Adam Smith, who is considered the father of capitalism, was born in Scotland in 1723. After turning fifteen, he attended Glasgow University, where he studied moral philosophy. Two years later he proceeded on to Balliol College. While in Edinburgh, he began giving public lectures.
In 1751, he was named professor of logic at Glasgow, and then appointed chairman of moral philosophy a year later. He lectured on such topics as ethics, rhetoric, jurisprudence, and political economy, also known as "police and revenue". Theory of Moral Sentiments, which he published in 1759, contained some of his lectures from Glasgow. This book stressed the general harmony of human motives and activities under a beneficent destiny. He published his most famous work, The Wealth of Nations, in 1776. Its emphasis was more on a general theme of "the invisible hand", which supported harmony of interests, and free trade. Nevertheless, people were not convinced of the advantages of free trade immediately.
The Wealth of Nations was the first and most important of all books written on the subject of political economics.
After traveling abroad, he settled down in Edinburgh, where he was the commissioner of customs. He died here from a painful illness on July 17, 1790. It was later found that he had given a large sum of his income to charity. Smith had all his manuscripts destroyed shortly before his death.