The Mercantile System

  • Gavin Kennedy


Wealth of Nations contains a long polemic in the whole of Book IV against what Smith called the mercantile system,1 a deformed variation of the commercial system characterised by state intervention in political economy, ostensibly to enrich the people, but really to enrich the State (i.e., the sovereign). Smith is more circumspect however; he says ‘It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign.’2


Foreign Trade Political Rhetoric Legacy Interest Past Abuse Credulous Government 
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Copyright information

© Gavin Kennedy 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavin Kennedy
    • 1
  1. 1.EdinburghUK

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