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We return to policy and empirical or archival-based histories zooming in on a now all but forgotten type of business venture once characteristic of the preindustrial oeconomic landscape as a case in point: the very same large centralized workshop or manufactory (Manufaktur) that Smith had used in the opening chapters of the Wealth of Nations to illustrate his point about division of labour, stopping short of a full explanation of how the origin of the wealth of nations through the virtuous forces of manufacturing really came about (the difference between Smithian and cameralist development; just a nuance, but of world-historical dimensions). Since the 16th century it was consensual among European writers to see manufacturing or the crafting of things as a main source of national prosperity. Manufacturing embodied skills, value-added, curiosity, learning and creativity so much more so than other economic activities such as farming, finance or trade. Studying the history of industrial policy with a focus on Manufakturen or manufactories in the Germanies, Scotland, Sweden, Austria and France, the chapter surveys how discourses examined in Chapter 7 reflected back upon and interacted with medieval and early modern economic practices, providing the foundations for capitalism, industrialization and the wealth of nations.

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