Chapter 9

The Rural Economy

August 4, 2022

The 7 Obstacles to Agricultural Development

In The Lectures on Jurisprudence, Adam Smith enumerated the 7 obstacles to agriculture:

  1. Lack of cultivation by the big land owners

  2. Payment of the rent in kind

The farmer has less produce to pay as rent after a bad harvest, but he will have a bit more money to pay because the scarcity will increase the money price of his little harvest.

  1. Additional taxes by the government (kings)

  2. Right of Primogeniture and Entails

Feudal Rules in Property Transfer

  1. Banning Food Exports During Famines

  2. Slave labour

  3. Oppression of merchants and private enterprise

Only the Jews were strong enough to withstand oppression, well enough to make money

The oppression by merchants and private enterprises against rural industries can take the form of the following:

7.a. Imperfect law on contracts

7.b. Difficulty of transportation

7.c. The monopoly of fairs and markets and staple towns

7.d. Taxes on imported and exported goods

7.e. The monopoly and exclusive privileges of corporations

7.f. The statute of apprenticeship

7.g. Some bounties which encourage one commodity and hinder another