History Of Economic Thought A Forgotton Subject: An Appraisal Of Physiocracy With Reference To India
History of Economic Thought is different from Economic History and History of Economics. While History of Economic Thought deals with the development of economic ideas, Economic History is a study of the economic development of a country. On the other hand, History of Economics deals with the science of economics. Even though Economic History and History of Economic Thought constitute separate branches of study, they are closely related. Economic ideas are directly and indirectly motivated by the economic conditions and environment of the country. Physiocracy is also known as the “Agricultural System”. Economic thinkers who contributed to the growth and development of Physiocracy have been called as Physiocrats. The Physiocrats have been regarded as the founders of economic science because they were the first to grasp the general principles under-lying the economic phenomena and to evolve a theoretical system. Physiocracy is also remarked as the first school of economic thought. The term Physiocracy means “Rule of Nature”. Physiocracy may be defined as a reaction against Mercantilism and its concepts. The Physiocrats believed that the mercantile policies instead of doing any good have done great harm to the nations. So they revolved against the mercantile policies. According to Gide and Rist, “Physiocrats must be credited with a foundation of the earliest school of economists in the fullest sense of the term. The entrance of this small group of men into the arena of history is a most touching one”. The influential French School of thinkers of the early 18th century was led by “Quesnay and Turgot”. They believed in the existence of natural law which governs the universe. Their emphasis on agriculture has earned for their system of thought, the name agricultural school. The present paper deals with evaluation of “History of Economic Thought a Forgotton subject: An Appraisal of Physiocracy with reference to India” keeping in view the agriculture sector contribution towards national income since independence.
Key Words - Physiocrates, Agriculture, Wealth, National Income