The Continental System: An Economic Interpretation

Heckscher, Eli F.
(1879-1952)
BIO
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
Editor/Trans.
Harald Westergaard, ed. C. S. Fearenside, trans.
First Pub. Date
1918
Publisher/Edition
Oxford: Clarendon Press
Pub. Date
1922
Comments
Start PREVIOUS
11 of 30
NEXT End

PART I, CHAPTER IV.
ECONOMIC POSITION OF GREAT BRITAIN

I.IV.1

'THE Causes of the Rise and Decline of Cities, Countries, and Republics,' Die Ursachen des Auff und Abnehmens der Städt, Länder und Republicken—to quote the title of a book by the German mercantilist, Johann Joachim Becher—have always formed, and still form, a very obscure chapter in economic history, and one which has been far from fully elucidated by economic inquiry. During the period with which we are now concerned the stability of the position of England as the leading maritime and colonial nation, after the relative decline of the Netherlands, formed a constant source of speculation and doubt. It was perhaps natural that this mistrust was most prevalent in French circles, and particularly among the French revolutionaries; for to those who had been trained in the school of Rousseau it was necessarily quite obvious that an organization so completely detached from the land was unnatural and, therefore, not durable—all the more so for the reason that physiocracy, so far as its influence was to be taken into account at all, might also lead to the same conclusions. The hollowness of the English economic system is also the burden of the often quoted official speech in which Brissot, the leader of the Girondists, on January 12, 1793, laid before the National Convention the whole argument in favour of a war with England, in terms which were to be re-embodied in the final declaration of war. 'We must tear asunder,' he declared, 'the veil that envelops the imposing colossus of England.... When the well-informed observer regards this imposing scaffold of English greatness, he is able to penetrate to its internal vacuity.... Say, then, if it will not be an easy matter to overturn a power whose colossal stature betrays its weakness and calls for its overthrow.'*43

I.IV.2

This representation of 'perfidious Albion' as a colossus with feet of clay is of frequent occurrence, whether it signifies merely what people wished or what they actually believed, or—what is most likely—something betwixt and between. In Napoleon, too, it was based on a general economic conception, namely, that a country's trade is of slight value in comparison with its industry and agriculture; and this could not fail to react on his conception of the strength of the foremost commercial nation. The well-known French chemist, Jean Antoine Chaptal, Minister of the Interior under the Consulate, and afterwards closely connected with the industrial policy of the Empire, describes in his memoirs Napoleon's dislike of merchants, who only exchanged goods, he said, while manufacturers produced them, and who with a turnover of a million gave employment to only two or three assistants, while manufacturers with the same turnover supported five or six hundred families. And that Chaptal is here correctly reporting Napoleon's conception—which, in that case, would not greatly diverge from that which is still popular—seems all the more probable when one considers the perfect coolness with which the Emperor from the very first prophesied that the Continental System would ruin, under his direct or indirect rule, such commercial towns as Lyons, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam.*44

BRITISH NATIONAL DEBT

I.IV.3

But the belief in the instability of the position of Great Britain arose not only from general economic conceptions of this nature, but also from numerous actual conditions and developments which could not but denote the beginnings of economic decay. It cannot be sufficiently emphasized how long people had believed they had seen signs of this. One of the most important of these signs was the rapid increase in the British national debt during the time with which we are concerned—especially when considered in the light of the generally current notion that such a development must inevitably lead to national bankruptcy. The economic literature of England herself during the eighteenth century is full of Kassandra-like prophecies as to the impending ruin of the state owing to the augmentation of its liabilities. In fact, Lord Macaulay says in a well-known passage that, with the exception of Burke, no author since the founding of the English debt had perceived the security which the general economic development of the country provided against these dangers. Especially interesting in this connexion is Adam Smith's gloomy representation of the state of affairs, the view of the European national debts presented in the Wealth of Nations being throughout remarkably pessimistic for so optimistic a writer. In Adam Smith's opinion, the funded debts 'will in the long run probably ruin all the great nations of Europe', as they had already steadily weakened them. And even though he believes that England, owing to her better system of taxation, is in a better position than most countries to stand the strain, he warns his readers 'not even to be too confident that she could support, without great distress, a burden a little greater than what has already been laid upon her'.

I.IV.4

When this was written, in 1775, the funded British debt was £124,000,000, and the war with the American colonies, which intervened between the first and third editions of the Wealth of Nations, served nearly to double that amount. When Great Britain plunged into the revolutionary wars at the beginning of 1793, in fact, her national debt amounted to £230,000,000. Afterwards the war was financed to such an extent by means of loans that the funded debt for Great Britain and Ireland at the time of the Peace of Amiens, in 1802, had risen to what was, for the conditions of that time, the truly astounding sum of £507,000,000—a figure the significance of which is perhaps best made clear when one reflects that the funded debt of England at the outbreak of the World War in 1914 amounted to no more than £587,000,000. Under these circumstances Adam Smith's warning could not fail to make an impression; and indeed we find it employed as a main weapon against Great Britain in a pamphlet published in 1796 with the significant title, The Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance. The author was the well-known republican and free-thinker, Thomas Paine, who had some years previously fled to France and become a member of the National Convention. In the French journalism of the period dealing with this subject, which has been sketched by an English woman historian, Miss Audrey Cunningham, an impending British state bankruptcy figures as a fairly self-evident prospect in the future. This is especially the case in a very measured paper, Des finances de l'Angleterre, written in 1803 by the French littérateur, Henri Lasalle, and reproduced by Miss Cunningham in extenso.*45

I.IV.5

It is true that we must beware of overestimating the importance of these views. It would be hard to discover, as a matter of fact, anything more hopelessly shattered than the finances of France herself during the Revolution; and her capacity to develop a great military power, despite the most thorough-going national bankruptcy, might rather be expected to have implanted doubts as to far-reaching political consequences arising from financial difficulties. But the thoughts of leading French statesmen did not move in that direction. Whether because of sincere conviction or because of the effect on public opinion, therefore, it became in due time an axiom of Napoleon that his finances both in war and in peace must be managed as much as possible without loans; and his ministers of finance, greatly against their will, had consequently to resort to the most dubious means of raising funds—not only increasing the annual deficits in the national budget, but also sanctioning measures of downright dishonesty against the purveyors to the state—rather than negotiate public loans. Thus the accumulation of debt represented to Napoleon, at least officially, the one great danger to a state's existence. From the pedestal of public financial virtue he could then condemn the heavily indebted Great Britain; and he naturally did not neglect the opportunity to do so.

I.IV.6

But the belief in the dangers of piling up debt were scarcely due to this contrast alone, the deceptiveness of which can hardly have escaped Napoleon's notice. It was also rooted, we may be sure, in a deeper conviction, namely, in the notion of the artificiality, the unnaturalness, of the economic system of Great Britain, in comparison with the well-grounded prosperity of France. Especially typical of the French view is a passage in Brissot's previously cited speech, in which he says that England had no security—'not a single hypothec'—to offer for her loans, while France, to begin with, had three milliards in properties recovered by the Crown, as well as in the riches of the land and of industry, 'the enormous resources which have long since been consumed by the claims of British ministers'. The fact that these 'hypothecs', which formed the guaranty of the French paper currency (assignats), had already, at the time of Brissot's speech, allowed the currency to decline to one-half of its nominal value, and did not prevent it from sinking to less than one three-hundredth thereof, did not serve to destroy the belief in their importance for the national credit. The intangibility of a credit system like that of Great Britain caused French observers quite honestly to doubt its staying power; and, as usual, this held good of Napoleon quite as much as of the revolutionary politicians. As a matter of fact, Napoleon's amateurishness in dealing with matters of credit is revealed in practically every line he wrote on that subject and is also confirmed by the evidence of the people around him.*46

BRITISH CREDIT SYSTEM

I.IV.7

To all this, however, must be added the fact that there were not lacking signs calculated to arouse genuine doubts, even in fairly penetrating observers, as to the durability of the British system of credit. The main cause of this was the Bank Restriction Act of 1797, whereby the Bank of England was released from the obligation to redeem its notes, an obligation which it did not resume for a period of twenty-two years. Thus Great Britain had a paper currency throughout the whole of the revolutionary and the Napoleonic periods. That this was a great and unexpected blow, especially for admirers of the British credit system, is fully substantiated by what Mollien, Napoleon's future minister of finance, writes about the matter in his Mémoires d'un ministre du trésor public. The fact is that Mollien, through impressions received partly from Turgot's most faithful collaborator, Malesherbes, and partly from his father, a French manufacturer, was entirely dominated by economic liberalism, and that to a far greater extent in the English form, as embodied in Adam Smith, than in the French form as embodied in physiocracy. In his memoirs, which were begun in 1817, but which were founded, according to his own statement, on almost daily jottings, he refers to the strong impression which the British Bank Restriction Act had made on him when he was a man of forty and experienced both as a financial official and as a practical manufacturer. Inasmuch as the Bank of England was solvent, he believed that it was in a position to meet its liabilities without loss to its creditors; but in that case, he says, its notes would decline in value, the British Exchequer would have to close, &c.; and he adds: 'Those who have long prophesied disturbances and ruin for England have never had greater reasons for their gloomy forebodings.' The remarkableness of the situation made such an impression on Mollien that at the close of the following year he went so far as to make a flying journey of observation to the enemy's territory, via Germany, with the Wealth of Nations as his only companion.*47

I.IV.8

During the first decade of the British paper currency, that is, from 1797 to about 1808, the depreciation of the bank-notes, as measured by the price of bullion and the rates of foreign exchange, was only intermittently (principally in the years 1800-2) of any very great importance. During that period, therefore, there was no great danger to be seen in the irredeem-ability of the notes, and least of all any danger to the public finances of Great Britain or to her credit system in general. But ideas on this subject being as thoroughly misty as they were, it is perhaps almost natural that the situation should have been misunderstood. In Great Britain not only the politicians, but also the bankers and business men, obstinately refused to recognize any real depreciation of the notes, even when it became, in the course of time, very considerable. In France, on the other hand, the people, under the influence of the woful history and far-reaching injuries done by their own assignats, saw a peril overhanging England in the mere existence of an irredeemable paper currency. The contemporary literature previously cited*48 abounds with such views; and during his reign Napoleon never failed to boast it as absolutely inconceivable that a government so extremely well organized as his should ever have to fall back upon such a disastrous expedient as the use of paper money, 'the greatest foe to the social order (l'ordre social),' of which 'the history of all times confirms that its fatal experiences occur only under emasculated governments'.*49

I.IV.9

But all this could at the most show the weakness of the economic position of Great Britain, and thus inspire a general hope of success in the struggle against such an enemy. It had apparently no direct connexion with that special kind of tactics in commercial war which is called continental blockade. Such a connexion does not appear until we come to consider the importance that the trade of Great Britain, and especially her exports to the Continent, were regarded as having for her credit system, and in general the conception of the effect of the continental connexions on British currency.

EXPORTS AND WAR ON THE CONTINENT

I.IV.10

In this respect, too, Kersaint's previously cited speech of January 1, 1793, is significant, as was pointed out as far back as 1850 by the first historian of the Continental System, Kiessel-bach, and has been emphasized in our own time by the English historian, Dr. J. Holland Rose. 'The credit of England', says Kersaint, 'rests on fictitious riches. The real riches of that people are scattered everywhere and essentially mobile. On her own soil the national wealth of England is to be found almost exclusively in her Bank, and the whole of that structure is supported by the prodigious activity of her maritime commerce.' With such an idea it was evidently easy to arrive at the thought of ruining the whole credit system of England by an attack on her trade. The same line of thought—the dependence of the credit system on foreign trade—is followed more completely in several papers of French authorship referred to by Kiesselbach and made the subject of an interesting investigation by Miss Cunningham. The writer was a Chevalier De Guer (or Deguer), who had gone to England as a Royalist émigré and had there made a special study of the British system of finance. He is of especial interest in this connexion, for the reason that Napoleon, in a letter of 1803, expresses great satisfaction with his work, and desires from him a more detailed account of the position of British finances. On the whole, he regarded that system as well worthy of imitation, even as regards the circulation of bank-notes, but at the same time he believed that it had certain weak points. He brought out his results, for the enlightenment of his countrymen, especially in a paper entitled Essai sur le credit commercial comme moyen de circulation, which was originally printed in Hamburg in 1801, but was afterwards reprinted in France, and also in other articles, one of which Napoleon caused to be inserted in his official organ, Le Moniteur, for 1803.

I.IV.11

The discussions in question were connected especially with the questions of the gold reserve of the Bank of England and the British rates of exchange; and these connexions are of great interest here. As every one knows, Great Britain supported the struggle of the Continental powers against France by means of subsidies of varying magnitude. From the beginning of the revolutionary wars down to the Peace of Amiens in 1802, the sum total of these subsidies, according to the official statement, amounted to about £14,300,000, including one loan of £4,600,000 to the Roman Emperor in 1795. The total amount of extraordinary payments on the Continent, however, was much larger than that, exceeding £41,000,000 for the three years 1794-6 alone. The ability of Great Britain to continue these subsidies during the later phase of the Napoleonic wars, supplemented by her ability to maintain her own troops on the mainland, was manifestly one of the points in the economic position of Great Britain which, politically speaking, was bound to take a fore-most place in the eyes of the French statesmen. It was important, therefore, to see how strong the connexion of those subsidies was with the British system of credit.*50

I.IV.12

In this respect, also, Adam Smith's representation of the case is highly illuminative. In his famous criticism of the mercantile system as he conceived it, he is led to discuss the question—which is also well known in connexion with the recent war—as to the importance of gold reserves for carrying on war and consequently also as to their necessity for British payments on the Continent. He thus gets an opportunity to show that the expenses of war are defrayed 'not with gold and silver, but with consumable goods', and that these goods may be acquired by exporting from the belligerent country some part either of 'its accumulated gold and silver', or of 'the annual produce of its manufactures', or of 'its annual rude produce'. After a clear discussion of the first of these alternatives, he lays it down that 'the enormous expense of the late war (Seven Years War) must have been chiefly defrayed, not by the exportation of gold and silver, but by that of British commodities of some kind or other'; and he makes the weighty observation that, as a consequence of this, the exports of Great Britain had been unusually great during the war, without yielding any corresponding imports in return. But in so far as payment for the continental war was effected by means of precious metals, 'the money of the great mercantile republic,' those metals must also have been purchased with British export goods, since neither the accumulated bullion reserves nor the annual production of gold and silver was anything like sufficient to cover the huge sums in question. In general, therefore, he concludes that it is the exports of England that enable her to wage war on the Continent, and chiefly the exports of finer and more fully manufactured industrial articles, which are able to bear high transportation charges. 'A country whose industry produces a great annual surplus of such manufactures, which are usually exported to foreign countries, may carry on for many years a very expensive foreign war, without exporting any considerable quantity of gold and silver, or even having any such quantity to export.' Adam Smith also describes how this works out in practice. The government arranges with a merchant to remit the necessary supplies to the theatre of war, and the merchant, in order to establish a claim there, sends out goods either to that country or to another country where he can buy a draft on the former.*51

I.IV.13

To what extent this in itself absolutely conclusive statement—the capacity of which to throw light on the Continental System has not, to my knowledge, been observed—rightly leads to the conclusion that the exports of Great Britain were a necessary pre-condition for her capacity to carry on a war against France on the mainland, is a question which must be entirely reserved for later discussion.*52 The only thing it is necessary to point out here is how very obvious such a consequence must have seemed. In De Guer's writings, as summarized by Miss Cunningham, that conclusion is reached without reference to Adam Smith, it is true, perhaps without his being known and, in any case, without any of his lucidity of thought. De Guer points out that, when war was waged in Westphalia or the Netherlands a hundred years earlier, as in Marlborough's time, England had no difficulty either in providing her own troops with what they required or in paying subsidies, for she could send goods there and thereby obtain balances to her credit on the spot. But as the Belgian ports had now been closed, and the theatre of war had also been moved to the Upper Rhine and the Danube, great credit difficulties had arisen in the paying of subsidies. Thus De Guer's way of putting things might inspire still greater hopes than that of Adam Smith as to the difficulty of maintaining the continental war if the exports of the subsidizing power were cut off from the Continent. Indeed, the French litterateur seems to have simplified the problem to the extent of having left out of account what is called 'triangular trade', which means that the exports to one country are used in order to buy drafts on, i.e., to pay debts to, another country. With such a conception the mere closing of the Continent might seem sufficient for the purpose, even if British trade as a whole were left undisturbed.

I.IV.14

In his practical conclusions De Guer approaches the view that Adam Smith undertook to controvert. When England cannot pay subsidies by exporting goods abroad, the consequences, in De Guer's opinion, will be one or the other of the following: either she must export gold; and with the great circulation of paper currency within the country, as contrasted with the small increase of its supplies of metallic currency, this exposes all the note-issuing banks to the danger of collapse; or, on the other hand, she must neglect to export precious metals; and as she has not sufficiently large balances to her credit on the Continent to correspond with her payment of subsidies, the rates of exchange will then go against her to such an extent as to be ruinous to her trade. As usual, external phenomena, more or less correctly conceived, here affected the train of thought. There had been a heavy decline in the metallic reserves of the Bank of England (almost down to £1,000,000) which had led to its suspending payments in February 1797; and the attention excited by this event seems to have overshadowed the fact that the reserves only the next year rose again to £6,500,000, or even £7,000,000, and that during the following years, despite considerable fluctuations, they never again went down to the point where they were at the time of the suspension of payments. The British rates of exchange, especially on Hamburg, had fluctuated violently, and had been particularly 'unfavourable' to England, as has already been partially hinted,*53in the years 1794 and 1800-1801; and this was popularly connected with the great payments on the Continent, which undoubtedly coincided to some extent in time with these phenomena.*54 De Guer's view was consequently very easily explained; to what extent it was correct, is a question which does not appertain to this stage of our inquiry.

I.IV.15

What does concern us here, on the other hand, is the excellent basis for an attack on British exports created by such a theory. On the one hand, the conception of the rates of exchange and the supplies of precious metals, as effects of the balance of payment abroad, and, on the other hand, the conception of the general solvency of Great Britain as dependent on the bullion reserves of the banks, had carried people forward (or back) to a justification of the old mercantilist trade policy on a much stronger basis than before. For the commercial policy of the mercantile system also built on the doctrine of the balance of trade, on the danger of 'insufficient weight in the scales of trade'; but in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, unlike the Napoleonic period, there had been no system of note circulation with a metallic covering which might be assumed to be ruined by an unfavourable balance of payments.

EXPORTS OF GOLD

I.IV.16

Such trains of thought were certainly not foreign to Napoleon, as will appear from his observations at a later period, to be treated in their proper place; but in the main it may be said that he was dominated by simpler economic notions. Judging from his own utterances, as well as from the evidence of his assistants, indeed, we cannot easily doubt that, thanks to his contempt for the ideologues, he was still in the pre-mercantilist or bullionist stage, which saw something unfortunate for a country in the exportation of the precious metals and good fortune in the importation of gold as such. Thus, for instance, in a highly characteristic letter of May 29, 1810, to Gaudin, his Minister of Finance, Napoleon writes how smuggling with England is to be arranged. 'My object', he says, 'is to favour the exportation of foodstuffs from France and the importation of foreign money.' In another letter, of April 3, 1808, to his brother Louis of Holland, he gives instructions as to how to export gin to England by means of smugglers, ending in the bullying apostrophe: 'They must pay with money, never with goods, never, do you understand?' In accordance with this idea licences were issued which authorized voyages to England against exports from there of gold and silver in specie and bullion, but nothing else; and in a report to the Emperor dated November 25, 1811, Gaudin gives as the object of the licensing system 'the extraction of metallic money from England, the exportation of French goods, and activity in our ports.' His colleague, Mollien, also mentions as an explanation of an extremely curious business with enormous advances from the French treasury to the financiers, whose business, on the contrary, would have been to advance the taxes (les faiseurs de service), that a thing of that kind could never have taken place unless those gentlemen had undertaken to obtain precious metals from the Spanish colonies, which were regarded as being of incalculable value.*55 With such a conception, the war against British exports justified itself as soon as it caused Great Britain to export gold.

I.IV.17

One might be inclined, beforehand, to doubt Napoleon's interest in these questions, but such a view would be an immense mistake. What was at once the strength and the weakness of Napoleon was that he wished himself to understand every detail of his government better than any of his assistants, and this is particularly true as regards finances. I do not know whether this is a characteristic trait of the French revolutionaries in general, but the same feature, as a matter of fact, is to be found in Bernadotte, concerning whom Trolle-Wachtmeister, an acute Swedish observer, tells us in his diary (1816) that the then Crown Prince did not at all dispute the possibility that Sweden had three hundred more efficient soldiers than he, but declared that with regard to high finance he would yield to nobody, as he had long made it a subject of special study. Possibly this was simply an imitation of Napoleon, with whose remarkable financial measures the later efforts of his old rival had many points in common. It is certain that Napoleon's fantastic but immensely laborious summaries, often made in the field and always by his own hand, of the tables given him by his ministers of finance, reveal an almost inconceivable attention to precisely these questions, although the results bear no proportion to his toil or his ingenuity. A study of his letters easily reveals this, especially when it is observed from where the writings date. Mollien's memoirs are a running commentary on the same tendency. He says that 'two months of discussions in council and private conferences, which were almost daily repeated at Paris or Saint-Cloud after the return of the Emperor from the banks of the Niemen (in 1807), had not exhausted that curiosity, that passion for details, which he felt especially in questions of finance. His imagination created at every moment new combinations of figures, which he took for the creation of new resources. His errors of this kind were the more difficult to confute because the figures in which he expressed them gave to the mistakes the appearance of mathematical verities.' Consequently, it is not at all unlikely that Napoleon ascribed to his notions on the credit system and the precious metals a decisive influence on his great policy against England.*56

ECONOMIC DISLOCATIONS

I.IV.18

Probably, however, other matters also played a part. One of these was the rather self-evident idea which has already been incidentally mentioned, viz., that of causing dislocations in the economic life of England, especially in her industry. He caused one of his penmen, d'Hauterive, in a paper published in 1800, De l'état de la France à la fin de l'an VIII, to dwell on the thorough division of labour, on which the economic life of England was built, as a specially detrimental circumstance in every 'sudden change in the channels of trade', to use Ricardo's famous expression. As far as we can judge, it was especially unemployment, and consequent labour unrest, that Napoleon hoped to bring about in England through his policy of exclusion. At any rate, it is a fact that few matters in his own domestic policy occupied his thoughts to the extent that this did. The system of grants which he introduced for the benefit of industry in the crises of 1807 and 1810-11 he justified with his usual, and in this case very sensible, lack of sentimentality in a letter which he addressed on March 27, 1807, to his Minister of the Interior, Champagny, on the ground that he was anxious not to save certain business men from bankruptcy, but to prevent great numbers of workmen from being without work; and for the opposite reason no help was to be obtained for handicraftsmen and petty manufacturers on whom only a few workmen were dependent. Mollien, who entertained an orthodox laissez-faire dislike of this entire system of grants, also describes in detail how a large wool manufacturer, Richard Lenoir, who was in his opinion insolvent, succeeded in obtaining a loan of 1,500,000 francs owing to the fact that he was the owner of a large factory in one of the most populous suburbs of Paris, Faubourg St. Antoine. And Chaptal, whose views scarcely ever coincided with Mollien's, tells us, in full accordance with this, that the Emperor said to him: 'I fear these disturbances based on lack of bread: I should have less fear of a battle against 200,000 men'.

I.IV.19

How Napoleon pictured to himself the purely external workings of the Continental System appears perhaps most distinctly from the already cited Survey of the Position of the Empire on August 24, 1807, which the Minister of the Interior laid before the Corps législatif. This purports to be a picture of the workings of the system; but as the latter had scarcely yet been put into execution at that time, it is mainly useful as giving evidence concerning its purpose.

England sees her merchandise repulsed from the whole of Europe, and her vessels laden with useless wealth wandering around the wide seas, where they claim to rule as sole masters, seeking in vain from the Sound to the Hellespont for a port to open and receive them.*57

I.IV.20

It now remains to be seen how this policy was put into execution, and what effects it involved.


Notes for this chapter


43.
Le Moniteur, Jan. 15, 1793.
44.
Chaptal, Mes souvenirs sur Napoléon (Paris, 1893, but written shortly after 1815), pp. 274-9; Lettres inédites de Napoléon Ier (Lecestre ed., Paris, 1897), no. 134.
45.
Macaulay, History of England (1st ed., London, 1855), vol. IV, ch. XIX, pp. 327-9; Burke, Observations on a late publication intituled 'The Present State of the Nation' (1769); Adam Smith, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 396, 407-8, 414-15; The National Debt, 1786-1890 (Blue Book, C. 9010, London, 1891), p. 72; Kiesselbach, op. cit., p. 70 note; Miss Cunningham, British Credit in the Last Napoleonic War (Cambridge, 1910), pp. 17-18, 27 et seq.
46.
Correspondance: Communications as regards Finances and the Banque de France; e.g., on the former, no. 21,020 (Dec. 19, 1813); on the latter, no. 6,040 (Apr. 15, 1802), no. 14,305 (Sept. 8, 1808), nos. 16,438, 16,448, 16,471 (May 5, 9, 15, 1810); Mollien, Mémoires d'un ministre du trésor public, 1780-1815 (Gomel ed., Paris, 1898), vol. II, pp. 411-33, 465 et seq., et al. Less weighty in this connexion are the utterances of the great speculator Ouvrard, Mémoires sur sa vie et ses diverses opérations financières (Paris, 1827), vol. I, pp. 73, 135, 195, 201; G. Weill, Le financier Ouvrard, in Revue Historique (Paris, 1918), vol. 127, p. 47; Sorel, op. cit.) vol. VI, pp. 212, 242.
47.
Mollien, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 185 et seq., &c.
48.
See p. 62.
49.
Correspondance, nos. 9,929 (Mar. 5, 1806), 14,413 (Oct. 25, 1808), 21,020 (Dec. 19, 1813), &c.
50.
Rose, Napoleon and British Commerce (1893), reprinted in Napoleonic Studies (London, 1904), p. 167; also in his chapter on 'The Continental System' in The Cambridge Modern History (Cambridge, 1906), vol. IX, p. 363; Correspondance, no. 6,611; Kiesselbach, op. cit., ch. III; Miss Cunningham, op. cit., ch. IV; Porter, The Progress of the Nation (new ed., London, 1851); sec. IV, ch. IV, p. 507 (on the basis of a return to the British Parliament in 1815); Tooke, A History of Prices from 1793 to 1837 (London, 1838), vol. I, pp. 208-9; Hawtrey, The Bank Restriction of 1797 in the Economic Journal (1918), vol. XVIII, pp. 52 et seq., rept. in Currency and Credit (London, 1919). ch. XVI. The figures of Mr. Hawtrey (p. 56) agree with those of Tooke, if they are taken to include the loan to the Emperor, though they are said to exclude it. The total of Tooke (£42,174,556) is wrong by one million, according to his own figures. I have followed him with the necessary correction, not having had access to the Parliamentary Paper from which he secured his data.
51.
Adam Smith, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 407-11.
52.
See pt. IV, ch. IV.
53.
See p. 42.
54.
Tooke, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 197-207, 239-52; vol. II, p. 384.
55.
Correspondance, nos. 16,508, 13,718; Servières, op. cit., p. 136, note 3, pp. 138-9; Mollien, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 493. The letter to King Louis is printed in the Correspondance from the Mémoires de Ste-Hélène, and is dated from a place where the Emperor arrived only a fortnight later; but there does not appear to be any reason for doubting its authenticity.
56.
Trolle-Wachtmeister, Anteckningar och minnen (Tegnér ed., Stockholm, 1889), vol. II, p. 74; Mollien, op. cit., vol. II, p. 155, et al.
57.
Correspondance, no. 12,187; Ballot, loc. cit., vol. II, pp. 48-9; Mollien, op. cit., vol. III, pp. 19-25; Chaptal, Mes souvenirs, &c., p. 285; Correspondance, no. 13,063.

Part II, Chapter I

End of Notes


Start PREVIOUS
11 of 30
NEXT End

Return to top