Reflections on the present High Price of Provisions; and The Complaints and Disturbances arising therefrom.London: printed for G. Kearsley, 1766 Stock Code: 117474
First edition. The harvest of 1766 had been a poor one, leading to a rise in food prices and over 40 riots, by the count of that year's Annual Register. With much debate as to the appropriate response, the author of this anonymous tract argues against any form of price controls and interference with the free market, and criticises those who bow to mob pressure to do so. The treatise concludes: "It is found, by experience, that nothing encourages agriculture, and promotes plenty, so much as the utmost freedom in the trade of corn and every other article of common consumption". It is a fine defence of free trade in agriculture, written at the same time as similar arguments were being promoted in France by the physiocrats, and preceding Adam Smith's writings by a decade. The treatise is scarce in commerce, last recorded at auction in 1989.
Octavo (204 x 123 mm). Rebound in modern boards, printed paper label to front board, edges sprinkled red.
A few blemishes to text and a few pages lightly creased, else a very good copy.
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