The Industrial Revolution: Adam Smith Vs. Karl Marx

1283 Words 6 Pages
The Industrial Revolution, occurring from 1760 to 1820, has permanently transformed the world, shifting it from manual labour into manufacturing; into a market-based economy. The Industrial Revolution birthed capitalism and its affects are still present today. A phenomenon this impactful has caught the interests of many economists, two of which being Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The two have very different opinions, with Smith arguing that the Industrial Revolution occurred because of a division of labour, every worker focussing on one specific task, and Marx arguing that machinery itself is what caused the Industrial Revolution. This essay will discuss their opposing views and compare Adam Smith’s An Inquiry Into Nature and the Causes of the Wealth of Nations – or The Wealth of Nations as it will be further referred to in this essay – with Karl Marx’s Capital. To begin, this essay will discuss Smith and Marx’s explanations on the origins and dynamics of the Industrial Revolution, and will finish by comparing the two. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations outlines his opinion on what the origins and the dynamics of the Industrial Revolution are. Smith explains the origins …show more content…
Smith was born in 1723, and died in 1790. This means he was not alive during the majority of the Industrial Revolution, which likely caused the difference in opinion of him and Marx, as Marx lived through the Industrial Revolution. Marx was alive from 1818-1883, meaning he witnessed the Industrial Revolution at its height. This influences their work as Smith was merely predicting, whereas Marx was able to analyze what was occurring. Both authors have different insights to the Industrial Revolution, with Smith seeing what led up to it, and Marx seeing the aftermath. Due to this, the two authors have differences in their opinions on the origins and dynamics of the Industrial Revolution, as well as

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