How the Netherlanders Got Wealthy
3 minutes • 430 words
The prodigious increase of the Netherlanders in their domestic and foreign trade, riches, and multitude of shipping, is the envy of the present, and may be the wonder of future generations.
Yet it is obvious how they have advanced themselves. This can be copied by other nations.
Some of the said means by which they have advanced their trade, and thereby improved their estates, are these following,
- Their greatest councils of state and war have trading-merchants as members.
- lived abroad
- both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience of trade
They suggest laws and peace treaties which benefit their own trade.
- Their law of gavel-kind lets all children possess an equal share of their fathers estates after their decease.
They are not left to wrestle with the world in their youth.
On the contary, most of our youngest sons of English gentlemen are. These become bound apprentices to merchants.
- Their exact making of all their native commodities, and packing of their herring, codﬁsh, and all other commodities, which they send abroad in great quantities.
This makes their commodities reputable abroad. The buyers accept of them by the marks, without opening.
Whereas the following often prove false and deceitfully made:
- fish at Newfoundland and New-England
- herrings at Yarmouth.
Our pilchards from the west-country are false packed. They seldom contain the quantity for which the hogsheads are marked in which they are packed.
In England, our forefathers tried to regulate manufactures.
- They invented a seal as a signal that the commodity was made according to the statutes.
- When it was left to be done by some person, in a short time resolved but into a commodity tax without respect to the goodness of it.
- That seal may now be bought by thousands, and put on whatever the buyers want.
- Their giving great encouragement and immunities to:
- the inventors of new manufactures
- the discoverers of any new mysteries in trade
- those who shall bring the commodities of other nations ﬁrst in use and practice amongst them; for which the author never goes without his due reward allowed him at the public charge.
- Their contriving and building of great ships to sail with small charge, not above 1/3 of what we have, for ships of the same burden in England.
They compel their said ships, being of small force to sail always in ﬂeets, to which in all time of danger they allow convoy.
- Their parsimonious and thrifty living, which is so extraordinary,
A merchant of 100,000 pounds estate will scarce expend as one of 1,500 pounds estate in London.