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Adam Smith vs Karl Marx Primary Source Activity teaches students about the two competing economic theories that rocked the mid 19th century, laissez-faire capitalism and communism. This activity begins with Smith’s discussion of the effect of the individual on the economy and its advancement, as well as the role of government and monopolies in the free market system. Marx responds with the history of the Bourgeois and Proletarians and his criticism of capitalism, as well as Marx’s opinion on the role of government. Excerpts come from Smith’s, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations(1776) and Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, 1848. This can be used in class or as homework as it’s a completely stand alone assignment.
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