country, is in every particular country promoted 
by the natural inclinations of man. If 
human institutions had never thwarted those 
natural inclinations, the towns could nowhere 
have increased beyond what the improvement 
and cultivation of the territory in which they 
were situated could support; till such time
at least, as the whole of that territory was 
completely cultivated and improved. Upon 
equal, or nearly equal profits, most men will 
choose to employ their capitals, rather in the 
improvement and cultivation of land, than 
either in manufactures or in foreign trade
The man who employs his capital in land, has 
it more under his view and command; and his 
fortune is much less liable to accidents than 
that of the trader, who is obliged frequently 
to commit it, not only to the winds and the 
waves, but to the more uncertain elements of 
human folly and injustice, by giving great 
credits, in distant countries, to men with whose 
character and situation he can seldom be 
thoroughly acquainted. The capital of the 
landlord, on the contrary, which is fixed in 
the improvement of his land, seems to be as 
well secured as the nature of human affairs 
can admit of. The beauty of the country, besides, 
the pleasure of a country life, the tranquillity 
of mind which it promises, and, wherever 
the injustice of human laws does not disturb 
it, the independency which it really affords
have charms that, more or less, attract 
everybody; and as to cultivate the ground 
was the original destination of man, so, in 
every stage of his existence, he seems to retain 
a predilection for this primitive employment
Without the assistance of some artificers
indeed, the cultivation of land cannot be carried 
on, but with great inconveniency and 
continual interruption. Smiths, carpenters
wheelwrights and ploughwrights, masons and 
bricklayers, tanners, shoemakers, and tailors
are people whose service the farmer has frequent 
occasion for. Such artificers, too, stand 
occasionally in need of the assistance of one 
another; and as their residence is not, like 
that of the farmer, necessarily tied down to a 
precise spot, they naturally settle in the neighbourhood 
of one another, and thus form a 
small town or village. The butcher, the 
brewer, and the baker, soon join them, together 
with many other artificers and retailers
necessary or useful for supplying their occasional 
wants, and who contribute still further 
to augment the town. The inhabitants 
of the town, and those of the country, are mutually 
the servants of one another. The town 
is a continual fair or market, to which the inhabitants 
of the country resort, in order to exchange 
their rude for manufactured produce
It is this commerce which supplies the inhabitants 
of the town, both with the materials of 
their work, and the means of their subsistence
The quantity of the finished work which they 
sell to the inhabitants of the country, necessarily 
regulates the quantity of the materials and 
provisions which they buy. Neither their employment 
nor subsistence, therefore, can augment
but in proportion to the augmentation 
of the demand from the country for finished 
work; and this demand can augment only in 
proportion to the extension of improvement 
and cultivation. Had human institutions, 
therefore, never disturbed the natural course 
of things, the progressive wealth and increase 
of the towns would, in every political society
be consequential, and in proportion to the improvement 
and cultivation of the territory or 
In our North American colonies, where 
uncultivated land is still to be had upon easy 
terms, no manufactures for distant sale have 
ever yet been established in any of their towns
When an artificer has acquired a little more 
stock than is necessary for carrying on his own 
business in supplying the neighbouring country
he does not, in North America, attempt 
to establish with it a manufacture for more 
distant sale, but employs it in the purchase 
and improvement of uncultivated land. From 
artificer he becomes planter; and neither the 
large wages nor the easy subsistence which 
that country affords to artificers, can bribe him 
rather to work for other people than for himself. 
He feels that an artificer is the servant 
of his customers, from whom he derives his 
subsistence; but that a planter who cultivates 
his own land, and derives his necessary subsistence 
from the labour of his own family, is 
really a master, and independent of all the 
In countries, on the contrary, where there 
is either no uncultivated land, or none that 
can be had upon easy terms, every artificer 
who has acquired more stock than he can employ 
in the occasional jobs of the neighbourhood
endeavours to prepare work for more 
distant sale. The smith erects some sort of 
iron, the weaver some sort of linen or woollen 
manufactory. Those different manufactures 
come, in process of time, to be gradually subdivided
and thereby improved and refined in 
a great variety of ways, which may easily be 
conceived, and which it is therefore unnecessary 
to explain any further. 
In seeking for employment to a capital, manufactures 
are, upon equal or nearly equal 
profits, naturally preferred to foreign commerce
for the same reason that agriculture is 
naturally preferred to manufactures. As the 
capital of the landlord or farmer is more secure 
than that of the manufacturer, so the capital 
of the manufacturer, being at all times 
more within his view and command, is more 
secure than that of the foreign merchant. In 
every period, indeed, of every society, the surplus 
part both of the rude and manufactured 
produce, or that for which there is no demand 
at home, must be sent abroad, in order to be