a nation of shopkeepers

a nation of shopkeepers
Meaning
The English.
Origin
Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, 1776, wrote 'To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers, may at first sight appear a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation that is governed by shopkeepers. Napoleon I, who was familiar with Smith's work, is reported as later using the phrase. Josiah Tucker, the Dean of Gloucester, preceded them both by referring to England as a shopkeeping nation.

Meaning and origin of phrases. 2013.

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  • Nation of shopkeepers — (engl., spr. nēsch n ŏw schópp kīpers), »Krämervolk«, bisweilen als geringschätzige Bezeichnung für die Engländer gebraucht. Der Ausdruck findet sich in Adam Smiths »Wealth of nation« (II, 4, Kap. 7, Teil 3) und mag aus der Bibel (Zephanja 1,11)… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Nation of shopkeepers — The phrase a nation of Shopkeepers ( une nation de boutiquiers ) is a disparaging remark supposedly used by Napoleon to describe the United Kingdom as unfit for war against France. L Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers. Napoleon I This… …   Wikipedia

  • the English are a nation of shopkeepers — Attributed to Napoleon in B. E. O’Meara Napoleon in Exile (1822) I. 103 L’Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers. The concept of the shopkeeping nation is however earlier: 1766 J. TUCKER Letter from Merchant 46 A Shop keeper will never get the… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • NATION OF SHOPKEEPERS —    Napoleon Bonaparte s contemptuous name for the English …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Nation of Shopkeepers — England, according to Samuel Adams as well as Napoleon …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • nation of shopkeepers — country with a petty bourgeois mentality …   English contemporary dictionary

  • nation — see a nation without a language is a nation without a heart happy is the country which has no history the English are a nation of shopkeepers …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • CARIBBEANS, SPANISH-PORTUGUESE NATION OF THE: LA NACION — Introduction Many of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 sailed to seek refuge in other Mediterranean lands. A group estimated at 50–100,000 crossed the frontier into Portugal where they joined a Jewish community that has been established for… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • United Kingdom — a kingdom in NW Europe, consisting of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: formerly comprising Great Britain and Ireland 1801 1922. 58,610,182; 94,242 sq. mi. (244,100 sq. km). Cap.: London. Abbr.: U.K. Official name, United Kingdom of Great… …   Universalium

  • Shopkeeper — A shopkeeper is an individual who owns a shop. Generally, shop employees are not shopkeepers, but are often incorrectly referred to as shopkeepers. Today, a shopkeeper is usually referred to as a manager, though this term could apply to larger… …   Wikipedia

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