Modern economics cannot be discussed without mentioning and recognition of Adam Smith. In his days as a philosopher and an economist, Adam Smith made a huge contribution to the existence of economics and the definition of what is considered to be modern economics. He is also believed to be the man behind the “bible of capitalism” which still serves as a reference for economics students.
Nobody knows the exact date of Adam Smith’s birth. However, his baptism was on June 5, 1723, in the small town of Kirkcaldy, Scotland. There he joined the Burgh School where his learning revolved around Latin, Writing, History, and Mathematics. After his primary education, at the age of fourteen, Adam continued his study by entering the University of Glasgow and later Oxford University. In 1748, after his education, Adam Smith began his career as a public lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (Brady 23). It was during this period that he met a Scottish economist as well as philosopher David Hume who turned out to be his best and long term friend. As their relationship budded, Smith found a new appointment to Glasgow University as one of the faculty members in early 1951.
The friendship between Adam Smith and David Hume acted as a springboard for Smith. This is because David Hume became a mentor to Adam leading him to publish his first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Evenskyand Malloy 55). This opened more opportunities for Smith as he had a chance to travel to France, where he met more thinkers such as Turgot and Benjamin Franklin. These two are known for their authority in the economic world, and they influenced Smith towards pursuing more knowledge in a field of Economics.
In 1776, Smith had his second book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, also referred to as the Wealth of Nations, published. This is believed to be his first work towards the learning of political economy (Brady 34). During that time, it was believed that the wealth of a nation was dependent on its silver and gold reserves. However, Smith changed this idea by proposing the wealth of nations to be judged by its commercial and production activities. Today, his judgment is what is referred to as the gross domestic product. Smith is also known to have introduced division of labor and specialization. These have facilitated the increase in productivity and quality in industries. As a backbone of the University of Glasgow, Smith died at the age of 67 having passed his school of thought on economics to the nations of the world.
Smith’s ideas have contributed towards the Industrial Revolution of the present age. He stands out as the initiator of the capitalist economies, the idea of which has benefited the economic sector in the society. He argued that the economic system should be based on an individual’s self-interest hence leading to high levels of achievement (Evenskyand Malloy 76).
To sum up, Smith still remains to be one of the most influential personalities in the modern economic world. His work, The Wealth of Nations has attained extensive reputation. His ideas in this book are considered a foundation for classical economics in the entire world. Even in his absence, Adam Smith still influences the world’s view on economics and how nations are considered to be wealthy.