Simple Wealth of Nations 1-3

Books 1 to 3

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.

Simplification Notes:

  • Past and present tenses are used as if the current date is February 1773 for Book 1, January 1775 for Book 5, and year is 1784 for the rest of the books.
  • Whenever possible, the actual year (e.g. 1350) is used instead of the regnal year (e.g. 25th of Edward III).
  • Quotes in green text are profound statements by Adam Smith
  • Quotes in bold green text are maxims or very important ideas. 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 brown lines are statements from other writers
  • Lines in bold black are subheadings for a series of paragraphs about a certain idea
  • The word ‘seems’ have been simplified to ‘is’, to convey certainty.
  • ‘Perhaps’ and ‘probably’ has been maintained to convey less certainty.
  • ‘Cultivation and improvement’ has been interchangeably used.
    • ‘Cultivation’ is preferred to mean non-intensive or recurring or short term improvements  (as in annual agricultural cultivation)
    • ‘Improvement’ is preferred to mean intensive or permanent or long term improvement (as in public works or those sensible over many years or centuries)
  • Things and concepts that are antiquated such as a ‘coach-and-six’ has been replaced with its modern equivalent ‘luxury coach’.
  • Some antiquated events such as the silver trade in China, has been replaced with modern examples, such as modern currency trade.

Pronoun Notes:

  • The following determinants imply:
    • Nearly all (90-99%)
    • Most (51-90%)
      • Usually replaces “a greater part of the..”
    • Over half (51-75%)

Coin Conversion Based on Penny:

  • Farthing = 0.25 pence
  • Half Penny = 0.5 pence
  • Penny = 1 pence
  • 3-pence = 3 pence
  • 6-pence = 6 pence
  • Shilling = 12 pence
  • Florin = 24 pence
  • Half-crown = 30 pence
  • Pound = 240 pence

Please click on the Desired Chapter Links below:

Preface

Contents

Introduction And Plan Of The Work

Book I: The Causes Of Productivity Improvements And The Order In Which Its Produce Is Naturally Distributed In Society

Chap 1: Division Of Labour

  • Division of labour increases the productivity of society,  allows inventions, and creates opulence
  • Agriculture has less division of labour than manufacturing

Chap 2: The Cause Of The Division Of Labour

  • Division of labour and trade is rooted in the human ability to communicate and have logic & reason

Chap 3: That The Division Of Labour Is Limited By The Extent Of The Market

  • Increasing the market size through the improvement of transportation and communications is essential to achieve the opulence of society

Chap 4: Of The Origin And Use Of Money

  • Metal money arose from the need to have a universal tool of trade to convey exchangeable value or real price.

Chap 5a: Of The Real And Nominal Price Of Commodities, Or Of Their Price In Labour, And Their Price In Money

  • Labour Theory of Value explained

Chap 5b

  • Corn is a better measure of labour from century to century
  • Silver, or metal money, is a better measure from year to year
  • Gold Vs Silver

Chap 5c

  • Reformation of Silver and Gold coins

Chap 6a: Of The Component Parts Of The Price Of Commodities

  • Wages, Rent, Profit

Chap 6b

  • Wages

Chap 7a: Of The Natural And Market Price Of Commodities

  • Natural Price, Market Price, Prime Cost

Chap 7b: Of The Natural And Market Price Of Commodities

  • Effect of Secrets of Trade and Manufactures on Prices

 Chap 8a: Of The Wages Of Labour

  • Masters Vs Workmen

 Chap 8b

  • Minimum Wage

 Chap 8c

  • Price of Labour cannot be ascertained anywhere
  • It should be based on the price of subsistence, not on any fixed amount

Chap 8d

  •  Labouring poor and poverty

Chap 8e: Of The Wages Of Labour

  • Summary

Chap 9a: Of The Profits Of Stock

  • Profit Rates and Interest Rates

Chap 9b: Of The Profits Of Stock

  • Profit Rates and Interest Rates

Chap 10a: Of Wages And Profit In The Different Employments Of Labour And Stock

  • There are two causes for inequalities in wages and profits of society

Chap 10b: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • The inequalities arise from the differences in ease, dirtiness, and honourableness of the employment

Chap 10c: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • Constancy of employment is also another factor

Chap 10d: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • Trust is another factor

Chap 10e: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • The law profession
  • Lotteries

Chap 10f: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • Apothecary (Pharmacy)

Chap 10g: Inequalities Arising From The Nature Of The Employments

  • Retail Trade
  • Speculation

Chap 11a: Of The Rent Of Land

  • Part 1: Produce That Always Affords Rent
  • Part 2: Produce That Sometimes Affords Rent
  • Part 3: Variations Between The Two
    • Digression on Variation
      • 1262-1570
      • 1570-1640
      • 1640-1700
      • Variations Between Gold and Silver
      • Grounds for Suspecting Rising Silver
      • Difference Effects on Sorts
        • First Sort: Produce that cannot be multiplied
        • Second Sort: Produce that can be multiplied
        • Third Sort: Produce that can be multiplied uncertainly
      • Conclusion of Digression
  • Effects of Improvement on Real Prices
  • Chapter Conclusion
  • Table

Chap 11b:

Chap 11c: Part 1: Of The Produce Of Land Which Always Affords Rent

Chap 11d: Part 2: Of The Produce Of Land Which Sometimes Does, And Sometimes Does Not, Afford Rent

Chap. 11e: Part 2: 

Chap. 11f: Part Part 3: Of The Variations In The Proportion Between The Respective Values Of That Sort Of Produce Which Always Affords Rent, And Of That Which Sometimes Does And Sometimes Does Not Afford Rent

Chap. 11g: Digression Concerning The Variations In The Value Of Silver During The Course Of The Four Last Centuries: First Period

Chap. 11h:

Chap. 11i: Second Period

Chap. 11j: Third Period

Chap. 11k: Second Period

Chap. 11l: Variations In The Proportion Between The Respective Values Of Gold And Silver

Chap. 11m: Grounds Of The Suspicion That The Value Of Silver Still Continues To Decrease. Different Effects Of The Progress Of Improvement Upon Three Different Sorts Of Rude Produce: First Sort

Chap. 11n: Second Sort

Chap. 11o: Third Sort

Chap. 11p: Conclusion Of The Digression Concerning The Variations In The Value Of Silver

Chap. 11q: Effects Of The Progress Of Improvement Upon The Real Price Of Manufactures. Conclusion Of The Chapter


Book II: The Nature, Accumulation, And Employment Of Stock

Introduction

Chap 1: The Division Of Stock

Chap 2a: Money Considered As A Particular Branch Of The General Stock Of The Society, Or Of The Expence Of Maintaining The National Capital

Chap. 2b: 

Chap. 2c:

Chap 3a: The Accumulation Of Capital, Or Productive And Unproductive Labour

Chap. 3b:

Chap 4a: Stock Lent At Interest

Chap 5a: The Different Employment Of Capitals

Chap 5b:

Book III: The Different Progress Of Opulence In Different Nations

Chap 1: The Natural Progress Of Opulence

Chap 2: The Discouragement Of Agriculture After The Fall Of The Roman Empire

Chap 3: Of The Rise And Progress Of Cities And Towns, After The Fall Of The Roman Empire

Chap 4: How The Commerce Of The Towns Contributed To The Improvement Of The Country


Books 4 to 5

 

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