The Continental System: An Economic Interpretation

Heckscher, Eli F.
(1879-1952)
BIO
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Editor/Trans.
Harald Westergaard, ed. C. S. Fearenside, trans.
First Pub. Date
1918
Publisher/Edition
Oxford: Clarendon Press
Pub. Date
1922
Comments

PART I, CHAPTER I.
COMMERCIAL POLICY

I.I.1

To begin with, however, it seems expedient to trace in some detail the evolution of commercial policy during the century before the Continental System, with special reference to the development of that sphere of activity to which the great trade blockade was especially to be applied, namely, the commercial relations between Great Britain and France.

BEGINNING OF ANGLO-FRENCH COMMERCIAL WAR (1660-1786)

I.I.2

England and France, as is well known, had been adversaries, with certain more or less lengthy intervals, from the early Middle Ages; and after mercantilism had become firmly established in both countries, it was inevitable that the commercial policy of both should come to be marked by the efforts and tendencies to which we have just referred. To go back no further than the middle of the seventeenth century, we find evidences of antagonism in the customs regulations at least from 1660 on; and after 1678, when the two countries were on the verge of actual war, we may regard commercial war and mutual embargo simply as the normal state of relations between them. After the deposition of the House of Stuart and the outbreak of war between England and France in 1689, there was a further intensification of the antagonism; and with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1701, the commercial war may be said to have assumed its definitive form. In connexion with the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713, a famous attempt was made to settle the commercial conflict, as well as the political differences, by means of a commercial treaty; and good-will was not wholly lacking either on the French side or on the side of the Tory government then established in Great Britain. But in other British circles, especially among merchants and manufacturers, the opposition was too strong, and the treaty was consequently deprived of the two clauses which gave it its importance, that is, the clause concerning mutual treatment as the most favoured nation and the clause concerning the mutual abolition of all prohibitions and customs restrictions introduced since 1664, or, in certain cases, since 1699. The result was that the embargo was maintained on both sides, without any noteworthy interruptions, throughout the greater part of the eighteenth century, or for a period of more than a hundred years.

I.I.3

An elucidation of the nature of this hundred years' commercial war between France and Great Britain is essential to a correct understanding of the origin and development of the Continental System. In England, for instance, all importation of French wine, vinegar, brandy, linen, cloth, silk, salt, and paper, and also of all manufactures containing French silk, thread, wool, hair, gold, silver, or leather, was prohibited in 1678.*4 The law itself condemned importation from France, in principle, as 'a common nuisance', and provided that the French goods were to be destroyed and not allowed to enter, even if they had been captured by English war-ships or privateers. After 1685, however, when this direct persecution of French goods was abandoned and replaced by the establishment of a large number of additional customs duties,*5 a number of severe measures followed on the part of France. Accordingly, when war actually broke out, in 1689, England returned to the principles of 1678. In due form she introduced a general prohibition on the importation of French goods and ordered that all liquid goods that were captured should be poured into the rivers or the sea, or be 'staved, spilt, and destroyed' at the place where they were stored; also that all cloths, paper, salt, &c., should be publicly burned.*6

I.I.4

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the protectionist nature of these measures, the main object of which was to prevent French products from competing with domestic products in the English market. Later on, France, which as a rule seems to have been somewhat slower to act, proceeded to adopt similar measures, especially after the outbreak of the new war in 1701. Thus when Adam Smith, who among other things was a Scottish commissioner of customs, entered into a detailed discussion of Anglo-French trade policy in the third edition of his famous work more than eighty years afterwards, he felt justified in stating that, quite apart from the multitude of import prohibitions, especially on all kinds of textiles, the majority of the French imports before the outbreak of the new war in 1778, were assessed by the British customs to the extent of at least 75 per cent. of the value of the goods involved, and that, as a rule, this was equivalent to a formal prohibition.*7

SMUGGLING

I.I.5

Such, then, was the nature of commercial policy in the eighteenth century, in so far as it is revealed in the customs regulations of that time. But no idea of the economic conditions of former days could be more erroneous than that which is conveyed by the content of such prohibitions and restrictions. The regulations, as a matter of fact, constitute merely an expression of what the holders of power wished to see realized, and accordingly may be said to illustrate, primarily, nothing more than the economic views of the time. As regards the actual situation, we may safely assume that it was quite different from what the authorities had in view, since otherwise the regulations would not have been necessary; and if we find them repeated at short intervals, as is usually the case, we may further assume that this was due to the fact that they were not complied with. In point of fact, the only exceptions to this principle are certain codifications of an already established system of law. These often express a phase that has already passed, it is true, but they nevertheless always have something to correspond to them in the world of realities, which is by no means the case with the innumerable ordinances of the regulative or creative type.

I.I.6

In the sphere of trade policy it is well known that smuggling played a very important rôle. We do not know, for obvious reasons, the exact extent to which it was carried on, but there can be no doubt that it was of frequent and widespread occurrence. According to contemporary opinion, indeed, it was almost as extensive as legitimate trade; and Adam Smith calculated that the commercial intercourse between Great Britain and France, which was exceptionally hampered by the customs regulations, was even principally carried on by smugglers. Thus it hardly entered people's minds that the prohibited foreign goods should be really unobtainable in the countries concerned. After the Peace of Versailles in 1783, for instance, everything English came into fashion in France, and prohibited goods were imported in great quantities, in spite of the fact that the French customs officials, according to the French economic historian, Emile Levasseur, carried their strictness so far as to seize the wearing apparel of travellers and hold it pending their departure from the country.

LICENCES

I.I.7

But it was not due entirely to the demands of economic life that recourse was had to this very radical and illegal practice, which in many cases was not only tolerated, but actually facilitated by the authorities themselves. This was usually accomplished by means of a system of licences, which assumed larger or smaller dimensions, according to circumstances, but which were almost always of importance. This licence system, therefore, must almost always be taken into account as an ever-present means of circumventing the nominally valid ordinances. The licences undoubtedly often originated in favouritism, bribery, and similar forms of corruption; but not infrequently their origin lay deeper. Partly they were intended to satisfy the insatiable demands of trade, which made themselves felt either within or in opposition to the law, and which, accordingly, it was often considered best to satisfy silently beforehand; but partly also, and at least as often, they arose from the constant need of money on the part of the government. This latter consideration gave rise to what one might call fiscalism, that is, to the tendency to change a policy with a certain economic aim—whether rightly or wrongly conceived—under the pretext of bringing revenue into the coffers of the state. On this rock a great deal of the economic policy of the mercantilist period, to say nothing of that of earlier mediaeval times, had suffered shipwreck; and this, too, was to be of fundamental importance in relation to the Continental System. As a characteristic example of the combined effect of smuggling and the licence system, it may be mentioned that in the last decade of the seventeenth century there were discovered in England traces of a great conspiracy organized to facilitate the importation of prohibited French silks under false or stolen labels of the kind prescribed to indicate the fact that the goods involved had either been imported under licence or else had been manufactured within the country.*8

I.I.8

The actual intercourse between two countries thus followed a course which diverged considerably from that laid out by their professed policies. But if this was always the case at times of more or less state interference in the economic domain, it was especially the case in the eighteenth century. During that period, in fact, the old policy was exposed to undermining currents flowing from two different quarters, namely, from the general transformation in all conditions of production which had received the nowise exaggerated name of Industrial Revolution, on the one side, and from the new social philosophy which was slowly paving the way for economic liberalism, on the other. Both of these factors were destined gradually to put an end to the old economic order; but in the long run it was the change in the conditions of production that may be said to have exerted the greater influence. In spite of that, however, a direct influence on commercial policy came from the new social philosophy. Curiously enough, this impulse originated in France, where the new ideas were very far from being common property, as the following development should show very clearly. But just as Turgot, in his capacity of minister of finance under the autocratic King Louis XVI, succeeded in 1776 in carrying through a quite revolutionary reform of internal industrial legislation—a reform which by no means had any favourable public opinion behind it—so one of his pupils, as foreign minister, succeeded ten years later in bringing about a change in external trade policy, just because there was no representative assembly to oppose his measures.

ANGLO-FRENCH COMMERCIAL TREATY OF 1786 (EDEN TREATY)

I.I.9

The author of this departure from the century-old commercial policy was the Comte de Vergennes. He was quelque peu disciple des philosophes, and it was especially because of the physiocratic views he shared with certain politically influential circles in France that he was able to accomplish his purpose. For as physiocracy attached foremost importance to agriculture, it was only natural that French statesmen were able to create substantial facilities for the importation of the industrial products which England was eager to sell, in return for facilities for the exportation of the agricultural products which she was no less eager to buy. Vergennes, undoubtedly of set purpose, neglected to find out the opinion of French industrial circles; and there is no doubt that this was later on one of the starting-points of the disapproval of his work. In England the efforts to establish better trade connexions between the two countries met with great sympathy, and that, too, precisely among those elements of the population which had brought to naught the commercial treaty of 1713. As was shown by a far-reaching inquiry conducted in Great Britain, the representatives of almost all industries were eager for increased sales in the French market, especially because of their desire to make up for the loss which they believed themselves—incorrectly, as a matter of fact—to have sustained through the cutting off of the American market by the secession of the colonies; and with very few exceptions they scoffed at the idea of danger arising from French competition in the home market. The British statesmen were naturally much impressed by this attitude, but at the same time they were by no means uninfluenced by the views of the economic theorists.

I.I.10

It was in England that the new ideas, which had gradually gained more and more predominance in both countries in the course of the eighteenth century, received their for all time classical synthesis in Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776), which riddled with criticism the unreasonableness and inconsistency of the old system that existed on paper, especially in the form it assumed in the commercial relations between Great Britain and France. Adam Smith's thesis was that 'a nation that would enrich itself by foreign trade is certainly most likely to do so when its neighbours are all rich, industrious, and commercial nations', inasmuch as the international exchange of goods was thereby rendered all the more profitable. The applicability of this to France is apparent, and of special interest is the comparison drawn between the trade with the large and near-by French market, on the one hand, which permitted a turnover of business capital several times a year, and the boasted and until then in every way favoured trade with the thinly populated and remote North American colonies, on the other, where the return from invested capital was not made until after the lapse of several years. Through the American War of Independence this comparison received an appositeness which Adam Smith himself certainly did not foresee.*9

I.I.11

There can be no doubt that Adam Smith's book exerted great influence on William Pitt, who was the leading statesman of Great Britain from 1783. According to a famous anecdote, Smith once arrived at a dinner somewhat later than the other guests, who rose to receive him. He begged them to remain seated, whereupon Pitt remarked that it was only right for them to rise, since they were all his pupils. While this anecdote is perhaps just as little deserving of unqualified belief as are other similar anecdotes, yet one may place implicit confidence in a statement which Pitt is authentically credited with having made in Parliament after the death of Adam Smith, namely, that he (Smith) had offered the world the best solution of all economic and commercial questions.*10

I.I.12

The result of these new forces was the Anglo-French commercial treaty of 1786 (often called the Eden Treaty, after the name of its English negotiator), which put an end to the hundred years' commercial war between the two western powers. During the negotiations Pitt had stood firmly on his ground, with the result that in the final settlement the British forced compliance with practically all their demands, while the French allowed nearly all theirs to drop. Customs duties were lowered all along the line, usually down to 10 or 15 per cent. of the value of the goods, and prohibitions on imports were abolished. On the other hand, almost the only British industry which was still uneasy about French competition, namely, the silk industry, had its demands respected to the extent of nothing less than a total prohibition on the importation of French silks into England.

I.I.13

But it was soon to prove that this somewhat belated breach with the century-old restrictive policy had no support in French public opinion, least of all in industrial circles. Indeed, one may go so far as to say that it was precisely this departure from the tradition of commercial war that led to a renewal of the old policy after the French Revolution. The Eden Treaty, which was signed less than three years before the convening of the French States General on May 5, 1789, in fact occupied almost from the very beginning a foremost place in the long list of sins imputable to the ancien régime. The French textile industries, especially the cotton industry, had as early as the 'eighties managed to benefit by the great technical revolution in England, mainly by attracting British foremen and machinery to French mills; but, naturally enough, they were not yet anything like equal to their teacher. Besides this, it was alleged by the French that the value of British wares declared at the customs was so much understated that the duty fell from the nominal 10 or 15 per cent. to an actual 2 or 3 per cent.; and at the same time British manufacturers were said to increase the prices of raw materials in France through the making of extensive purchases there. The French calico, woollen, pottery, steel, and leather industries complained bitterly of British competition and of the general unemployment for which it was held responsible. Even the Lyons silk industry worked under great difficulties, which could not be attributed to any British competition, to be sure, but which at all events were in no manner lessened by the treaty with its retention of the British prohibitions. Bitterest of all were the complaints that emanated from the textile towns in the north of France—Amiens, Abbeville, Sedan, Rouen, Rheims, Châlons-sur-Marne. Their protests were also embodied in the famous cahiers, in which the French people in 1789 gave expression to their feelings in all branches of activity. Moreover, it has been observed that Robespierre, one of the sworn enemies of Great Britain during the Revolution, was a representative of the province of Artois and in such capacity voiced the dislike that was there fostered against British competition. But the feeling against the Eden Treaty was by no means confined to these regions. It is really only with regard to the wine district that we meet with any attitude of satisfaction toward the new policy; and it is highly significant that the cahiers of the city of Paris, for instance, contained a demand that the treaty should be submitted to the States General because of the revolutionary changes it had involved and the vigorous protests it had evoked from all parts of the country. Public opinion, indeed, was unanimous in attributing the severe industrial crisis of 1788 to the Eden Treaty, which was called the death-warrant of French industry. An inspector of manufactures even went so far as to compare its detrimental effects with those that had followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which had played havoc with a great deal of the work done by Colbert and his predecessors.

I.I.14

Thus there could be scarcely any doubt as to the political effects of this first departure from the policy of commercial war; and it is this aspect of the matter which is of prime importance in this connexion. It is quite another question whether the Eden Treaty, even for the moment, was actually responsible for the placing of French economic life upon the low level where it was destined to remain, with a short interruption, during the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. Severe as was the crisis to which it gave rise, there can be little doubt that precisely the last years of the ancien régime were characterized by exceptional prosperity especially, but by no means exclusively, for French trade, and that during the following ten or fifteen years Frenchmen looked back to this period as the zenith of their country's economic development. Even as regards industry, it is a fact that not even the flourishing period of the Consulate (1799-1804) elevated it to anything like the same height that it had attained under the ancien régime.*11 Moreover, the difficulties created by free intercourse consequently appear to have been exaggerated. There are positive evidences of certain wholesome effects on French industry which must be connected with the increased intercourse with Great Britain. Thus, in 1787, the year of the ratification of the treaty, there was set up in France (Orléans)—naturally by an Englishman—the first steam-driven cotton spinning mill.*12 Moreover, in the Constituent Assembly we find a muslin manufacturer from Versailles (1790), as well as a silk manufacturer from Lyons (1791), stating that the development of French industry, after the difficulties of the first years, had increased apace under the stimulus of British competition, and that in many cases French manufacturers had succeeded in imitating and, by means of cheaper labour, in actually underselling their British competitors. This may or may not be a more faithful picture of the actual situation than that created by the innumerable complaints; but at all events it seems only natural that a more lively intercourse with Great Britain should have facilitated the spread of new ideas and inventions. But to this, as to other things, there applies a truth which is far too often overlooked, namely, that the economic policy of a country is not determined by actual economic conditions but by the popular ideas concerning those conditions—which is manifestly quite another matter.

I.I.15

The commercial policy of the Revolution, therefore, very soon returned to the traditions established before 1786. Of recent investigators we may refer especially to M. Albert Sorel, who in his monumental work, L'Europe et la révolution française (1885-1904), seeks with exhaustive, though somewhat exhausting, persistence to maintain and emphasize the consistency of French policy before and after the Revolution. In nearly all the departments of foreign policy he represents the French revolutionaries of different shades as unconscious successors of Richelieu, Mazarin, and Louis XIV, and as equally unconscious predecessors of Napoleon, whose ideas and measures are therefore also represented as almost entirely in line with the traditional policy of France. Sorel has undoubtedly exaggerated the predestination of this development, as Professor Hjärne has pointed out in his noteworthy book, Revolutionen och Napoleon (Stockholm, 1911); and in general it is undoubtedly true that the deepest conception does not consist in representing the same dramatis personae as constantly reappearing in different costumes. But in the economic sphere—which does not stand out very much in Sorel's work, with its marked bias in favour of foreign policy—the connexion with the past is very strongly emphasized. As is well known, the men of the Revolution derived their strongest impressions from Rousseau, and, so far as one can see, they were very little impressed either by physiocracy or by British liberalism. Consequently they stood, unconsciously, but almost entirely, under the all-pervading influence of the old economic conception. Thus it was almost in the nature of things that the Eden Treaty not only should be treated as an isolated episode, but should positively hasten a return to the old system—especially inasmuch as the commercial reconciliation with Great Britain was the work of none other than the discredited and despised ancien régime.

I.I.16

Naturally enough, however, it was the general political situation which was chiefly responsible for the return to the policy of commercial war; and consequently some few years elapsed before the change was made. In 1791 the Constituent Assembly adopted a new tariff, which, after great protectionist preparations, ultimately came to offer only a very moderate amount of actual protection. France and Great Britain were then at peace, and both were respecting the Eden Treaty. But the new tendency was even then asserting itself in France, not only in the form of recurring complaints against British competition, but also in the form of an actual raising of the customs rates on woollens and other textile goods manufactured in the Duchy of Berg—the even then flourishing textile region on the eastern side of the Rhine, which was destined to play an important part in the history of the Continental System. In justification of these measures, whereby the importation of textiles into France from the east was cut off, there was asserted the need of 'alleviating the detrimental effects' of the Anglo-French treaty of 1786.*13

I.I.17

Great Britain, under Pitt's leadership, had as long as possible stood aloof from the struggle against the French Revolution. But toward the end of 1792 the relations between the two countries became very strained. Great Britain held up cargoes bound for French ports, whereupon France retaliated by denouncing the Eden Treaty. This was shortly after the beginning of 1793; and on February 1 of that year, less than two weeks after the execution of Louis XVI, war actually broke out. This precipitated both countries into a policy of economic strangulation which was destined to last for more than twenty years and soon to leave all its predecessors far behind. Under the Revolution, and to a certain extent under Napoleon as well, this policy had two very closely interwoven sides, which, however, must be kept separate for the present. One side consists of the blockade measures and the generally rude treatment of maritime intercourse, in which Great Britain decidedly led the way, but was very closely followed by France; and the other side consists of the compulsory measures that were adopted specifically in the sphere of commercial policy. The latter measures were of real importance only on the French side, as a matter of fact, since similar measures on the British side would have been meaningless for the reason that French goods could hardly have reached England without English co-operation. It is the latter policy which we will first consider.

RENEWAL OF ANGLO-FRENCH COMMERCIAL WAR (1793-1799)

I.I.18

On March 1, 1793, only a month after the outbreak of war, the measures of prohibition began, and within a few months the Convention had passed almost all the laws that were possible along that line. The first law of this kind passed by the Convention, which also annulled all treaties previously entered into with enemy countries, prohibited indiscriminately the importation of a large number of textile, metal, and earthenware goods which were regarded as normally coming from England—it was, of course, the home manufacturers of these articles who had especially complained of British competition—but did not restrict the prohibition to goods coming from any specified country. With respect to all goods not expressly exempted, however, it was stipulated that evidence should be furnished that they did not come from an enemy country. This rendered necessary the use of certificates of origin for certain goods, even though they were indispensable to French consumers and could not be obtained from neutral countries (especially sugar). Two or three months later (May 19), accordingly, such goods had to be exempted. But the whole of this first law was a mild warning in comparison with the outbreak of fury, harmonizing completely with the spirit of the Reign of Terror, which on October 9 of the same year (Vendémiaire 18, year II) appeared in the form of a law bearing the title: Loi qui proscrit du sol de la république toutes les marchandises fabriquées ou manufacturées dans les pays soumis au gouvernement britannique. Its express application to Great Britain, one of the enemies of France, is in itself significant, the whole law, as its title indicates, being a straightforward proposal to persecute all British goods in the most drastic manner. It imposed on every holder of British goods the obligation to declare them and hand them over to the authorities, and provided that any customs official who allowed such goods to enter the country would be liable to twenty years' imprisonment in irons; and the same punishment was assigned to any person who imported, sold, or bought them. But even this was not enough. The law further provided that anybody who wore or used British goods was to be regarded as suspect and to be punished as such in accordance with the notorious loi des suspects; that is to say, he might be arrested and imprisoned at any time. All posters or notices couched in English and referring to stocks of British goods or containing British trade marks or appellations, as also all newspapers announcing the sale of British goods, were 'proscribed'; and the punishment in this case also was twenty years' imprisonment in irons.

I.I.19

After the crisis of Thermidor and the fall of Robespierre early in 1795, the legislators again retraced their steps to some extent by slightly lowering the duties on non-British goods. This did not last long, however, since they were raised again by the Directory at the close of the following year. On the whole it may be said that the rule of the Directory, from the autumn of 1795 to the autumn of 1799, marked a return to the policy of the Reign of Terror, though in a somewhat modified form, throughout the entire economic domain. As a sign of welcome to Lord Malmesbury, who visited Paris to negotiate peace, there was accordingly passed on October 31, 1796 (Brumaire 10, year V), a law prohibiting the importation and sale of British goods on an even larger scale than that established by the laws of 1793, inasmuch as the prohibition was extended to cover goods that were derived, not only from British industry, but also from British trade. And at the same time there was adopted—so far as is known for the first time, but certainly not for the last time—the somewhat clumsy expedient of declaring certain groups of goods to be British, quite irrespective of their real origin. Even such goods as were brought into the country from captured or stranded vessels were not allowed to remain there, but had to be promptly re-exported. The resemblance between this and the above-mentioned regulations of the seventeenth century is unusually striking. Moreover, nearly all the regulations of the year 1793 were renewed in substance, although the provision concerning certificates of origin had again to be limited after a few months. Only in regard to penalties was there a very considerable modification. Among the goods which were always to be regarded as British was refined sugar; but now again, as in 1793, its exclusion proved to be impossible, and the smuggling to which it gave rise finally resulted, in 1799, in the prohibition being replaced by a high customs duty. Evidence of the extent to which French legislators thought it possible to carry the persecution of everything British is furnished by the fact that the importation of Geneva watches was prohibited on the ground that they contained a small amount of steel presumed to be of British origin.

I.I.20

Another link in the policy of commercial war was formed by the Navigation Act, which was brought forward with great oratorical fanfare and was passed by the Convention on September 21, 1793, the anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy. In exact imitation of the famous corner-stone of English maritime policy, the Navigation Act of the Commonwealth of 1651, and also of earlier French ordinances, it forbade foreign vessels to import any products other than those of their own country or to carry on coasting trade in France. Moreover, by a supplementary law of October 18 (Vendémiaire 27, year II), all foreign vessels were saddled with dues about ten times as high as those imposed on French vessels. There is a close analogy between these measures and those that were adopted during the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth centuries. The latter were directed chiefly against the principal carrying country of the time, the Netherlands; and in the same manner the law of the Convention was directed against the new commercial nation, Great Britain. Perfide Albion came to occupy the same position in the popular imagination as its predecessor, only it was regarded as still more dangerous owing to the great development of its industries and political power.

I.I.21

All these trade laws of the Revolution manifestly had the same double character as their forerunners of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; that is to say, they were intended to injure Great Britain by excluding her goods and vessels, and at the same time to serve as an ultra-protectionist measure calculated to benefit French industries. According to the official statement, the Directory's law of 1796 was designed to 'give new life to trade, restore manufactures, and re-establish the workshops', and, on the other hand, 'to deprive our enemies of their most important resource in waging war against us' and compel them to make peace. In complete analogy with this, Barère, the trumpeter in ordinary of the Convention, speaking in the name of the Committee of Public Safety, had justified the Navigation Act partly on the ground that 'Carthage would thereby be destroyed'—'let us decree a solemn Navigation Act,' he said, 'and the isle of shopkeepers will be ruined'—and partly on the ground that France would thereby multiply her industries, stimulate the consumption of domestic products, create her own ship-building yards, build up a flourishing mercantile marine, &c., &c. This, so to speak, dualistic character the Continental System was destined to retain but at the same time to lead to an irremediable self-contradiction.

I.I.22

Naturally it is true of the commercial blockades of the Revolution, as of those of earlier times, that they were not even approximately maintained; the result was that smuggling once more became one of the principal means of Anglo-French intercourse. Notwithstanding the law of 1796, the practice seems to have grown up of importing British and other prohibited goods on a large scale as captured goods. Disordered as every department of the public administration was, one can not doubt that the authorities merely winked at all this; and besides they were often obliged to mitigate the laws, as we have already seen, in order to ensure some observance of them. An example of this was given by the Navigation Act, which was introduced with such high-sounding words and a month later repealed for the most part by a number of supplementary regulations providing that certain raw materials and enemy goods might be imported in time of war by neutral vessels; shortly afterwards such vessels also received the right to carry on coasting trade.*14


Notes for this chapter


4.
29 & 30 Char. II, c. 1, s. 70.
5.
1 James II, cc. 3 & 5.
6.
1 W. & M., c. 34, s. 1.
7.
Statutes of the Realm, vol. v, pp. 862 et seq.; vol. VI, pp. 98 et seq., et al. Ashley, The Tory Origin of Free Trade Policy, in Surveys Historic and Economic (London, 1900), pp. 277 et seq.; Levasseur, Les traites de commerce entre la France et l'Angleterre, in Revue d'économie politique (1901), vol.XV, pp. 964 et seq.; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (Cannan ed., London, 1904), vol. I, pp. 432, 437-8.
8.
W. R. Scott, The Constitution and Finance of English, Scottish, and Irish Joint-Stock Companies (Cambridge, 1911), vol. III, pp. 80 et seq.
9.
Adam Smith, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 458 et seq.
10.
On this and what follows, cf. Rose, William Pitt and the National Revival (London, 1911), pp. 183 et seq., 322 et seq.; Salomon, William Pitt der jüngere (Leipzig and Berlin, 1906), vol.I, pt.II, pp.205 et seq.; Levasseur, Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en France avant 1789 (Paris, 1901), vol. II, pp. 546 et seq.; Levasseur, Histoire du commerce de la France (Paris, 1911), vol. I, pp. 535 et seq., 542 et seq.; also, Histoire de France (Lavisse ed., Paris, 1910), vol. IX, pt. I, pp. 221 et seq. On the situation just after the Eden Treaty, cf. Schmidt, La crise industrielle de 1788 en France, in Revue Historique (Paris, 1908), vol. 97, pp. 78 et seq. The work of F. Dumas, Etude sur le traité de commerce de 1786 (Paris, 1904), was not accessible.
11.
Chaptal, De l'industrie françoise (Paris, 1819), vol. I, p. xvi; Levasseur, Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en France de 1789 à 1870 (Paris, 1903), vol. I, p. 405.
12.
Schmidt, Les débuts de l'industrie cotonnière en France, 1760-1806, in Revue d'histoire économique et sociale (Paris, 1914), vol. VII, pp. 26 et seq.; Ballot, Les prêts aux manufactures, in Revue des études napoléoniennes (Paris, 1912), vol. II, p. 45.
13.
Levasseur, Histoire des classes ouvrières, &c., de 1789 à 1870, vol. I, pp. 38 et seq.; Schmidt, Le Grand-duché de Berg, 1806-1813 (Paris, 1905), pp. 326-7.
14.
Lois et actes du gouvernement (Paris, 1807), vol. VI, pp. 434-5; vol. VII, pp. 83, 409-10, 464-5, 492 et seq.; Bulletin des lois de la république française, 2d ser., bull. 86, no. 825; bull. 105, no. 1002; Le Moniteur, Sept. 23 and 24, 1793; Oct. 21, 1796; Levasseur, Histoire des classes ouvrières, &c., de 1789 à 1870, vol. I, pp. 38 et seq., 87 et seq., 260; Sorel, L'Europe et la révolution française (Paris, 1893), vol. III, pp. 476-7; vol. v, pp. 116, 124; Schmidt, Le Grand-duché de Berg, pp. 326 et seq.; Chapuisat, Le commerce et l'industrie à Genève pendant la domination française, 1798-1813 (Geneva and Paris, 1908), Annexe XIV; Rose, William Pitt and the Great War (London, 1911), pp. 103-4; Kiesselbach, Die Continentalsperre in ihrer ökonomisch-politischen Bedeutung (Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1850), pp. 55-6.

Part I, Chapter II

End of Notes


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