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Wenzel Anton Kaunitz-Rietberg, "Most Graciously Commissioned Report on the Improvement of the Domestic System" for Maria Theresa (April 14, 1773)

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While there is no shortage of apparent reasons to defend the prohibitory laws, and while the conditional granting of privileges is claimed to be a very advantageous means of improving domestic manufacturing, these privileges actually create such a genuine monopoly that one merchant is greatly advantaged over the other, and the sale of domestic manufactured goods can actually be hindered thereby through hundreds of means.

Without venturing into a refutation of the prohibitory laws, I take the liberty of presenting only this to the most supreme judgment, that ever since these laws were introduced with the best intentions by us, trade and traffic and even our manufacturers, on whose behalf everything was done, have not only not increased, but on the contrary have greatly decreased, and the most supreme treasury was caused significant harm in part through the considerable advance payments it made and in part through the decline of toll revenues. [ . . . ]

3tio But if one aspect of the restriction of free trade and traffic puts the state at a particularly severe disadvantage, then it is certainly the limitation and prohibition of the grain trade. [ . . . ]

Preachers would be encouraged, by the industrious oversight of bishops' officials, to lead a lifestyle befitting their status and to attend to the ministry, religious instruction, and the catechism.

The government would have to ensure that a spiritual peasant morality is fashioned by educated and reasonable men in keeping with the notions and circumstances of the common people. Their obligation to God, the Landesf├╝rsten, their neighbors, and to themselves are to be briefly and clearly indicated; love of the fatherland is to be impressed, and the leniency of the current government is to be made known. On Sundays or holidays, the preachers could read a chapter or more from the writings designated for publication, instead of their own typically very simple sermons.

The schoolmaster would also have to serve as sexton, and since the translation of various economics books already known here is to be ordered for the education of the peasantry, and it is also to be instituted that all princely orders governing peasants should be composed as briefly and as clearly as possible and printed and sent to every village, the schoolmaster would have the economics instructions as well as these orders to read to the people at specified times; he would thereby promote the great ultimate goal, that bit by bit the people would acquire the necessary knowledge of religion, morality, agriculture, and princely regulations, and that the entire national spirit would be thus transformed and improved, and ignorance of the highest orders would also be thoroughly and immediately remedied. [ . . . ]

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