Walbank of Cambridge University; and Thomas G. These bibliographical details are important because they show how highly the essays were regarded by Hume himself and by many others up to the present century.
Due to this unique situation, the accompanying debate about national debt in The Netherlands differed significantly from its British and French counterparts. The examples in this article illustrate that the evolution of the modern war finance system was debated in the Dutch Republic during the eighteenth century and that this discussion was very different from the British and French debates about the same topic.
Applying the methodology of intellectual historians such as Oz-Salzberger, Velema, and Nijenhuis, 7 this article will consider translation as a process of adapting an original text to a target culture by linguistic and cultural alterations, and understand reception as a discussion of ideas and texts.
They focused on discouraging their fellow-citizens from investing in British stock by presenting the island as unstable, vicious, and factious and contrasting it with investment alternatives such as France, America, or Dutch commerce and industry.Only the public creditors, a notoriously unpatriotic group, possess any sort of income. This process can be illustrated by three instances. He examines the two options a government would have if a rebellion or a foreign aggressor endangered the country in such a situation. To illustrate his concern, the translator employs the image of these investors being contentedly asleep on a shore, which is constantly crumbling away and may dissolve suddenly through a national bankruptcy of England. While the translator and the immediate reception confined themselves to criticising investors, rentiers were increasingly held responsible for the perceived decline of the Republic. Because of its commercial success, several new editions and translations followed almost immediately. Third, I have given citations for the many quotations or references that Hume leaves uncited. Rae, Keeper of Manuscripts, for his timely assistance in obtaining the necessary photocopy. Therefore, Hume argues for the option of a voluntary national bankruptcy. On the other hand, the consequences for foreign affairs were much more precarious, since the national debt endangered the very existence of a country within the international state system. With the beginning of Dutch investments in the evolving national debt of Great Britain in the s, pamphlets, essays, poems, and songs appeared that aimed at a broad Dutch audience and tried to shape public opinion about this financial relationship. He also compiled an overview of the estimated Dutch holdings of British stock: Idem, — Therefore, Hume expresses his scepticism about the sustainability of the new system to finance warfare: We all own, that the most sanguine imagination cannot hope, either that this or any future ministry will be possest of such rigid and steady frugality, as to make any considerable progress in the payment of our debts, or that the situation of foreign affairs will, for any long time, allow them leisure and tranquillity, sufficient for such an undertaking. Nineteen of these date back to the two original volumes of Essays, Moral and Political — By , these essays from the original volumes would have gone through eleven editions.
In either case, the Dutch will be affected and, according to the translator, the effects will be pernicious and ruinous.
By then, stock was also held by charitable institutions, although individuals remained more important. Especially in the second half of the eighteenth century, political thinkers tried to find correctives for the perceived political, economic, and social distortions caused by the national debt system.
LaFleur, James C.LaFleur, James C. A comparison of the edition of Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary with that of shows that Hume reworked carefully the last edition that he prepared for the press, sometimes making substantial changes. The King is described as completely incompetent, so much so that he has become insolvent and his estate is to be auctioned later in the year in London. The two reviewers have helped significantly to give the article its current shape. He sometimes misquotes his sources or gives misleading citations. Two fictitious characters are presented as having an argument. Hayek, Leo Strauss, and Joseph Cropsey. Intellectual historians have demonstrated that the uncertainty and ambivalence caused by the evolution of public credit also led to the formulation of reform proposals that aimed to prevent potential collapse and destruction. Since it is hoped that this edition will be useful to beginning students and general readers, I have tended to prefer fullness in these annotations, even though much is included that will be known to specialists in one area or another of eighteenth-century studies. Superscript Lowercase Letters.
Proponents tried to encourage potential investors by presenting Britain as stable, reliable, and committed. InHume issued a large number of new essays under the title Political Discourses, a work so successful that a second edition was published before the year was out, and a third in To avoid being ruined and thereby causing the decline of the whole Republic, the spectator suggests that these rentiers either engage in commerce and industry or invest in land and property, depending on their financial means.
Britain, in contrast, cannot resort to this measure to lower the burden of its national debt since its credit greatly exceeds the real value of the country.