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Lecture

A Brief History of Capitalism.docx

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Department
Labour Studies
Course
LABRST 1C03
Professor
David Bush
Semester
Winter

Description
A Brief History of Capitalism Jan 15/13: Lecture 2 Capitalism  How has work has changed and how work is conducted, organized and seen in our society?  What is it? Basically trying to maximize profit with very little input as possible  How does it operate? Pre-Capitalist Economics  Most production was for use (even in slave societies such as Rome).  Commodities were exchanged ultimately to get other commodities  Economic system were primarily based on relationships of personal domination (Feudalism, Slave Societies, etc.) Feudalism  A political system in which the land is dispersed by a lord to their vassal for a fee and promise of loyalty  The social hierarchy is rigid- lords, vassals, clergy, merchants, artisans and serfs  This system begins to breakdown in Europe in the 15 century  The merchant class begins to acquire more power The Age of “Discovery” The Enclosure Movement  Intro European trading feuds push  Former serfs now free peasants in some European states to look for new England are forcibly evicted by the trading routes nobility to raise sheep  Start of European colonization which  This in time creates the conditions for lays the groundwork for mercantilism a wage labour system in England Accumulation by Dispossession  The taking or expropriation of land, resources, and/or cultural knowledge  It divorces people from their means of production.  It concentrates those expropriated resources in the hands of a few.  These factors create the conditions for capitalism Mercantilism  A closed system of trading between colonies and a colonial country in which colonies shipped resources to the “home” country and the “home” country shipped back finished products A Brief History of Capitalism 1  As new trade routes opened up and new colonies were founded more and more wealth flowed into the coffers of European merchants Barbarity of the Colonial Experience  A development of a large scale slaves trade and slave production system  The massive genocidal war waged by Europeans colonizers against Indigenous peoples across the globe  The impoverishment of large swaths of European peasantry through war and land theft  The enrichment of European states Early Capitalism  After the enclosure movement in England there is a surplus population in English towns and
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