First Edition in English
LIST, Friedrich. National System of Political Economy. Translated from the Original German by G.A. Matile, Doctor of Civil War; Late Professor of Law at Neufchatel; Member if the American Philosophical Society, Etc. Including the Notes of the French Translation, by Henri Richelot...with a Preliminary Essay and Notes by Stephen Colwell. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co. , 1856.
First edition in English and first American edition. Octavo (9 x 5 7/8 inches; 229 x 148 mm). lxxxiv, 61-497, (3, blank) pp. We could only find 2 copies on OCLC at the British Library and Oxford. We could find no copies at auction in the past 50 years.

Publisher's full maroon cloth. Boards elaborately stamped and tooled in blind. Publisher's logo as central device, stamped in blind. Spine lettered in gilt. Spine and back board a bit sunned. Some minor shelfwear to spine extremities and edges. Some occasional mild foxing. A faint dampstain to top corner in the first half, not touching text. Overall a very good copy.

“Friedrich List [1789-1846] is one of the earliest and most severe critics of the classical school of political economy. He denounced Adam Smith and his disciples as the ‘cosmopolitan school’ and held that universal free trade was an ideal that could be achieved only in the far distant future. For the time being, he argued, each nation should foster the development of its own manufacturers by import duties and even outright prohibitions. Only by such means could countries like Germany, Russia and the United States ever hope to achieve the industrial efficiency that would enable them to compete on equal terms with Britain” (Blaug, Great Economists before Keynes, pp. 129-131).

“Despite the influence of Alexander Hamilton, the seeds of ‘The National System of Political Economy’ are to be found in the romantic theories of Adam Müller (1779-1829). From him List derived his opposition to Adam Smith and the principle of free-trade. He denied Smith’s parallel between the economic good of the individual and the state, and saw in Smith’s ‘free trade’ unprincipled private advantage to the detriment of the state. To List, the nation was a separate unit standing between the concepts of the individual and humanity as a whole; its unity consisting of common language, traditions, culture and constitution. It followed that its wealth lay not in the capacity for commercial international exchange, as Smith held, bu in the development of its own economic and productive resources. Thus, the good of the national economy must override that of the individual. From this followed List’s theory of industrial politics, which was based on an alternating pattern of free trade and controls determined always by the final good of the state...These views coincided so exactly with the reawakening of German nationalism that List’s book caused a great sensation when it was published, and it remained for seventy years the theoretic gospel of the advocates of protectionist tariffs in Germany, Britain and the United States” (Printing and the Mind of Man).

Einaudi. Goldsmiths'. Kress. PMM.

HBS # 67916 $2,500