The modern capitalism that we live in today and take for granted is, historically speaking, a relatively new economic system. However, an economic model that "calls for control of the economy by individual households and privately owned businesses- is no less than the result of many centuries of economic instability and criticisms. And while such a history is usually associated with the doctrine and practice of socialist statisms, it is less commonly thought of as something pertaining to capitalism. However there was no less thought, toil and challenges to tyranny necessary for the establishment of capitalisms than there was socialism. The following is an account of the bumpy road to capitalism, from early Europe to the challenges it faced in the world to the seeming triumph of freedom in the modern day.
Europe Before Capitalism: Mercantilism.
Before the Rise of capitalism, the major trading nations of Europe worked off a system known as Mercantilism. Mercantilism arose in all major trading nations in Europe - Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal - between the 14th and 18th centuries with the decline of medieval society. In the decentralized medieval societies, there was no reliance on a rich treasury for the expansion of the empire. In the words of Hedrick van Loon, "The king got his revenues from the crown domains and his civil service paid for itself."" However, with the rise of the centralized state, all parts of society would need to work off a central treasury.
This briefly threw Europe into a state of disarray. "The old knights disappeared, and the government hired bearcats to take their place."" It was the discovery of the Americas and it's precious metals that provided a solution: mercantilism. Mercantilism was an economic model that reasoned that wealth was precious metal (mainly gold and silver). Therefore, it is the principal goal of all nations to gain as much gold and silver as they could.