Adam Smith Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. His exact date of his birth is unknown but he was baptized on June 5, 1723. At the age of fifteen, Smith began attending Glasgow University where he studied moral philosophy. In 1748 he began giving lectures in Edinburgh where he discussed rhetoric and later he began to discuss the economic philosophy of the simple system of natural liberty which he later proclaimed in his Inquiry into Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. In 1751, Smith was appointed professor of logic at Glasgow university, transferring in 1752 to the chair of moral philosophy. His lectures covered the field of ethics, rhetoric, jurisprudence and political economy. In 1759 he published his Theory of Moral Sentiments, embodying some of his Glasgow lectures. This work was about those standards of ethical conduct that hold society together, with emphasis on the general harmony of human motives. Smith moved to London in 1776, where he published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which examined in detail the consequences of economic freedom. It covered such concepts as the role of self-interest, the division of labor, the function of markets, and the international implications of a laissez-faire economy. The Wealth of Nations established economics as an autonomous subject and, launched the economic doctrine of free enterprise. In the western world, it is the most influential book on the subject. When the book, which has become a classic manifesto against mercantilism, appeared in 1776, there was a strong sentiment for free trade in both Britain and America. This new feeling had been born out of the economic hardships and poverty caused by the war but the British public and parliament still clung to mercantilism for many years to come. Smith laid the intellectual framework that explained the free market and still holds true today. He is most o…
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