• Nation of Shopkeepers

    The epithet “Nation of Shopkeepers” was used by Napoleon to infer that a British merchant society was incapable of effectively waging war against the mighty nation of France.  Napoleon was wrong.   British merchants and industry provided the resources that enabled England, with half the population of France, to win the Napoleonic Wars. The phrase, “Nation of Shopkeepers”, did not originate with Napoleon. It first appeared in The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith in 1776.   Smith believed that when individuals ...