Marx, Karl (Heinrich). Remarkable autograph letter, in English, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1847 to Archibald Alison

Lot Number 213
Author Marx, Karl (Heinrich).
Title Marx, Karl (Heinrich). Remarkable autograph letter, in English, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1847 to Archibald Alison
Year Published 1847
Place Printed Edinburgh Scotland
Printed By
Description Marx, Karl (Heinrich). Remarkable autograph letter, in English, 2 pages (8 x 6 ¼ in.; 203 x 159 mm.), Edinburgh, Scotland, 1847 to Archibald Alison; chipped at corners; mounting remnant at right margin on verso.
Comments Karl Marx discusses the effect of monetary policy on agricultural economics and foreign trade.

In this extraordinary letter Marx writes in part: Free Trade and a Fettered Currency The experience of every age has demonstrated that so great is the effect of capital and civilization applied to manufactures, and so considerable, comparatively speaking, the influence upon agriculture, that the old state can undersell the new one in the industry of towns, and the new one undersell the old one in the industry of the country. The proof of this idea is in England, by the aid of the slavery we can undersell the . . . of Hindostan in the manufacture of muslin from cotton grown on the banks of the Ganges. But with all the advantages of chemical manure and tile draining, it is undersold in the supply of food by the cultivators on the freetrade. The ultimate universal state would fall into the degrading dependence of ancient Rome on the harvests of Egypt and Libya. Nearly all the manufactures in Lancashire and Lanarkshire are put on short hire. Here then were all the sounds and marks of prosperity, so far as they depend on a state of unexampled vigour and efficiency was then attended, as we were constantly told it would be, by a corresponding repulse given to our manufactures. The increased activity of our manufacturing compensated for the sterility of so large a part of our field. The fact is just the reverse...have exceeded 6 million qurs . . . total manufactured produce of the island is certainly not under £200,000,000 for the foreign markets of the world. In free trade it has caused fifteen millions worth of domestic agricultural produce to be exchanged for fifteen millions worth of foreign agricultural produce...Distress also certainly to be ascribed to the supplanting of the natural substance, of a large part of home produce, by an equally large part of foreign product. A powers of absorption goes on or the occurrence of . . . but not the absorption of labour by capital by pauperism for their hundreds, while holders of notes though more numerous there for their pounds. In 1846 £6,000,000 in postoffice orders were written. It may seem pardonable to enumerate the easy pound of anything as equivalent to actual possession as influencing if not constituting a circulation; but of 2 well known to be so, and to have a corresponding effect on difficult times. In commercial and manufacturing industry with the world, cheap capital was one of our chief advantages, but had our honest industry prosper or live when the interest of capital which was at 2½% is now at 8 to 10% and even during several days all quotations of it had ceased, and the best orders to our manufacturers were unexecuted owing to the entire paralysis of credit. The . . . consequent on the withholding the accommodation, profusely awarded at one time and abruptly withdrawn at another, are incalculable. The theory is the adverse state of foreign exchange, from whatever cause arising, and whether temporary or otherwise. To be corrected by making money scarce, and thereby lowering the value of all merchandise. Do these reasons comprehend the losses occasioned by the depreciation of all monies when this is applied to correct every occasional fluctuation of exchanges? How can it be supposed that you can suddenly create by cheapness new markets for goods rather than of necessity? The absorption of capital for railroads though greatly desirable for those who require that capital for the ordinary purposes of trade, does not necessarily affect the operations of the bank to the integrity of the rates . . . .

The great German political philosopher writes to Archibald Alison, a Scottish historian and author of the History of Europe during the French Revolution. A fascinating letter with quintessential content from Marx.
Estimated Price USD 20,000.00 - 30,000.00
Actual Price USD 112,100.00



Auction House Profiles in History
Auction Name The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector.
Sale Number #54
Auction Date December 18, 2012 - December 18, 2012
Book Images 213 213-1