With selected readings ranging from the mercantilists of the 16th and 17th centuries to contemporary 20th century authors, Free Trade versus Protectionism addresses one of the oldest controversies in economic science - the fundamental opposition of these two doctrines. It is the first book ever to trace this debate over more than three centuries.
Overbeek presents arguments advanced by advocates of free trade and protectionism alike, creating a useful tool for scrutinizing the standpoints of both schools. The book consists of seven parts, beginning with mercantilism and its critics. Subsequent sections examine the free traders and protectionists of the nineteenth century, the evolution of the debate between 1900 and 1940, and the discussion of free trade versus protectionism during the latter half of the twentieth century. At the beginning of each section, the editor's survey of the period under review places the material in proper context; the selections themselves are then preceded by the editor's introduction, which contains a brief biography of the author and an explanation of the author's views.
Free Trade versus Protectionism will prove a useful source book for professors and students of the history of economic thought, international economics, international politics, and international business.
Johannes Overbeek, Professor of Economics, University of the Virgin Islands
Contents: Preface 1. Mercantilism and its Critics 2. Classical Liberalism and Free Trade in the Late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century 3. Protectionism in the Nineteenth Century 4. The Decline of Economic Liberalism and the Idea of Free Trade during the 1990-1940 Period 5. Protectionist Arguments during the 1900-1940 Period 6. The Economics of Free Trade during the Second Half of the Twentieth Century 7. Protectionist Opinions and the Idea of Managed Trade after 1945 Conclusion Index