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The Life of Adam Smith$
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Ian Simpson Ross

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288212.001.0001

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Settlement in Edinburgh

Settlement in Edinburgh

(p.305) 18 Settlement in Edinburgh
The Life of Adam Smith

Ian Simpson Ross

Oxford University Press

Smith moved from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh late in 1778, after his appointment as a Commissioner for managing His Majesty's Customs in Scotland. We may think it a paradox that this prominent advocate of free trade should end up enforcing the mercantile system, but there was a family tradition of Customs service, and while WN does attack restraints on some branches of trade and encouragement for others, especially in the form of monopolies, Smith was not an across the board economic libertarian. He urged that there were reasons of state, as well as economic considerations, for implementing an efficient collection of moderate duties on imports and exports. In Edinburgh, Smith regularly entertained the intelligentsia and their visitors at a Friday Club and Sunday suppers.

Keywords:   duties, exports, free trade, imports, libertarian

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