Joshua Gee – The Trade and Navigation of Great Britain Considered, 1729

  • Allowing the planters in the plantation colonies to make a profit is a solid way to maintain goodwill between the colonies & the mother country. It also makes producers here in Britain better off because they get more commodities than were originally available here.
    • Other empires have allowed their people to buy foreign commodities to spare them the annoyance of having to set up a colony just in order to supply the empire with that particular commodity.
    • The Spanish try their hardest to prevent the manufacture of what’s being produced in Europe from being duplicated in their colonies, thus lowering the output of commodities being produced in the colonies
      • Other countries do much the same
  • Let’s take into account what gain there would be if the colonies were regulated & encouraged, to be supplied by the industry of our own inhabitants. We ought to be copying the French in this regard
    • Ireland is a good example – It is under the British crown. It is supported by English manufactures, trade & navigation. It also provides them with the protection it needs. It wouldn’t be expected that it should allow British citizens to turn to rivals for wool & hollow out the Irish
    • It’s the job of the government to use all the means at its disposal to encourage the colonies in making the silk, help, iron, potash, etc. by giving them adequate endowments & expertise to help manage the production. Considering that the colonies are all accessible to ships, land is cheap & many people are willing to leave home & establish themselves in the colonies, these colonies could set themselves as net earners with little regulation
    • The colonies have the ability to be great sources of commodities within the Empire but it seems that many places don’t want them to grow beyond that capacity because it might interfere with their own ability to produce under present circumstances
      • That would also mean that slaves established in the colonies will also be prohibited from making similar products. This activity doesn’t harm them; it actually turns the colonies into robust economies.
      • If the governor of each colony were required to keep track of every single guy calling himself a craftsman & ship all that information back to England to it could be perused by the Lords of Trade & Plantations, they would have too much ability to interfere in the economies & would likely use it
  • To go ahead & destroy all the investment in establishing the ability of the colonies to produce their own commodities would be to destroy the industrial capacity of the Empire, effectively making it poorer.
    • You can talk about maybe curbing the future advancement of them but when you analyze these things at a smaller level, the argument becomes silly
    • Should you stop colonies from making beer,  who do so they’re thirsty & regular shipments of the drink are either too expensive to compete with local brews or show up rotten, because some other colony’s got that industry earmarked for them?

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