Both Jean Baptiste Colbert and Adam Smith sought to increase the wealth of their respective countries…cont..?





How did their recommendations differ?This is an AP Euroean History essay question. Please say what facts u would ut in and try to help in any way u can. Please tell me where i could find info. Thanku!



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One Response to “Both Jean Baptiste Colbert and Adam Smith sought to increase the wealth of their respective countries…cont..?”

  1. tamaraos says:

    well it is important not to make some unwaranted comparison between the two: not the same century, not the same position.One was an academic above all concern with trade-related matters, the other one a statesman mostly interested in the equilibrium of the next budget and avoiding bankruptcy.Their basic difference is that one believed that the number of international commercial opportunities were limited and constant and that a country should do anything and everything to conquer as much of this cake as possible. The point being to attract as much money in the country so has to have large fiscal revenues and be able to cover the expenses of the state. Besides, the government was deemed the most able to organize trade and the economy (Colbert).The other one theorized that the market would organise trade and the economy in the most efficient way possible. Trade itself was to be freed from tariffs and regulation since trade would automatically attract more trade in a virtuous circle of prosperity (Smith).Of course, their actual points of view were not as clearly opposed. In particular even if Colbert often developed the power of a centralizing government, he was also aware of the key role played by the individual entrepreneurs, his point was merely to help them the best he could. Besides, it also has to be said that due to the many imperfection of the market of the time (slow information, danger, uncertainty…), the benefices described by Smith were not so clear and very often colbertist policies encounters significant successes.