The basic doctrine of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, was that labor is the only source of a nation's wealth. It advocated division of labor in the productive process, emphasized the importance of individual enterprise and argued the benefits of free trade. The true wealth of a nation lay not in gold but in the achievement of an abundance of the necessities of life. It warned against unnecessary intervention by the state in this process. This book has come to be known as one of the most important and influential books ever written on the subject of economics. When published in 1776 it was an immediate hit. It assured it's author's finical success. The author of this masterpiece was Adam Smith.
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and economist. He was the son of Adam Smith, comptroller of customs at Kirkcaldy, a small fishing village near Edinburgh, and Margaret Douglas, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. Not much is known about Smith's Childhood except that he attended school in Kircaldy. It also rumored that he was abducted by gypsies when he was four years old. After a short pursuit by the authorities his gypsy captures released him. At the age of 14, Adam went to study at the Univers
"Adam Smith" City of Edinburgh Council Website. Adam Smith will be forever remembered as one of the most influential authors in history. Townshend offered Smith the job of personal tutor to his stepson, the Duke of Buccleuch. Charles Townshend, who would later be responsible for the measures of taxation that would lead to the American Revolution. He traveled to Oxford, where he stayed at Balliol College for six years. Such people as Joesph Black, James Watt and the philosopher David Hume among others. After graduating in 1740, Smith won the Snell Exhibition Scholarship. It was at this time that Smith began his work on The Wealth of Nations, to try and relieve himself from the boredom he felt there. This thesis reveals Smith's views on humans being driven by passions and at the same time able to be self-regulated by the ability to reason and by sympathy. He also wrote in Moral Sentiments the famous observation that he was to repeat later in The Wealth of Nations: that self-seeking men are often "led by an invisible hand . Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Although Smith did not invent the idea of laissez faire economics his works did influence many economic leaders not only in his own time, but today as well.