Adam Smith. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776. 2 volumes.

Gift of Mrs. Henry Yeager and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Rowe.

Smith laid the foundation for modern enlightened capitalism by opposing the prevailing theories of the mercantilists, who believed in precious metals, export trade, high tariffs, and low wages. Instead, he believed in the value of labor and the consumer goods it produces. According to Smith, workers deserve educational opportunities and better wages, and government should interfere less in commerce in order to improve society as a whole.


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