Chapter 1: Commerce

Commerce is a cure for the most destructive prejudices.

Let us not be astonished, then, if our manners are now less savage than formerly.

Chapter 2: The Spirit of Commerce

Peace is the natural effect of trade.

But if the spirit of commerce unites nations, it does not in the same manner unite individuals.

The spirit of trade produces a certain sense of exact justice.

The total loss of trade produces robbery.

Tacitus says that it is a sacrilege for a German to shut his door against any man whether known or unknown.

Chapter 3: Poverty

THERE are two sorts of poor:

  1. Those who are rendered such by the severity of the government;
    • These cannot do almost any great action, because their indigence is a consequence of their slavery.
  2. Those who either despise, or know not the conveniencies of life
    • They can accomplish great things, because their poverty constitutes a part of their liberty.

Chapter 4: Commerce in different Governments

TRADE has some relation to forms of government.

This kind of traffic has a natural relation to a republican government; to monarchies it is only occasional.

Cicero thought like this, when he so justly said “that he did not like that the same people should be both the lords and factors of the whole earth.”

This is not because the most noble enterprises are completed also in those states which subsist by œconomical commerce.

The real reason is that one branch of commerce leads to another.

Besides, the grand enterprises of merchants are always connected with the affairs of the public.

In short, an opinion of greater certainty, as to the possession of property in these states, makes them undertake every thing.

I am not saying that monarchies are entirely excluded from an œconomical commerce.

In a despotic state, there is no occasion to mention it.

Next Chapter 5: Nations that have economical commerce