not tend so much to disqualify him from being 
employed in a new trade, as those of the former 
from being employed in any. The manufacturer 
has always been accustomed to 
look for his subsistence from his labour only; 
the soldier to expect it from his pay. Application 
and industry have been familiar to the 
one; idleness and dissipation to the other. 
But it is surely much easier to change the direction 
of industry from one sort of labour to 
another, than to turn idleness and dissipation 
to any. To the greater part of manufactures
besides, it has already been observed, there are 
other collateral manufactures of so similar
nature, that a workman can easily transfer his 
industry from one of them to another. The 
greater part of such workmen, too, are occasionally 
employed in country labour. The 
stock which employed them in a particular 
manufacture before, will still remain in the 
country, to employ an equal number of people 
in some other way. The capital of the 
country remaining the same, the demand for 
labour will likewise be the same, or very nearly 
the same, though it may be exerted in different 
places, and for different occupations. 
Soldiers and seamen, indeed, when discharged 
from the king's service, are at liberty to exercise 
any trade within any town or place of 
Great Britain or Ireland. Let the same natural 
liberty of exercising what species of industry 
they please, be restored to all his Majesty's 
subjects, in the same manner as to soldiers 
and seamen; that is, break down the exclusive 
privileges of corporations, and repeal 
the statute of apprenticeship, both which are 
really encroachments upon natural liberty, 
and add to those the repeal of the law of settlements
so that a poor workman, when 
thrown out of employment, either in one trade 
or in one place, may seek for it in another 
trade or in another place, without the fear either 
of a prosecution or of a removal; and 
neither the public nor the individuals will suffer 
much more from the occasional disbanding 
some particular classes of manufacturers, than 
from that of the soldiers. Our manufacturers 
have no doubt great merit with their country
but they cannot have more than those who defend 
it with their blood, nor deserve to be 
treated with more delicacy. 
To expect, indeed, that the freedom of trade 
should ever be entirely restored in Great Britain, 
is as absurd as to expect that an Oceana 
or Utopia should ever be established in it. 
Not only the prejudices of the public, but, 
what is much more unconquerable, the private 
interests of many individuals, irresistibly oppose 
it. Were the officers of the army to oppose
with the same zeal and unanimity, any 
reduction in the number of forces, with which 
master manufacturers set themselves against 
every law that is likely to increase the number 
of their rivals in the home market; were 
the former to animate their soldiers, in the 
same manner as the latter inflame their workmen
to attack with violence and outrage the 
proposers of any such regulation; to attempt 
to reduce the army would be as dangerous as 
it has now become to attempt to diminish, in 
any respect, the monopoly which our manufacturers 
have obtained against us. This monopoly 
has so much increased the number of 
some particular tribes of them, that, like an 
overgrown standing army, they have become 
formidable to the government, and, upon many 
occasions, intimidate the legislature. The 
member of parliament who supports every 
proposal for strengthening this monopoly, is 
sure to acquire not only the reputation of understanding 
trade, but great popularity and 
influence with an order of men whose numbers 
and wealth render them of great importance
If he opposes them, on the contrary, 
and still more, if he has authority enough to 
be able to thwart them, neither the most acknowledged 
probity, nor the highest rank, nor 
the greatest public services, can protect him 
from the most infamous abuse and detraction, 
from personal insults, nor sometimes from real 
danger, arising from the insolent outrage of 
furious and disappointed monopolists
The undertaker of a great manufacture
who, by the home markets being suddenly 
laid open to the competition of foreigners
should be obliged to abandon his trade, would 
no doubt suffer very considerably. That part 
of his capital which had usually been employed 
in purchasing materials, and in paying his 
workmen, might, without much difficulty, perhaps, 
find another employment; but that part 
of it which was fixed in workhouses, and in 
the instruments of trade, could scarce be disposed 
of without considerable loss. The equitable 
regard, therefore, to his interest, requires 
that changes of this kind should never 
be introduced suddenly, but slowly, gradually
and after a very long warning. The legislature
were it possible that its deliberations 
could be always directed, not by the clamorous 
importunity of partial interests, but by an 
extensive view of the general good, ought, 
upon this very account, perhaps, to be particularly 
careful, neither to establish any new 
monopolies of this kind, nor to extend further 
those which are already established. Every 
such regulation introduces some degree of 
real disorder into the constitution of the state, 
which it will be difficult afterwards to cure 
without occasioning another disorder
How far it may be proper to impose taxes 
upon the importation of foreign goods, in order 
not to prevent their importation, but to 
raise a revenue for government, I shall consider 
hereafter when I come to treat of taxes
Taxes imposed with a view to prevent, or even 
to diminish importation, are evidently as destructive 
of the revenue of the customs as of 
the freedom of trade