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Freedom of Commerce

Anno XXXIII, n. 146, settembre-ottobre 1998


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
Camillo Benso di Cavour was elected a Turin city councillor in 1848 and, on May 23 1850 was appointed a member of a commission set up to respond to two questions: whether it was necessary to conserve or abolish the bread tax, and whether "it was legally possible or not to grant permission to open shops to simply sell bread and, if so, to what conditions the exercising of this commerce should be subject". Applied to a specific problem, in Cavour’s report we find all the principles that were to inspire his activity in government; namely, the idea that the close connection between political and economic freedom implied free trade, first and foremost; secondly, the abolition of excise duties and, more generally, moderate taxation; thirdly, the advantage for the economy of infrastructure such as railways; and, finally, the idea that economic activities have to be subjected to only limited regulation.