much later in extending themselves into the 
inland parts of the country. The inland parts 
of the country can for a long time have no 
other market for the greater part of their 
goods, but the country which lies round about 
them, and separates them from the sea-coast
and the great navigable rivers. The extent 
of the market, therefore, must for a long time 
be in proportion to the riches and populousness 
of that country, and consequently their 
improvement must always be posterior to the 
improvement of that country. In our North 
American colonies, the plantations have constantly 
followed either the sea-coast or the 
banks of the navigable rivers, and have scarce 
anywhere extended themselves to any considerable 
distance from both. 
The nations that, according to the best authenticated 
history, appear to have been first 
civilized, were those that dwelt round the coast 
of the Mediterranean sea. That sea, by far 
the greatest inlet that is known in the world
having no tides, nor consequently any waves
except such as are caused by the wind only, 
was, by the smoothness of its surface, as well 
as by the multitude of its islands, and the 
proximity of its neighbouring shores, extremely 
favourable to the infant navigation of the 
world; when, from their ignorance of the 
compass, men were afraid to quit the view of 
the coast, and from the imperfection of the art 
of ship-building, to abandon themselves to the 
boisterous waves of the ocean. To pass beyond 
the pillars of Hercules, that is, to sail out of 
the straits of Gibraltar, was, in the ancient 
world, long considered as a most wonderful 
and dangerous exploit of navigation. It was 
late before even the Phœnicians and Carthaginians
the most skilful navigators and ship-builders 
of those old times, attempted it; and 
they were, for a long time, the only nations 
that did attempt it. 
Of all the countries on the coast of the Mediterranean 
sea, Egypt seems to have been the 
first in which either agriculture or manufactures 
were cultivated and improved to any 
considerable degree. Upper Egypt extends 
itself nowhere above a few miles from the 
Nile; and in Lower Egypt, that great river 
breaks itself into many different canals, which, 
with the assistance of a little art, seem to have 
afforded a communication by water-carriage
not only between all the great towns, but between 
all the considerable villages, and even 
to many farm-houses in the country, nearly 
in the same manner as the Rhine and the 
Maese do in Holland at present. The extent 
and easiness of this inland navigation was 
probably one of the principal causes of the 
early improvement of Egypt
The improvements in agriculture and manufactures 
seem likewise to have been of very 
great antiquity in the provinces of Bengal in 
the East Indies, and in some of the eastern 
provinces of China, though the great extent 
of this antiquity is not authenticated by any 
histories of whose authority we, in this part 
of the world, are well assured. In Bengal
the Ganges, and several other great rivers
form a great number of navigable canals, in 
the same manner as the Nile does in Egypt
In the eastern provinces of China, too, several 
great rivers form, by their different branches
a multitude of canals, and, by communicating 
with one another, afford an inland navigation 
much more extensive than that either of the 
Nile or the Ganges, or, perhaps, than both of 
them put together. It is remarkable, that neither 
the ancient Egyptians, nor the Indians
nor the Chinese, encouraged foreign commerce
but seem all to have derived their great 
opulence from this inland navigation
All the inland parts of Africa, and all that 
part of Asia which lies any considerable way 
north of the Euxine and Caspian seas, the ancient 
Scythia, the modern Tartary and Siberia
seem, in all ages of the world, to have 
been in the same barbarous and uncivilized 
state in which we find them at present. The 
sea of Tartary is the frozen ocean, which admits 
of no navigation; and though some of 
the greatest rivers in the world run through 
that country, they are at too great a distance 
from one another to carry commerce and communication 
through the greater part of it. 
There are in Africa none of those great inlets
such as the Baltic and Adriatic seas in 
Europe, the Mediterranean and Euxine seas 
in both Europe and Asia, and the gulfs of 
Arabia, Persia, India, Bengal, and Siam, in 
Asia, to carry maritime commerce into the interior 
parts of that great continent; and the 
great rivers of Africa are at too great a distance 
from one another to give occasion to any 
considerable inland navigation. The commerce
besides, which any nation can carry on 
by means of a river which does not break itself 
into any great number of branches or canals
and which runs into another territory before 
it reaches the sea, can never be very considerable
because it is always in the power of 
the nations who possess that other territory to 
obstruct the communication between the upper 
country and the sea. The navigation of 
the Danube is of very little use to the different 
states of Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary
in comparison of what it would be, if any of 
them possessed the whole of its course, till it 
falls into the Black sea
When the division of labor has been once 
thoroughly established, it is but a very small