of it. But had France and all other European 
countries been at all times allowed a free 
trade to Maryland and Virginia, the tobacco 
of those colonies might by this time have 
come cheaper than it actually does, not only 
to all those other countries, but likewise to 
England. The produce of tobacco, in consequence 
of a market so much more extensive 
than any which it has hitherto enjoyed
might, and probably would, by this time have 
been so much increased as to reduce the profits 
of a tobacco plantation to their natural 
level with those of a corn plantation, which it 
is supposed they are still somewhat above. 
The price of tobacco might, and probably 
would, by this time have fallen somewhat 
lower than it is at present. An equal quantity 
of the commodities, either of England or 
of those other countries, might have purchased 
in Maryland and Virginia a greater quantity of 
tobacco than it can do at present, and consequently 
have been sold there for so much a 
better price. So far as that weed, therefore, 
can, by its cheapness and abundance, increase 
the enjoyments, or augment the industry
either of England or of any other country, it 
would probably, in the case of a free trade
have produced both these effects in somewhat 
a greater degree than it can do at present
England, indeed, would not, in this case, have 
had any advantage over other countries. She 
might have bought the tobacco of her colonies 
somewhat cheaper, and consequently have 
sold some of her own commodities somewhat 
dearer, than she actually does; but she could 
neither have bought the one cheaper, nor sold 
the other dearer, than any other country might 
have done. She might, perhaps, have gained 
an absolute, but she would certainly have lost 
a relative advantage
In order, however, to obtain this relative 
advantage in the colony trade, in order to execute 
the invidious and malignant project of 
excluding, as much as possible, other nations 
from any share in it, England, there are very 
probable reasons for believing, has not only 
sacrificed a part of the absolute advantage 
which she, as well as every other nation, might 
have derived from that trade, but has subjected 
herself both to an absolute and to a relative 
disadvantage in almost every other branch of 
When, by the act of navigation, England 
assumed to herself the monopoly of the colony 
trade, the foreign capitals which had before 
been employed in it, were necessarily 
withdrawn from it. The English capital
which had before carried on but a part of it, 
was now to carry on the whole. The capital 
which had before supplied the colonies with 
but a part of the goods which they wanted 
from Europe, was now all that was employed 
to supply them with the whole. But it could 
not supply them with the whole; and the 
goods with which it did supply them were 
necessarily sold very dear. The capital which 
had before bought but a part of the surplus 
produce of the colonies, was now all that was 
employed to buy the whole. But it could 
not buy the whole at anything near the old 
price; and therefore, whatever it did buy, it 
necessarily bought very cheap. But in an 
employment of capital, in which the merchant 
sold very dear, and bought very cheap, the 
profit must have been very great, and much 
above the ordinary level of profit in other 
branches of trade. This superiority of profit 
in the colony trade could not fail to draw from 
other branches of trade a part of the capital 
which had before been employed in them. 
But this revulsion of capital, as it must have 
gradually increased the competition of capitals 
in the colony trade, so it must have gradually 
diminished that competition in all those 
other branches of trade; as it must have gradually 
lowered the profits of the one, so it 
must have gradually raised those of the other, 
till the profits of all came to a new level, different 
from, and somewhat higher, than that 
at which they had been before. 
This double effect of drawing capital from 
all other trades, and of raising the rate of 
profit somewhat higher than it otherwise 
would have been in all trades, was not only 
produced by this monopoly upon its first establishment
but has continued to be produced 
by it ever since. 
First, This monopoly has been continually 
drawing capital from all other trades, to be 
employed in that of the colonies
Though the wealth of Great Britain has 
increased very much since the establishment 
of the act of navigation, it certainly has not 
increased in the same proportion as that of 
the colonies. But the foreign trade of every 
country naturally increases in proportion to 
its wealth, its surplus produce in proportion 
to its whole produce; and Great Britain 
having engrossed to herself almost the whole 
of what may be called the foreign trade of 
the colonies, and her capital not having increased 
in the same proportion as the extent 
of that trade, she could not carry it on without 
continually withdrawing from other 
branches of trade some part of the capital 
which had before been employed in them, as 
well as withholding from them a great deal 
more which would otherwise have gone to 
them. Since the establishment of the act of 
navigation, accordingly, the colony trade has 
been continually increasing, while many other 
branches of foreign trade, particularly of that 
to other parts of Europe, have been continually 
decaying. Our manufactures for foreign 
sale, instead of being suited, as before the 
act of navigation, to the neighbouring market 
of Europe, or to the more distant one of the 
countries which lie round the Mediterranean 
sea, have, the greater part of them, been accommodated 
to the still more distant one of