Important acquisitions

Untersuchung der Grund-Satze von der Staats-Wirtschaft als ein Versuch uber die Wissenschaft von der innerlichen Politik bey freyen Nationen

Author Steuart, James, Sir
Title Untersuchung der Grund-Satze von der Staats-Wirtschaft als ein Versuch uber die Wissenschaft von der innerlichen Politik bey freyen Nationen
Imprint Tubingen: Johann Georg Cotta
Date of Publication 1769-1772
Language German
Notes This is the very rare first German edition of Steuart's 'An inquiry into the principles of political oeconomy' first published in English in 1767(RB.m.451). Another German edition was published in Hamburg in 1769 (A.109.d). It seems that two editions were published almost simultaneously in Germany, as the publishers in question were in a race to translate this work and so gain de facto copyright. Steuart was a friend of both the translator Christoph Friedrich Schott and the publisher Johann Georg Cotta. He had also lived for three years in Tubingen in the 1760s - as a Jacobite he was exiled after Culloden until 1763. It would appear that the Hamburg edition took precedence over the Tubingen one. However the Tubingen edition is more faithful to Steuart's writing - chapter 28 in this work appears in its entirety, while it was abridged in the Hamburg edition. Steuart's work was popular for a few years, but was completely overshadowed by Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' (1776). Smith was himself somewhat disparaging about Steuart stating that he understood 'Sir James's system better from his conversation that from his volumes'. Neverthelesss, German scholars of the 19th century hailed Steuart - not Smith - as the true founder of economic science. It is regarded now as the first fully-fledged economic treatise. Only three other copies of this edition have been located - one in Germany and two in the U.S.
Shelfmark RB.s.2318
Reference Sources DNB http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/steuart.htm
Acquired on 23/02/04
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