James Steuart

Steuart, James


Born Oct. 21, 1712, in Edinburgh; died there Nov. 26, 1780. Scottish economist; one of the last representatives of mercantilism.

Steuart’s principal work, Inquiry Into the Principles of Political Economy (1767), was one of the first attempts at a systematic presentation of political economy. While remaining a mercantilist and considering the current balance of foreign trade the source of social wealth, Steuart did not think that exchange at a profit was the only source of profit. He distinguished between real and relative profit. The former arises from an increase in labor, effort, and skills, while the latter is created by selling commodities at prices above their value. Steuart thus came close to solving the problem of the origin of surplus value but did not explain it scientifically.

K. Marx saw Steuart’s contribution as a correct interpretation of the primitive accumulation of capital and noted that Steuart analyzed “the delineation of the conditions of production as the property of a definite class from the labor power” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 26, part 1, p. 11).

Steuart offered a critique of the quantitative theory of money, but in doing so he advanced the erroneous concept of an ideal monetary unit, confusing the function of money as a measure of the value with the price level and separating ideal money from actual money (gold or silver).


The Works: Political, Metaphysical and Chronological, vols. 1–6. London, 1805.
Marx, K. “K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 13. Chapter 2.
Marx, K. “Teorii pribavochnoi stoimosti” (vol. 4 of Kapital). Ibid., vol.26. Parti, ch. 1.


References in periodicals archive ?
Also, Tieben makes many interesting remarks on the priority of academic discoveries, such as that the "first ideas concerning economic equilibrium" came from the ancient Greeks, Aristotle was the "first to recognize that traders have a reciprocal benefit from exchange," James Steuart was the first to use the word "equilibrium," and Marshall was the "first to realize the usefulness of equilibrium theory" in studying complex economic phenomena.
Evolution of concept of development takes back to the interpretation of classical economists--the "superstars" of the 18th Centuring such as David Hume, Adam Smith, James Steuart when the concern was solely economic growth, the distribution of wealth, etc.
Applying his knowledge of the history of monetary thought, Tom traced the debate from the mercantilist writers John Law and James Steuart to their classical quantity theory critics David Hume and others in the 18th century, to the Bullionist-Antibullionist controversy in the early 19th century, to the Currency School-Banking School debate in the middle decades of that century, to the mid-19th / early 20th century disputes between cost-pushers Thomas Tooke and James Laurence Laughlin and their opponents Knut Wicksell and Irving Fisher, and finally to the German hyperinflation debate of the early-to-mid-1920s.
Assign students to investigate the theories of Francis Hutcheson and Sir James Steuart and to present a brief report on how they influenced Mr.
Thus, in my own course, I might mention Frances Hutcheson's influence on Smith or the latter's quiet rivalry with Sir James Steuart.
In this manner, the mercantilism of John Law and Sir James Steuart gave way to the classicism of David Hume and David Ricardo, the Currency School's classicism bowed to John Maynard Keynes's mercantilism, the mercantilist doctrines of Keynes's disciples yielded to Milton Friedman's classical monetarism, and so forth.
The clearest and most emphatic statements of the foregoing propositions came from John Law and Sir James Steuart, two economists writing near the close of the mercantilist era.
Rashid further argues that Smith ignored the work of his competitors Sir James Steuart, the Reverend Josiah Tucker, and Arthur Young.
Indeed, (1) Sir James Steuart in 1767, (2) antibullionist writers during the Bank Restriction controversy of 1797-1821, (3) the Banking School's leader Thomas Tooke in the 1840s, (4) gold standard proponents during the late-nineteenth-century bimetallism debate, (5) J.
In separate chapters we can learn at the feet of Plato, Sir James Steuart, John Stuart Mill, Schumpeter and Hayek.
John Law and, more particularly, Sir James Steuart, are sympathetically portrayed.
His treatment of David Hume and Sir James Steuart adds much to our understanding of those scholars, but even better is the way he handles Smith.