break down that natural equality which would 
otherwise take place in the commerce which is 
carried on between them. The whole annual 
produce of the labour of the society is annually 
divided between these two different sets of 
people. By means of those regulations, a 
greater share of it is given to the inhabitants 
of the town than would otherwise fall to them, 
and a less to those of the country
The price which the town really pays for 
the provisions and materials annually imported 
into it, is the quantity of manufactures and 
other goods annually exported from it. The 
dearer the latter are sold, the cheaper the 
former are bought. The industry of the 
town becomes more, and that of the country 
less advantageous
That the industry which is carried on in 
towns is, everywhere in Europe, more advantageous 
than that which is carried on in the 
country, without entering into any very nice 
computations, we may satisfy ourselves by one 
very simple and obvious observation. In 
every country of Europe, we find at least a 
hundred people who have acquired great fortunes
from small beginnings, by trade and 
manufactures, the industry which properly 
belongs to towns, for one who has done so by 
that which properly belongs to the country
the raising of rude produce by the improvement 
and cultivation of land. Industry
therefore, must be better rewarded, the wages 
of labour and the profits of stock must evidently 
be greater, in the one situation than in 
the other. But stock and labour naturally 
seek the most advantageous employment
They naturally, therefore, resort as much as 
they can to the town, and desert the country
The inhabitants of a town being collected 
into one place, can easily combine together. 
The most insignificant trades carried on in 
towns have, accordingly, in some place or 
other, been incorporated; and even where they 
have never been incorporated, yet the corporation-spirit, 
the jealousy of strangers, the aversion 
to take apprentices, or to communicate 
the secret of their trade, generally prevail in 
them, and often teach them, by voluntary associations 
and agreements, to prevent that free 
competition which they cannot prohibit by 
bye-laws. The trades which employ but a 
small number of hands, run most easily into 
such combinations. Half-a-dozen wool-combers
perhaps, are necessary to keep a thousand 
spinners and weavers at work. By combining 
not to take apprentices, they can not only engross 
the employment, but reduce the whole 
manufacture into a sort of slavery to themselves, 
and raise the price of their labour much 
above what is due to the nature of their work
The inhabitants of the country, dispersed 
in distant places, cannot easily combine together. 
They have not only never been incorporated
but the incorporation spirit never 
has prevailed among them. No apprenticeship 
has ever been thought necessary to qualify 
for husbandry, the great trade of the country
After what are called the fine arts, and 
the liberal professions, however, there is perhaps 
no trade which requires so great a variety 
of knowledge and experience. The innumerable 
volumes which have been written upon 
it in all languages, may satisfy us, that among 
the wisest and most learned nations, it 
has never been regarded as a matter very easily 
understood. And from all those volumes 
we shall in vain attempt to collect that knowledge 
of its various and complicated operations 
which is commonly possessed even by the common 
farmer; how contemptuously soever the 
very contemptible authors of some of them 
may sometimes affect to speak of him. There 
is scarce any common mechanic trade, on the 
contrary, of which all the operations may not 
be as completely and distinctly explained in 
a pamphlet of a very few pages, as it is possible 
for words illustrated by figures to explain 
them. In the history of the arts, now publishing 
by the French Academy of Sciences, several 
of them are actually explained in this 
manner. The direction of operations, besides, 
which must be varied with every change of 
the weather, as well as with many other accidents
requires much more judgment and 
discretion, than that of those which are always 
the same, or very nearly the same. 
Not only the art of the farmer, the general 
direction of the operations of husbandry, but 
many inferior branches of country labour require 
much more skill and experience than 
the greater part of mechanic trades. The 
man who works upon brass and iron, works 
with instruments, and upon materials of which 
the temper is always the same, or very nearly 
the same. But the man who ploughs the 
ground with a team of horses or oxen, works 
with instruments of which the health, strength
and temper, are very different upon different 
occasions. The condition of the materials 
which he works upon, too, is as variable as 
that of the instruments which he works with, 
and both require to be managed with much 
judgment and discretion. The common ploughman
though generally regarded as the pattern 
of stupidity and ignorance, is seldom defective 
in this judgment and discretion. He is less 
accustomed, indeed, to social intercourse, than 
the mechanic who lives in a town. His voice 
and language are more uncouth, and more 
difficult to be understood by those who are 
not used to them. His understanding, however, 
being accustomed to consider a greater 
variety of objects, is generally much superior 
to that of the other, whose whole attention, 
from morning till night is commonly occupied 
in performing one or two very simple operations. 
How much the lower ranks of people 
in the country are really superior to those of 
the town, is well known to every man whom 
either business or curiosity has led to converse