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Title: Defoe and the Principle of Trade
Authors: Hayashi, Naoki
Keywords: poor relief
interregional division of labour
circulation of trade
economic journalism
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University
Citation: Naoki Hayashi; "Defoe and the Principle of Trade", The Kyoto Economic Review, Vol. 79, pp.66-76 (2010) .
Journal title: The Kyoto economic review
Volume: 79
Issue: 1
Start page: 66
End page: 76
Abstract: Daniel Defoe has attracted the attention of many historians in recent years. As J.G.A. Pocock says, Defoe was an important ideologist of the commercial society in the early modern England; but why did he set forth a vision of the commercialised society? This essay focuses on Defoe’s pamphlet, Giving Alms no Charity (1704), and aims at revealing the political context of his economic insights. In November 1704, a High Tory MP introduced a poor relief bill in order to promote the employment of the poor through the setup of public manufacturing workhouses in every parish. Defoe opposed the bill, arguing that such a scheme would stem circulation of inland trade based on the interregional division of labour in the private manufacturing industry, and consequently increase the number of poor. The Land was also incorporated into this circulation, so the interests of both manufacturers and landowners were regulated by the same principle. This principle of trade was a symbol of the English united interests. At that time England was fighting against France to prevent their formidable sovereign from establishing a universal monarchy in Europe. Defoe’s understanding of trade, therefore, could never be separated from his cognisance of the crisis.
DOI: 10.11179/ker.79.66
Appears in Collections:Vol.79 No.1

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