Adam Smith – Biography of Adam Smith

Adam smith He was born in 1723, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and was one of the greatest exponents of classical economics.

Son of the customs inspector Adam smith and of Margaret douglasDaughter of a wealthy owner of a region, with only three months of life, the economics expert was orphaned of father, which made him later develop a very close relationship with his mother.

At four years old, Smith he was kidnapped by a group of gypsies, who later abandoned him in a forest. Despite this terrible event, the little Adam He continued to be a good boy, with a prodigious memory and an immeasurable love for study. His early years as a student were at the Kirkcaldy Elementary School.

In 1737, the economist left his hometown to join the University of Glasgow, where he found his vocation as a mathematician and where he was influenced by the professor of moral philosophy Francis Autcheson.

In 1740 he graduated and obtained a scholarship to continue studying at the Balliol College, Oxford. At only 23 years old, Adam He concluded his studies proving to be a brilliant student of philosophy. After his productive stay at Oxford, he returned to his hometown to meet his mother and start looking for a job.

Later, he began giving a series of lectures in Edinburgh, where he spent two years dealing with different topics from rhetoric to economics and history. It was in this period that he published an article in the Edinburgh Review on what was debated in the conferences.

In 1751 he began teaching as a professor of logic at the University of Glasgow. A year later he decided to dedicate himself to teaching in the field of moral philosophy.

In 1758 he was appointed dean of the faculty, and was recognized by his peers as an excellent teacher. It was said that Voltaire sent his students from France to attend classes in Smith.

One year later, Adam smith published his first book entitled, “The Theory of Moral Sentiment“(Theory of moral sentiments), considered a masterpiece from the philosophical point of view. In this work, the Scottish economist exposed the principles of human nature, the social behavior of man and the role of the State (” linvisible hand“) in the development of a society.

Four years later, he took the young Duke of Buccleuch as a disciple. Together with him he left for France to work on a new work. In 1767, after having met the great thinkers of Paris, including VoltaireAfter the sudden death of the duke’s brother, the two travelers returned to London.

In that same year, he began to write what would be his most important work in the field of economics, entitled: “An Inquiry into the Nature of the Wealth of Nations“(Essay on the Wealth of Nations), which was finally published in London in 1776.

In this play, Adam smith led to economics by the principles of scientific research, constituting it as an independent science. In this same book, he reaffirmed what was written in his previous work, assuring that with only the selfishness of humans the wealth of nations could be increased, on the condition that governments do not take reflective measures. In addition, he made a series of applications that led to arduous years of study by his successors. In his book, the Scottish economist also assured that there was a clear differentiation between use value and exchange value, he made reference to the specialization of tasks for the reduction of production costs, predicted the conflicts that would be generated between the owners of factories and poorly paid workers, raised the accumulation of capital as a source for economic development and the defense of the competitive market as the most effective mechanism for the allocation of resources.

After the success of his theories, in 1778, Adam smith decided to retire to Edinburgh, where he led a quiet life while correcting some details of his two capital works.

In 1784, at the age of 90, he died Margaret douglas, his mother. This event was such a blow to the life of the economist that his health began to deteriorate.

In 1787 he was appointed rector of the University of Glasgow, but could not even deliver his keynote address due to his illness. Finally, on July 17, 1790, Adam smith He died in Edinburgh, and was buried in Canongate Cemetery.

The work of this famous economist is currently study material for all those interested in the branches of economics and philosophy. In addition, his two books were carefully studied by important characters in history, such as David ricardo, Karl Marx, Milton Y Rose friedman, Y Amartya sen.