The Rise Of Capitalism And Its Opposition



Developments in the 18th century paved the way for the emergence of modern capitalism. Among these developments was the thought of British philosopher, Adam Smith. Smith tried to show the existence of an economic order that would function most efficiently if the state played a limited role. He saw in the division of labor and the extension of markets almost limitless possibilities for society to expand its wealth through manufacture and trade. The ideas of Smith provided an ideological and intellectual background for the Industrial Revolution that transformed society and the world during the 19th century. However, the development of Industrial Capitalism gained serious opposition. Abusive ...

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of economic systems arose as a response to capitalism. These systems included Marxist-based Communism and the Nazi system in Germany, also known as National Socialism. Nevertheless, in the search for an economic solution, capitalist systems demonstrated a remarkable ability to survive.
Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit (Webster's pp.92). Though the term capitalism was not introduced until the mid-19th century, the individual who comes closest to being its originator is the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith. Smith first set forth the essential economic principles that underlie this system.
In his famous work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), Smith sought to show how it was possible to pursue private gain in ways that would further not just the interests of the individual, but also those of society as a whole. Society's interests are met by maximum ...

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almost limitless possibilities for society to expand its wealth through manufacture and trade. He wrote that the:

"...great increase of the quantity of work, which, in a consequence of the division of labor, the same number of people are capable of performing, is owing to three different circumstances: first, to the increase in dexterity in every particular workman; secondly, to the saving of time which is commonly lost....and lastly, to the invention of a great number of machines...which enable one man to do the work of many." (Smith pp.42)

As a result of his concept of laissez-faire and the division of labor, Smith opened the way for industrialization and the emergence of modern ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/22/2004 02:46:25 AM
Category: Economics
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1892
Pages: 7

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