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Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations (Excerpt)


The opening section and excerpt from Adam Smith's iconic Wealth of Nations provides one theory about the way free market, command, and mixed economies work. Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto presents another theory of economic systems.

Smith published the Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year as the writing of the Declaration of Independence. It was also during the Enlightenment, a time when thinkers and philosophers tried to apply scientific reasoning to social theory. In this excerpt, Adam Smith gives a broad overview of labor, money, and his theory of supply and demand economics.

According to Smith, what is supply and demand? How does the economy regulate itself? How does Smith compare to Karl Marx?

Source: Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776.

How to Cite This Source
Adam Smith, "Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations (Excerpt)," in Virginia Civics, Item #550, (accessed January 27, 2022).
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