Exploring Intellectual & Business History 

I am currently a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of History where I research the history of law, capitalism and economic thought.


Capitalism's Moral Economy
Dark Markets Observatory
English Constitutional History
The Richard Ligon Project
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Talk: Digital Humanities and Customs Prosecutions in the 1720s

This talk at Duke University explores how legal historians can use digital methods, such as handwriting transcription software and GIS, to generate new insights. Exploring the development of a database of customs prosecutions during the 1720s, this project reveals that there was one law for the rich and one for the poor in unexpected ways.

Talk: How Milton Friedman Read his Adam Smith

Milton Friedman's critique of business and its social responsibilities has influenced management thinking for the past decades. But do we really know why he made this claim? This paper at the Telfer School of Management discusses Friedman's historical development and provides a surprising explanation for his suspicion of social responsibility.

New Article: Fair Competition and Smuggling

Was it one of the biggest frauds in UK history? Or maybe it was all legal: the scheme starts with an ad for French brandy and reveals the secret world of early modern smuggling and business frauds. visit  

New Article: Can Moral Ideas Change Business?

My new article explores how moral ideas during the 1840s and 1850s reshaped business organization in England visit

© Copyright 2021 David Chan Smith