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: Early Common Law Corporate Ideas and the Case of Sutton's Hospital

By examining the manuscript reports of one of the earliest, still-cited common law cases in corporate law, this talk investigates the development of corporate theory before the nineteenth-century fission into for and non-profits

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.

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