Laissez-Faire Economics derived from the doctrine of laissez-faire was first systematically developed by the physiocrats in France . The origin of the term is uncertain, but folklore suggests that it is derived from the answer Jean-Baptiste Colbert, controller general of finance under King Louis XIV of France, received when he asked industrialists what the government could do to help business: “Leave us alone.” The doctrine of laissez-faire is usually associated with the economists known as Physiocrats, who flourished in France from about 1756 to 1778. It was at first primarily considered a moral doctrine that sanctified the freedom of the individual and had implications for economic life, not just an economic policy doctrine. Later laissez-faire came to be understood mainly as an economic policy doctrine.

The policy of laissez-faire received strong support in classical economics as it developed in Great Britain under the influence of economist and philosopher Adam Smith. (who can be seen below)

Mill, John Stuart [Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Neg. Co. LC-USZ62-76491)]

(source: Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.)

-Sean Hackes


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