Here Smith applies his theory to economic growth and development. Nations grow rich over time, even if not in the same way. In theory, they should first develop agriculture, then manufacture, and then trade internationally. In practice, that was not the case in Europe, where this natural order was inverted. The barbaric invasions forced people to abandon the countryside, seeing a decline in agriculture. The merchants in towns, with the protection of the king, brought “trinkets and baubles” to the great barons from long-distance trade. The vain landlords thus sold their land and birthrights giving independence to their retainers and farmers. The merchants bought the land and brought the spirit of improvement to agriculture. The silent revolution of commerce thus brought about opulence for all as well as order and good government, but in an inverted order.