The Wealth of Nations

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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations  (1776) 
by Adam Smith
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of this Scottish economist. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely (if perhaps incorrectly) considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics. The work is also the first comprehensive defence of free markets.

Contents[edit]

Introduction and plan of the work

Book I: Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive Powers of Labour, and of the Order according to which its Produce is naturally distributed among the different Ranks of the People

  • Chapter 1: Of the Division of Labour
  • Chapter 2: Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour
  • Chapter 3: That the Division of Labour is limited by the Extent of the Market
  • Chapter 4: Of the Origin and Use of Money
  • Chapter 5: Of the real and nominal Price of Commodities, or of their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money
  • Chapter 6: Of the component Parts of the Price of Commodities
  • Chapter 7: Of the natural and market Price of Commodities
  • Chapter 8: Of the Wages of Labour
  • Chapter 9: Of the Profits of Stock
  • Chapter 10: Of Wages and Profit in the different Employments of Labour and Stock
  • Chapter 11: Of the Rent of Land

Book II: Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock

  • Chapter 1: Of the Division of Stock
  • Chapter 2: Of Money considered as a particular Branch of the general Stock of the Society, or of the Experience of maintaining the National Capital
  • Chapter 3: Of the Accumulation of Capital, or of productive and unproductive Labour
  • Chapter 4: Of Stock lent at Interest
  • Chapter 5: Of the different Employment of Capitals

Book III: Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations

  • Chapter 1: Of the Natural Progress of Opulence
  • Chapter 2: Of the Discouragement of Agriculture in the ancient State of Europe after the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Chapter 3: Of the Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Chapter 4: How the Commerce of the Towns contributed to the Improvement of the Country

Book IV: Of Systems of political Economy

  • Chapter 1: Of the Principle of the commercial, or mercantile System
  • Chapter 2: Of Restraints upon the Importation from foreign Countries of such Goods as can be produced at Home
  • Chapter 3: Of the extraordinary Restraints upon the Importation of Goods of almost all Kinds, from those Countries with which the Balance is supposed to be disadvantageous
  • Chapter 4: Of Drawbacks
  • Chapter 5: Of Bounties
  • Chapter 6: Of Treaties of Commerce
  • Chapter 7: Of Colonies
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion of the Mercantile System
  • Chapter 9: Of the Agricultural Systems, or of those Systems of Political Economy, which represent the Produce of Land, as either the sole or the principal Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country

Book V: Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

  • Chapter 1: Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth
  • Chapter 2: Of the Sources of the general or public Revenue of the Society
  • Chapter 3: Of public Debts