Is the right to exchange, if it is a right, worth our bothering about ?

Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 3, pages 1 to 6

Cobden and the League is the first book published by Frédéric Bastiat in 1845, of which the third edition published in 1864 constitutes the third volume of the Complete Works in 7 volumes. The book is a collection of translations of the minutes of meetings of the Anti Corn Law League founded in 1838, of which Richard Cobden was a figurehead. Frédéric Bastiat wrote an 80 pages introduction to the book that is structured in seven parts allowing me to bring out seven quotes corresponding to the themes approached.

Today’s quote is a rhetorical question he asks in his introduction to his writings in which he highlights the ignorance in France towards the agitation of the day in England that would lead to the repeal of the Corn Laws and ultimately, to a unilateral free-trade regime across the Channel.

The rest of the introduction will describe the economic and political situation in England, the disaster that was colonisation, a glimpse of what the League is and does, the reaction of Sir Robert Peel that followed, an exposition of the position of the French press towards the subject matter and eventually, a message of hope for the future.

Pages 1 to 6 – Pages 6 to 20Pages 20 to 30 – Pages 30 to 38 – Pages 38 to 56 – Pages 56 to 72 – Pages 72 to 80

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