Adams Smith's Wealth Of Nations

512 Words3 Pages
Delving into the documents of 18th century Europe, readers most often come away with the impression of a society dominated by a new enlightened era of reason and knowledge. During this period trade surges, secularism arises, and political reform becomes the foremost issue facing the newly educated, and minted, middle class. From this melting pot, arose countless now famous, and immensely influential writers, philosophers, tradesmen, scientists alike. The writings of one such of these individuals, however, Fredrick the Great of Prussia, a self-proclaimed strict devotee to the enlightenment, seem to be in stark contrast with the ideas of liberalism, and natural rights that were surging through Europe. Despite his devotion to the enlightenment and its principles, close examination of his works, specifically Political Testament (1752), reveal an obvious anterior motive to his grandiose ideas. Political Testament, a self-promoting…show more content…
In Smiths text we see the proposal that through liberalism the market, and society will proceed towards it best possible state, guided by a so called “invisible hand”. However, where Smiths text is in line with other enlightenment leaders of the time, in promoting the advancement of society via liberty, Fredrick’s work is found to be in stark contrast to this enlightenment principle. Instead of liberty to achieve success, Fredrick attempts to persuade the reader that only through a strong singular ruler can this vison be attained. Citing Newton’s individual findings as support for his claim, and the breakdown of society in the presence of religion, Fredrick completes his document, asserting that only with a strong and knowledgeable ruler such as himself in power, will the kingdom of Prussia become
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