from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The economic doctrines and system advocated by the physiocrats; the theory that wealth consists in the products of the soil, that all labor expended in manufactures and in the distribution of wealth, though useful, is sterile, and that the revenue of the state should be raised by a direct tax on land. Also called physiocratism.
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"physiocracy" was probably used by Quesnay to convey the idea that the new system provides for the reign of the natural law.
Flatterers, and even the tutor himself, stimulated the extravagant imperiousness of the crown-prince, while Martini (professor of natural law) found in him an eager student of physiocracy -- a doctrine which affected profoundly Joseph's mind, firing him with an enthusiasm for current views, the "rights of man", and the welfare of the people.
Behind his numerous reforms lay a comprehensive program influenced by the doctrines of enlightened absolutism, natural law, mercantilism, and physiocracy.
Quesnay’s original contribution, and the basis of physiocracy, held that all wealth originated from the land and that agriculture alone could increase and multiply wealth.
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