The Mercantile System and Its Historical Significance, Illustrated Chiefly from Prussian History

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Macmillan, 1895 - Mercantile system - 95 pages
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Page 93 - It amounted, perhaps, to two Yorkshires in extent. A naturally opulent country of fertile meadows, shipping capabilities, metalliferous hills, and at this time, in consequence of the Dutch-Spanish war, and the multitude of Protestant refugees, it was getting filled with ingenious industries, and rising to be what it still is, the busiest quarter of Germany. A country lowing with kine ; the hum of the flax-spindle heard in its cottages in those old days — ' much of the linen called Hollands is made...
Page 84 - But a great part of all the different branches of our woollen manufacture, of our tanned leather, and of our hard-ware, are annually exported to other European countries without any bounty, and these are the manufactures which employ the greatest number of hands. The silk, perhaps, is the manufacture which would suffer the most by this freedom of trade, and after it the linen, though the latter much less than the former.
Page 3 - The idea that economic life has ever been a process mainly dependent on individual action — an idea based on the impression that it is concerned merely with methods of satisfying individual needs — is mistaken with regard to all stages of human...
Page 51 - The essence of the system lies not in some doctrine of money, or of the balance of trade; not in tariff barriers, protective duties, or navigation laws; but in something far greater: — namely, in the total transformation of society and its organisation, as well as of the state and its institutions, in the replacing of a local and territorial economic policy by that of the national state.
Page 7 - Each separate town felt itself to be a privileged community, gaining right after right by struggles kept up for hundreds of years, and forcing its way, by negotiation and purchase, into one political and economic position after the other. The citizen-body looked upon itself as forming a whole, and a whole that was limited as narrowly as possible, and for ever bound together. It received into itself only the man who was able to contribute, who...
Page 72 - ... those Governments which understood how to put the might of their fleets and admiralties, the apparatus of customs laws and navigation laws, with rapidity, boldness and clear purpose, at the service of the economic interests of the nation and state, which obtained thereby the lead in the struggle and in riches and industrial prosperity.
Page 48 - What, to each in its time, gave riches and superiority first to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Genoa; then, later, to Spain and Portugal; and now to Holland, France, and England, and, to some extent, to Denmark and Sweden, was a state policy in economic matters, as superior to the territorial as that had been to the municipal.
Page 59 - In proportion as the economic interests of whole states, after much agitation of public opinion, found a rallying-point in certain generally accepted postulates, there could not fail to arise the thought of a national policy, of protection by the state against the outside world, and of the support by the state of great national interests in their struggle with foreign countries. The conception of a national agriculture, of a national industry, of national shipping and fisheries, of national currency...
Page 8 - Market-rights, toll-rights, and mile-rights (MeileHreeht)1 are the weapons with which the town creates for itself both revenue and a municipal policy. The soul of that policy is the putting of fellow-citizens at an Advantage, and of competitors from outside at a disadvantage. The whole complicated system of regulations as to markets and forestalling is nothing but a skilful contrivance so to regulate supply and demand between the townsman who buys and the countryman who sells, that the former may...
Page 60 - System which was original to England," and " the corner-stone of English prosperity." For Adam Smith's arguments against the bounty, see Wealth of Nations, bk. iv. ch. v. (ed. Rogers, ii. 81 seq.); and for Mr. Hewins' criticism and Professor Cunningham's rejoinder, Economic Journal, ii. 698; iv. 512.] for existence, in economic life in particular, as in social life in general, is necessarily carried on at all times by smaller or larger groups and communities. That will also be the case in all time...

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