|Died||30 November 1846 57) (aged|
|Influences||Adolphe Thiers , Jean-Antoine Chaptal , Alexander Hamilton, Adam Müller, Daniel Raymond|
|Contributions|| National System of Innovation |
Founded the historical school of economics
Georg Friedrich List (6 August 1789 – 30 November 1846) was a German economist with dual American citizenshipwho developed the "National System", also known as the National System of Innovation. He was a forefather of the German historical school of economics, and argued for the German Customs Union from a Nationalist standpoint. He advocated imposing tariffs on imported goods while supporting free trade of domestic goods, and stated the cost of a tariff should be seen as an investment in a nation's future productivity.
An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.
The historical school of economics was an approach to academic economics and to public administration that emerged in the 19th century in Germany, and held sway there until well into the 20th century. The professors involved compiled massive economic histories of Germany and Europe. Numerous Americans were their students. The school was opposed by theoretical economists. Prominent leaders included Gustav von Schmoller (1838–1917), and Max Weber (1864–1920) in Germany, and Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) in Austria and the United States.
The Zollverein, or German Customs Union, was a coalition of German states formed to manage tariffs and economic policies within their territories. Organized by the 1833 Zollverein treaties, it formally started on 1 January 1834. However, its foundations had been in development from 1818 with the creation of a variety of custom unions among the German states. By 1866, the Zollverein included most of the German states. The foundation of the Zollverein was the first instance in history in which independent states consummated a full economic union without the simultaneous creation of a political federation or union.
List was a liberal who promoted representative democracy and civil liberties and contributed to the Staatslexikon of Karl von Rotteck and Carl Theodor Welcker.Emmanuel Todd considers the work of John Maynard Keynes to be the logical continuation of List's theories.
Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Yellow is the political colour most commonly associated with liberalism.
Karl Wenzeslaus Rodecker von Rotteck was a German political activist, historian, politician and political scientist. He was a prominent advocate of freedom of the press and the abolition of compulsory labor.
Carl Theodor Georg Philipp Welcker was a German law professor, politician and journalist.
List was born in Reutlingen, Württemberg. Unwilling to follow the occupation of his father, who was a prosperous tanner, he became an accountant in the public service (a so-called 'Cameralist of the Bureaus'), and by 1816 had risen to the post of ministerial under-secretary. In 1817, he was appointed professor of administration and politics at the University of Tübingen, but the fall of the ministry in 1819 compelled him to resign. As a deputy to the Württemberg chamber, he was active in advocating administrative reforms. He was eventually expelled from the chamber and in April 1822 sentenced to ten months' imprisonment with hard labor in the fortress of Asperg. He escaped to Alsace, and after visiting France and England returned in 1824 to finish his sentence, and was released on undertaking to emigrate to America.
Reutlingen is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is the capital of the eponymous district of Reutlingen. As of June 2018, it has a population of 115,818. Reutlingen has a university of applied sciences, which was founded in 1855, originally as a weavers' school. Today Reutlingen is home to an established textile industry and also houses machinery, leather goods and steel manufacturing facilities. It has the narrowest street in the world, Spreuerhofstraße.
The Duchy of Württemberg was a duchy located in the south-western part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a member of the Holy Roman Empire from 1495 to 1806. The dukedom's long survival for nearly four centuries was mainly due to its size, being larger than its immediate neighbors. During the Protestant Reformation, Württemberg faced great pressure from the Holy Roman Empire to remain a member. Württemberg resisted repeated French invasions in the 17th and 18th centuries. Württemberg was directly in the path of French and Austrian armies who were engaged in the long rivalry between the House of Bourbon and the House of Habsburg. In 1803, Napoleon raised the duchy to be the Electorate of Württemberg of the Holy Roman Empire. On 1 January 1806, the last Elector assumed the title of King of Württemberg. Later that year, on 6 August 1806, the last Emperor, Francis II, abolished the Holy Roman Empire.
Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. A tannery is the place where the skins are processed.
Arriving in the United States in 1825, he settled in Pennsylvania, where he became an extensive landholder.He first engaged in farming, but soon switched to journalism and edited a German paper in Reading. He was active in the establishment of railroads. Some argue (e.g. Chang, 2002) that it was in America that he gathered from a study of Alexander Hamilton's work the inspiration which made him an economist of his pronounced "National System" views which found realization in Henry Clay's American System. Others deny this (Daastøl, 2011), since he argued for a German customs union already in 1819, when he established the first German union for industry and trade. List's ideas on protectionism predate his American sojourn, and were influenced by liberal protectionists such as Adolphe Thiers. The main theoretical reference approvingly cited by List in his 1827 pamphlet Outlines of American Political Economy, in which he defended the doctrine of pragmatic protection and free trade, was Jean-Antoine Chaptal’s De l’industrie française (1819). The discovery of coal on some land which he had acquired made him financially independent.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, as well as citizen journalists using methods of gathering information and using literary techniques. Journalistic media include print, television, radio, Internet, and, in the past, newsreels.
Reading is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 87,575, it is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Located in the southeastern part of the state, it is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area, and is furthermore included in the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area.
In 1830, he was appointed United States consul at Hamburg, but on his arrival in Europe he found that the Senate had failed to confirm his appointment.After residing for some time in Paris, he returned to Pennsylvania. He next settled in Leipzig in 1833, where for some time he was U.S. consul. He was a journalist in Paris from 1837 to 1843, where he wrote articles for Thiers's centre-left paper Le Constitutionnel . He wrote several letters for the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung, which were published in 1841 in a volume under the title of Das nationale System der politischen Oekonomie.
Consul was the title of one of the two chief magistrates of the Roman Republic, and subsequently also an important title under the Roman Empire. The title was used in other European city states through antiquity and the Middle Ages, then revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic. The related adjective is consular, from the Latin consularis.
Hamburg, officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany after Berlin and 8th largest city in the European Union with a population of over 1.8 million.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
In 1843 he established the Zollvereinsblatt in Augsburg, a newspaper in which he advocated the enlargement of the customs union (German : Zollverein ), and the organization of a national commercial system. He strongly advocated the extension of the railway system in Germany. The development of the Zollverein to where it unified Germany economically was due largely to his enthusiasm and ardour.
Augsburg is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
In 1841, his ill health had led him to decline an offer to edit the Rheinische Zeitung , a new Cologne paper of liberal views, and Karl Marx took the post.He visited Austria and Hungary in 1844. In 1846, he visited England with a view to forming a commercial alliance between that country and Germany, but was unsuccessful. His latter days were darkened by many misfortunes; he lost much of his American property in a financial crisis, ill-health also overtook him, and he killed himself on 30 November 1846.
List's hostility to free trade was first decisively shaped by the ideas of his friend Adolphe Thiers and other liberal protectionists in France.He was also later influenced by Alexander Hamilton and the American School rooted in Hamilton's economic principles, including Daniel Raymond, but also by the general mode of thinking of America's first Treasury Secretary, and by his strictures on the doctrine of Adam Smith. He opposed the cosmopolitan principle in the contemporary economical system and the absolute doctrine of free trade which was in harmony with that principle, and instead developed the infant industry argument, to which he had been exposed by Hamilton and Raymond. He gave prominence to the national idea and insisted on the special requirements of each nation according to its circumstances and especially to the degree of its development. He famously doubted the sincerity of calls to free trade from developed nations, in particular Britain:
Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than to throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tones that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth.
His idea of productive powers was influenced by the philosophy of productivitiy of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling.He was acquainted with Robert Schumann and Heinrich Heine.
List's theory of "national economics" differed from the doctrines of "individual economics" and "cosmopolitan economics" by Adam Smith and J.B. Say. List contrasted the economic behaviour of an individual with that of a nation. An individual promotes only his own personal interests but a state fosters the welfare of all its citizens. An individual may prosper from activities which harm the interests of a nation. "Slavery may be a public calamity for a country, nevertheless some people may do very well in carrying on the slave trade and in holding slaves." Likewise, activities beneficial to society may injure the interests of certain individuals. "Canals and railroads may do great good to a nation, but all waggoners will complain of this improvement. Every new invention has some inconvenience for a number of individuals, and is nevertheless a public blessing". List argued that although some government action was essential to stimulate the economy, an overzealous government might do more harm than good. "It is bad policy to regulate everything and to promote everything by employing social powers, where things may better regulate themselves and can be better promoted by private exertions; but it is no less bad policy to let those things alone which can only be promoted by interfering social power."
Due to the "universal union" that nations have with their populace, List stated that "from this political union originates their commercial union, and it is in consequence of the perpetual peace thus maintained that commercial union has become so beneficial to them. ... The result of a general free trade would not be a universal republic, but, on the contrary, a universal subjection of the less advanced nations to the predominant manufacturing, commercial and naval power, is a conclusion for which the reasons are very strong. ... A universal republic ... , i.e. a union of the nations of the earth whereby they recognise the same conditions of right among themselves and renounce self-redress, can only be realised if a large number of nationalities attain to as nearly the same degree as possible of industry and civilisation, political cultivation and power. Only with the gradual formation of this union can free trade be developed; only as a result of this union can it confer on all nations the same great advantages which are now experienced by those provinces and states which are politically united. The system of protection, inasmuch as it forms the only means of placing those nations which are far behind in civilisation on equal terms with the one predominating nation, appears to be the most efficient means of furthering the final union of nations, and hence also of promoting true freedom of trade."
In his seventh letter List repeated his assertion that economists should realise that since the human race is divided into independent states, "a nation would act unwisely to endeavour to promote the welfare of the whole human race at the expense of its particular strength, welfare, and independence. It is a dictate of the law of self-preservation to make its particular advancement in power and strength the first principles of its policy". A country should not count the cost of defending the overseas trade of its merchants. And "the manufacturing and agricultural interest must be promoted and protected even by sacrifices of the majority of the individuals, if it can be proved that the nation would never acquire the necessary perfection ... without such protective measures."
List argued that statesmen had two responsibilities: "one to contemporary society and one to future generations". Normally, most of leaders' attention is occupied by urgent matters, leaving little time to consider future problems. But when a country had reached a turning point in its development, its leaders were morally obliged to deal with issues that would affect the next generation. "On the threshold of a new phase in the development of their country, statesmen should be prepared to take the long view, despite the need to deal also with matters of immediate urgency."
List's fundamental doctrine was that a nation's true wealth is the full and many-sided development of its productive power, rather than its current exchange values. For example, its economic education should be more important than immediate production of value, and it might be right that one generation should sacrifice its gain and enjoyment to secure the strength and skill of the future. Under normal conditions, an economically mature nation should also develop agriculture, manufacture and commerce. However, the last two factors were more important since they better influenced the nation's culture and independence and were especially connected to navigation, railways and high technology, and a purely-agricultural state tended to stagnate
However, List claimed that only countries in temperate regions were adapted to grow higher forms of industry. On the other hand, tropical regions had a natural monopoly in the production of certain raw materials. Thus, there were a spontaneous division of labor and a confederation of powers between both groups of countries.
List contended that Smith's economic system is not an industrial system but a mercantile system, and he called it "the exchange-value system". Contrary to Smith, he argued that the immediate private interest of individuals would not lead to the highest good of society. The nation stood between the individual and humanity, and was defined by its language, manners, historical development, culture and constitution. The unity must be the first condition of the security, well-being, progress and civilization of the individual. Private economic interests, like all others, must be subordinated to the maintenance, completion and strengthening of the nation.
List theorised that nations of the temperate zone (which are furnished with all the necessary conditions) naturally pass through stages of economic development in advancing to their normal economic state. These are:
The progress of the nation through these stages is the task of the state, which must create the required conditions for the progress by using legislation and administrative action. This view leads to List's scheme of industrial politics. Every nation should begin with free trade, stimulating and improving its agriculture by trade with richer and more cultivated nations, importing foreign manufactures and exporting raw products. When it is economically so far advanced that it can manufacture for itself, then protection should be used to allow the home industries to develop, and save them from being overpowered by the competition of stronger foreign industries in the home market. When the national industries have grown strong enough that this competition is not a threat, then the highest stage of progress has been reached; free trade should again become the rule, and the nation be thus thoroughly incorporated with the universal industrial union. What a nation loses in exchange during the protective period, it more than gains in the long run in productive power. The temporary expenditure is analogous to the cost of the industrial education of the individual.
In a thousand cases the power of the State is compelled to impose restrictions on private industry. It prevents the ship owner from taking on board slaves on the west coast of Africa, and taking them over to America. It imposes regulations as to the building of steamers and the rules of navigation at sea, in order that passengers and sailors may not be sacrificed to the avarice and caprice of the captains. [...] Everywhere does the State consider it to be its duty to guard the public against danger and loss, as in the sale of the necessaries of life, so also in the sale of medicines, etc.
While List once had urged Germany to join other 'manufacturing nations of the second rank' to check Britain's 'insular supremacy', by 1841 he considered that the United States and Russia would become the most powerful countries[ citation needed ]—a view also expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville the previous year. List hoped to persuade political leaders in England to co-operate with Germany to ward off this danger. His proposal was perhaps not so far-fetched as might appear at first sight. In 1844, the writer of an article in a leading review had declared that 'in every point of view, whether politically or commercially, we can have no better alliance than that of the German nation, spreading as it does, its 42 millions of souls without interruption over the surface of central Europe'.
The practical conclusion which List drew for Germany was that it needed for its economic progress an extended and conveniently bounded territory reaching to the seacoast both on north and south, and a vigorous expansion of manufacture and trade, and that the way to the latter lay through judicious protective legislation with a customs union comprising all German lands, and a German marine with a Navigation Act. The national German spirit, striving after independence and power through union, and the national industry, awaking from its lethargy and eager to recover lost ground, were favorable to the success of List's book, and it produced a great sensation. He ably represented the tendencies and demands of his time in his own country; his work had the effect of fixing the attention, not merely of the speculative and official classes, but of practical men generally, on questions of political economy; and his ideas were undoubtedly the economic foundation of modern Germany as applied by the practical genius of Bismarck.
List considered that Napoleon's 'Continental System', aimed just at damaging Britain during a bitter long-term war, had in fact been quite good for German industry. This was the direct opposite of what was believed by the followers of Adam Smith. As List put it:
I perceived that the popular theory took no account of nations, but simply of the entire human race on the one hand, or of the single individual on the other. I saw clearly that free competition between two nations which are highly civilised can only be mutually beneficial in case both of them are in a nearly equal position of industrial development, and that any nation which owing to misfortunes is behind others in industry, commerce, and navigation ... must first of all strengthen her own individual powers, in order to fit herself to enter into free competition with more advanced nations. In a word, I perceived the distinction between cosmopolitical and political economy.
List's argument was that Germany should follow actual English practice rather than the abstractions of Smith's doctrines:
Had the English left everything to itself—'Laissez faire, laissez aller', as the popular economical school recommends—the [German] merchants of the Steelyard would be still carrying on their trade in London, the Belgians would be still manufacturing cloth for the English, England would have still continued to be the sheep-farm of the Hansards, just as Portugal became the vineyard of England, and has remained so till our days, owing to the stratagem of a cunning diplomatist. Indeed, it is more than probable that without her [highly protectionist] commercial policy England would never have attained to such a large measure of municipal and individual freedom as she now possesses, for such freedom is the daughter of industry and wealth.
List was the leading promoter of railways in Germany. His proposals on how to start up a system were widely adopted.He summed up the advantages to be derived from the development of the railway system in 1841:
List's principal work is entitled Das Nationale System der Politischen Ökonomie (1841) and was translated into English as The National System of Political Economy.
Before 1914, List and Marx were the two best-known German economists and theorists of development, although Marx can hardly be classified as a development economist since he (unlike List) devised no policies to promote development and instead stuck to policies that primarily promoted revolution.[ citation needed ]
This book has been more frequently translated than the works of any other German economist, except Karl Marx.
He is credited with influencing National Socialism in Germany, and his ideas are credited as forming the basis of the European Economic Community.
In Ireland he influenced Arthur Griffith of Sinn Féin and these theories were used by the Fianna Fáil government in the 1930s to instigate protectionism with a view to developing Irish industry.
Among others he strongly influenced was Sergei Witte, the Imperial Russian Minister of Finance, 1892-1903. Witte's plan for rapid industrialisation was centred around railroad construction (the Trans-Siberian railroad for example) and a policy of protectionism. At the time, it was largely considered that Russia was a backward country with an under developed economy. The boom which was seen during the 1890s was largely credited to Witte's policy.
Angus Maddison noted that:
As Marx was not interested in the survival of the capitalist system, he was not really concerned with economic policy, except in so far as the labour movement was involved. There, his argument was concentrated on measures to limit the length of the working day, and to strengthen trade union bargaining power. His analysis was also largely confined to the situation in the leading capitalist country of his day—the UK—and he did not consider the policy problems of other Western countries in catching up with the lead country (as Friedrich List did). In so far as Marx was concerned with other countries, it was mainly with poor countries which were victims of Western imperialism in the merchant capitalist era.
Heterodox economists, such as Ha-Joon Chang and Erik Reinert, refer to List often explicitly when writing about suitable economic policies for developing countries. List's influence among developing nations has been considerable. Japan has followed his model.
The international economic policy of Meiji Japan was a combination of Hideyoshi's mercantilism and Friedrich List's Nationale System der politischen Ökonomie.
It has also been argued that Deng Xiaoping's post-Mao policies were inspired by List, as well as recent policies in India.
China, under Deng, took on the clear features of a 'developmental dictatorship under single-party auspices.' The PRC would then belong to a class of regimes familiar to the 20th century that have their ideological sources in classical Marxism, but better reflect the developmental, nationalist views of Friedrich List.
A 1943 German film The Endless Road portrayed List's life and achievements. He was played by Eugen Klöpfer.
List's ideas were the basis for the European Economic Community. [ better source needed ]
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