The Economist

The Economist
Volume 1, No. 3

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The Economist by Various

Published:

1843

Pages:

130

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The Economist
Volume 1, No. 3

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Book Excerpt

tion of the gains. In the course of time, however, the public began to discover that these monopolies acted upon them directly as a tax of a most odious description; that the privileged person found it needful always to keep the supply short to obtain his high price (for as soon as he admitted plenty he had no command of price)--that, in short, the sovereign, in conferring a mark of regard on a favourite, gave not that which he himself possessed, but only invested him with the power of imposing a contribution on the public.

The public once awake to the true operation of such privileges, and severely suffering under the injuries which they inflicted, perseveringly struggled against these odious monopolies, until the system was entirely abandoned, and the crown was deprived of the power of granting patents of this class. But though the public saw clearly enough that these privileges granted by the sovereign to individuals operated thus prejudicially on the community, they did not see with equal clearness

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