“A nation of shopkeepers” – the infamously derisory description of the British often, but inaccurately, attributed to Napoleon – was actually first coined in an altogether non-pejorative sense by the economist Adam Smith in his seminal work of 1776, The Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith used the phrase to describe how commerce and trade had made Britain, a nation of relatively scarce natural resources, such a dominant power around the world. That was something Napoleon reflected on, in far more […]
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