Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XII. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
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CHAP. XII. - Pieter de la Court, The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland 
The True Interest and Political Maxims of the Republic of Holland (London: John Campbell, Esq, 1746).
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For answer to the former question, it is here particularly shewn, that fishing and traffick must entirely settle in Holland, and manufacturies must do the like for the most part, and consequently navigation, or sailing upon freight.
THIS was the state of trade till the year 1585, when Antwerp was taken by the prince of Parma. For that city being thus wholly shut up from the sea, and the king of Spain very imprudently neglecting to open the Scheld, being desirous, according to the maxims of monarchs, to weaken that strong city, which he thought too powerful for him, and to disperse the traffick over his many other cities;How the trade fell from Antwerp to Amsterdam. he bent all his strength against the frontiers of Gelderland, England, and France, whereby the merchants of Antwerp were necessitated to forsake their city, and consequently to chuse Amsterdam to settle in, which before the troubles was, next to Antwerp, the greatest mercantile city of the Netherlands. For when we rightly consider the innumerable inconveniences sound in all islands, and especially northward, by reason of storms and long winters, in the consumption of goods bought, and the necessary communication with many inland neighbours; every one may easily imagine why the Antwerpers sat not down in the adjacent islands of Zealand;Why not to the Zealand islands, and besides, neither in France nor England was there any liberty of religion, but a monarchical government in both, with high duties on goods imported and exported. And tho’ the protestant merchants, by reason of the great peace and good situation of England, would have most inclined to settle there;Nor to France nor England. yet were they discouraged from coming into a country where there were no city-excises or impost on lands, or any other taxes equally charging all, whether inhabitants or strangers; but heavy taxes and customs laid on all goods imported and exported, by which foreigners and their children and grandchildren, according to the laws of the land, must pay double as much as the natural English; yea in the subsidies of parliament, which extend to perpetuity on foreigners and their children, they must pay double assessment: besides which all strangers are excluded from their guilds and halls of trade and manufactures; so that none have the freedom there to work, either as journeyman or master-workman, save in that whereof the inhabitants are ignorant.Nor to any Eastern cities. And all these discouragements were also for the most part in the Eastern cities; yea in England as well as in the Eastern cities, a foreigner, tho’ an inhabitant, was not suffered to sell to any other but citizens; nor to sell wares by retail, or for consumption, or to buy any sort of goods of strangers, or of inhabitants that are strangers, neither by wholesale nor retail: all which made them think England no fit place for them to settle in.
It happened also at the same time, that the king of Spain allowing no where a toleration of religion, but making continual war, and utterly neglecting the scouring and cleansing of the seas, the fishing, and remaining traffick of the Flemish cities, which they drove into foreign parts, did wholly cease; so far were they from recovering the lost trade of Antwerp.Why all the manufactures did not abandon Flanders and Brabant, to fix with the traffick and navigation of Holland. So that the Flemish fishing also fell into Holland: but the manufactures were thus divided; one third of the dealers and weavers of says, damask, and stockings, &c. went casually into England &c. because that trade was then new to the English, and therefore under no halls nor guilds. Another great part of them went to Leyden; and the traders in linnen settled most at Haerlem. But there were still a great number of traders in manufactures that remained in Flanders and Brabant: for seeing those goods were continually sent to France and Germany by land carriage, it was impossible for us to prevent it by our ships of war, or any other means imaginable.
Namely by reason of the heavy taxes in Holland.On the other side, seeing that in Flanders and Brabant, especially in the villages where the manufactures are mostly made, there are but small imposts paid, and in Holland the taxes were very great, they might therefore have borne the charge of carrying those goods by land into some French harbours, from whence they might have been transported to any part of the world: and therefore upon good advice we thought it our interest to permit those Flemish manufactures, tho’ wrought by our enemies, to be brought into our country of Holland, charging them with somewhat less duty than they must have been at by going the furthest way about. And thus did those manufactures of foreign countries, by means of immunities from imposts and halls, greatly improve and flourish in those villages, because they could be made as cheap or cheaper than ours, which from time to time were more and more charged with duties on the consumption. Yea, and which is worthy of admiration, they were charged with convoy-money and other taxes upon exportation, till about the year 1634. when by the French and Dutch wars, and winter-quarters, all the most flourishing villages of Flanders, Brabant, and the lands beyond the Meuse were plundered, and the richest merchandizing cities obstructed from sending away their goods. So that the cities of Holland were hereby filled with inhabitants and their manufactures sold there; which was the greatest cause of the increase of trade in this country, and the subsequent riches of the inhabitants.