Adam Smith criticized the inefficiency of slavery in The Wealth of Nations (1776) but published his strongest words against slavery—targeting its injustices—almost twenty years earlier in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). Even in the nineteenth century it was Smith’s earlier fulminations that captured the attention of abolitionists and found their way into anti-slavery pamphlets.

Daniel B. Klein is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of Economics at George Mason University.
Civil Liberties and Human RightsCulture and SocietyEconomistsEconomyLaw and LibertyPhilosophy and ReligionRace Issues
Other Independent Review articles by Daniel B. Klein
Summer 2023 The Tao Exposes Slavers to Contempt
Spring 2023 Instilling Duties above Instilling Rights: Two Features of Adam Smith’s Talk of Justice and Liberty
Winter 2017/18 The Joys of Yiddish and Economics
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