Smith Adam 1723 - 0 (-1723)

The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.


The Theory of

Moral Sentiments

The Wealth of

the Nations

Adam Smith was a Scottish economist and philosophe; he is considered the founder of the science of political economy and the main theorist-founder of economic liberalism. Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland in 1723, his father was a lawyer who died two months after the birth of his son. At the age of 14 Adam was admitted to the University of Glasgow, received a degree in moral philosophy and in 1740 continued his studies at Oxford. In 1748 he gave a series of lectures at the University of Glasgow and met the philosopher Hughes ith whom they became good friends. In 1751, through Hughes, Smith was appointed to the University of Glasgow. In 1759 he published "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", a work that was widely accepted and made known to the academic community throughout Europe. After this book, however, he became more interested in economics and less in ethics. In 1763 he resigned from the university to become a personal tutor to a duke who offered him double his salary. With him he traveled throughout Europe and came in contact with great thinkers of the time. (Voltaire, Franklin, and others).

In 1766 he stopped teaching the duke and returned to London where for 10 years he devoted himself mainly to the five-volume work "An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations". The work was published in 1776 and became a great success throughout Europe. In the coming years it will become the book of capitalism in which, he refuted the hitherto idea that the wealth of a country is measured by the reserves of gold and silver, he proved that the real wealth is the labor of the people, the sum of its productive and commercial possibilities(Net National Product); he pointed out the advantages of free trade and described how job specialization increases productivity.

In 1778 Smith returned to Scotland and was appointed commissioner of customs, and in 1787 took the honorary position of rector at the University of Glasgow. He died in Edinburgh on July 17, 1790, after a painful illness.