Title page from A Treatise On Political Economy

A Treatise On Political Economy

An important work in the development of French liberal thought during the Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic period. Thomas Jefferson was very impressed with his writings and had them translated in English.

Key Quotes


First, society is nothing but a succession of exchanges.In effect, let us begin with the first conventions on which it is founded. Every man, before entering into the state of society, has as we have seen all rights and no duty, not even that of not hurting others; and others the same in respect to…


(A)n exchange is a transaction in which the two contracting parties both gain. Whenever I make an exchange freely, and without constraint, it is because I desire the thing I receive more than that I give; and, on the contrary, he with whom I bargain desires what I offer more than that which he…