The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Postlethwayt, Malachy (1707–1767)

  • William DarityJr.
Reference work entry


Malachy Postlethwayt gave vent to the most comprehensive expression of mercantilist thought on behalf of British imperial interests. Fay (1934, p. 3) justifiably called Postlethwayt, alongside Joshua Gee, a major ‘spokesman’ for 18th-century England. Postlethwayt’s mercantilist vision emphasized (1) the slave trade to Africa and slavery in the Caribbean as vital stimuli to development of British manufactures; (2) the Royal African Company as an instrument of management of ‘the African trade’; (3) the necessity of competition with France for control of the slave trade; and (4) the general principle that government must promote trade and industry.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William DarityJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.