Adam Smith and Capitalism
by: Shayna, Kayla, Diana,Allie

Adam Smith

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Adam smith was born in Kirkcaldy Fife, Scotland and baptized on June 5, 1723. His exact birth date is unknown. He was the son of the second marriage of Adam Smith. At the age of 14 he entered the University of Glasgow. The university was already a know place as the center of the Scottish Enlightenment. This shows that he was a major person in the Scottish Enlightenment and supported it. In 1740 he graduated from the university. He became most commonly known in 1776 for his book “the wealth of nations”. This talked about the principles of human nature. In 1751 at the age of 27, he was appointed to professor of logic at Glasgow University, and then in 1752 to chair of Moral Philosophy. In 1776 Smith published another book, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations”, which was mostly a continuation of his first book, he published it shortly after he moved to London. The free market that is used today is based on part of Smiths work in his books. In 1778 he was appointed to commissioner of customs in Edinburgh, Scotland, and died there in 1790.


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The theme of capitalism is to use wealth to get more wealth. A simple form of this is leading money with interest. In a more complex form it is involves investing money in a project in return a part of the profit it makes.

In the 18th century many changes where happing in Britain because of the industrial revolution. Adam smith was keeping a close eye on the change that were happening and that is why we had the books. He goes over basic concerns of the political economy. Smith argues that economic benefit derives from natural completion of the market place and people should be free to follow their best interests without the government interfering. He believed that the public good will follow naturally if they would let the people do that. Smith also recognizes the government in many fields: defense, justice, and the infrastructure of canals and roads. His arguments relate to the economic sphere where the government should only prevent monopolies. He influences the laissez-fare policy of the 19th century. This shows that Adam smith was a huge supporter of capitalism and helped found it.

"HISTORY OF CAPITALISM." HISTORY OF CAPITALISM. History World, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2012.
Smith, Adam 1723-1790. The Wealth of Nations / by Adam Smith. New York: P. F. Collier, 1902. Print.
"Adam Smith". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2012