Wealth of Nations

by Adam Smith



1) What factors according to Smith influence the wealth of a nation?

2) How does Smith describe savage nations of hunters and fishers, in contrast to civilized nations? Why does he think the latter superior to the former?

3) Is there justification in Smith's view for anyone consuming the produce of a hundred times more labor than someone else?

4) What according to Smith are the advantages of division of labor?

5) What differences between human beings and other animals does Smith find interesting? Why?

6) What according to Smith is the foundation of human cooperation and commerce?

7) How does the division of labor arise?

8) To what does Smith trace the differences in talents and abilities that are found among human beings?

9) What does Smith mean by a commercial society?

10) How does Smith understand the origin and use of money?

11) Why does the whole produce of a laborer not belong to him?

12) What sort of government or social structures does Smith prefer, and why?

13) Explain what Smith means by an "invisible hand"? Is this an appropriate metaphor for Smith's purpose?

14) What does Smith recommend to those who seek perfect liberty and perfect justice?

15) What according to Smith are the duties of a sovereign? What contrary view is he arguing against?


1) Compare and contrast Locke and Smith on the origin money and private property and the justice of systems of private property.

2) What constitutes a good citizen for Smith? What constitutes a good government?

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