Glimpse Into The History of capitalism
Today every aspect of capitalism from business structures, corporate governance, technology, work relations, consumer and investor culture, and government regulation seems to be in a state of flux. With no crystal ball to gaze into, only a well-informed historical perspective can help understand the capitalism history.
This page provides an entrance into the history of capitalism in the early centuries, when far-reaching changes were underway.
Some historians believe the origin of capitalism to lie in the "crisis of the fourteenth century." It was then that a conflict between the land-owning aristocracy and the agricultural producers, the serfs started to develop. The development of capitalism was inhibited in a number of ways by feudalism. The lords expanded their power and wealth through military means. As they spent most of their wealth on military equipment, they were left with little to invest in developing new productive technologies.
Florence indicates more familiar indications of capitalism in the 14th century. With great banking families, engaging in transactions across the breadth of Europe, it even has a successful strike, by underpaid day workers in the cloth industry. In the following century, Jacques Coeur in France, provides an astonishing individual example of the rapid creation of wealth through skilful investment in foreign merchandise.
History of capitalism shows that although such cases contain elements of later capitalism, but their limited scale makes them different in a certain way. The true characteristics of capitalism only emerge with an increase in scale of two separate contexts- the formation of joint-stock companies and the development of factories.
The situation changed the 16th century, with the ushering in of a new era of ocean voyages. The long expeditions to distant and dangerous places raised the levels of risks and profits. The governments to encourage their endeavors both to increase the trade and extend the nation's reach.
As a result, the chartered company came into existence, giving the merchants in a company the monopoly on trade with a specific region for a given number of years. Gradually, the joint - stock company, in which investors can contribute variable sums of money to fund the venture, too came into existence.
Speculation forms an intrinsic part of capitalism. The first example of a speculative run on the market was the famous Dutch tulip mania of 1633-7. The second half of the 18th century witnessed visible changes in Britain as a result of the developing Industrial Revolution. Money was now being put into manufacturing enterprises instead of land as per the capitalism history.
In the late 19th century, large areas of industry came under the control and direction of financiers. Defined as "finance capitalism", establishment of huge industrial monopolies.These were the major features of capitalism in this period. The development of a complex system of banking, an equity market, and corporate holdings of capital through stock ownership took place.
Around 1950, capitalism entered a new phase as people wanted more goods than the economy could provide. Demand exceeded supply, and we lived in shortage capitalism. After World War II, we shifted into excessive capitalism, with no limit to production but shortage of buyers.
Today our scarcities have taken a new meaning. Companionship and community are the top scarcities among the middle classes. Among the poor class, lack of goods still remains the top scarcity, which is due to his inability to pay.
Across the world, capitalism changed beyond its pure industrial capitalism forms into others. The U.S. raised one of the cleanest forms of capitalism with a minimum of government regulation. Canada and the Nordic countries maintained a balance between socialism and capitalism. With globalization, more countries will jump on the bandwagon as well.
History of capitalism shows that it took a long time to get here, but capitalism is here to stay.