In every age economists have applied the methods ordinarily in use amongst scientific men.
Some doctrines of the earlier economists, such as the Wages Fund Theory, are now practically abandoned, though it may be said that they contained a certain amount of truth.
The European ferment of ideas which preceded the French Revolution expressed itself in men like Alfieri, the fierce denouncer of tyrants, Beccaria, the philosopher of criminal jurisprudence, Volta, the physicist, and numerous political economists of Tuscany.
He soon, however, became entirely engrossed with colonial affairs, and, having impressed John Stuart Mill, Colonel Torrens and other leading economists with the value of his ideas, became a leading though not a conspicuous manager of the South Australian Company, by which the colony of South Australia was ultimately founded.
This system, which for many years subsequently was regarded as authoritative, has been subjected to vigorous criticism by later economists, and it is perhaps not too much to say that it now possesses mainly an historical interest.