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CHAPTER VIII: Of the Circumstances which promoted Commerce, Manufactures, and the Arts, in modern Europe, and particularly in England. - John Millar, An Historical View of the English Government 
An Historical View of the English Government, From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Revolution in 1688, in four volumes, edited by Mark Salber Philips and Dale R. Smith, introduction by Mark Salber Philips (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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Of the Circumstances which promoted Commerce, Manufactures, and the Arts, in modern Europe, and particularly in England.
The commerce of the ancient world was confined, in a great measure, to the coasts of the Mediterranean and of the Red Sea. Before the invention of the mariner’s compass, navigators were afraid of venturing to a great distance from land, and in those narrow seas, found it easy, by small coasting expeditions, to carry on an extensive traffic. Not to mention what is related concerning the fleets of Sesostris and of Solomon, which are said to have been built upon the Red Sea, we may ascribe to this cause the commerce of the Phenicians, the Carthaginians, the Athenians, the Rhodians, and many other states, in the islands and upon the coast of the Mediterranean.1 <365>
From the time of Alexander the Great, when Greece had become one extensive kingdom, and had formed connections with Asia, the two narrow seas above-mentioned became the channel of a more distant commerce along the Indian ocean, by which the valuable productions of the East were imported into Europe. It was in order to facilitate this traffic, that the city of Alexandria is said to have been built.
The same commerce was carried on, and probably much extended, in the flourishing periods of the Roman empire, when the numerous articles of Asiatic luxury were in such universal request among that opulent people. The decline of the Roman power tended gradually to diminish that branch of trade; but did not entirely destroy it. Even after the downfall of Rome, when Italy had been often ravaged, and a great part of it subdued, by the barbarous nations, there arose upon the sea-coast some considerable towns, the inhabitants of which continued the ancient course of navigation, and still maintained a degree of traffic with India. The road, however, to that country was a good deal changed by the revolutions and disorders which happened in Egypt, and<366> by the rise of the Saracen empire; so that the Indian trade was carried on less frequently by Alexandria, and most commonly by the Black Sea and part of Tartary, or by a middle way through the city of Bagdat.2
During the barbarous period that succeeded the destruction of the Roman empire, the same cause which had formerly promoted the commerce of the Mediterranean, gave rise, in the northern part of Europe, to a small degree of traffic upon the narrow sea of the Baltic. The inhabitants of the southern coast of Scandinavia, and the northern parts of Germany, being necessitated, in that inhospitable climate, to fish for their subsistence, became early acquainted with navigation, and were thereby encouraged not only to undertake piratical expeditions, but also to exchange with each other the rude produce of the country. From the conveniency of that situation, numbers of people were drawn, by degrees, to reside in the neighbourhood, and trading towns were formed upon the coast, or in the mouths of the adjoining rivers. For several centuries, the commerce of the northern part of Europe was ingrossed by those towns, in the same manner as that of the<367> southern was ingrossed by some of the Italian states. As the laws relating to commerce are usually established by the general custom of merchants, it commonly happens, that the practice of nations who have gained a remarkable superiority in trade, becomes a model for imitation to their neighbours, or such as come after them in the same employment. Thus, as the Rhodian laws at one period regulated the commerce of the ancient world, the statutes of Wisby,3 the famous capital of Gothland, in the Baltic, obtained a similar authority, and have since been considered, by many European states, as the basis of all their mercantile regulations.
In modern Italy, the maritime laws of Amalphi4 were, in like manner, respected and observed by the merchants in that part of Europe.* Nothing can shew more decisively the early advances in trade which were made by those towns.
While the inhabitants of those different parts of Europe were thus advancing in navigation and in commerce, they could hardly<368> fail to make some progress also in manufactures. By having a vent for the rude produce of the country, they must have had frequent opportunities of observing that, by bestowing a little labour upon their native commodities, they could draw a much greater profit upon the exchange of them. In this manner they were encouraged to occupy themselves in working up the raw materials; to acquire habits of industry; and to make proficiency in mechanical employments. If we examine the history of commercial nations, those especially of the ancient world, we shall find that this has been the usual course of their advancement; and their trade and manufactures have been commonly derived from a convenient maritime situation; which, by affording them the benefit of water-carriage, opened a distant market for their goods, and tempted them to engage in foreign commerce.
The commerce of Italy seems accordingly to have been followed by a rapid improvement of the mechanical arts. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, many of the Italian towns had arrived at great perfection in manufactures; among which we may take notice of<369> Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Pisa, Sienna, and Florence. It was from Italy that the art of making clocks and watches, as well as many other of the finer branches of manufacture, together with the most accurate method of keeping mercantile accompts, was afterwards communicated to the other nations of Europe.
The advancement of the common arts of life was naturally succeeded by that of the fine arts, and of the sciences; and Florence, which had led the way in the former, was likewise the first that made considerable advances in the latter. That city, after having been aggrandized by trade, banking, and manufactures, began, about the middle of the thirteenth century, to discover a taste of elegance and refinement, and to promote the cultivation of letters. Charles of Anjou,5 who then obtained the kingdom of Naples as a donation from the Pope, and who was, at the same time, the feudal sovereign of Florence, is said to have been a zealous encourager of these liberal pursuits. The example of the Florentines was soon followed by the other states of Italy, in proportion as trades and manufactures had raised them to ease and opulence.<370>
The intercourse of those Italian states with some of the opulent nations of the east, in consequence of the crusades, or of other casual events, may have contributed something towards the revival of letters in Europe. But the operation of this accidental circumstance must have entirely been subordinate to the great natural cause of improvement already suggested. While the inhabitants of Europe continued rude and barbarous, they were not likely to procure much knowledge by their transient or hostile communication with Asia; but after they had acquired a taste for the cultivation of arts and sciences, they, doubtless, found instructors in that part of the world.
As the people upon the coast of the Baltic inhabited a poorer country, the produce of which was not so easily wrought up into valuable manufactures, they made a proportionably slower progress in the mechanical arts; though, by continuing to export their native commodities, they acquired a degree of wealth, and many of their towns became large and powerful. Having been much oppressed, and obstructed in their trade, by the barons and military people in their neighbourhood, they were led by<371> degrees into joint measures for their own defence; and, about the twelfth century, entered into that famous Hanseatic league, which, being found of great advantage to the commercial interest, was at length rendered so extensive as to include many cities in other parts of Europe.
As the situation of towns, upon the coast of a narrow sea, was favourable to foreign commerce, a country intersected by many navigable rivers gave a similar encouragement to inland trade, and thence likewise to manufactures. An inland trade, however, cannot be rendered very extensive, without greater expence than is necessary to the trade of a maritime town. That all the inhabitants may have the benefit of a market, canals become requisite, where the river-navigation is cut off; roads must be made, where water-carriage is impracticable; machinery must be constructed; and cattle, fit for draught, must be procured and maintained. It may be expected, therefore, that inland trade will be improved more slowly than the commerce which is carried on along the sea-coast; but, as the former hold out a market to the inhabitants of a wider coun-<372>try, it is apt, at length, to produce a more extensive improvement of manufactures.
We accordingly find, that, after the towns of Italy, and those upon the coast of the Baltic, the part of Europe which made the quickest advances in trade was the Netherlands; where the great number of navigable rivers, which divide themselves into many different branches, and the general flatness of the country, which made it easy to extend the navigation by canals, encouraged the inhabitants to employ themselves in the manufacture of their natural productions.
Beside the facility of water-carriage, the inhabitants of the Netherlands appear to have derived another advantage from the nature of their soil. The two most considerable branches of manufacture, which contribute to supply the conveniencies or luxuries of any people, are the making of linen and of woollen cloth. With regard to the former of these branches, that country seems fitted to produce the rude materials in the greatest perfection. As early as the tenth century, we accordingly find that the people had, by this peculiar circumstance, been excited to attempt the manufacture of<373> linens; and that, in order to promote an inland trade of this kind, which supposes that the commodity must often be carried to a considerable distance, Baldwin the young,6 the hereditary count of Flanders, established fairs and markets in particular towns, as the most convenient places of rendezvous between the merchants and their customers.
After the Flemings had made some progress in this trade, and when, of consequence, individuals among them had acquired some stock, as well as habits of industry, they also endeavoured to supply the demand for woollen manufactures, which required no very different species of skill and dexterity from what they had already attained. In this employment, however, they were subjected to greater inconveniency; as, after pushing it to any considerable extent, they were under the necessity of purchasing the rude materials from foreign nations. This obliged them to carry on a regular trade with Spain, and with Britain, the two countries of Europe in which wool was produced in greatest abundance. The union, however, of the sovereignty of Spain, with that of the Netherlands, which happened<374> in the person of the emperor Charles the fifth,7 contributed in part to remove that inconveniency, by securing to the latter country the wool produced by the former; and the Spanish monarch, who saw the rude materials manufactured within his own dominions, had an opportunity of protecting and encouraging every branch of the labour connected with that employment. From this time the woollen and linen manufactures of the Netherlands came to be in the same flourishing condition.
But while this part of Europe enjoyed such advantages for inland trade, it was not entirely excluded from a share in foreign commerce, by means of Antwerp,8 and of some other maritime towns in the neighbourhood. The inhabitants of Italy, and of the countries upon the coast of the Baltic, having reciprocally a demand for the commodities produced in such different climates, were led by degrees into a regular traffic. As the ships, employed in this extensive navigation, found a convenient middle station in the ports of the Netherlands, the merchants of this country were furnished with opportunities of transporting their<375> linen or woollen cloths, both to the southern and northern parts of Europe; and a sure market was thus opened for those valuable commodities. It merits attention, that the opulence, thus acquired by Flanders, and the neighbouring provinces of the Low Countries, had the same effect as in Italy, of giving encouragement to literature, and to the cultivation of the fine arts. The rise of the Flemish painters was later than that of the Italian, because the trade of the Netherlands was of a posterior date; and their not attaining the same perfection may, among other causes, be ascribed to this circumstance, that the flourishing trade of that country was of shorter duration.
The encouragement given, in the Netherlands, to painting, was extended also to music, and was productive of a similar proficiency in that art. It is observed, that the Flemings were accustomed, in this period, to supply the rest of Europe with musicians, as is done in our days by the Italians.*
Towards the end of the sixteenth, and the<376> beginning of the seventeenth century, three great events concurred to produce a remarkable revolution upon the state of trade and manufactures in general, and that of Europe in particular.
1. The first of these was the invention of the mariner’s compass; which changed the whole system of navigation, by enabling navigators to find their way with certainty in the wide ocean, to undertake more distant expeditions, and to complete them with much greater quickness. When this discovery had been properly ascertained, and reduced to practice, those who inhabited the coast of a narrow sea had no longer that superiority, with respect to commerce, which they formerly possessed; for, whatever advantages they might have in a small coasting navigation, these were overbalanced by the inconveniencies of their situation, whenever they had occasion to sail beyond those adjacent capes or promontories by which they were limited and circumscribed. The harbours, which became then most favourable to commerce, were such as had formerly been least so; those which were the farthest removed from streights, or dangerous<377> shores, and, by their distance from opposite lands, admitted the freest passage to every quarter of the globe.
2. The discovery of America, and the opening of a passage to the East-Indies by the Cape of Good Hope,9 which may be regarded as a consequence of the preceding improvement in navigation, contributed still farther to change the course of European trade. By these discoveries a set of new and magnificent objects of commerce was presented, and Europe began to entertain the prospect of forming settlements in distant countries; of trading with nations in various climates, producing a proportional variety of commodities; and of maintaining an easy correspondence between the remotest parts of the world. The merchants of Italy, and of the northern parts of Germany, were naturally left behind, in the prosecution of these magnificent views. Their situation, hemmed in by the coast of the Baltic, or of the Mediterranean, was particularly unfavourable for that new species of trade. They had, besides, a reluctance, we may suppose, to abandon their old habits, and to relinquish that settled traffic in which they<378> had been long engaged, for the new and hazardous adventures which were then pointed out to them. Adhering, therefore, to their former course, they found their profits decrease according as the new commerce became considerable; and their commercial importance was at length, in a great measure, sunk and annihilated.
3. The violent shock given, by the Spanish government, to the trading towns of the Netherlands, occasioned, about this period, a change in the manufactures of Europe, no less remarkable than the two foregoing circumstances produced in its commerce. Philip the second of Spain10 embraced the narrow and cruel policy of his father Charles the fifth, in attempting to extirpate the doctrines of Luther11 throughout his dominions; at the same time that he added a bigotry, peculiar to himself, which led him to seek the accomplishment of his purpose by measures yet more imprudent and sanguinary. The doctrines of the reformation had been spread very universally in the Netherlands; and had been adopted with a zeal not inferior to that which appeared in any other part of Europe. Philip employed<379> the whole force of the Spanish monarchy in order to subdue that spirit of religious innovation; and, after a long and obstinate struggle, he at last prevailed; but it was by extirpating a great part of the inhabitants, and ruining the manufactures of the country. The most independent and spirited, that is, the most active and skilful part of the manufacturers, disdaining to submit to a tyranny by which they were oppressed in their most valuable rights, fled from their native country; and, finding a refuge in other European nations, carried along with them that knowledge and dexterity in manufactures, and those habits of industry, which they possessed in so eminent a degree.
Of all the European nations, Great Britain was in a condition to reap the most immediate profit from these important changes in the state of commerce and manufactures.
England has long enjoyed the peculiar advantage of rearing a greater number of sheep, and producing larger quantities of wool, fit for manufacture, than most other parts of the world. This is probably derived from the flatness of the country, by which a great part<380> of it is plentifully supplied with moisture, and from the moderate temperature of its climate; both of which circumstances appear favourable to the production of pasture, and to the proper cultivation of sheep. But, whatever be the causes of it, the fact is certain, that, Spain excepted, no other country can, in this particular, be brought in competition with England. Particular mention is made of the English wool, even when Britain was a Roman province; and, in the early periods of our history, the exportation of that commodity was a considerable article of commerce. What is remarkable, the English wool of former times appears to have been of a finer quality than the present; and there is even reason to believe that it was held superior to the Spanish.* Of this extra ordinary fact it seems difficult to give any satisfactory account. I am credibly informed, that the improvements, made of late years, in the pasture-grounds of England, have greatly debased the quality of the wool; though, by the increase<381> of the quantity, they have sufficiently indemnified the proprietors.
By possessing the raw material in great plenty, the English appear to have been incited, at an early period, to make some attempts toward the fabrication of it. The woollen cloth of England is taken notice of while the country was under the dominion of the Romans. The disorders which followed while the Saxons were subduing the country, and during the subsequent ravages of the Danes, gave great interruption to manufactures; but, soon after the Norman conquest, and particularly in the reigns of Henry the third and Edward the first, that of woollen cloth appears to have become an object of attention.
The flourishing reign of Edward the third was extremely favourable to improvements; and that enterprising monarch, notwithstanding his ardour in the pursuit of military glory, was attentive to reform the internal policy of the kingdom, and gave particular encouragement to the woollen manufacture. He invited and protected foreign manufacturers; and, in his reign, a number of Walloon12 weavers, with their families, came and settled in Eng-<382>land. An act of parliament was made, which prohibited the wearing of foreign cloth; and another, by which the exportation of wool was declared to be felony. These regulations, however narrow the principles upon which they were built, were certainly framed with the best intentions; but they could have little or no effect, as the English, at that time, were neither capable of manufacturing the whole of their wool, nor even of supplying their own demand for woollen cloth. The crown, therefore, in virtue of its dispensing power, was accustomed to relieve the raisers of wool, by granting occasionally, to individuals, a licence for exportation; and, as a dispensation in this case was absolutely necessary to procure a market for the commodity, it became the source of a revenue to the sovereign, who obtained a price for every licence which he bestowed.
The woollen trade of England made considerable advances in the reign of Henry the seventh, when, after a long course of civil dissension, the people began to enjoy tranquillity under a prince who favoured and protected the arts of peace. About this time were set on foot the coarse woollen manufactures of York-<383>shire; particularly at Wakefield, Leeds, and Halifax; places remarkably well adapted to that species of work, from the plenty of coal, and the numerous springs of water with which they are supplied.
The extension of manufactures, about this period, became so considerable as to produce an alteration in the whole face of the country; and, in particular, gave rise to improvements in husbandry, and in the different arts connected with it. The enlargement of towns and villages, composed of tradesmen and merchants, could not fail to encrease the demand for provisions in the neighbourhood, and, by enhancing the value of every article raised by the farmers, to advance the profits of their employment. From this improvement of their circumstances, the tenants were soon enabled, by offering an additional rent, to procure leases for a term of years; and the master, whose daily expences were encreased by the progress of trade and luxury, was content to receive a pecuniary compensation, for the loss of that authority over his dependants, which he was obliged to relinquish. Thus the freedom and independence, which the mercantile<384> and manufacturing people derived from the nature of their employment, was, in some measure, communicated to the peasantry; who, instead of remaining tenants at will, were secured for a limited term in the possession of their farms.
In consequence of these changes, the number of villeins in England was greatly diminished, in the reign of Henry the seventh; and before the accession of James the first, that class of men had entirely disappeared. Without any public law upon the subject, their condition was gradually improved by particular bargains with their master; and, according as their opulence enabled them to purchase higher privileges, they acquired longer leases, or were converted into copyholders, or freeholders.
As, from this time, the English continued, with unremitting ardour, to prosecute their improvements, and were continually advancing in opulence, as well as in skill and dexterity, and in the habits of industry, it was to be expected that, in the long run, the possession of the rude material of the woollen manufacture would give them a manifest superiority<385> in that branch of business, and put it in their power to undersell other nations who had not the same advantage.
In the reign of queen Elizabeth, that severe blow, which I formerly mentioned, was given to the trade of the Low Countries; by which every branch of manufacture was greatly impaired, and that of woollen cloth was totally destroyed. Thus the destruction of the woollen trade of the Netherlands happened at the very critical period, when the English were come to be in a condition of turning that event to their own emolument. The manufacturers who had been driven from their native land found a welcome refuge from queen Elizabeth; and the greater part of them took up their residence in England; so that the inhabitants of the former country became, in the highest degree, instrumental in promoting the trade of the latter; instead of retarding or depressing it, by that superiority of industry and skill, and that uninterrupted possession of the market which they had long maintained.
In Spain, the only other country of Europe enjoying similar advantages to those of Eng-<386>land, the improvement of the woollen manufacture was prevented by a variety of concurring circumstances. The rooted animosity between the professors of the Christian and Mahometan religions, herished by the remembrance of many acts of cruelty and oppression, had excited Ferdinand of Arragon, when he became master of the country, to persecute the Moors, the only industrious part of the inhabitants. In a subsequent reign, they were entirely extirpated.13 The same imprudent and barbarous policy interrupted and discouraged the trade of the Netherlands; and, after these two fatal events, the sudden importation of gold and silver into Spain, in consequence of the possession of America, completed the destruction of industry among the people, by raising individuals to sudden wealth, and making them despise the slow and distant returns of trade and manufactures.14
Upon the ruin of the Spanish Netherlands, were established the fine woollen manufactures of Wiltshire, and some of the neighbouring counties; those parts of England which produced the greatest number of sheep,<387> and in which the superior quality of the wool was most remarkable. The rapid improvements in that great branch of manufacture, which became conspicuous in England, had a natural tendency to introduce other branches, more or less connected with it; and, when a great body of the people had acquired industry and skill in one sort of employment, it was not very difficult, as occasion required, to extend their application to other trades and professions.
While these circumstances bestowed upon England, a superiority in manufactures, she began to enjoy advantages no less conspicuous, with regard to navigation and commerce. When the people of Europe had become qualified for extensive naval undertakings, the distance of Britain from the continent, and her situation as an island, afforded her a superiority to most other countries in the number of such harbours as have a free communication with all parts of the globe. Her insular situation was, at the same time, no less advantageous with respect to inland trade, from the numerous bays and rivers, which, by intersecting<388> the country in different places, extended the benefit of water-carriage to the greater part of the inhabitants. As the bulk of the people became thus familiar with the dangers and vicissitudes incident to those who live upon water, they acquired habits which fitted them for a seafaring life, and rendered them dextrous in those arts which are subservient to navigation, the great instrument of commerce. In these circumstances, there has been formed a numerous body of sailors, equally prepared for commercial and for military enterprises. As, in the early state of the feudal nations, the great body of the people were, without labour or expence, qualified for all the services of the field; so, in Britain, a great proportion of the inhabitants, after the advancement of commerce, became a sort of naval militia, ready, upon all occasions, for the equipment of her fleets, and, without the assistance of navigation acts, or other precautions of the legislature,15 fully sufficient for the defence of the country.
These advantages, however, were rendered more stable and permanent by the great extent of this island, superior to that of most others<389> upon the globe. This, as it united the inhabitants in one great state, made them capable of exerting a force adequate to the protection of its commerce and manufactures. To the extent of her dominions Great Britain is indebted for her long-continued prosperity. The commercial states, both in ancient and modern times, which were formed in islands of small extent, have been frequently overturned in a short time, either by the jealousy of neighbours, or by an accidental collision with more powerful nations. The present combination of European powers against Great Britain, demonstrates the jealousy which a national superiority in trade is likely to excite, and the force which is necessary to maintain that dangerous pre-eminence.*
That the government of England, in that period, had also a peculiar tendency to promote her trade and manufactures, it is impossible to doubt. As the inhabitants were better secured in their property, and protected from oppressive taxes, than in any other European kingdom, it is natural to suppose that their in-<390>dustry was excited by the certain prospect of enjoying whatever they should acquire. Though the English constitution was then destitute of many improvements which it has now happily received, yet, compared with the other extensive governments of Europe in that age, it may be regarded as a system of liberty.<391>
[1. ]Sesostris was a legendary Egyptian ruler who is mentioned in the writings of the Greek historians Herodotus (fifth century ) and Diodorus (first century ) as a great conqueror of Africa and Asia. The reign of Solomon, king of the ancient Hebrews (ca. 970–930 ), marked the greatest extension of Israel’s territory in biblical times. Rhodes is an Aegean island and important port. Carthage, on the northern coast of Africa near present-day Tunis, was founded by the Phoenicians and grew into a great seagoing power that rivaled Rome.
[2. ]Baghdad was founded in 762, and its fortunate situation enabled it to become a center of commerce.
[3. ]Visby, a city on Gotland Island off the southeast coast of present-day Sweden in the Baltic Sea. An important center of trade in the Hanseatic League, Visby produced a widely used international maritime code.
[4. ]Amalfi, located in southern Italy, was an early center of commerce. The Tavole Amalifitane, Amalfi’s maritime code, was widely influential. In the 1130s, Amalfi was sacked by the Normans and the Pisans, after which it declined rapidly as a center of commerce.
[* ]Giannone’s Hist. of Naples.
[5. ]Charles of Anjou, king of Naples and Sicily (r. 1265–85).
[6. ]Baldwin IX, the Young, count of Flanders (d. 1205).
[7. ]Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (r. 1519–58). The Netherlands came to Charles upon the death of his father in 1506.
[8. ]In the mid-sixteenth century, Antwerp was northern Europe’s chief commercial and financial center.
[* ]See Reflections on Poetry, Painting, and Music, by the Abbé du Bos.
[9. ]Bartholomeu Diaz rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488; Vasco Da Gama reached India by that route in 1498.
[10. ]Philip II, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (r. 1556–98): Philip was troubled in the latter half of his reign by the revolt of the Netherlands (1566–1609), which proved successful in expelling the Spanish from a large part of the country, despite a bloody and destructive attempt by Philip to reclaim these lands for Hapsburg rule and the Roman Catholic Church.
[11. ]Martin Luther (1483–1546): German religious reformer whose famous protest against the abuses of the Catholic Church sparked the Protestant Reformation.
[* ]See Observations upon National Industry, by James Anderson, and the authorities to which he refers.
[12. ]Walloons denotes a group of peoples with a shared language, residing in the present-day Belgian regions of Hainaut, Liege, Namur, and Luxembourg.
[13. ]Ferdinand II, king of Aragon (r. 1479–1516), and, after his marriage to Isabella I, joint ruler of Castile and Leon (r. 1474–1516). Ferdinand and Isabella, fervently Catholic, set out to expel or convert all Jews and Moors from the newly united Spain.
[14. ]Spain’s American territories proved to be immensely lucrative, providing Spain’s rulers with vast amounts of gold and silver from their colonies in Mexico and Peru. The economic and cultural effects of this influx of wealth—and of the inflation that followed—has long been a matter of debate.
[15. ]The sense of Millar’s argument is that the population of England developed its seagoing skills as a natural response to the advancement of commerce and did not need the encouragement of legislation to form a ready reserve of naval skills.
[* ]This was written before the peace in 1782. [[The entry of the French and the Spanish was decisive to the English defeat in the American War of Independence (1776–83).]]