Ellen Meiksins Wood: The Development Of Capitalism

1920 Words4 Pages

Aboyowa Okoturo

The Development of Capitalism Capitalism is a social system that is based mainly on the principle of individual rights. It has the political aspect, which is a “laissez-faire” system meaning freedom. There is also the economical aspect of it that shows that when such freedom is applied to production, it results in the “free market”. Legally also, capitalism is a system of the rule of the law as opposed to the rule of man. This essay will seek to look into the origins of capitalism and agrarian capitalism, the social property relations necessary to the development of capitalism and look at the general transition, mainly according to Ellen Wood. Capitalism started to develop during the 17th Century. …show more content…

Ellen Meiksins Wood suggests that capitalism was originally developed in England and that it is unique to this region. In her body of work, ‘The Origin of Capitalism’, Wood discusses the contributing factors that led England to introduce the social changes required in order for capitalism to become the new standard for trade and economics in that country. According to Wood, capitalism emerged in the West not so much due to what was “present” but more as a result of what was absent, such as constraints on urban economic practices. Considering this, it took only a natural expansion of trade to initiate the development of capitalism to its full maturity. However, it is important to understand the world around England during this time in order to understand why capitalism developed in England in the first …show more content…

(Wood) Although this division of appropriators and producers comes about in many forms, varying from time to place, it has always remained so that the direct producers were usually peasants, remaining in possession of the means of production, most specifically land. Wood claims that the most basic differentiation between capitalism and pre-capitalist societies is not a matter of production being urban or rural, but in fact it is the particular property relations between appropriators and producers in agriculture or

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