Verri, Pietro

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Verri, Pietro


Born Dec. 12, 1728, in Milan; died there June 28, 1797. Count. Italian educator, philosopher, economist, and jurist.

Verri was connected with the French Encyclopedists. In administering his official duties, he helped pass antifeudal reforms in the fields of customs and finance in Lombardy in the 1760’s through 1780’s. He was a member of the Society of the Fist, a political group of Italian enlighteners in Milan. In his economic views Verri combined elements of mercantilism and physiocratism, even though he was critical of some of the physiocrats’ ideas. He advocated freedom of domestic trade and the export of grain, but, in contrast to the physiocrats, he defended a moderate policy of protectionism. He argued that production does not create new material but merely changes its form relative to people’s needs. Verri’s principal work, Meditations on Political Economy (1771), was widely known in its time and was translated into a number of foreign languages.


Meditazioni sulla economia politica. Genoa, 1771.
Scrittori classici italiani di economia politica: Parte moderna, vol. 16. Edited by P. Custodi. Milan, 1804.
Storia di Milano, vols. 1-4. Milan, 1830.


Vernadskii, L. Kritiko-istoricheskoe issledovanie ob italianskoi politiko-ekonomicheskoi literature do nachala XIX veka. Moscow, 1849. Pages 58-68.
Valeri, N. Pietro Verri. Milan [1937].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Born in 1785 as the product of a love affair between Giulia and Giovanni Verri, Pietro Verri's youngest brother, Manzoni is in fact a descendant of both the Verri and Beccaria families.