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Philip Wilhelm von Hörnigk, "Austria over all, if she only wills it" (1684)

The book from which the following excerpt derives gained fame in its time and thereafter as a confidence-inspiring account of state-guided, tariff-protected, population-expanding, bullion-hoarding (i.e., “mercantilist”) economic development. Its prescription strongly influenced eighteenth-century Austrian economic policy, and that of Prussia and other German states as well. In C.A. Macartney’s judgment, “it constitutes perhaps the clearest exposition to be found anywhere outside France of the fashionable mercantilist theories of the day.”

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Austria over all, if she only wills it

Philip Wilhelm von Hörnigk

[ . . . ]

Chapter I

I have set myself to prove that Austria can be over all, if she only wills it. [ . . . ] Under my “Austria” I understand not only the world-famed Archduchy of that name on the two sides of the Danube, but also the whole hereditary Kingdom and Lands of the German Archducal House of Austria, whether lying inside or outside the Roman Empire, thus including Hungary. [ . . . ] The excellence in question I find in that superfluity, either existing or potentially existing, of human necessaries and amenities, independent of other nations, in respect of gold and silver, which has perhaps hitherto been little recorded and is therefore unsuspected, which I ascribe to our Austria and put, so to speak, at her disposition. [ . . . ]

And would to God it were as easy to inspire Austria with the will to draw the proper benefit from her natural gifts and advantages as it is to prove the manifest fact that her salvation and recovery truly depend – after God’s help alone – solely on her own will.

[ . . . ]

Chapter II

[ . . . ]

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