In 1911 Rudolf Hilferding, the author of the famous book Finance Capital: A Study of the Latest Phase of Capitalist Development, published an article on the history of English mercantilism in Die neue Zeit, the theoretical organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany edited by Karl Kautsky. The writing of the article was motivated by the publication, the previous year, of the third volume of Theories of Surplus-Value, containing Marx's analysis of the work of Richard Jones, as well as by the simultaneous appearance of a German edition of Thomas Mun's England's Treasure by Forraign Trade. This article introduces the present author's English translation of Hilferding's article on mercantilism, titled “The Early Days of English Political Economy,” previously available only in German, and contextualizes it in the framework of the history of Marxist scholarship.

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