Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some by Leonidas Montes (auth.)

By Leonidas Montes (auth.)

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P. , p. 249). In general, the issue of the WN’s early influence is still controversial. For example Richard Teichgraeber considers that ‘the notion that the Wealth of Nations had an immediate impact on its time certainly ought to be put at rest’ (1987, p. 364). See also Rothschild (1992; 2001, pp. 52–71) and Rashid (1998). 1 The German context and Das Adam Smith Problem The famous Adam Smith Problem,9 put forward by the German Historical School, is still a subject of controversy. The Problem as such states that there is an irreconcilable difference or inconsistency between the TMS, with its sympathy-based concept of human nature, and the WN, founded on an egoistic theory of self-interest.

P. 27). , p. 28 This intuition was finally expressed as follows: Smith was an Idealist, as long as he lived in England under the influence of Hutcheson and Hume. After living in France for three years and coming into close contact with the Materialism that prevailed there, he returned to England a Materialist. This is the simple explanation of the contrast between his Theory (1759), written before his journey to France, and his Wealth of Nations (1776), written after his return. , p. 183) The Umschwungstheorie, perceived by Knies (1853), then suggested by Brentano (1887) and finally expanded on by Skar˙zyn´ski (1878), did not accept the reliability of Stewart’s Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith in two respects.

It all began in 1818, when all tariff barriers between the Prussian provinces were abolished and the final Zollverein opened up a common market of 25 million Germans under the leadership of the Prussian bureaucracy. Then, just after the Zollverein, the first steam-driven railway was opened in 1837, following a rapid railway building expansion. But it was only in 1860 that there was actually a ‘German’ market area (Trebilcock, 1981, p. , p. 38), giving rise to the prosperity of the German Empire.

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