Adam Smith and the Political Economy of the Early American Republic

Reading List  



Session I: Political Economy before the American Revolution.

·      Hume, David. Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1985, 1987.  Essay 1, "Of Commerce" (pages 253-267).  (Book)

·      Franklin, Benjamin. The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 4. Edited by John Bigelow. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.  "On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor" (pages 343-348).  (Reader)

·      Clark, Henry C, eds. Commerce, Culture, & Liberty. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2003.  Chapter 33, Du Pont de Nemours's "On the Origin and Progress of a New Science (1768)" (pages 564-597).  (Book)

·      Steuart, Sir James. An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy. Edited by Andrew S. Skinner. London: Pickering and Chatto, 1998.  Chapter 16, "Illustrations of some Principles Laid Down in the former Chapter, Relative to the Advancement and Support of Foreign Trade" (pages 289-294).  (Reader)


Session II: The Political Economy at the Time of the American Revolution.

·      Franklin, Benjamin. The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 6. Edited by John Bigelow. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.  "Rules for Reducing a Great Empire to a Small One" (pages 204-215).  (Reader)

·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Selections from Book IV, Chapter 2, "Of Restraints Upon the Importation from Foreign Countries of such Goods as can be Produced at Home" (pages 452-459, 461-463, and 467-472).  (Book)

·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book IV, Chapter 8, Part III, "Of the Advantages which Europe has Derived from the Discovery of America, and from that of a Passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope" (pages 591-641).  (Book)

·      Frohnen, Bruce P., eds. The American Republic: Primary Sources. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2002.  "The Declaration of Independence" (pages 189-191).  (Book)

·      Webster, Pelatiah. Political Essays on the Nature and Operation of Money, Public Finances and Other Subjects. Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1791. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2161 (accessed January 23, 2018). "An Essay on Free Trade and Finance (1779)" (pages 9-26).  (Reader)



Session III: The Political Economy of the Early Republic: Banking and Finance.

·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book 1, Chapter 4, "Of the Origin and Use of Money" (pages 37-46); and selection from Book 4, Chapter 2, "Of Money Considered as a Particular Branch of the General Stock (1776)" (pages 317-329).  (Book)

·      Frohnen, Bruce P., eds. The American Republic: Primary Sources. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2002.  "The Constitution of the United States of America" (pages 234-240).  (Book)

·      Carey, George W. and James McClellan, eds. The Federalist. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2001.  Number 11 (pages 49-55), Number 12 (pages 55-60), Number 13 (pages 60-62), and Number 84 (pages 442-451).  (Book)

·      Hamilton, Alexander. The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Volume III. Edited by Henry Cabot Lodge. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904.  "National Bank Communicated to the House of Representatives, December 14, 1790" (pages 388-443).  (Reader)

·      Madison, James. The Writings of James Madison, Volume VI (1790-1802). Edited by Gaillard Hunt. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1906.  "Speeches in the First Congress-Third Session, 1791" (pages 19-36).  (Reader)


Session IV: Hamiltonian Political Economy.

·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book 1, Chapter 1, "On the Division of Labour" (pages 13-24), Chapter 2, Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour" (pages 25-30), and Chapter 3, "That the Division of Labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market" (pages 31-36).  (Book)

·      Hamilton, Alexander. The Revolutionary Writings of Alexander Hamilton. Edited by Richard B. Vernier. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2008.  "Continentalist Essay V" (pages 187-194).  (Book)

·      Taussig, Frank William. State Papers and Speeches on the Tariff. Edited by F. W. Taussig. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1892.  Alexander Hamilton's "Report on the Subject of Manufactures, January 1790" (pages 1-27).  (Reader)


Session V: Jeffersonian Political Economy.

·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book 3, Chapter 1, "Of the Natural Progress of Opulence" (pages 376-380) and Chapter 4, "How the Commerce of the Towns Contributed to the Improvement of the Country" (pages 411-427).  (Book)

·      Jefferson, Thomas. The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786). Edited by Paul Leicester Ford. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.  Query XIX (pages 84-86).  (Reader)

·      Jefferson, Thomas. The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798). Edited by Paul Leicester Ford. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.  Selections from "Report on the Privileges and Restrictions on the Commerce of the United States in Foreign Countries" (pages 98-101 and 110-119).  (Reader)

·      Jefferson, Thomas. The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807). Edited by Paul Leicester Ford. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.  "Letter to John Norvell, June 14, 1807" (pages 415-417).  (Reader)

·      Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude. A Treatise on Political Economy: to which is Prefixed a Supplement to a Preceding Work on the Understanding or Elements of Ideology; with and Analytical Table, and an Introduction on the Faculty of the Will. Georgetown: Joseph Milligan, 1817.  "Thomas Jefferson's Letter to Mr. Mullligan, October 25, 1818" (page 1) and "Prospectus" (pages iii-vii).  (Reader)

·      Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude. A Treatise on Political Economy. Edited by Jeremy Jennings. Translated by Thomas Jefferson. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2011.  Chapter 1, "Of Society" (pages 93-102).  (Book)


Session VI: The Political Economy of Early Industrial America.

·      Cooper, Thomas. Lectures on the Elements of Political Economy. Columbia, South Carolina: Telescope Press, 1826.  Chapter 18, "Balance of Trade: Standard of National Value" (pages 173-182) and Chapter 19, "Of Manufactures and Machinery" (pages 182-185).  (Reader)

·      List, Frederick. Outlines of American Political Economy. Philadelphia: Samuel Parker, 1827.  Letter I (pages 5-8) and Letter III (pages 13-18).  (Reader)