Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIII. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
CHAP. XIII. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
That Amsterdam is provided with better means of subsistence, and is a greater city of traffick, and Holland a richer merchandizing country, than ever was in the world.
Why Amsterdam is become the greatest city of traffick in Europe.BUT above all Amsterdam hath thriven most in all sorts of merchandizes, and means of subsistence and enlargement. For tho’ it seems not to be so well situated as many other towns in South and North-Holland, for receiving goods that come from sea, and transporting others beyond sea, as also because of the shallowness of the Pampus, for which ships must lade, or unlade most of their goods, and wait for winds in that unsafe road of the Texel;Namely by reason of its situation for trade. yet in this particular of the greatest consideration, Amsterdam lies better than any town in Holland, and possibly better than any city in Europe, to receive the fish manufacture, and other commodities which are taken and made by others, and especially to receive from the shipping into their warehouses store-goods to be spent at home. And it is well known to all persons whether owners of ships sailing for freight, or merchants, that this is a very great conveniency for readily equipping and full lading of ships, and selling their goods speedily, and at the highest price, which is ten times more considerable than a conveniency of importing or exporting goods speedily, or than the damages suffered by the storms, which may happen (tho’ but seldom) in the Texel. For men having an eye to their ordinary and certain profit according to true information of the present opportunity of gain from abroad, whether remote or near at hand, by export and import, they are ever moved more by such an opportunity, than deterred by such misfortunes, especially if they have kept or reserved such an estate or credit as to be still able to continue their traffick. At least it is certain that misfortunes depending on such unknown and uncertain causes, and happening so seldom, are ever little apprehended, and easily forgotten by those that have not had any loss by that means.Which causes a quick sale of all imported goods. And if any one should doubt whether Amsterdam be situate as well and better than any other city of Holland for traffick, and ships let out to freight, let him but please to consider in how few hours (when the wind is favourable) one may sail from Amsterdam to all the towns of Friesland, Overyssel, Guelderland, and North-Holland, & vice versa, seeing there is no alteration of course or tides needful: and in how short a time, and how cheap and easily one may travel from any of the towns of South-Holland, or other adjacent inland cities to Amsterdam, every one knows. And it hath evidently appeared how much the convenient situation of Amsterdam was esteemed by the Antwerp merchants, since the trade of Antwerp fixed no where but at Amsterdam. And after that the Antwerp trade was added to their eastern trade and fishing, the Amsterdammers then got by their sword the whole East-India trade, at least the monopoly of all the richest spices, and a great trade to the West-Indies; and upon that followed the whale-fishing: as also by the German wars, they acquired the consumption of the Italian silk stuffs, which used to be carried by land, and sold there. And besides, the raw silks have given them a fair opportunity of making many silk stuffs, as did the halls of Leyden, and an ill maxim of not early laying out the ground of a city, or not suffering any out-buildings beyond the place allowed for building, which was the only occasion that the weaving of wool was practised, not only in many other provinces and cities, but also throughout Holland, and especially at Amsterdam. And at last thereupon followed the troubles in England, and our destructive tho’ short war with them, and theirs against the king of Spain; as also the wars of the Northern kings among themselves, which were so prejudicial to us. By those eight years troubles the inhabitants of Holland probably lost more than they had gain’d in 20 years before.
The Hollanders are become the only carriers and navigators of the seas, which is a great blessing for all our inhabitants.It is nevertheless evident, that the Hollanders having well-nigh beaten all nations by traffick out of the great ocean, the Mediterranean, Indian, and Baltick Seas; they are the great, and indeed only carriers of goods throughout the world; catching of herring, haddock, cod and whale, making many sorts of manufactures and merchandize for foreign parts. Which is so great a blessing for the inhabitants, and especially for the rulers of the land, and those that are benefited by them, that a greater cannot be conceived. And seeing I may presume to say that I have clearly shewn, in the foregoing chapter, that Holland’s welfare and prosperity wholly depends on the flourishing of manufacturies, fishery, navigation of ships on freight, and traffick; it seems that the order of nature obliges me to give my thoughts in particular of all matters whereby the Holland manufacturies, fisheries, ships let out to freight, and traffick, may be improved or impaired. But seeing that would afford us endless matter of speculation, exceeds my skill, and is inconsistent with my intended brevity; I shall satisfy myself in laying down the principal heads thereof, and that in short.