Rise Of Industrial Capitalism

1024 Words5 Pages
Capitalism, is arguably, one of the most profit-driven, productive economic systems in the world. This economic system, which has now spread across most parts of the globe, originally developed in Britain. This then leads to the question of what factors facilitated the growth of industrial capitalism in Britain, or in Western Europe, as opposed to other parts of the Old World. Janet Abu-Lughod, in her work titled “Before European Hegemony” criticises the notion that there was something inherent in the West that favoured its growth and eventual hegemony of the world economy. Additionally, there was nothing inherent about the rest of the Old World that prevented it from developing industrial capitalism. (Abu-Lughod, 12). The 13th century world…show more content…
There was a breakdown in the previous methods of production, and this began in the agrarian areas. Wood notes that Britain, relative to the rest of the world, had conditions that favoured the development of industrial capitalism. In England at that time, the old feudal system, which did not give optimum productivity of land to obtain profit, was systematically done away with, and several factors contributed to the rise of a more productivity and profit oriented system – capitalism. As the focus shifted to productivity and maximizing profit, those who were benefiting from this system, i.e, improving landlords and capitalists felt that “land had to be liberated from any such obstruction to their productive and profitable use of property.” (Meiksins Wood, 108) Thus, England faced changes such as the transition from common ownership of property, to the private ownership of property, through the enclosure movement. The emergence of enclosures caused much discord in English society, and was one of the reasons for the English Civil War. In this, the upcoming capitalist class over through the monarchy, and took control over the parliament. Subsequent legislations began to foster the growth of capitalism. For instance, Locke 's Theory of Property, which states that land must belong to whoever can utilize it, or improve it to the best capacity, began to influence public…show more content…
Britain, and Western Europe, as a whole, had the social prerequisites that were imperative to the development of this economic system. Several historical and structural factors favoured Britain in its endeavour to establish an economic system that relied on profit and productivity. The geographical conditions of Britain (abundance of coal, proximity to water sources, etc), along with its decision to import from the New World, while engaging its own population in more profit-oriented activities, facilitated the rapid development of industrial capitalism and modern industry. (Response to Pomeranz,
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