Classical economics refers to a school of economic thought that was dominant throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries, primarily in Britain.
Its principal figures include Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say and John Stuart Mill, among others.
The classical economists put forth theories that viewed economic systems as primarily self-regulating.
According to them, supply and demand, production, exchange and consumption held each other in check much as natural laws do. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) is widely regarded as the beginning of Classical Economics.