Title page from Commerce Defended (1808)

Commerce Defended (1808)

This is a critique of both the idea that only agriculture is truly a productive activity and government war-time policy which resulted in rising food prices and taxes which had a deleterious impact on the poor.

Key Quotes

Property Rights

…no arrangement of society, consistent with any tolerable degree of freedom and security, seems capable of preventing this wonderful agent [the disposition to accumulation] from adding something every year to the fund of production, from continually increasing the annual produce. As it is this…

War & Peace

To what baneful quarter, then, are we to look for the cause of the stagnation and misery which appear so general in human affairs? War! is the answer. There is no other cause. This is the pestilential wind which blasts the prosperity of nations. This is the devouring fiend which eats up the…


No proposition however in political œconomy seems to be more certain than this which I am going to announce, how paradoxical soever it may at first sight appear; and if it be true, none undoubtedly can be deemed of more importance. The production of commodities creates, and is the one and universal…