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28          WEALTH OF NATIONS

inland navigation much more extensive than that either of the Nile or the Ganges, or perhaps than both
of them put together. It is remarkable that neither the ancient Egyptians, nor the Indians, nor the Chinese, encouraged foreign
commerce, but seem all to have derived their great opulence from this inland navigation.

All the inland parts of Africa, and all that part of Asia which lies any considerable way north of the Euxine and Caspian seas,
the ancient Scythia, the modern Tartary and Siberia, seem in all ages of the world to have been in the same barbarous and
uncivilised state in which we find them at present. The Sea of Tartary is the frozen ocean which admits of no navigation, and
though some of the greatest rivers in the world run through that country, they are at too great a distance from one another to
carry commerce and communication through the greater part of it. There are in Africa none of those great inlets, such as the
Baltic and Adriatic seas in Europe, the Mediterranean and Euxine seas in both Europe and Asia, and the gulfs of Arabia,
Persia, India, Bengal, and Siam, in Asia, to carry maritime commerce into the interior parts of that great continent: and the
great rivers of Africa are at too great a distance from one another to give occasion to any considerable inland navigation. The
commerce besides which any nation can carry on by means of a river which does not break itself into any great number of
branches or canals, and which runs into another territory before it reaches the sea, can never be very considerable; because it
is always in the power of the nations who possess that other territory to obstruct the communication between the upper
country and the sea. The navigation of the Danube is of very little use to the different states of Bavaria, Austria and Hungary,
in comparison of what it would be if any of them possessed the whole of its course till it falls into the Black Sea.
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