monopoly of the home and colony markets
have been artificially raised up to any unnatural 
height, finds some small stop or interruption 
in its employment, it frequently occasions 
a mutiny and disorder alarming to government
and embarrassing even to the deliberations 
of the legislature. How great, therefore, 
would be the disorder and confusion, it 
was thought, which must necessarily be occasioned 
by a sudden and entire stop in the employment 
of so great a proportion of our principal 
Some moderate and gradual relaxation of 
the laws which give to Great Britain the exclusive 
trade to the colonies, till it is rendered 
in a great measure free, seems to be the only 
expedient which can, in all future times, deliver 
her from this danger; which can enable 
her, or even force her, to withdraw some part 
of her capital from this overgrown employment
and to turn it, though with less profit, 
towards other employments; and which, by 
gradually diminishing one branch of her industry
and gradually increasing all the rest, can, 
by degrees, restore all the different branches 
of it to that natural, healthful, and proper 
proportion, which perfect liberty necessarily 
establishes, and which perfect liberty can alone 
preserve. To open the colony trade all at 
once to all nations, might not only occasion 
some transitory inconveniency, but a great 
permanent loss, to the greater part of those 
whose industry or capital is at present engaged 
in it. The sudden loss of the employment
even of the ships which import the eighty-two 
thousand hogsheads of tobacco, which are over 
and above the consumption of Great Britain
might alone be felt very sensibly. Such are 
the unfortunate effects of all the regulations 
of the mercantile system. They not only introduce 
very dangerous disorders into the state 
of the body politic, but disorders which it is 
often difficult to remedy, without occasioning
for a time at least, still greater disorders. In 
what manner, therefore, the colony trade ought 
gradually to be opened; what are the restraints 
which ought first, and what are those which 
ought last, to be taken away; or in what manner 
the natural system of perfect liberty and 
justice ought gradually to be restored, we must 
leave to the wisdom of future statesmen and 
legislators to determine
Five different events, unforeseen and unthought 
of, have very fortunately concurred 
to hinder Great Britain from feeling, so sensibly 
as it was generally expected she would, 
the total exclusion which has now taken place 
for more than a year (from the first of December 
1774) from a very important branch 
of the colony trade, that of the twelve associated 
provinces of North America. First, 
those colonies, in preparing themselves for their 
non-importation agreement, drained Great Britain 
completely of all the commodities which 
were fit for their market; secondly, the extraordinary 
demand of the Spanish flota has, this 
year, drained Germany and the north of many 
commodities, linen in particular, which used 
to come into competition, even in the British 
market, with the manufactures of Great Britain
thirdly, the peace between Russia and 
Turkey has occasioned an extraordinary demand 
from the Turkey market, which, during 
the distress of the country, and while a 
Russian fleet was cruising in the Archipelago, 
had been very poorly supplied; fourthly, the 
demand of the north of Europe for the manufactures 
of Great Britain has been increasing 
from year to year, for some time past
and, fifthly, the late partition, and consequential 
pacification of Poland, by opening the 
market of that great country, have, this year, 
added an extraordinary demand from thence 
to the increasing demand of the north. These 
events are all, except the fourth, in their nature 
transitory and accidental; and the exclusion 
from so important a branch of the colony 
trade, if unfortunately it should continue 
much longer, may still occasion some degree 
of distress. This distress, however, as it will 
come on gradually, will be felt much less severely 
than if it had come on all at once; and, 
in the mean time, the industry and capital of 
the country may find a new employment and 
direction, so as to prevent this distress from 
ever rising to any considerable height. 
The monopoly of the colony trade, therefore, 
so far as it has turned towards that trade
greater proportion of the capital of Great Britain 
than what would otherwise have gone to 
it, has in all cases turned it, from a foreign 
trade of consumption with a neighbouring, into 
one with a more distant country; in many 
cases from a direct foreign trade of consumption 
into a round-about one; and, in some 
cases, from all foreign trade of consumption 
into a carrying trade. It has, in all cases
therefore, turned it from a direction in which 
it would have maintained a greater quantity 
of productive labour, into one in which it can 
maintain a much smaller quantity. By suiting
besides, to one particular market only, so 
great a part of the industry and commerce of 
Great Britain, it has rendered the whole state 
of that industry and commerce more precarious 
and less secure, than if their produce 
had been accommodated to a greater variety 
of markets
We must carefully distinguish between the 
effects of the colony trade and those of the 
monopoly of that trade. The former are always 
and necessarily beneficial; the latter always 
and necessarily hurtful. But the former 
are so beneficial, that the colony trade
though subject to a monopoly, and, notwithstanding 
the hurtful effects of that monopoly
is still, upon the whole, beneficial, and greatly 
beneficial, though a good deal less so than it 
otherwise would be. 
The effect of the colony trade, in its natural