Adam Smith Essay Research Paper In eighteenth

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Adam Smith Essay, Research Paper In eighteenth century England, one would know of a man by the name of Adam Smith and be marveled by his theories and philosophies. Early on in Smith s life he was noted for being an intelligent child which lead him to go to Oxford at the age of seventeen on a scholarship. Here the foundation of his future began, the teachers at Oxford were reluctant and thus Smith found himself reading whatever he chose including a questionable work of David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, which ends up being an influence on him. He remained at Oxford for six years, graduated, and then moved on to the University of Glasgow, where although many of his actions were often disapproved of, he was still admired among his students. Already known for his scholarly

achievements, well educated although a self-taught graduate of Oxford, and his absentminded persona, his first book The Theory of Moral Sentiments greatly increased his notoriety. The theory that he introduced about human self-interest and moral judgment attracted much interest and debate. He proposed that humans being selfish creatures are capable of moral judgment only due to their ability of placing themselves in the objective view of the third-person. The theories he spoke of in this book may be what spawned the ideas for his second book, The Wealth of Nations, the work he is better known for to this date. As a tutor to the son of Townshend, they went to France together and spent just over a year in Toulouse in absolute boredom. They then moved to the south of France and met

Voltaire whom Smith worshipped, then to Geneva, and to Paris. This is when Smith began work on a treatise of political economy, this was the official beginning of a book later to be known as The Wealth of Nations, but it would be 12 years before its completion. In Paris, Smith, after learning a limited but decent amount of French, was able to talk to one of the greater French economic thinkers, a doctor by the name of Francois Quesnay, the creator of the economic school Physiocracy. Part of this Physiocracy was a chart called a tableau economique that insisted that wealth sprang from production and that it flowed through the nation, from hand to hand, replenishing the body social like the circulation of blood. The main problem with Physiocracy was it insisting only the

agricultural classes produced true wealth and that manufacturing and commercial classes only affected it in a sterile way. Even though it introduced a laissez-faire view of the economy which was not common in their time, it still failed to recognize the importance of labor everywhere and not just on the land. Smith perceived that labor was the source of value. After some unfortunate incidents involving who he was tutoring, Smith moved back to England where his book started to form. This was when Smith met Benjamin Franklin, who then gave him information about the new American Colonies and made him gain a certain appreciation for them and the significance they may later have. His book was finally published in 1776. Although it wasn t necessarily an original book, it s ideas weren

t all new, but in this work Smith was able to combine all of the great ideas and theories of those before him as he also mentioned over a hundred authors. Smith was extensive with his credits as he was with the entire book. He touches on an incredible amount of subject and continues on side details for pages giving it a general unorganized layout. It was never meant to be a textbook, but it still didn t fall short of being a revolutionary masterpiece. He doesn t focus on any one class or side, but instead explains the role and importance of each. His concern was the condition and wealth of the entire nation, all of society. Being in a modern world, where the consumption of goods and services is what drives the economic life. One of Smith s main purpose was to lay out a basic