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Capitalism - Essay Example

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It involves private property, profit motive, free enterprise and individual initiative, hiring labor and lending money at interest. There is no such thing as a perfectly or completely capitalistic…
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Download file to see previous pages Trading, banking and the production of certain goods was done on a capitalistic basis and thrived in and amongst the Ancient Greek city-states. During the era of Roman supremacy, capitalist methods developed further. The Roman government protected trade, interest rates came down and the standard of living improved. With the collapse of the Roman Empire capitalism practically disappeared. After a long period of stagnation, a revival of trade began and commercial and capitalist activity gradually increased as early as the 11th century. The Crusades contributed significantly to this revival due to the large scale movement of men and supplies from Europe to the Holy Land. This transport enriched merchants and ship-owners of several Italian cities. Italy, especially Venice, became the leader of this revival of commerce, industry and capitalism. Besides Italy, the Hanseatic League in northern Europe, and numerous other regions, such as the Netherlands, also shared in the revival of capitalism by the end of the 15th century.
At this point further development was hindered by three obstacles; 1. The expense of overland travel, 2. An inadequate supply of gold and silver to serve as a medium of exchange and, 3. The restrictive practices of the guilds. All of these obstacles were to be overcome within the next centuries. The rise of the modern nation state was also closely associated with the rise of the modern capitalistic economy. The royal monarchs who created the national states after the Middle Ages made great use of the rising middle class in overcoming the feudal nobility. The strength of this middle class lay was in its wealth gained through capitalistic enterprises.
It was the great voyages of discovery made by mariners in the late 15th and early 16th centuries that opened up the era of capitalist economy on a scale more vast than anything dreamed of began the era of the global economy. So great was this expansion and so significant were the changes it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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