Page images
PDF
EPUB

estimated at 1850 millions of livres tournois. * If we estimate for that period, the population at 26,363,000, we find 69 livres for each inhabitant. Now Europe contains, according to the recent researches of Mr. Hassel, 182,600,000 inhabitants, whereof Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Sclavonian and Sarmatian nations, constitute more than 62 millions. Allowing for Great Britain and for the West and South of Europe, 55 livres per individual, and for other countries less advanced in civilization t, 30 livres, we shall find that the total specie of Europe cannot be carried beyond 8603 1 millions (1637 millions of piastres) a

sum almost equal to the half of the debt of Great Britain. S

* £73,469,376 Sterling. Trans.

+ In 1805 the effective currency of the Austrian monarchy was estimated at 250 or 300 millions of florins, admitting a population of 25,548,000 inhabitants. (Hassel Statist. Umriss von Europa, p. 29.) How could the Abbé Raynal estimate the specie of Portugal at only 18 millions of livres, and that of Brazil at 20 millions ? (Hist. Philos., t. ii. p. 434 and 450.) Brazil contains at present four millions of inhabitants, among whom there are 1,500,000 Negroes ; and how could he suppose that in a country, where even the Indians enjoy more of the benefits of life than in the Spanish Colonies, and where there are very populous cities, only ten livres per free individual, when in the northern part of Europe, we must reckon from 30 to 40 ?

£351,142,800 Sterling. Trans. Play fair, Statistical Breviary. (1801. p. 37.) The debt amounted in 1802 to 562 millions Sterling ; in 1810 to 640 millions.

FFF

Hence, if the population of France is actually in the proportion of one to five to that of Europe, the quantity of precious metals which it contains is to that which is spread throughout Europe as 1 to 31.

We have already seen that the mines of Asiatic Russia, and Europe, annually furnish a produce of 21 millions of livres, or four millions of piastres per annum. *

We learn from the Dutch authors, that from four to five thousand marcs of gold come annually in dust. from Guinea into Europe. We estimate the produce of the mines of Europe, and the importation from Northern Asia and Africa, since the discovery of America, at only six millions of livres per annum t; and hence, supposing the actual specie of Europe 8603 millions, and, according to M. Gerboux, that which existed in 1492 at 600 millions, it follows that since the end of the 15th century 22,450 millions of livres have been carried out to the East Indies, converted into plate, and lost by melting. Dividing this sum among 213 years, we find at an rage, an annual loss in gold and silver of 72 millions of livres # (13,700,000 piastres). It has already been proved that the impor

ave

* .£840,000 Sterling. Trans.
+ £244,897 Sterling. Trans.

£2,938,774 Sterling. Trans.

tation from America during the same period, amounted to 92 millions of livres (174 millions of piastres) per annum.

The time is yet so recent since statistical researches first began to be carried on, that it is impossible to know in detail, the value of the exportations of gold and silver into Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We shall merely then take a rapid view of the present state of things, and observe the periodical flux and reflux by which the precious metals are conveyed from one continent to the other. If we recollect that, since the conclusion of the eighteenth century, Europe receives annually from America, nearly 80,000 marcs of gold, and nearly four millions of marcs of silver Castille weight, we must be surprised not to observe more sensible effects from the accumulation of the metals in the old world.

The gold and silver of Europe flow into Asia by three principal ways: 1st. By commerce with the Levant, Egypt, and the Red Sea; 2nd. By maritime commerce with the East Indies and China ; and 3rd., By the commerce of Russia with China and Tartary.

The commerce of the Levant and the Northern coast of Africa requires a considerable quantity of ducats, piastres, and German

dollars, the exportation of which diminishes the specie of Europe. We cannot, however, by any means, estimate this loss at more than four millions of piastres per annum", because the balance of the trade of the Levant is at present in favour of England † to the amount of from two millions and a half to three millions of piastres. According to the tables published by M. Arnould , the trade was in 1789 from three to four millions against France. Spain, the nations of the north, and especially Germany, are obliged to pay in specie in the ports of the Ottoman empire and the Barbary coast. The exportation of silver from the Austrian monarchy alone into Turkey and the Levant is estimated at a million and a half of piastres.

The East Indies and China are the countries which absorb the greatest part of the gold and silver extracted from the mines of America. I cannot admit, that before 1760 this absorption was eight millions of piastres per annum , and that from that period till

* £840,000 Sterling. Trans.

+ According to the tables of M. Playfair, Great Britain gained in 1800, in her trade with the Levant, £600,000 Sterling ; and she lost in her trade with Turkey, £60,000 Sterling (Commercial Atlas) 1801. pl. xiii.

I De la Balance du Commerce, t. iii. n. ii.
§ £1,680,000 Sterling. Trans.

1803, it has gradually diminished to 5 millions. Although we generally form exaggerated ideas of the loss experienced by Europe in the balance of trade with Asia, it is not the less certain that the exportation of specie greatly exceeds the sum specified by the estimable author whom we have just now quoted.

The luxury of Europe at present, requires eleven times more tea than in 1721 ; but, on the other hand, the commerce with the countries situated on this side the Ganges, has experienced a very considerable change since the period when the English formed a great empire in India. The manufactories of Great Britain actually furnish to the commerce with southern Asia, goods to the value of more than 11,460,000 piastres per annum. + According to the valuable information contained in the Travels of Lord Macartney +, the En

* Gerboux, p. 36. and 70. Consult also the researches of M. Garnier respecting the commerce of India, in his Commentary on Smith, t. v. p. 361-375, and Toze, p. 124 -150.

+ Play fair's Chart. iii.

I Macartney's Travels (French Edit.), vol.i. p. 47. and 58.

By the table given, page 73. the importation of silver by the English East India Company would only have been, from 1775 to 1795, L3,676,000 Sterling. (I value the pound sterling at 1.16piastres, or 463 sous tournois). Author.

The

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »