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Background Information:


Date of Birth: Unknown, Baptism in 1723
Date of Death: July 19th, 1790
Hometown: Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Education: University of Glasgow, University of Oxford
Family: Very close to his mother; Margaret Douglas. Father Adam Smith Sr. died six months before he was born.
Childhood:
  • Abducted by gypsies at age 4 but was eventually rescued.
  • Smith was an ambitious scholar in Latin, mathematics, history, and writing at the Burgh School of Kirkclady.

How did this person influence American history? & Accomplishments/Beliefs:
  • Economic policies, ideas on types of economies.
  • Ideals and beliefs formed into the "Free Economy/Market" system used throughout the globe today.
  • Wrote An Inquiry in to the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations which examined both the consequences and benefits of economic freedom. In addition, it was written during the American Revolution in response to the mercantilistic economy of wealthy nations such as Great Britain. This book would play a key role in the development and future changes of the American economy.
  • Competition key to economic success (fair chance to everybody).
  • This would lead to quality goods at low prices thereby stimulating economic prosperity (Free Market/Economy).
  • "Laissez-faire" - government should not interfere in economic affairs with laws or monopolies.
  • Economic ideas and policies would eventually become the foundation for what would involve into the modern day system of Capitalism.
  • Famous for formulating his idea the "invisible hand" which is a symbol that signifies the self-regulating nature of the economy/marketplace, supply & demand, self-interest, and several other economic principles.
Supporters & Friends:invisiblehandisshaking.jpg
  • Those who he tutored and lectured at his conferences.
  • Francois Quesnay, Benjamin Franklin, Turgot, Jean D'Alembert, Andre Morellet, Helvetius, etc.

Critics & Enemies:
  • Carlyle and Ruskin believed that the study of economics was a dismal science that promotes selfishness and greed.

Notable Works & Ideas:
  • The "Invisible Hand"
  • Free market/economy
  • Capitalism
  • An Inquiry in to the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  • Essays on Philosophical Subjects
  • Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms

Fun Facts:
  • Abducted by gypsies when young.
  • Primary occupation was involved in the medical field.
  • "Father of Modern Economics"

Resources: