Front Page Titles (by Subject) Part I, Chapter IV: Of Market Towns - Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général
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Part I, Chapter IV: Of Market Towns - Richard Cantillon, Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général 
Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, edited with an English translation and other material by Henry Higgs, C.B. Reissued for The Royal Economic Society by Frank Cass and Co., LTD., London. 1959.
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Part I, Chapter IV
Of Market Towns
There are some Villages where Markets have been established by the interest of some Proprietor or Gentleman at Court. These Markets, held once or twice a week, encourage several little Undertakers and Merchants to set themselves up there. They buy in the Market the products brought from the surrounding Villages in order to carry them to the large Towns for sale. In the large Towns they exchange them for Iron, Salt, Sugar and other merchandise which they sell on market-days to the Villagers. Many small Artisans also, like Locksmiths, Cabinet makers and others, settle down for the service of the Villagers who have none in their Villages, and at length these Villages become Market Towns. A Market Town being placed in the centre of the Villages, and at length these Villages become Market Towns. A Market Town being placed in the centre of the Villages whose people come to market, it is more natural and easy that the Villagers should bring their products thither for sale on market-days and buy the articles they need, than that the Merchants and Factors should transport them to the Villages in exchange for their products. (1) For the Merchants to go round the Villages would unnecessarily increase the cost of carriage. (2) The Merchants would perhaps be obliged to go to several Villages before finding the quality and quantity of produce which they wished to buy. (3) The Villagers would generally be in their fields when the Merchants arrived and not knowing what produce these needed would have nothing prepared and fit for sale. (4) It would be almost impossible to fix the price of the produce and the merchandise in the Villages, between the Merchants and the Villagers. In one Village the Merchant would refuse the price asked for produce, hoping to find it cheaper in another Village, and the Villager would refuse the price offered for his merchandise in the hope that another Merchant would come along and take it on better terms.
All these difficulties are avoided when the Villagers come to Town on Market-Days to sell their produce and to buy the things they need. Prices are fixed by the proportion between the produce exposed for sale and the money offered for it; this takes place in the same spot, under the eyes of all the Villagers of different Villages and of the Merchants or Undertakers of the Town. When the price has been settled between a few the others follow without difficulty and so the Market-price of the day is determined. The peasant goes back to his Village and resumes his work.
The size of the Market Town is naturally proportioned to the number of Farmers and Labourers needed to cultivate the Lands dependent on it, and to the number of artisans and small Merchants that the Villages bordering on the Market Town employ with their assistants and horses, and finally to the number of persons whom the Landowners resident there support.
When the Villages belonging to a Market Town (i.e. whose people ordinarily bring their produce to market there) are considerable and have a large output the Market Town will become considerable and large in proportion; but when the neighbouring Villages have little produce the Market Town also is poor and insignificant.