Trade is the dominant subject in nineteenth century economics. During the course of the century, Britain was transformed from a protectionist power to an open economy, a change embodied by the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. This is reflected in the economic literature of the period, with the qualified free trade advocacy of the early classical economists developing into more strident views of the Manchester School. However throughout the period free trade did not go unchallenged, and by the end of the century a fully developed protectionist position had emerged represented by, for example, the economic nationalism of Henry Carey in the United States and in the fair trade movement in Britain.
Free Trade: 1793-1886 provides a comprehensive collection of materials relating to the major debates about external trade in the nineteenth century. It represents a wide range of opinions, and combines materials by leading figures, with some extremely rare but representative pieces from less well-known names. The collection includes an original introduction by the editor, and each of the individual pieces has been carefully retypeset.
The set includes material by: James Mill, Richard Cobden, Robert Torrens, John Ramsey McCulloch, Freidrich List, Henry Carey and M. Frederick Bastiet.