Politicians and thinkers throughout the ages have debated economic issues; however, they usually attributed a strong economy to goals such as the acquisition of more territory and a centralized government. The Wealth of Nations in 1776, a publication by Adam Smith, brought economics into the contemporary period. Smith focused on how the economy works most efficiently but did not consider the moral goals that economy serves.
Smith is remembered for laying the foundations of the free market economic theory. His publication, ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) was a precursor to the current academic discipline of economics. In this publication, he came up with the concept of division of labor and explained how competition and rational self-interest can lead to economic prosperity. In his days, Smith writing style and general approach were often criticized by Tory writers.
According to Smith, the most efficient economy is a free-market economy, with limited government interference. When nations such as Britain began to implement Smith’s theories, vast wealth was created and their economies expanded rapidly. Although economics has changed since his time, we can still confidently argue that we live in Smith’s world.