This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The History Of Capitalism Essay

1434 words - 6 pages

The History of Capitalism

Capitalism is based on the same principles as mercantilism. The accumulation of means, materials, land and other things, this accumulation is called capital and “the property-owners of these means of production are called capitalists” (Hooker 2). Productive labor, human work that is necessary to make goods and distribute them, takes the form of wage labor. “The means of production and labor is manipulated by the capitalist using rational calculation in order to realize a profit” (Hooker 2).

Mercantilism is the earliest form of capitalism. Mercantilism can be simply defined as the allotment of trading goods for profit. Rome is credited with the first formation of a mercantile society. As the Rome Empire expanded, mercantilism expanded with it, spreading into the Middle East and Western Europe.

Due the localizing nature of European economies this enabled mercantilism to expand and was not part of the European culture. Thus by the fifteenth century, when the Roman Empire began to retrench so did mercantilism (“Hooker”).

In contrast to Europe, the Arabic economies grew around a thieving mercantilism. They lived on trade routes between three magnificent empires: Egypt, Persia and soon after the Byzantium, and they found that stealing products, then selling them, to be very lucrative. Thieving mercantilism spread swiftly through Spain, Asia, Middle East, and Northern Africa, where “Arabic mercantilism assumed an unprecedented global character” (Hooker 1).

During the Medieval Age is when the European culture expanded its mercantilism, taking trading to lands far beyond its shores. From the 1300’s onwards, the Europeans would push “their mercantile practices” forward, (Hooker 1) causing social upheavals, and catapulting the Europeans into unknown territories (“Hooker”). As Karl Marx pointed out, capitalism started in Europe in the sixteenth century. Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, feudalism fell apart in Western Europe, and countries emerged as capitalistic society. This unexpected transformation was unavoidable, due to the differences between “the forces of production and the relations of productions in Western Europe’s feudal society” (Kan 9). Great discoveries between the sixteenth and the eighteenth were made (“Kan”) that brought about efficiencies in the production of goods that enhanced the quality of life for mankind as a whole.

The European discoveries created a demand for resources that could not be found on the European continent, or could not be grown in its climate. Their mercantile classes pushed out into the world, and did not shy away from using force to gain the items that could be traded for a profit back in Europe. This bloody development of capitalism led to the discovery of the New Maritime Routes, which Spain and Portugal were the first cultures to exploit. Portugal, Holland, England, Spain, and France each took on comparable roles and joined the colonial plunder....

Find Another Essay On The History of Capitalism

the future of capitalism Essay

2232 words - 9 pages Third World History Book Report .      This book report reflects upon the writings of Lester C. Thurow in his 1996 book - "The Future of Capitalism". Thurow is a professor of economics at M.I.T. School of Management and has been a contributing editor to the Newsweek journal. "The Future of Capitalism" is an analytical look at the state of world economics in the late Twentieth Century. Thurow

The effect of capitalism across history - History Year 9 - research Paper

947 words - 4 pages How has Capitalism changed the World? Across history capitalism has played a pivotal role in the development of a previously feudalistic and commercialistic based societies to those of the current world’s economy. Capitalism was first proposed in Adam Smith’s book, ‘The wealth of the Nations’, in 1776. With it identifying a system of communal and all round economic benefit, through its emphasise in individual market freedom. Although, capitalism

The Constraints of Alfred Chandler’s Managerialism - Schulich School of Business, MGMT1030 (History of Capitalism) - Critical Assessment

860 words - 4 pages The Constraints of Chandler’s Managerialism Muhammad Mustafa Moeen, 214682876 MGMT1030: History of Capitalism: Structures, Agents, Artefacts Dr. Andrew Thompson, Section B Prior to the formation of the Industrial Society that allowed mechanization of production processes, deployment of specialized labor and presented urbanization as a lucrative prospect, managerial practice was an unknown concept as owners themselves took on various tasks

The Essential Nature of Capitalism

665 words - 3 pages The Essential Nature of Capitalism The essential nature of capitalism is social harmony through the pursuit of self-interest. Under capitalism, the individual's pursuit of his own economic self-interest simultaneously benefits the economic self-interests of all others. In allowing each individual to act unhampered by government regulations, capitalism causes wealth to be created in the most efficient manner possible which ultimately raises

THE EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM

940 words - 4 pages . The bourgeoisie, also known as the middle class, gained money and power as the industrial capitalism got stronger. They consisted of merchants, tradesmen, and professionals. In the middle class, the men worked outside the home to support their families, while the women stayed at home to take care of the house and children. Unfortunately, the lower class was unable to do the same. All the members of the family had to work to support each

The Definition of Capitalism: Greed

1022 words - 4 pages Michael Novak once said , " Capitalism must be infused by that humble gift of love called caritas . " While this is a very moving and true concept , this is not the reality we live in . Our modern free enterprise , which derived its structure from the Catholic Church of the eighteenth century , is infused with many things , and love most certainly is not one of them. Although , Capitalism is essential for us to continue progressing into a

Exploitation: The Foundation of Capitalism

1509 words - 6 pages Exploitation: The Foundation of Capitalism When people complain that they are being 'exploited' at work, they usually mean that they are being treated unfairly or being ripped off. For instance, Burger King used to make workers clock off when it wasn't busy, though they had to stay at work. One young worker made less than the price of a burger in an 8 hour shift. Pizza Hut offered a young Spanish woman a job - but the first 2 weeks would

To what extent does Weber's account of 'the spirit of capitalism' represent a challenge to Marx's view of history?

1077 words - 4 pages To what extent does Weber's account of 'the spirit of capitalism' represent a challenge to Marx's view of history?It is often contended that Weber is 'debating with the ghost of Karl Marx' and this is no less true than on their views of history. Marx's view of history arose in opposition to the philosopher Hegel's view of history, who was interested in the history of ideas, so Marx developed what is now known as historical materialism. Writing

Analysis Of The Different Phases Of Capitalism

1686 words - 7 pages Are We There Yet?An Exploration Into the Stages of CapitalismSociety can be categorized by certain stages in history. Karl Marx?s theory of historical materialism mapped out the evolution of society through five distinct epochs: 1. Hunter-gatherer 2. Tribal 3. Feudal 4. Capitalism and 5. Communism. But are these epochs true to societal evolution? What of the transition between epochs? The questioning of Marx?s theory of historical materialism is

"The Great Gatsby" - A Critique of Capitalism

1159 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, can be read as a critique of capitalism. Fitzgerald created a world where class and money are the essence of everyone’s desire. The plot and the settings of unfolding events in The Great Gatsby are perfect examples of structures of capitalism, along class lines, which allows for a Marxist capitalist critique. Even though Fitzgerald wasn’t a socialist or Marxist himself, he shows in his book

The Greed and Capitalism of Milo Minderbinder

2342 words - 9 pages Joseph Heller's early sixties novel Catch-22 is a satirical representation of war and America's bureaucratic system. It is a comical and witty book which gradually seems to become more somber in its depiction of war and human suffering. In my paper I will mainly focus on Milo Minderbinder, one of the two main characters of the book, who as the personification of modern capitalism and human greed in general just like the mood of the book

Similar Essays

The Formation Of Capitalism In European History

1355 words - 5 pages The Formation of Capitalism in European History "Pure capitalism is characterized by private ownership of resources and by reliance on markets, in which buyers and sellers come together and determine what quantities of goods and resources are sold and at what price. Here no central authority oversees production and consumption. Rather, economic decisions are coordinated by the actions of large numbers of consumers and producers, each

The Inevitability Of Capitalism Essay

1297 words - 5 pages The exact origin of capitalism is unknown and to precisely trace its inception is, as Joyce Appleby says, a conundrum in itself. However, speculation negating the inevitability of capitalism is an even greater feat and rather fruitless. Appleby’s research and evidence thus far, support a great part of her assumptions retracing the colorful history of capitalism, though her case against its inevitability falls short. The question at hand is

The Paradox Of Capitalism Essay

2533 words - 11 pages Capitalism is an engine of economic growth that drives innovation faster than any sports car imaginable. Driving into oblivion can be thrilling, but it always has risks. The paradox of capitalism is subjective. For the working class, capitalism is a derogatory term symbolizing the exploitation of the poor by the strong and powerful. For the ruling class, it symbolizes a system where opportunities abound for those who are devoted, innovative, and

The Contradictions Of Capitalism Essay

1536 words - 7 pages Capitalism controls or enslaves the laborer by making his existence dependent on the process of production instead of the production of the labor for himself. The laborer is historically different in a capitalist society because he is separated from production. He no longer produces for himself but instead for the general wealth, or the wealth of the capitalist. Capitalism controls even the capitalist himself by turning him into a mechanism