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Introduction

BOOK IV.

OF SYSTEMS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.

Political economy, considered as a branch of the science of a
statesman or legislator, proposes two distinct objects; first, to
provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or,
more properly, to enable them to provide such a revenue or
subsistence for themselves; and, secondly, to supply the state or
commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services.
It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign.

The different progress of opulence in different ages and nations,
has given occasion to two different systems of political economy,
with regard to enrichiug the people. The one may be called the
system of commerce, the other that of agriculture. I shall
endeavour to explain both as fully and distinctly as I can, and
shall begin with the system of commerce. It is the modern system,
and is best understood in our own country and in our own times.

Adam Smith

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