The political economy of Henry Martyn, 1701-1721

  • Scott King

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


According a detailed analysis of Henry Martyn's political economic ideology, this work attempts to establish the writer at the forefront of a great synthesis in early-eighteenth century economic thought. Though largely unheralded, he unpacked the component parts of labour-generated economic growth with greater fluidity than many of his contemporaries. Thoroughly radical, Martyn sought the establishment of a dynamic market economy, in which he was not averse to interventionist policies in the pursuit of his economic vision. His commitment to labour manifested itself in discussions on consumerism, naturalisation and the division of work. The success of this model also depended on the maintenance of a strong commercial position, wherein the significance of transnational capital was taken into account. Where Martyn's writings are particularly useful is in their ability to discredit mercantile historiographic misconceptions. Exemplifying the pragmatic ability of contemporaneous economists to cope with rapidly changing political and corporate considerations, he successfully transcended historical interpretations of a dichotomous gap between protectionist and laissez faire thinkers. Hence, this research contests the portrayal of Martyn as an inconsistent ideologue by contending that he maintained an unrelenting support for labour-generated growth. Above all, this comprehensive consideration reveals a writer closely accustomed with the capitalist system and its variable forces.
Date of Award3 Mar 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorAllan MacInnes (Supervisor) & John Young (Supervisor)

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