Adam Smith on Money, Mercantilism, and the System of Natural Liberty

Money and Political Economy in the Enlightenment, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment. D. Carey (ed.), Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, Forthcoming

16 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Adam Smith’s theory of money played a key role in his development of one of the conclusions for which he is most famous today: the superiority of the system of natural liberty to mercantilism. This essay examines the part played by money in this argument, and specifically Smith’s theory of money’s origins and evolution and its relevance to his theory of natural liberty. The essay goes on to show how his position contributes to his critique of mercantilism and other proto-monetary policies as illustrative of his wider objection to interventionism, in conjunction with his understanding of the ‘science of the legislator’ in promoting the realisation of the system of natural liberty.

Suggested Citation

Hanley, Ryan and Paganelli, Maria Pia, Adam Smith on Money, Mercantilism, and the System of Natural Liberty (2014). Money and Political Economy in the Enlightenment, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment. D. Carey (ed.), Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435315

Ryan Hanley

Marquette University ( email )

P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
United States

Maria Pia Paganelli (Contact Author)

Trinity University ( email )

Dept. of Economics
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
United States

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