In this book, Smith discussed the stages of evolution of society, from a hunter stage without property rights or fixed residences to nomadic agriculture with shifting residences. In this stage, laws, and property rights are established to protect privileged classes.
Laissez-faire or free markets characterize the modern society in which new institutions are established to conduct market transactions.
Both help to reconcile passion with reason, which is a basis for economic systems and provide a basis for the creation of institutions within human society.
The book also includes elements of social psychology along with our instinct for self-preservation.
In his first book, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," Smith proposed the idea of an invisible hand—the tendency of free markets to regulate themselves by means of competition, supply and demand, and self-interest.
Smith is also known for his theory of compensating wage differentials, meaning that dangerous or undesirable jobs tend to pay higher wages to attract workers to these positions.
Smith moved to France in 1763 because he was offered a more remunerative position as a personal tutor to the stepson of Charles Townshend, an amateur economist and future Chancellor of the Exchequer.
It was during his sojourn in France that Smith wrote “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” which would ultimately cement his place in history.
The success of the lectures proved a stepping stone to a professorship at his alma mater.
He started with logic but later taught moral philosophy at the university.