There are perhaps serious objections to any attempt to embrace in one survey a variety of views expressed upon a subject-matter which is continually changing. Between 1740 and 1790 considerable changes took place both in the amount and in the character of the public debt, and it may therefore appear improper to compare even over such a short period the opinions which were put forward upon the subject. There may be some doubts as to the possibility of drawing any valuable conclusion from a comparison, for example, of An Essay upon the National Debt and the National Capital, published in 1750, and Sir John Sinclair’s History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire, the first edition of which appeared ...

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