The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.) by Daniel Defoe

The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.)

By Daniel Defoe

  • Release Date: 2004-12-24
  • Genre: Politique et actualité
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Description

Published in 1726, The Complete English Tradesman is an example of Defoe's political works. He discusses the role of the tradesman in England in comparison to tradesmen internationally, arguing that the British system of trade is far superior. He also implies that trade is the backbone of the British economy: "estate's a pond, but trade's a spring". He praises the practicality of trade not only within the economy but the social stratification as well. Most of the British gentry, he argues is at one time or another inextricably linked with the institution of trade, either through personal experience, marriage, or genealogy. Oftentimes younger members of noble families entered into trade. Marriage to a tradesmen's daughter by a nobleman was also common. Overall Defoe demonstrated a high respect for tradesmen, being one himself. Not only does Defoe elevate individual British tradesmen to the level of gentleman, but he praises the entirety of British trade as a superior system. Trade, Defoe argues is a much better catalyst for social and economic change than war. He states the through imperialism and trade expansion the British empire is able to "increase commerce at home" through job creation and increased consumption. He states that increased consumption, by laws of supply and demand, increases production and in turn raises wages for the poor therefore lifting part of British society further out of poverty.

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