As it is the power of exchanging that gives 
occasion to the division of labour, so the extent 
of this division must always be limited by 
the extent of that power, or, in other words, 
by the extent of the market. When the market 
is very small, no person can have any encouragement 
to dedicate himself entirely to 
one employment, for want of the power to exchange 
all that surplus part of the produce of 
his own labour, which is over and above his 
own consumption, for such parts of the produce 
of other men's labour as he has occasion 
There are some sorts of industry, even of 
the lowest kind, which can be carried on nowhere 
but in a great town. A porter, for example, 
can find employment and subsistence 
in no other place. A village is by much too 
narrow a sphere for him; even an ordinary 
market-town is scarce large enough to afford 
him constant occupation. In the lone houses 
and very small villages which are scattered 
about in so desert a country as the highlands 
of Scotland, every farmer must be butcher
baker, and brewer, for his own family. In 
such situations we can scarce expect to find 
even a smith, a carpenter, or a mason, within 
less than twenty miles of another of the same 
trade. The scattered families that live at 
eight or ten miles distance from the nearest 
of them, must learn to perform themselves a 
great number of little pieces of work, for 
which, in more populous countries, they 
would call in the assistance of these workmen
Country workmen are almost everywhere 
obliged to apply themselves to all the 
different branches of industry that have so 
much affinity to one another as to be employed 
about the same sort of materials. A country 
carpenter deals in every sort of work that 
is made of wood; a country smith in every 
sort of work that is made of iron. The former 
is not only a carpenter, but a joiner, a 
cabinet-maker, and even a carver in wood, as 
well as a wheel-wright, a plough-wright, a 
cart and waggon-maker. The employments 
of the latter are still more various. It is impossible 
there should be such a trade as even 
that of a nailer in the remote and inland parts 
of the highlands of Scotland. Such a workman 
at the rate of a thousand nails a-day, and 
three hundred working days in the year, will 
make three hundred thousand nails in the 
year. But in such a situation it would be 
impossible to dispose of one thousand, that is, 
of one day's work in the year
As by means of water-carriage, a more extensive 
market is opened to every sort of industry 
than what land-carriage alone can afford 
it, so it is upon the sea-coast, and along 
the banks of navigable rivers, that industry of 
every kind naturally begins to subdivide and 
improve itself, and it is frequently not till
long time after that those improvements extend 
themselves to the inland parts of the 
country. A broad-wheeled waggon, attended 
by two men, and drawn by eight horses, in 
about six weeks time, carries and brings back 
between London and Edinburgh near four 
ton weight of goods. In about the same 
time a ship navigated by six or eight men
and sailing between the ports of London and 
Leith, frequently carries and brings back two 
hundred ton weight of goods. Six or eight 
men, therefore, by the help of water-carriage
can carry and bring back, in the same time, 
the same quantity of goods between London 
and Edinburgh as fifty broad-wheeled waggons
attended by a hundred men, and drawn 
by four hundred horses. Upon two hundred 
tons of goods, therefore, carried by the cheapest 
land-carriage from London to Edinburgh
there must be charged the maintenance of a 
hundred men for three weeks, and both the 
maintenance and what is nearly equal to 
maintenance the wear and tear of four hundred 
horses, as well as of fifty great waggons
Whereas, upon the same quantity of goods 
carried by water, there is to be charged only 
the maintenance of six or eight men, and the 
wear and tear of a ship of two hundred tons 
burthen, together with the value of the superior 
risk, or the difference of the insurance 
between land and water-carriage. Were there 
no other communication between those two 
places, therefore, but by land-carriage, as no 
goods could be transported from the one to 
other, except such whose price was very 
considerable in proportion to their weight, 
they could carry on but a small part of that 
commerce which at present subsists between 
them, and consequently could give but a small 
part of that encouragement which they at 
present mutually afford to each other's industry
There could be little or no commerce 
of any kind between the distant parts 
of the world. What goods could bear the 
expense of land-carriage between London and 
Calcutta? Or if there were any so precious as 
to be able to support this expense, with what 
safety could they be transported through the 
territories of so many barbarous nations
Those two cities, however, at present carry on 
a very considerable commerce with each other, 
and by mutually affording a market, give a 
good deal of encouragement to each other's 
Since such, therefore, are the advantages of 
water-carriage, it is natural that the first improvements 
of art and industry should be 
made where this conveniency opens the whole 
world for a market to the produce of every 
sort of labour, and that they should always be