An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Free

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

By Adam Smith
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Book Description

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets.
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Table of Contents
  • AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS.
  • 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 I. OF THE DIVISION OF LABOUR.
  • CHAPTER II. OF THE PRINCIPLE WHICH GIVES OCCASION TO THE DIVISION OF LABOUR.
  • CHAPTER III. THAT THE DIVISION OF LABOUR IS LIMITED BY THE EXTENT OF THE MARKET.
  • CHAPTER IV. OF THE ORIGIN AND USE OF MONEY.
  • CHAPTER V. OF THE REAL AND NOMINAL PRICE OF COMMODITIES, OR OF THEIR PRICE IN LABOUR, AND THEIR PRICE IN MONEY.
  • CHAPTER VI. OF THE COMPONENT PART OF THE PRICE OF COMMODITIES.
  • CHAPTER VII. OF THE NATURAL AND MARKET PRICE OF COMMODITIES.
  • CHAPTER VIII. OF THE WAGES OF LABOUR.
    • The produce of labour constitutes the natural recompence or wages of labour.
  • CHAPTER IX. OF THE PROFITS OF STOCK.
    • The rise and fall in the profits of stock depend upon the same causes with the rise and fall in the wages of labour, the increasing or declining state of the wealth of the society; but those causes affect the one and the other very differently.
  • CHAPTER X. OF WAGES AND PROFIT IN THE DIFFERENT EMPLOYMENTS OF LABOUR AND STOCK.
  • PART I. Inequalities arising from the nature of the employments themselves.
  • PART II.—Inequalities occasioned by the Policy of Europe.
  • CHAPTER XI. OF THE RENT OF LAND.
  • PART I.—Of the Produce of Land which always affords Rent.
  • PART II.—Of the Produce of Land, which sometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford Rent.
    • Human food seems to be the only produce of land, which always and necessarily affords some rent to the landlord. Other sorts of produce sometimes may, and sometimes may not, according to different circumstances.
  • PART III.—Of the variations in the Proportion between the respective Values of that sort of Produce which always affords Rent, and of that which sometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford Rent.
  • Conclusion of the Digression concerning the Variations in the Value of Silver.
  • Conclusion of the Chapter.
  • BOOK II. OF THE NATURE, ACCUMULATION, AND EMPLOYMENT OF STOCK.
  • INTRODUCTION.
  • CHAPTER I. OF THE DIVISION OF STOCK.
  • CHAPTER II. OF MONEY, CONSIDERED AS A PARTICULAR BRANCH OF THE GENERAL STOCK OF THE SOCIETY, OR OF THE EXPENSE OF MAINTAINING THE NATIONAL CAPITAL.
  • CHAPTER III. OF THE ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL, OR OF PRODUCTIVE AND UNPRODUCTIVE LABOUR.
  • CHAPTER IV. OF STOCK LENT AT INTEREST.
  • CHAPTER V. OF THE DIFFERENT EMPLOYMENTS OF CAPITALS.
  • BOOK III. OF THE DIFFERENT PROGRESS OF OPULENCE IN DIFFERENT NATIONS
  • CHAPTER I. OF THE NATURAL PROGRESS OF OPULENCE.
  • CHAPTER II. OF THE DISCOURAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN THE ANCIENT STATE OF EUROPE, AFTER THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
  • CHAPTER III. OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF CITIES AND TOWNS, AFTER THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
  • CHAPTER IV. HOW THE COMMERCE OF TOWNS CONTRIBUTED TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE COUNTRY.
    • The increase and riches of commercial and manufacturing towns contributed to the improvement and cultivation of the countries to which they belonged, in three different ways:
  • BOOK IV. OF SYSTEMS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.
  • CHAPTER I. OF THE PRINCIPLE OF THE COMMERCIAL OR MERCANTILE SYSTEM.
  • CHAPTER II. OF RESTRAINTS UPON IMPORTATION FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF SUCH GOODS AS CAN BE PRODUCED AT HOME.
  • CHAPTER III. 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.
  • Part I—Of the Unreasonableness of those Restraints, even upon the Principles of the Commercial System.
  • PART II.—Of the Unreasonableness of those extraordinary Restraints, upon other Principles.
  • CHAPTER IV. OF DRAWBACKS.
  • CHAPTER V. OF BOUNTIES.
  • CHAPTER VI. OF TREATIES OF COMMERCE.
  • CHAPTER VII. OF COLONIES.
  • PART I. Of the Motives for Establishing New Colonies.
    • The interest which occasioned the first settlement of the different European colonies in America and the West Indies, was not altogether so plain and distinct as that which directed the establishment of those of ancient Greece and Rome.
  • PART II. Causes of the Prosperity of New Colonies.
    • The colony of a civilized nation which takes possession either of a waste country, or of one so thinly inhabited that the natives easily give place to the new settlers, advances more rapidly to wealth and greatness than any other human society.
  • PART III. Of the Advantages which Europe has derived From the Discovery of America, and from that of a Passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope.
    • Such are the advantages which the colonies of America have derived from the policy of Europe.
  • CHAPTER VIII. CONCLUSION OF THE MERCANTILE SYSTEM.
  • CHAPTER IX. 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.
    • The agricultural systems of political economy will not require so long an explanation as that which I have thought it necessary to bestow upon the mercantile or commercial system.
  • APPENDIX TO BOOK IV
  • BOOK V.
    • OF THE REVENUE OF THE SOVEREIGN OR COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER I. OF THE EXPENSES OF THE SOVEREIGN OR COMMONWEALTH.
  • PART I. Of the Expense of Defence.
  • PART II. Of the Expense of Justice
  • PART III. Of the Expense of public Works and public Institutions.
  • PART IV. Of the Expense of supporting the Dignity of the Sovereign.
  • CONCLUSION.
  • CHAPTER II. OF THE SOURCES OF THE GENERAL OR PUBLIC REVENUE OF THE SOCIETY.
  • PART I. Of the Funds, or Sources, of Revenue, which may peculiarly belong to the Sovereign or Commonwealth.
    • The funds, or sources, of revenue, which may peculiarly belong to the sovereign or commonwealth, must consist, either in stock, or in land.
  • PART II. Of Taxes.
  • APPENDIX TO ARTICLES I. AND II.—Taxes upon the Capital Value of Lands, Houses, and Stock.
  • CHAPTER III. OF PUBLIC DEBTS.
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