Capitalism can be characterized as a system of economic theories that now serve as the guiding principles for the vast majority of contemporary marketplace interactions occurring within the global economy. As an economic system, capitalism first rose to prominence with the advent of the Industrial Revolution during the latter half of the 18th century, and it was responsible for phasing out the feudalist and mercantilist economic systems that had previously dominated Western Europe between the 9th and 18th centuries. Fundamentally, capitalist economic theory is marked for its insistence on the means of industrial production being owned by private individuals or corporations rather than by sovereign nation-states. In this way, capitalism has traditionally been hailed as the perfect economic system for modern liberal democracies, as both ...

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