incumbent on the whole
  3. The reasons and causes which have induced modern governments to contract debts or mortgage part of this revenue

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Next: Chapter 1a: The development of militaries