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Principles of Political Economy   By: (1817-1894)

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Wilhelm Roscher's Principles of Political Economy is a comprehensive and influential work that delves deep into the field of economics. Published in 1854, this book remains relevant even today due to its insightful analysis and theoretical framework.

Roscher's writing style is clear and engaging, making this complex subject matter accessible to both specialists and general readers. The book is divided into three parts, each covering a specific aspect of political economy. Roscher begins by exploring the foundations of economics, examining the nature of wealth, value, and distribution. This section lays a strong groundwork for readers, ensuring a solid understanding of basic economic concepts.

The second part of the book focuses on economic activity at the individual and societal levels. Roscher delves into topics such as consumption, production, and exchange, providing a comprehensive overview of how economic systems function. The author's detailed discussions and examples bring these abstract concepts to life, making them easier to grasp.

In the final part, Roscher explores the role of the state and government intervention in economic affairs. He investigates the effects of taxes, public goods, and regulations on the economy, offering valuable insights into the delicate balance between individual liberty and collective welfare. With extensive research and analysis, Roscher challenges conventional wisdom, inviting readers to critically evaluate competing economic ideologies.

One of the strengths of Principles of Political Economy is Roscher's ability to merge theory with practical examples. Drawing from historical and contemporary case studies, he provides the reader with a deeper understanding of economic phenomena. This interdisciplinary approach enriches the book, making it relevant for both economists and historians alike.

While some aspects of the book may feel dated, such as outdated economic models and terminology, Roscher's underlying principles and conceptual frameworks remain enduring. His emphasis on the importance of ethical considerations in economic analysis is particularly noteworthy, as it reminds readers that economics is fundamentally a social science.

In conclusion, Wilhelm Roscher's Principles of Political Economy is a seminal work that should not be overlooked by anyone interested in economics and its relationship with society. Its combination of incisive analysis, accessible prose, and historical context make it an engaging and informative read. Despite the passage of time, Roscher's contributions to the field of political economy continue to shape our understanding of economic systems and the intricate dynamics of wealth creation and distribution.

First Page:

Principles Of Political Economy


William Roscher,

Professor of Political Economy at the University of Leipzig,

Corresponding Member of the Institute of France,

Privy Counsellor To His Majesty,

The King Of Saxony.

From the Thirteenth (1877) German Edition.

With Additional Chapters Furnished By The Author,

For This First English And American Edition,

On Paper Money, International Trade,

And The Protective System;

And A Preliminary Essay

On The Historical Method In Political Economy

(From the French)


L. Wolowski

The Whole Translated By

John J. Lalor, A. M.

Vol. I.

New York:

Henry Holt & Co.



Translator's Preface. Author's Preface. (1st Edition.) From The Author's Prefaces... Continue reading book >>

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