Economics made slavery a complex moral issue,

World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War II (1940-1945)
March 12, 2020
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March 12, 2020

Economics made slavery a complex moral issue, for the accumulation and dispersion of wealth were moral issues of

the day. Adam Smith had tied laissez-faire free-trade economics into the political ideals of democracy. Thus, violating those economic principles by making an exception of one type of property, namely other human beings, was to violate the democratic freedoms of the slaves’ owners. This debate really become one of basic priorities, deciding which kind of freedom – which kind of rights – is more valuable. How influential were Smith’s ideas during his lifetime?

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