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PETTY, Sir William.

Several Essays in Political Arithmetick. The Fourth Edition, Corrected. To which are prefix'd, Memoirs of the Author's Life.

[Bound together with:] TUCKER, Josiah. Reflections on the Expediency of a Law for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants: In Two Parts. Part I. Containing Historical Remarks on the disposition and behaviour of the natives of this island, in regard to foreigners; occasioned by the rejection of the late naturalization bill. Part II. Containing important queries relating to commerce - The employment of the poor, - the landed and national interest, - taxes of all kinds, particularly the poor tax, - the real interest of tradesmen, - reformation of morals, - constitution both in Chrurch and State, the duties of humanity, Harlan Crow 5and the principles of the Christian religion. London: T. Trye, 1750-1751.

London: Printed for D. Browne, J. Shuckburgh, and J. Whiston and B. White, 1755 Stock Code: 135285
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Fourth edition of Petty's writings on Political Arithmetic and Demography. "The text follows that of 1699 except that the French version of Five Essays is omitted. The brief account of the author gives the main facts of his life and fortune." (Keynes).

"Instead of using only comparative and superlative Words, and intellectual Arguments, I have taken the course... to express my self in Terms of Number, Weight, or Measure; to use only Arguments of Sense, and to consider only such Causes, as have visible Foundations in Nature." This marks a new approach to economics; as Lord Roll observes, 'Petty's claim to fame is generally conceived to rest on the part he played in the foundations of a science of statistics. There can be no doubt that Petty is rightly regarded as the first to develop this sister discipline of political economy. Not only did he show by his own practice and precept the manner in which data should be collected and marshalled; he did not neglect the wider functions of statistical inquiry. Throughout his Political Arithmetick and in his other statistical papers he set factual research in its proper place in relation to theoretical analysis' (A History of Economic Thought, pp. 100-1).

First editions of both parts Of Tucker's work. The question of the naturalization of foreigners had been controversial for over a hundred years. The government wished to encourage the immigration of European Protestants, but public opinion was xenophobic. An Act to facilitate their immigration was passed in 1708 and then repealed in 1711. In 1751 a measure similar to that of 1708 was again considered, but again public opinion was so strongly against it that it had to be abandoned. Tucker, in this work, supports the government initiative. In the first part "he sketches the policy of the government toward aliens from the Middle Ages... showing how narrow commercial and sectarian interests had played upon the traditional national prejudice against foreigners, which he calls 'the epidemical disorder of the country'" (Schuyler, Josiah Tucker a Selection From His Economic and Political Writings p. 19). In the second part he deals with various objections which had been made to the bill, such as that immigration would raise unemployment, and that the influx of foreigners would corrupt British morals. He argues against these points that unemployment is caused not by overpopulation but by impediments to the circulation of labour which would be removed if the country were less sparsely inhabited; and that British morals, far from being endangered by the foreigners, were so bad that it was the foreigners who were in danger of being corrupted.

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2 works in 3 parts bound in one volume, octavo (201 x 122 mm). Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, neatly rebacked, red morocco label.


From the library of agriculturalist and economist Arthur Young, with his engraved bookplate to the front pastedown. Neatly rebacked, corners repaired, marbled paper boards peeled in places but still sound. Occasional light spotting; very good copies.


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