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sition of things which they had not previously thought attainable, sometimes works a complete industrial revolution in a country whose resources were previously undeveloped for want of energy and ambition in the people; inducing those who were satisfied with scanty comforts and little work, to work harder for the gratification of their new tastes, and even to save, and accumulate capital, for the still more complete satisfaction of those tastes at a future time.
But the economical advantages of commerce are surpassed in importance by those of its effects which are intellectual and moral. It is hardly possible to overrate the value, for the improvement of human beings, of things which bring them into contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Commerce is now, what war once was, the principal source of this contact. Commercial adventurers from more advanced countries have generally been the first civilizers of barbarians. And commerce is the purpose of the far greater part of the communication which takes place between civilized nations. Such communication has always been, and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress. To a being like man, who, as hitherto educated, can scarcely cultivate even a good quality without running it into a fault, it is indispensable to be perpetually comparing his own notions and customs with the experience and example of persons in different circumstances from himself; and there is no nation which does not need to borrow from others, not merely particular arts or practices, but essential points of character in which its own type is inferior. Finally, commerce first taught nations to see with good will the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed, but his own; he now sees in their wealth and progress a
direct source of wealth and progress to his own country. It was in vain to inculcate feelings of brotherhood among mankind by moral influences alone, unless a sense of community of interest could also be established; and that sense we owe to commerce. It is commerce which is rapidly rendering war obsolete, by strengthening and multiplying the personal interests which are in natural opposition to it. And since war is now almost the only event, not highly improbable, which could throw back for any length of time the progress of human improvement, it may be said without exaggeration that the great extent and rapid increase of international trade, in being the principal guarantee of the peace of the world, is the great permanent security for the uninterrupted progress of the ideas, the institutions, and the character of the human race.
OF INTERNATIONAL VALUES.
1. THE values of commodities produced at the same place, or in places sufficiently adjacent for capital to move freely between them-let us say, for simplicity, of commodities produced in the same country-depend (temporary fluctuations apart) upon their cost of production. But the value of a commodity brought from a distant place, especially from a foreign country, does not depend on its cost of production in the place from whence it comes. On what, then, does it depend? The value of a thing in any place, depends on the cost of its acquisition in that place; which, in the case of an imported article, means the cost of production of the thing which is exported to pay for it.
Since all trade is in reality barter, money being a mere instrument for exchanging things against one another, we will, for simplicity, begin by supposing the international trade to be in form, what it always is in reality, an actual trucking of one commodity against another. As far as we have hitherto proceeded, we have found all the laws of interchange to be essentially the same, whether money is used or not; money never governing, but always obeying, those general laws.
If, then, England imports wine from Spain, giving for every pipe of wine a bale of cloth, the exchange value of a pipe of wine in England will not depend upon what the production of the wine may have cost in Portugal, but upon what the production of the cloth has cost in England. Though the wine may have cost in Portugal the equivalent of only ten days' labor, yet, if the cloth costs in England twenty days' labor, the wine, when brought to England, will exchange for the produce of twenty days' English labor, plus the cost of carriage, including the usual profit on the importer's capital during the time it is locked up and withheld from other employment.
The value, then, in any country, of a foreign commodity, depends on the quantity of home produce which must be given to the foreign country in exchange for it. In other words, the values of foreign commodities depend on the terms of international exchange. What, then, do these depend upon? What is it, which, in the case supposed, causes a pipe of wine from Spain to be exchanged with England for exactly that quantity of cloth? We have seen that it is not their cost of production. If the cloth and the wine were both made in Spain, they would exchange at their cost of production in Spain; if they were both made in England, they would exchange at their cost of production in England; but all the cloth being made in England, and all the wine in Spain, they are in circum
stances to which we have already determined that the law of cost of production is not applicable. We must accordingly, as we have done before in a similar embarrassment, fall back upon an antecedent law, that of supply and demand; and in this we shall again find the solution of our difficulty.
I have entered into this question very fully in a separate Essay, already once referred to; and a repetition of part of the exposition then given, will answer our purpose better than an alteration made merely for alteration's sake. I must give notice that we are now in the region of the most complicated questions which political economy affords; that the subject is one which cannot possibly be made elementary; and that a more continuous effort of attention than has yet been required, will be necessary to follow the series of deductions. The thread, however, which we are about to take in hand, is in itself very simple and manageable; the only difficulty is in following it through the windings and entanglements of complex international transactions.
$ 2. "When the trade is established between the two countries, the two commodities will exchange for each other at the same rate of interchange in both countriesbating the cost of carriage, of which, for the present, it will be more convenient to omit the consideration. Supposing, therefore, for the sake of argument, that the carriage of the commodities from one country to the other could be effected without labor and without cost, no sooner would the trade be opened than the value of the two commodities, estimated in each other, would come to a level in both countries.
"Suppose that 10 yards of broadcloth cost in England as much labor as 15 yards of linen, and in Germany as much as 20." In common with most of my predecessors, I find it advisable, in these intricate' investigations, to give
distinctness and fixity to the conception by numerical examples. These examples must sometimes, as in the present case, be purely supposititious. I should have greatly preferred real ones; but all that is essential is, that the numbers should be such as admit of being easily followed through the subsequent combinations into which they
This supposition then being made, it would be the interest of England to import linen from Germany, and of Germany to import cloth from England. "When each country produced both commodities for itself, 10 yards of cloth exchanged for 15 yards of linen in England, and for 20 in Germany. They will now exchange for the same number of yards of linen in both. For what number? If for 15 yards, England will be just as she was, and Germany will gain all. If for 20 yards, Germany will be as before, and England will derive the whole of the benefit. If for any number intermediate between 15 and 20, the advantage will be shared between the two countries. If, for example, 10 yards of cloth exchange for 18 of linen, England will gain an advantage of 3 yards on every 15, Germany will save 2 out of every 20. The problem is, what are the causes which determine the proportion in which the cloth of England and the linen of Germany will exchange for
"As exchange value, in this case as in every other, is proverbially fluctuating, it does not matter what we suppose it to be when we begin; we shall soon see whether there be any fixed point about which it oscillates, which it has a tendency always to approach to, and to remain at. Let us suppose, then, that by the effect of what Adam Smith calls the higgling of the market, 10 yards of cloth, in both countries, exchange for 17 yards of linen.
"The demand for a commodity, that is, the quantity of it which can find a purchaser, varies, as we have before