The Wealth of Nations | Study Guide

Adam Smith

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-wealth-of-nations-adam-smith_v3Adam Smith, Book 1, Chapter 8o society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. Sources: The Economist, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.OverviewAgriculture & InfrastructureIndividuals, not governments, should support farming, but governments should maintain public services.Deregulation & CompetitionGovernment regulation interferes with economic growth and competition, but banks should be regulated.Savings & InvestmentWhen people save and invest their money, they create wealth.Specialized Labor & Living WagesThe economy booms when workers specialize, but they have to be able to afford to live.Free TradeCountries prosper when they can trade freely with each other.Progressive TaxationThe rich can afford to pay more taxes than the poor.The Wealth of Nationsby the NumbersYears Smith devoted to writing The Wealth of Nations ~10Typical list price of a first-edition copy of The Wealth of Nations as of 2017 $200,000Times the phrase “invisible hand”Smiths most famous metaphor for the invisible forces that guide the economy—appears in his writings 3Shillings Thomas Jefferson paid for a copy of The Wealth of Nations while serving as Minister to France 24Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Smith was a well-respected philosopher, economist, lecturer, and university administrator. Inspired by Enlightenment thinkers and seeing the damage produced by Great Britains trade policies, Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, a work that has influenced Western economic policy ever since its publication.ADAM SMITH1723–90AuthorContextMercantilismEuropean powers used trade regulations and taxes to enrich themselves at the expense of the colonies. ColonialismEuropean nations controlled areas of Africa, Asia, and America from the 16th to the mid-20th centuries.Industrial RevolutionManufacturing transitioned from individuals to mechanized factories from the 18th to 19th centuries. Division of LaborGreater specialization—up to a point—leads to greater wealth for all.Invisible HandThe free market works well with relatively little interference, almost as if an unseen force is guiding it.Political Economy Nations have the right and responsibility to adopt practical tax and money policies.A key product of the Scottish Enlightenment, The Wealth of Nations offers a systematic analysis of economics on the national level, exploring the interrelated issues of labor, trade, taxation, and monetary policy. Despite its biases and limitations, Smiths treatise remains the foundational work of classical economic theory.What Makes a Country Rich?MAIN IDEASThe Wealthof NationsNonfictionEnglishOriginal Language1776Year PublishedAdam SmithAuthorEconomics

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