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every where follows the increase of productionsand general wealth. Thus the husbandman and the labourer are ultimately no sufferers by the introduction of machines, whatever may be thestate of the country, whether her prosperity be progressive, stationary, or retrograding. Nay, more, if any thing were capable of arresting the decline of a country, and restoring her to prosperity, the use of machines and the introduction of large farms would accomplish this object in the most efficacious and infallible way. Why is the prosperity of a country stationary or retrograding P Because her consumption is equal or superior to the produce of her labour. Machines and large farms, which would augment the produce of her labour and diminish its cost, might therefore re-es-, tablish the equilibrium, occasion a surplus of produce above consumption, and rapidly restore her former prosperity. In short, wherever an increase of produce is obtained at a smaller expence, there is an increase of wealth; and an increase of wealth is always followed by an increase of population. This maxim appears absolute in political economy, if there be any absolute principle possible in that science. It has however been asserted, that wealth acquired by industry may be useless to the increase of the industrious population, and even augment to their prejudice the agricultural population, by which they are supplied with the raw produce of agriculture. “When a country, which from the narrowness of “her territory is obliged to economise the hands she
every where follows the increas: of o general wealth. Thusthehusbandma" and tel o, are ultimately no suffereo by the o machines, whatever may " thestate of to * whether her prosperity be Prog” statislash, rading. - r o : if anything were o: :o the decline of a county, and restoring t . rity, the use of machines and o o tikos large farms would accomplish this.” effacious and infallible "o statios' Why is the prosperity of a *. so retrograding: o: o: o jor to the product 9 - f; on. which would augment the .3. four and diminish its cost, might o tablish the equilibrium, so restorio duce above consumption,
pmer o an increase of ro. In short, W ller expence, there is an o, tained at a sm” increase 0 wealthis alwo" th; ... population. This o o economy, i. ere
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“employs,” says the French translator of Adam Smith's work, “has turned her efforts to the means “which render labour more productive, and has so “far succeeded that one day's labour proves the equi“valent of two or three days of another labour, this “is accomplished merely by exchanging a manufac“tured against a raw produce; and as the latter can “be increased only with the aid of a numerous popu“lation, this exchange ultimately tends to multiply “men and food among the nations that give their “raw produce in exchange for manufactured pro“ductions, and must have a totally opposite effect “in the manufacturing country which simply aims at “obtaining the largest possible quantity of raw pro“duce with the smallest possible number of hands.” This reasoning appears to rest upon a manifest fallacy, the fatal consequences of which it is important to prevent, and against which it is proper to guard nations that might be tempted to suppose that agriculture is able to enrich them at the expense of manufacturing nations. An agricultural country increases her raw produce only as far as trading countries insure its sale. The increase of the wealth and population of agricultural nations depends therefore on the industry and population of the manufacturing ones. But in what proportions does the increase of wealth and population take place in both countries 2 There is no doubt
* Recherches sur la Nature et les Causes de la Richesse des Nations; par Adam Smith. Traduction nouvelle par Germain Garnier. Paris, 1802. Wol. i. Preface, pages 77,78.
remaining in this respect; and the translator of Adam Smith whose opinion I am investigating, has himself fixed the proportions, when he said, that one day's labour in the manufacturing country is equivalent to two or three days' labour in the agricultural country. If, in the exchange of the produce of their mutual labour, the productions of the agricultural country are to those of the manufacturing country as one to three; it is obvious that, while the wealth and population of the agricultural country are increased in the proportion of one to three, the wealth and population of the manufacturing country augment in the proportion of three to one. But might it not be said at least, that the raw produce of the agricultural country is better calculated to increase population, than a manufactured produce? By no means: for the raw produce does not remain with agricultural nations, but passes over to the manufacturing nations. This raw produce is food for the population; whilst the manufactured produce serves at the utmost as raimeut and household furniture to the agricultural nations In this exchange of food and garments, the population which gets food in a proportion triple of that which gets clothing, must necessarily increase in a triple propertion, because it is food and not clothing which augments population. This result ought to teach agricultural nations the necessity of turning their attention to manufactures and commerce, if they do not wish their labours to augment the wealth and power of manufacturing and trading nations; it ought to convince them of the superiority of commerce and manufactures over agriculture.
The means of increasing the power of labour, of improving its faculties, augmenting its produce, and anneliorating its quality, consists, therefore, with regard to agriculture, in large farms, and with regard to manufactures and commerce, in the division of labour and the use of machinery. These means, single or combined, must give to labour the highest degree of utility which it is capable of attaining, particularly if their effect be not impeded or destroyed by various obstacles, so much the more fatal, as opinions are yet divided concerning their influence. These obstacles, pointed out by some as prejudicial to the progress of labour, and considered by others as beneficial, are the slavery of the labourer, apprenticeships, corporations, and low wages. Let us inquire into this part of the science to obtain correct notions on these subjects.
CHAP. V. Of the Obstacles which impede the progress of Labour.
THE advantages of liberty over slavery with regard to labour are no longer a problem in political economy, They have been demonstrated in the most convincing and satisfactory manner by the most esteemed writers. And could they do otherwise than promulgate an opinion so honourable, so consoling to humanity, and so fully established by the political and economical history of modern times P. The liberation of the people of Europe from slavery has been followed by the clearing and cultivating of lands, by the transformation of huts into cottages, of hamlets into villages, of boroughs into towns, and of towns into cities; by the establishment of manufactures and commerce, by public order and national power. The nations which first made a brilliant figure on the political stage, are precisely those that first substituted the labour of the free man for the labour of the slave; and it is only by following their example that others have been enabled to rise to the same prosperity: in short, the aera of the political and economical regeneration of modern Europe is the aera of the abolition of real and personal slavery. How could these striking facts escape the attention of a modern writer, who, in his Treatise of Political Economy, has professed liberal and philosophical