Brougham, Henry (1773–1868)
Baron Brougham and Vaux, Lord Chancellor, touched nearly all subjects and adorned some by his eloquence and dialectical skill. The contact seems least superficial, the ornament particularly solid, in the case of political economy. Brougham’s first considerable work was An Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of European Powers, 1803. Criticizing Adam Smith, he maintains that the monopoly of the colonial trade did not produce all the detrimental effects ascribed to it (Book I, §2, part ii). Referring to the slave colonies, Brougham not only denounces the slave trade as iniquitous – ‘not a trade, but a crime’ – but also argues that it is unprofitable. The argument is renewed in A Concise Statement of the Question regarding the Abolition of Slave Trade (1804). Slavery, as well as slave trade, was assailed by Brougham’s oratory (Speeches, published in 1838, vol. ii.).