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4-4-8 A POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK rv.

see from the accounts of Macartney, Barrow, De Guignes, and other intelligent travellers, that ‘gold and silver are not more common in China, than in the greatest part of the countries of Europe. The annual revenue of the state, is no doubt estimated at 1584< millions of francs * ($301,714,000 piastrest; but the greater part of this sum is paid in the produce of the soil and Chinese industry; and according to M. Barrow i, the quantity which enters Pekin in specie annually,.only amounts to 36 millions of ounces of silver, which are estimated at 5Q,91<L,000‘ piastres. The Chinese believe that large sums are annually sent to Moukden, the capital of the country of the Mantchou Tartars ; but this opinion is not founded on facts. Several mandarins are in the possession of immense wealth. The prime minister of the~ Emperor Tchienlong, was. stript of 10 millions of taels, or 74,500,000 livres tournois§ in specie, which he had accumulated by extortion ll; but the emperor is very frequently

* £641,653,000 Sterling. Trans.
1- According to Lord Macartney; 710 millions according
to M. De Guisnes. t. iii. p. 102.

1 Barrow’s Travels (French Edit.) t. ii. p. 198.

§ £3,040,815 Sterling. Trans.

ll Barrow, t. ii. p. 173

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in want of money. What Europe loses in
the balance of trade with China, is spread
over a great population; a considerable quan-
tity of gold and silver is converted into
wire and plates ‘; the accumulation of specie
is very slow, and has scarcely begun to be felt
within these twenty years, in an increase of the
price of commodities. 1"

There remains to be considered a third
way for the exportation of the precious metals
from Europe into Asia, that which is carried
by the Russian trade. We learn by the tables
published by the Count de Romanzofi that
the importation from China, into the govern-
ment of Irkoutsk, was, from 1802 to 1805, at
an average, to the amount of 2,085,900 roubles
in tea; and 2,4~34~,4<00 in cotton. In general,
the balance of trade of Russia with China,
Bucharia, the country of Khiva, and the banks
of the Kirghiskaisaks, was in favour‘ of the
Russian Empire, during the same period, more
than 4<,Q16,000 roubles per annum.I We see
from these data, that in estimating the contra-
band at a sixth, the,exportation of specie, by

* Jvlacartney, vol. iv. p. 286.

-1' Macartney, vol. iii. p. 105.; vol. iv. p. 231.

i Tableau du Commerce de l’Empire dc Russia, translated by M. Pfeilfer, 1808, Nos. Qand 10. Olivarius Ie Nord Litteraire, 1799, N0. 7. p. 202. .

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. ‘W means of the Caucasus, Orenburg,
Toliolsk, Tomsk, Irkoutsk, and Kiachta, cannot
amount to more than 4 millions of piastres.

. We have ascertained then ', from sources
which must be considered as the best, that of
the
4-3,500,000 piastres which Europe at present

receives annually from America,
there flow nearly

4,000,000, into Asia, by means of
the Levant trade;
17,500,000, into Asia by the Cape
Q5,500,000

of Good Hope;
4<,000,000, into Asia, by the way
of Kiachta and Tobolsk;

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i 1 portion of 1 to 7. M. Necker thought him

"* See the sketch of a map, exhibiting the flux and reflux W1

, of the precious metals from one continent to the other, in ‘ the atlas to this work. -. 1/ ,_,,..,. 1- £3,780,000 Sterling. Trans. ‘

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cn.u'x1.] KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN. 4-51 self warranted in estimating previous to 1789,

7! at 4 millions of piastres *, the amount annually

consumed in jewels, lace, and embroidered stuifs manufactured in France. ’r Part of these metals was evidently derived from melting down the old plate and lace; however the annual

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silver, is very considerable 1; and when we add ‘what clisT:3.iip;ears,‘FIi70:rn:i°'ti'ia:nsportation, and the friction of daily circulation, we may estimate, with Forbonnais, and other writers on poli

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tical economy, that the quantity of precious

metals which disappear in Europe, or which are converted into plate and lace, amounts to a third of the total mass which is not consumed; by the commerce with Asia, that is at sixor seven millions of piastres per annum. On the other hand, the mines of Europe and Siberia furnish annually nearly 4 millions of piastres. According to these calculations, which from their nature can only be approximate, the increase of the gold and silver currency of Europe appears only to be fifteen millions of piastres, or 78,700,000 livres tournois. § Those

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4.52 .P0Li_'PIo».1,'1zssAY on Tun ;-smmv. persons who have long inhabited the north and east of Europe, and attentively followed the progress of civilization among the lowest classes of the people in Poland, Norway, and Russia, will entertain 110 doubt of the reality of this accumulation of specie. Its effects must be scarcely perceptible, because the capital of all Europe is only increased at the rate of one per cent. per annum.

The view which we have exhibited in this chapter, of the present state of the mines of the New World, and of those of Mexico in particular, ought to lead us to entertain a

dread of the rapid increase of the sum of____

representative si ms, when the Highlanders

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rouse from their profound lethargy, in which they have so long been plunged. It would be remote from the principal object of this work,"to discuss whether the interests of society would really suffer from this accumulation of specie. It is sulficient in this place to observe, that the danger is not so great as it appears on a first view, because the . quantity of commodities which enter into

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lias tripled since, the treasures of’ the New Continent were poured into the Old. -This

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