[Schmid d'Avenstein, Georg Ludwig]. Principes de la législation universelle.

Amsterdam, Marc-Michel Rey, 1776.

8vo. 2 vols. in one. XX, 389, (3) pp. (4), 474, (2) pp. Contemporary full vellum with giltstamped red label to spine on 5 raised bands. All edges sprinkled blue.


First edition. A treatise on social organization and political economy which shows a remarkable resemblance to the theories of the Physiocrats. Schmid(t) (1720-1805) was born in Avenstein, Switzerland, and long served as councillor to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. He was in contact with many of the French enlightened philosophers of his time, including Voltaire, Diderot and d'Alembert. In the present book the author states that a flourishing agriculture is a distinguishing mark for the prosperity of a nation, as is an abundant population whose every member feels at ease. He favours private property and inequality of wealth as inherent to the natural order, but rejects luxury and pleads for direct rather than indirect taxation. Moreover, he argues for the promotion of the arts and sciences, for education for all classes of society, which entails freedom of thought, speech and writing, and for the establishment of a lasting peace.

Slight flaw to vellum at foot of front hinge, otherwise fine.


INED 4116 (at length). Einaudi A867. Not in Kress.

Stock Code: BN#48648 Tags: , ,