The Wealth of Nations — Adam Smith Institute

As it does not seem desirable to dress up an eighteenth century classic entirely in twentieth century costume, I have retained the spelling of the fifth edition and steadily refused to attempt to make it consistent with itself. The danger which would be incurred by doing so may be shown by the example of 'Cromwel'. Few modern readers would hesitate to condemn this as a misprint, but it is, as a matter of fact, the spelling affected by Hume in his and was doubtless adopted from him by Adam Smith, though in the second of the two places where the name is mentioned inadvertence or the obstinacy of the printers allowed the usual 'Cromwell' to appear till the fourth edition was reached. I have been equally rigid in following the original in the matter of the use of capitals and italics, except that in deference to modern fashion I have allowed the initial words of paragraphs to appear in small letters instead of capitals, the chapter headings to be printed in a large size of upper and lower case roman instead of small italics, and the abbreviation 'Chap.' to be replaced by 'Chapter' in full. I have also allowed each chapter to begin on a fresh page, as the old practice of beginning a new chapter below the end of the preceding one is inconvenient to a student who desires to use the book for reference. The useless headline, 'The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,' which appears at the top of every pair of pages in the original has been replaced by a headline which changes with every chapter and, where possible, with every formal subdivision of a chapter, so that the reader who opens the book in the middle of a long chapter with several subdivisions may discover where he is immediately. The composition of these headlines has not always been an easy matter, and I hope that critics who are inclined to condemn any of them will take into account the smallness of the space available.


That TV you own might have cost ten thousand dollars instead of two hundred without the thinking of Adam Smith. Just take a walk around your house sometime and check out all the products that weren't made in your home country. The reason you can afford to have them is because they come from an international market, where stiff competition and innovation have made the products both better and cheaper. And that might not be the case if Adam Smith had never written The Wealth of Nations.

The Wealth of Nations Summary | GradeSaver

Adam Smith would tell you to have faith that this is a good thing in the end, but many people are willing to . When it comes down to it, you'll have to decide for yourself how you feel about free trade. And hey— once you've read The Wealth of Nations, you'll be a lot more informed about the subject than your average Joe or Jane.