The Wealth of Nations  

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"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." --The Wealth of Nations (1776)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9,1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics. The work is also the first comprehensive defense of free market policies. It is broken down into five books between two volumes. The Wealth of Nations was written for the average educated individual of the 18th century rather than for specialists and mathematicians.

There are three main concepts that Adam Smith expands upon in this work that forms the foundation of free market economics: division of labour, pursuit of self interest, and freedom of trade.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Wealth of Nations" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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