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Economics in PerspectiveA Critical History$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171647

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171647.001.0001

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The New World of Adam Smith

The New World of Adam Smith

(p.63) Chapter 6 The New World of Adam Smith
Economics in Perspective

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Adam Smith's theories during the Industrial Revolution, which came to England and southern Scotland in the last third of the eighteenth century. During the Industrial Revolution, the workers who previously had been producing goods in their cottages or food and wool on their farms moved to the factories and the factory towns. Merchants began to invest their capital in factories and machinery or in the far from munificent wages that kept alive the workers. This change was made possible by the industrialist, whose orientation was to the production of goods, rather than their purchase or sale. The chapter discusses Smith's views on a variety of subjects, which he articulated in the Wealth of Nations, including borrowing, capitalism, free trade, competition, credit, distribution, innovation, justice, labor, manufacturing, merchants, monopolies, political economy, prices, production and productivity, profit, public policy, rent, standard of living, and value.

Keywords:   free trade, Adam Smith, Industrial Revolution, factories, Wealth of Nations, capitalism, competition, justice, labor, public policy

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