The trade of Belgium has more than trebled as regards both imports and exports since 1870.
From 1880 to 1890 the acreage devoted to wheat greatly diminished, because the spring variety was not relatively remunerative, but the acreage trebled in the next decade as autumn planting increased.
The land-tax was doubled and trebled by war, by the pensions of the nobles, by an extortion the profits of which Richelieu disdained neither for himself nor for his family; and just when the richer and more powerful classes had been freed from taxes, causing the wholesale oppression of the poorer, these few remaining were jointly and severally answerable.
In the west and south-west, chiefly in Clay, Vigo, Sullivan, Vermilion and Greene counties, yielded in 1902 9,446,424 tons, valued at $10,399,660; in 1907, 1 3,9 8 5,7 1 3 tons, valued at $15,114,300; the production more than trebled since 1896, when it was 3,905,779 tons.
The American War of Independence suspended progress for a brief interval, but revival set in in 1783, and within the following seven years shipping trebled in amount.