Adam Smith is often considered the first modern economist. His magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations (1776), is widely credited with laying the theoretical and philosophical foundations for capitalism. The work had an immediate impact on economic thinking, in light of its arguments for the freedom of trade. The Wealth of Nations is far more than a treatise of economic theory, however. Smith presents a powerful blueprint for a stable and peaceful society which rests upon a hard-headed and realistic assessment of humans and their nature.