Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 12, 2012

in Balance of Payments, Complexity & Emergence, History, Trade

… is from page 613 of the 2003 Liberty Fund collection, edited by Henry C. Clark, Commerce, Culture, and Liberty: Readings on Capitalism Before Adam Smith; specifically, it’s from the 1777 J. Justamond translation of Guillaume-Thomas-Francois, abbe Raynal’s 1770 essay, “A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies”:

The Spaniards though possessed of all the gold in the world remained or became poor; the Dutch presently acquired riches, without either lands or mines.  Holland is a nation at the service of all the rest, but who sells her services at a high price.  As soon as she had taken refuge in the midst of the sea, with industry and freedom, which are her tutelary gods, she perceived that she had not sufficient quantity of land to support the sixth part of her inhabitants.  She then chose the whole world for her domain, and resolved to enjoy it by her navigation and commerce.  She made all lands contribute to her subsistence, and all nations supply her with the conveniences of life.

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