« AnteriorContinuar »
That the Divifion of Labour is limited by the
S it is the power of exchanging that gives occafion to the divifion of labour, fo the extent of this divifion must always be limited by the extent of that power, or, in other words, by the extent of the market. When the market is very fmall, no perfon can have any encourage. ment to dedicate himself entirely to one employment, for want of the power to exchange all that furplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own confumption, for fuch part of the produce of other men's labour as he has occafion for.
There are fome forts of industry, even of the lowest kind, which can be carried on no where but in a great town. A porter, for example, can find employment and fubfiftence in no other place. A village is by much too narrow a fphere for him; even an ordinary market town is fcarce large enough to afford him conftant occupation. In the lone houfes and very fmall villages which are scattered about in fo defert a country as the Highlands of Scotland, every farmer must be butcher, baker and brewer for his own family. In fuch fituations we can scarce expect to find even a fmith, a carpenter, or a mafon, within less than twenty miles of another of the fame trade. The fcattered families that
live at eight or ten miles diftance from the CHA P. nearest of them, muft learn to perform themfelves a great number of little pieces of work, for which, in more populous countries, they would call in the affiftance of those workmen. Country workmen are almost every where obliged to apply themfelves to all the different branches of industry that have fo much affinity to one another as to be employed about the fame fort of materials. A country carpenter deals in every fort of work that is made of wood: a country fmith in every fort of work that is made of iron. The former is not only a carpenter, but a joiner, a cabinet maker, and even a carver in wood, as well as a wheelwright, a plough-wright, a cart and waggon maker. The employments of the latter are still more various. It is impoffible there fhould be fuch a trade as even that of a nailer in the remote and inland parts of the Highlands of Scotland. Such a workman at the rate of a thousand nails a day, and three hundred working days in the year, will make three hundred thoufand nails in the year. But in fuch a fituation it would be impoffible to dif pofe of one thousand, that is, of one day's work in the year.
As by means of water-carriage a more exten. five market is open to every fort of industry than what land-carriage alone can afford it, so it is upon the fea-coaft, and along the banks of navigable rivers, that induftry of every kind naturally begins to subdivide and improve itself, and it is frequently not till a long time after that
BOOK those improvements extend themselves to the in.I. land parts of the country. A broad-wheeled waggon, attended by two men, and drawn by eight horses, in about fix weeks time carries and brings back between London and Edinburgh near four ton weight of goods. In about the fame time a ship navigated by fix or eight men, and failing between the ports of London and Leith, frequently carries and brings back two hundred ton weight of goods. Six or eight men, therefore, by the help of water-carriage, can carry and bring back in the fame time the fame quantity of goods between London and Edinburgh, as fifty broad-wheeled waggons, attended by a hundred men, and drawn by four hundred horfes. Upon two hundred tons of goods, therefore, carried by the cheapest landcarriage from London to Edinburgh, there must be charged the maintenance of a hundred men for three weeks, and both the maintenance, and, what is nearly equal to the maintenance, the wear and tear of four hundred horfes as well as of fifty great waggons. Whereas, upon the fame quantity of goods carried by water, there is to be charged only the maintenance of fix or eight men, and the wear and tear of a fhip of two hundred tons burthen, together with the value of the fuperior rifk, or the difference of the infurance between land and water-carriage. Were there no other communication between thofe two places, therefore, but by land carriage, as no goods could be transported from the one to the other, except fuch whofe price was very confi
derable in proportion to their weight, they could CHA P. carry on but a fmall part of that commerce which at prefent fubfifts between them, and confequently could give but a small part of that encouragement which they at present mutually afford to each other's induftry. There could be little or no commerce of any kind between the diftant parts of the world. What goods could bear the expence of land-carriage between London and Calcutta? Or if there were any fo precious as to be able to support this expence, with what fafety could they be transported through the territories of fo many barbarous nations? Those two cities, however, at prefent carry on a very confiderable commerce with each other, and by mutually affording a market, give a good deal of encouragement to each other's industry.
Since fuch, therefore, are the advantages of water-carriage, it is natural that the firft improvements of art and induftry fhould be made where this conveniency opens the whole world for a market to the produce of every fort of labour, and that they should always be much later in extending themselves into the inland parts of the country. The inland parts of the country can for a long time have no other market for the greater part of their goods, but the country which lies round about them, and feparates them from the fea-coaft, and the great navigable rivers. The extent of their market, therefore, muft for a long time be in proportion to the riches and populousness of that country, and confequently their improvement must always be posterior to
BOOK the improvement of that country. In our North American colonies the plantations have con. ftantly followed either the fea-coaft or the banks of the navigable rivers, and have scarce any where extended themfelves to any confiderable distance from both.
The nations that, according to the best authenticated history, appear to have been first civilized, were those that dwelt round the coaft of the Mediterranean fea. That fea, by far the greatest inlet that is known in the world, having no tides, nor confequently any waves except fuch as are caused by the wind only, was, by the fmoothness of its furface, as well as by the multitude of its iflands, and the proximity of its neighbouring fhores, extremely favourable to the infant navigation of the world; when, from their ignorance of the compafs, men were afraid to quit the view of the coaft, and from the imperfection of the art of fhip-building, to abandon themfelves to the boisterous waves of the ocean. To pafs beyond the pillars of Hercules, that is, to fail out of the Streights of Gibraltar, was, in the antient world, long confidered as a moft wonderful and dangerous exploit of navigation. It was late before even the Phenicians and Carthaginians, the most skilful navigators and shipbuilders of thofe old times, attempted it, and they were for a long time the only nations that did attempt it.
Of all the countries on the coaft of the Mediterranean fea, Egypt feems to have been the first in which either agriculture or manufactures were cultivated