Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XX. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
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CHAP. XX. - 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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That manufactures, and other mechanick Works, are no less imprudently restrained.
The freedom of manufactures is more and more obstructed.BY the freedom allow’d men to gain a livelihood by such things as are liable to consumption, or by handicrafts, it’s certain that we have kept an infinite number of people in the country, and have besides drawn in many foreigners to it: for in most cities of Holland there has been sufficient liberty given. But afterwards people withdrew from many cities, through the mischievous nature of some men, who rather chuse a sudden profit, tho’ to the general damage of their native country, than that which comes in by degrees with continued gain to the republick: for private or peculiar profit is the chief foundation (tho’ it always goes under the notion of a general advantage) of all those restrictions and burdens imposed on the citizens by corporations or guilds, which serve to no other end but to keep good people out of their cities, and in the mean while to give the members of such corporations a lasting opportunity of being enrich’d by their fellow inhabitants, and of selling their goods and manufactures the dearer to their neighbours, and so of levying as it were an impost upon them.
At least it cannot be denied, but that halls relating to manufactures, or any other sort of handicraft ware, with overseers or inspectors appointed by common consent; or the chief men of the guilds to circumscribe or limit the same; or by publick acts of state to appoint how those wares must be made which we fell into foreign lands, are as ridiculous as prejudicial. For it supposeth two very impertinent things: first, that the foreign buyers must needs purchase of us such manufactures and mechanick works as we shall please to make, be they what they will: and, secondly, that in other countries they must not make those sorts of manufactures, and handicraft wares which we prohibit. Whereas on the contrary it may be said, that the makers of them have hit the right mark, when they can best please the buyer, and the buyer can gain most by them. And it is certain that all our manufactures and other mechanick works, may be made and spent not only in the country villages and towns of Holland, but also in very many neighbouring countries; and that they may be there made with far less imposts on the consumption than with us: by which it appears that it would have been much better for Holland never to have laid on those restrictions and Prohibitions.