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In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames. In 1751 Smith was appointed chair of logic at the University.

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Presentation on theme: "In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames. In 1751 Smith was appointed chair of logic at the University."— Presentation transcript:

1 In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames. In 1751 Smith was appointed chair of logic at the University of Glasgow, transferring in 1752 to the Chair of Moral Philosophy, once occupied by his famous teacher, Francis Hutcheson. He left academia in 1764 to tutor the young duke of Buccleuch. For over two years they lived and traveled throughout France and into Switzerland, an experience that brought Smith into contact with contemporaries Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, François Quesnay, and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot. With the life pension he had earned in the service of the duke, Smith retired to his birthplace of Kirkcaldy to write The Wealth of Nations. It was published in In 1778 he was appointed to a comfortable post as commissioner of customs in Scotland and went to live with his mother in Edinburgh. He died there on July 17, 1790, after a painful illness. Adam Smith America and the Wealth of Nations (1776) BACKGROUND: Adam Smith was baptized in the small village of Kirkcaldy, Scotland on June 5, His father died before six months before his baptism, and Smith’s mother raised him until he entered the University of Glasgow. When he was four he was kidnapped by a band of Gypsies, but he uncle quickly rescued him. At the age of fourteen, Smith studied at the University of Glasgow. In 1740 he entered Balliol College, Oxford.

2 America and the Wealth of Nations (1776) By: Adam Smith Main Points 1. There should be a union between Britain and all of its colonies, because close economic ties and commerce are in all parties’ best interest. “By uniting, in some measure, the most distant parts of the world, enabling them to relieve one another’s wants, to increase one another’s enjoyments, and to encourage one another’s industry, their general tendency would seem to be beneficial.” 2. The balance of power will equal out because of trade. “Hereafter, perhaps, the natives of those countries may grow stronger, or those of Europe may grow weaker, and the inhabitants of all the different quarters of the world may arrive at that equality…” “But nothing seems more likely to establish this equality of force than that mutual communication of knowledge and of all sorts of improvements which an extensive commerce from all countries to all countries naturally, or rather necessarily, carries along with it.”

3 America and the Wealth of Nations (1776) By: Adam Smith Main Points 3. The Mercantile System was elevated because of Britain putting so much emphasis on trading only with their colonies. “…one of the principle effects of those discoveries has been to raise the mercantile system to a degree of splendor and glory which it could never otherwise have attained to. It is the object of that system to enrich a great nation rather by trade and manufactures than by the improvement and cultivation of land, rather by industry of towns than by that of the country.” 4. The way to really prosper is to allow free trade with colonies and other countries. “After all the unjust attempts, therefore, of every country in Europe to engross to itself the whole advantage of the trade of its own colonies, no country has yet been able to engross to itself any thing but the expense of supporting in time of peace and of defending in time of war the oppressive authority which it assumes over them.”

4 Adam Smith To what is Smith reacting? The “invisible hand” of the laws of supply and demand Monopolies? “Even the regulations by which each nation endeavours to secure to itself the exclusive trade of its own colonies, are frequently more hurtful to the countries in favour of which they are established than to those against which they are established.”


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