fifty thousand crowns, which, at four and sixpence 
the crown, amounts to L.33,750 sterling
The government of Pennsylvania, without 
amassing any treasure, invented a method of 
lending, not money, indeed, but what is equivalent 
to money, to its subjects. By advancing 
to private people, at interest, and 
upon land security to double the value, paper 
bills of credit, to be redeemed fifteen years after 
their date; and, in the mean time, made 
transferable from hand to hand, like banknotes, 
and declared by act of assembly to be a 
legal tender in all payments from one inhabitant 
of the province to another, it raised a 
moderate revenue, which went a considerable 
way towards defraying an annual expense of 
about L.4500, the whole ordinary expense of 
that frugal and orderly government. The 
success of an expedient of this kind must have 
depended upon three different circumstances: 
first, upon the demand for some other instrument 
of commerce, besides gold and silver 
money, or upon the demand for such a quantity 
of consumable stock as could not be had 
without sending abroad the greater part of 
their gold and silver money, in order to purchase 
it; secondly, upon the good credit of 
the government which made use of this expedient
and, thirdly, upon the moderation with 
which it was used, the whole value of the 
paper bills of credit never exceeding that of 
the gold and silver money which would have 
been necessary for carrying on their circulation
had there been no paper bills of credit
The same expedient was, upon different occasions
adopted by several other American 
colonies; but, from want of this moderation
it produced, in the greater part of them, much 
more disorder than conveniency
The unstable and perishable nature of stock 
and credit, however, renders them unfit to be 
trusted to as the principal funds of that sure, 
steady, and permanent revenue, which can alone 
give security and dignity to government
The government of no great nation, that was 
advanced beyond the shepherd state, seems 
ever to have derived the greater part of its 
public revenue from such sources
Land is a fund of more stable and permanent 
nature; and the rent of public lands, accordingly, 
has been the principal source of 
the public revenue of many a great nation 
that was much advanced beyond the shepherd 
state. From the produce or rent of the public 
lands, the ancient republics of Greece and 
Italy derived for a long time the greater part 
of that revenue which defrayed the necessary 
expenses of the commonwealth. The rent of 
the crown lands constituted for a long time 
the greater part of the revenue of the ancient 
sovereigns of Europe
War, and the preparation for war, are the 
two circumstances which, in modern times
occasion the greater part of the necessary expense 
of all great states. But in the ancient 
republics of Greece and Italy, every citizen 
was a soldier, and both served, and prepared 
himself for service, at his own expense
Neither of those two circumstances, therefore, 
could occasion any very considerable expense 
to the state. The rent of a very moderate 
landed estate might be fully sufficient 
for defraying all the other necessary expenses 
of government
In the ancient monarchies of Europe, the 
manners and customs of the times sufficiently 
prepared the great body of the people for 
war; and when they took the field, they 
were, by the condition of their feudal tenures
to be maintained either at their own 
expense, or at that of their immediate lords
without bringing any new charge upon the 
sovereign. The other expenses of government 
were, the greater part of them, very 
moderate. The administration of justice, it 
has been shewn, instead of being a cause of 
expense was a source of revenue. The labour 
of the country people, for three days 
before, and for three days after, harvest, was 
thought a fund sufficient for making and 
maintaining all the bridges, highways, and 
other public works, which the commerce of 
the country was supposed to require. In 
those days the principal expense of the sovereign 
seems to have consisted in the maintenance 
of his own family and household. 
The officers of his household, accordingly, 
were then the great officers of state. The 
lord treasurer received his rents. The lord 
steward and lord chamberlain looked after 
the expense of his family. The care of his 
stables was committed to the lord constable 
and the lord marshal. His houses were all 
built in the form of castles, and seem to have 
been the principal fortresses which he possessed
The keepers of those houses or castles 
might be considered as a sort of military governors
They seem to have been the only 
military officers whom it was necessary to 
maintain in time of peace. In these circumstances
the rent of a great landed estate 
might, upon ordinary occasions, very well 
defray all the necessary expenses of government
In the present state of the greater part of 
the civilized monarchies of Europe, the rent 
of all the lands in the country, managed as 
they probably would be, if they all belonged 
to one proprietor, would scarce, perhaps, 
amount to the ordinary revenue which they 
levy upon the people even in peaceable times
The ordinary revenue of Great Britain, for 
example, including not only what is necessary 
for defraying the current expense of the year
but for paying the interest of the public 
debts, and for sinking a part of the capital 
of those debts, amounts to upwards of ten 
millions a-year. But the land tax, at four 
shillings in the pound, falls short of two millions 
a-year. This land tax, as it is called