1. We usually describe as classical economists the leading English economists of the period between the publication of the Wealth of Nations (1776, Smith himself is accordingly the first) and the Principles by John Stuart Mill in 1848. The first twenty years of this period are poor in new exploits, they are a time either of relaxation or of contemplation. Then an upward development started with vigour and strength, rising steeply to the heights of Ricardo's Principles in 1817. For ten to fifteen years the discussion is maintained at the level which had been reached, but then it becomes increasingly clear that the impulse has spent itself and there is only a temporary recovery as the consequence of ...

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