In order to easily navigate the Wealth of Nations, here is an outline or map of the important ideas that are in each sentence and paragraph. Unlike other summaries which just get the most prominent idea in a paragraph, this version extracts each idea from each sentence and summarizes all similar ideas into a new sentence. A paragraph which has many ideas and supporting ideas imbued in it will therefore have many sentences.
This outline will help transform The Wealth of Nations into a manual for socio-economic science, just like when a mechanic consults a car’s service manual when troubleshooting a car. This manual can address both simple and complex questions about socio-economics, especially useful during future socio-economic crises.
Please click on each of the sections of Books 4-5 below:
- Quotes in green text are profound statements by Adam Smith
- Quotes in bold green text are direct maxims. A sentence is treated as a maxim if a thought is repeated by Smith with authority (such as his definition of real value) and if Smith indicates it as such (“It may be treated as a maxim that..”).
- Lines in bold green italics are maxims derived from Smith which are re-worded
- Lines in bold black are subheadings for a series of paragraphs about a certain idea
Book IV: Of Systems Of Political Œconomy
- Metal Money Supply
- International Trade
- Import Restraints
- Retaliatory Restraints
- Restoring Trade
Chap. 3a:Of The Extraordinary Restraints Upon The Importation Of Goods Of Almost All Kinds, From Those Countries With Which The Balance Is Supposed To Be Disadvantageous.Part 1: Of The Unreasonableness Of Those Restraints Even Upon The Principles Of The Commercial System
- Extraordinary Restraints
Chap 6a: Of Treaties Of Commerce. Articles I, II, III
Chap 9: Of The Agricultural Systems, Or Of Those Systems Of Political Œconomy, Which Represent The Produce Of Land As Either The Sole Or The Principal Source Of The Revenue And Wealth Of Every Country
Book V: Of The Revenue Of The Sovereign Or Commonwealth
- Armies and militia
Chap 1c Part 2: Of The Expence Of Justice
Chap 1d: Part 3: Of The Expence Of Public Works And Public Institutions: – Article 1: Of The Public Works And Institutions For Facilitating The Commerce Of The Society And, First, Of Those Which Are Necessary For Facilitating Commerce In General
Chap 2: Of The Sources Of The General Or Public Revenue Of The Society: Part 1: Of The Funds Or Sources Of Revenue Which May Peculiarly Belong To The Sovereign Or Commonwealth
Chap. 2c: – Article 1: Taxes Upon Rent. Taxes Upon The Rent Of Land, — Taxes Which Are Proportioned, Not To The Rent, But To The Produce Of Land, Taxes Upon The Rent Of Houses
Chap. 2g: Article 3: Taxes Upon The Wages Of Labour, Article 4: Taxes Which, It Is Intended, Should Fall Indifferently Upon Every Different Species Of Revenue, – Capitation Taxes