to the increase of the funds which are 
destined to the payment of wages. These 
funds are of two kinds; first, the revenue 
which is over and above what is necessary for 
the maintenance; and, secondly, the stock 
which is over and above what is necessary for 
the employment of their masters
When the landlord, annuitant, or monied 
man, has a greater revenue than what he 
judges sufficient to maintain his own family
he employs either the whole or a part of the 
surplus in maintaining one or more menial 
servants. Increase this surplus, and he will 
naturally increase the number of those servants
When an independent workman, such as a 
weaver or shoemaker, has got more stock 
than what is sufficient to purchase the materials 
of his own work, and to maintain himself 
till he can dispose of it, he naturally employs 
one or more journeymen with the surplus
in order to make a profit by their work
Increase this surplus, and he will naturally 
increase the number of his journeymen
The demand for those who live by wages
therefore, necessarily increases with the increase 
of the revenue and stock of every 
country, and cannot possibly increase without 
it. The increase of revenue and stock is the 
increase of national wealth. The demand for 
those who live by wages, therefore, naturally 
increases with the increase of national wealth
and cannot possibly increase without it. 
It is not the actual greatness of national 
wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions 
a rise in the wages of labour. It is 
not, accordingly, in the richest countries, 
in the most thriving, or in those which are 
growing rich the fastest, that the wages of labour 
are highest. England is certainly, in 
the present times, a much richer country than 
any part of North America. The wages of 
labour, however, are much higher in North 
America than in any part of England. In 
the province of New York, common labourers 
earn[8] three shillings and sixpence currency, 
equal to two shillings sterling, a-day; ship-carpenters, 
ten shillings and sixpence currency, 
with a pint of rum, worth sixpence sterling
equal in all to six shillings and sixpence 
sterling; house-carpenters and bricklayers
eight shillings currency, equal to four shillings 
and sixpence sterling; journeymen tailors
five shillings currency, equal to about 
two shillings and tenpence sterling. These 
prices are all above the London price; and 
wages are said to be as high in the other colonies 
as in New York. The price of provisions 
is everywhere in North America much 
lower than in England. A dearth has never 
been known there. In the worst seasons 
they have always had a sufficiency for themselves, 
though less for exportation. If the 
money price of labour, therefore, be higher 
than it is anywhere in the mother-country
its real price, the real command of the necessaries 
and conveniencies of life which it conveys 
to the labourer, must be higher in a still 
greater proportion
But though North America is not yet so 
rich as England, it is much more thriving
and advancing with much greater rapidity 
to the further acquisition of riches. The 
most decisive mark of the prosperity of any 
country is the increase of the number of its 
inhabitants. In Great Britain, and most 
other European countries, they are not supposed 
to double in less than five hundred 
years. In the British colonies in North 
America, it has been found that they double 
in twenty or five-and-twenty years. Nor in 
the present times is this increase principally 
owing to the continual importation of new 
inhabitants, but to the great multiplication of 
the species. Those who live to old age, it is 
said, frequently see there from fifty to a hundred
and sometimes many more, descendants 
from their own body. Labour is there so 
well rewarded, that a numerous family of 
children, instead of being a burden, is a source 
of opulence and prosperity to the parents. 
The labour of each child, before it can leave 
their house, is computed to be worth a hundred 
pounds clear gain to them. A young 
widow with four or five young children, who, 
among the middling or inferior ranks of people 
in Europe, would have so little chance for 
a second husband, is there frequently courted 
as a sort of fortune. The value of children is 
the greatest of all encouragements to marriage
We cannot, therefore, wonder that the people 
in North America should generally marry 
very young. Notwithstanding the great increase 
occasioned by such early marriages
there is a continual complaint of the scarcity 
of hands in North America. The demand 
for labourers, the funds destined for maintaining 
them increase, it seems, still faster 
than they can find labourers to employ
Though the wealth of a country should be 
very great, yet if it has been long stationary
we must not expect to find the wages of labour 
very high in it. The funds destined for 
the payment of wages, the revenue and stock 
of its inhabitants, may be of the greatest extent
but if they have continued for several 
centuries of the same, or very nearly of the 
same extent, the number of labourers employed 
every year could easily supply, and even 
more than supply, the number wanted the 
following year. There could seldom be any 
scarcity of hands, nor could the masters be 
obliged to bid against one another in order to 
get them. The hands, on the contrary, would, 
in this case, naturally multiply beyond their 
employment. There would be a constant 
scarcity of employment, and the labourers