History of Capitalism
Free Market Capitalism emerged in the mid to late 1700's and grew in popularity and strength as individuals realized the benefits specialization and trade and antiquated infrastructures began to grow increasingly more capable and efficient. Improvements in travel and transportation, the monetization of individuals and the softening of attitudes towards the promise of a market based system were important obstacles that needed to be overcome before a region could progress under a free market system. Therefore, regions developed at a very uneven pace over the past several hundred years.
The road to free market capitalism has not always been a smooth one. A system where every man is primarily responsible for their own success or failures, yet are completely dependent on each other for survival has some inherent problems such as a propensity for greed and the exploitation of the weak. Market inefficiencies were often great due to lack of rapid communication, regulations, and government interference. Individuals in the past had to rely on their own common sense and had little means for comparison. As competition grew and the flow of information increased, markets became increasingly more efficient.
The birth of the industrial revolution catapulted capitalism to the forefront of economic thought. The mechanical advances, mass production and profits it generated were tremendous and intoxicating. Industrialized nations began on a whirlwind of growth and prosperity. This mass production fostered the creation of societies made up of many interdependent channels that rely on each other for survival. This interdependence was a large shift from the days of self sufficient farmers that provided nearly all of the food and goods the family needed and had little use for markets.
The era of the great depression was a catastrophic setback for free market capitalism as growth and investment came to a halt. Many... [continues]
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