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The appearance of a treatise like the present, on a subject on which so many works of merit already exist, may be thought to require sure explanation.

It might perhaps be sufficient to say, that no existing treatise on Political Economy contains the latest improvements which have been made in the theory of the subject. Many new ideas, and new applications of ideas, have been elicited by the discussions of the last few years, especially those on Currency, on Foreign Trade, and on the important topics connected more or less intimately with Colonization: and there seems reason that the field of Political Economy should be re-surveyed in its whole extent, if ouly for the purpose of incorporating the results of these speculations, and bringing them into harmony with the principles previously laid down by the best thinkers on the subject.

To supply, however, these deficiencies in former treatises bearing a similar title, is not the sole, or even the principal object which the author has in view. The design of the book is different from that of any treatise on Political Economy which has been produced in England since the work of Adam Smith.

The most characteristic quality of that work, and the one in which it most differs from some others which have equalled and even surpassed it as mere expositions of the general principles of the subject, is that it invariably associates the principles with their applications. This of itself implies a much wider range of ideas and of topics, than are included in Political Economy, considered as a branch of abstract speculation. For practical purposes, Political Economy is inseparably inter. twined with many other branches of social philosophy. Except on matters of mere detail, there are perhaps no practical questions, even among those which approach nearest to the character of purely economical questions, which admit of being decided on economical premises alone. And it is because Adam Smith never loses sight of this truth; because, in his applications of Political Economy, he perpetually appeals to other and often far larger considerations than pure Political Economy affords—that he gives that well-grounded feeling of command over the principles of the subject for purposes of practice, owing to which the “Wealth of Nations,” alone among treatises on Political Economy, has not only been popular with general readers, but has impressed itself strongly on the minds of men of the world and of legislators.

It appears to the present writer, that a work similar in its object and general conception to that of Adam Smith, but adapted to the more extended knowledge and improved ideas of the present age, is the kind of contribution which Political Economy at present requires. The “Wealth of Nations" is in many parts obsolete, and in all, imperfect. Political Economy, properly so called, has grown up almost from infancy since the time of Adam Smith: and the philosophy of society, from which practically that eminent thinker never separated his more peculiar theme, though still in a very early stage of its progress, has advanced many steps beyond the point at which he left it. No attempt, however, has yet been made to combine his practical mode of treating his subject with the increased knowledge since acquired of its theory, or to exhibit the economical phenomena of society in the relation in which they stand to the best social ideas of the present time, as he did, with such admirable success, in reference to the philosophy of his century.

Such is the idea which the writer of the present work has kept before him. To succeed even partially in realizing it, would be a sufficiently useful achievement, to induce him to incur willingly all the chances of failure. It is requisite, however, to add, that although his object is practical, and, as far as the nature of the subject admits, popular, he has not attempted to purchase either of those advantages by the sacrifice of strict scientific reasoning. Though he desires that his treatise should be more than a mere exposition of the abstract doctrines of Political Economy, he is also desirous that such an exposition should be found in it.

The present edition is an exact transcript from the sixth, except that all extracts and most phrases in foreign languages have been translated into English, and a very small number of quotations, or parts of quotations, which appeared superfluous, have been struck out. A reprint of an old controversy with the “Quarterly Review" on the condition of landed property in France, which had been subjoined as an Appendis has been dispensed with.


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CHAPTER V Of the Requisites of Production.

1 1. Requisites of production, what ... ...... ...

2. The function of labour defined .

3. Does nature contribute more to the efficacy of labour in some occu-

pations than in others ? .

4. Some natural agents limited, others practically unlimited, in

quantity · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

CHAPTER IL. Of Labour as an Agent of Production.
$ 1. Labour employed either directly about the thing produced, or in

operations preparatory to its production :

2. Labour employed in producing subsistence for subsequent labour .

- in producing materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4. — or implements . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5. - in the protection of labour . . . . . . . . . . .
6. - in the transport and distribution of the produce . . . . .
7. Labour which relates to human beings ....... ..
8. Labour of invention and discovery . . . . . . .
9. Labour agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial . ...:

CHAPTER IIY. Of Unproductive Labour.

81. Labour does not produce objects, but utilities . .. . ...

2. — which are of three kinds ..

3. Productive labour is that which produces utilities fixed and em-

bodied in material objects i

4. All other labour, however useful, is classed as unproductive ..

5. Productive and Unproductive Consumption ....

6. Labour for the supply of Productive Consumption, and labour for

the supply of Unproductive Consumption .....

CHAPTER IV Of Capital.

§ 1. Capital is wealth appropriated to reproductive employment ...

2. More capital devoted to production than actually employed in it.

8. Examination of some cases illustrative of the idea of capital..

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CHAPTER Y. Fundamental Propo.itions respecting Capital.

$1. Industry is limited by Capital

2. - but does not always come up to that limit .. ... . .

3. Increase of capital gives increased employment to labour, without

assignable bounds : ................ 41

d. Capital is the result of saving .... ........

5. All capital is consumed ........

6. Capital is kept up, not by preservation, but by perpetual repro

duction . . . . . . . . . . . :,: ..:.: .

7. Why countries recover rapidly from a state of devastation ..

8. Effects of defraying government expenditure by loans .. . ,

9. Demand for commodities is not demand for labour .. . .

10. Fallacy respecting Taxation .............

CHAPTER VI. Of Circulating and Fixed Capital.

§ 1. Fixed and Circulating Capital, what ..
2. Increase of fixed capital, when at the expense of circulating, might

be detrimental to the labourers . .

3. -- but this seldom if ever occurs .......... 61

CHAPTER VII. On what depends the degree of Productiveness

of Productive Agents.

$ 1. Land, labour, and capital, are of different productiveness at diffe-

rent times and places ....

2. Causes of superior productiveness. Natural advantages ... 63

3. -- greater energy of labour.....


4. — superior skill and knowledge ...

6. - superiority of intelligence and trustworthiness in the commu-

nity generally ... · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
6. — superior security ... .. .. ..

CHAPTER VIII. Of Co-operation, or the Combination of Labour.

§ 1. Combination of Labour a principal cause of superior productiveness 71

2. Effects of separation of employments analysed . .. . ..

3. Combination of labour between town and country ......

4. The higher degrees of the division of labour . .. .... 75

5. Analy818 of its advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

6. Limitations of the division of labour

CHAPTER IX. Of Production on a Large, and Production on

a Small Scule.

§ 1. Advantages of the large system of production in manufactures , 81

2. Advantages and disadvantages of the joint-stock principle ..

3. Conditions necessary for the large system of production . . .

4. Large and small farming compared ...........

CHAPTER X. Of the Law of the Increase of Labour.

8 1. The law of the increase of production depends on those of three

elements, Labour, Capital, and Land .

2. The Law of Population . ..

3. By what checks the increase of population is practically limited : 98

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