Late in the 16th and the first half of the 17th century
Britain became the centre of the development of science and materialistic
philosophy. It was an age of experiment and new thought changing men's
ideas of the world.
- One of the greatest representatives
of English classical political economy was Adam Smith (1723-1790). He
proclaimed to the world the economic philosophy of "the obvious
and simple system of natural liberty"
- The exact date of his birth is unknown, he was baptized
on June 5,1723, in Kikcaldy, a small (population 1,500) but thriving fishing
village near Edinburgh, the son by second marriage of
- Adam Smith, comptroller of customs
at Kikcaldy, and Margaret
Douglas, daughter of a substantial landowner. Of Smith's childhood nothing
is known other than that he received his elementary schooling in Kirkcaldy
and that at the age of four years he was said to have been
- carried off by gypsies.
- In 1751, at the age of 27, he was
appointed professor of logic at Glasgow, from which
post he transferred in 1752 to the more remunerative professorship of
moral philosophy, a subject that embraced the related fields of natural
theology, ethics, jurisprudence, and political economy.
He proved that a country's wealth lies not in money
but in the goods people use and in their skill to produce them.
- Adam Smith was
the first real advocate of free enterprise and free trade."... Every man as
long as he does not violate the laws of justice is left perfectly free
to pursue his own interest in his own way and to bring both his industry
and capital with those of any other man".