Sir William Petty
NOW for the further incouragement of Trade, as we have shewn that there is mony enough in England to manage the Affairs thereof; so we shall now offer to consideration, Whether there be not a competent, and convenient Stock to drive the Trade of the whole Commercial World. To which purpose it is to be remembred, That all the Commodities, yearly Exported out of every part of the last mentioned World, may be bought for forty five Millions; and that the Shipping employed in the same World, are not worth above fifteen Millions more, and consequently, that sixty Millions at most, would drive the whole Trade above mentioned, without any trust at all. But forasmuch as the growers of Commo- dities, do commonly trust them to such Merchants or Factors, as are worth but such a part of the full value of their Commodities, as may possibly be lost upon the sale of them, whereas gain is rather to be expected; it follows that less than a Stock of sixty Millions, nay less than half of the same summ, is sufficient to drive the Trade above-mentioned: It being well known that any Tradesman of good Reputation worth 500 l. will be trusted with above 1000 l. worth of Com- modities: Wherefore less than thirty Millions, will suffice for the said purpose; of which summ, the Coin, Shipping, and Stock, already in Trade, do at least make one half. And it hath been shewn, how by the Policy of a Bank, any summ of mony may be made equivalent in Trade, unto near double of the same; by all which it seems, that even at present much is not wanting, to perform what is propounded. But suppose twenty Millions or more were wanting, it is not improbable, that since the generality of Gentlemen, and some Noblemen, do put their younger Sons to Merchandize, they will see it reasonable, as they increase in the number of Merchants, so to increase the magnitude of Trade, and consequently to increase Stock; which may effectually be done, by inbanking twenty Millions worth of Land, not being above a sixth or seventh of the whole Territory of England; (that is to say) by making a Fond of such value, to be security for all Commodities, bought and sold upon the accompt of that Universal Trade here mentioned.
And thus it having appeared, that England having in it, as much Land, like Holland and Zealand, as the said two Provinces do themselves contain, with abundance of other Land, not inconvenient for Trade; and that there are spare Bands enough, to earn many Millions of mony, more than they now do, and that there is also Employment to earn several Millions, (even from the Consumption of England it self) it follows from thence, and from what hath been said in the last Paragraph, about inlarging of Stock, both of Mony, and Land; that it is not impossible, nay a very feasible matter, for the King of England's Subjects, to gain the Universal Trade of the whole Commercial World.
Nor is it unseasonable to intimate this matter, forasmuch as the younger Brothers, of the good Families of England, cannot otherwise be provided for, so as to live according to their Birth and Breeding: For if the Lands of England are worth eight Millions per annum, then there be at a medium about ten thousand Families, of about 800 l. per annum; in each of which, one with another, we may suppose there is a younger Brother, whom less than two or 300 l. per annum will not maintain suitable to his Relations: Now I say that neither the Offices at Court, nor Commands in our ordinary Army and Navy, nor Church Preferments; nor the usual Gains by the Profession of the Law, and Physick; nor the Employments under Noblemen, and Prelates: will, all of them put together, furnish livelyhoods of above 300 l. per annum, to three thousand of the said ten thousand younger Brothers: whereof it remains that Trade alone must supply the rest. But if the said seven thousand Gentlemen, be applyed to Trade, without increasing of Trade; or if we hope to increase Trade, without increasing of Stock, which for ought appears is only to be done, by imbanking a due proportion of Lands, and Mony; we must necessarily be disappointed. Where note, that selling of Lands to Foreigners for Gold and Silver, would inlarge the Stock of the Kingdom: Whereas doing the same between one another, doth effect nothing. For he that turneth all his Land into Mony, disposes himself for Trade; and he that parteth with his Mony for Land, doth the contrary; But to sell Land to Foreigners, increaseth both Mony and People, and conse- quently Trade. Wherefore it is to be thought, that when the Laws denying Strangers to Purchase, and not permitting them to Trade, without paying extraordinary Duties, were made; that then, the publick State of things, and Interest of the Nation, were far different from what they now are.
Having handled these Ten Principal Conclusions, I might go on with others, ad infinitum; But what hath been already said, I look upon as sufficient, for to shew what I mean by Political Arithmetick; and to shew the uses of knowing the true State of the People, Land, Stock, Trade, &c. 2. That the Kings Subjects are not in, so bad a condition, as discontented Men would make them. 3. To shew the great effect of Unity, industry, and obedience, in order to the
Common Safety, and each Man's particular Happiness.