Capitalism is an economic system that began in Europe at the collapse of feudalism around the 16th Century. It was used by the early American settlers prior to the American Revolution. Upon the formation of the United States (1776-1789), Capitalism was the chosen economic system by the Fore Fathers of the United States; primarily because it was the economic system currently in place and gave a common man equal opportunity within the economy.
What type of economic system is Capitalism? Webster’s Dictionary defines Capitalism as a “form of economic, industrial, and social organization of society involving ownership control, and direction of production by privately owned business organizations.” Capitalism promotes private ownership.
Capitalism helped create a larger Middle Class in Europe by allowing people to be property and business owners without being part of the Aristocracy (of noble or royal birth). By the 17th Century, the European Middle Class had a larger say politically because they were bankers, business owners, and property owners. They were allowed to exert their influence by receiving hearings in the political arena because they were taxpayers. Capitalism was good for Europeans who were not of noble or royal birth.
Granted in Europe it was difficult to raise above the station born into, but there were some less fortunate who managed to become Middle Class citizens by their own enterprising efforts, by being given a Middle Class benefactor who assisted the person into climbing up into the Middle Class, by inheritance, or by marrying into a Middle Class family. This gave the poor in Europe a place to climb up socially and economically; allowed them the opportunity to better their situation. Capitalism gave economic hope to many who otherwise had none.
In the United States, Capitalism guarantees each citizen equal opportunity to better his or her economic and social standing. By one’s individual or collective efforts, any citizen can improve their station. There is no citizen denied by birth access to any of the stations (Poor, Middle Class, or Rich).
What type of government can support Capitalism? Any form of government (political system) can have a capitalistic economic system. Solely Communism cannot support Capitalism, because Communism is a different type of economic system without any form of political system (no government).
Capitalism is a self-supporting economic system that does not require government intervention or implementation; dissimilar to Socialism. This is primarily due to private ownership and the private sector actually running the economy (separate from the political system). It enables those participating to have civil liberties that other economic systems do not allow; such as individual property ownership, personal freedom to choose the amount of participation and the manner in which one may participate. Why Capitalism became popular in Europe and was kept as an economic constant even during the formation of the United States. Capitalism promotes personal economic growth and choice.
Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States
Webster’s Dictionary, Edited by John Gage Allee, Ph.D, 1977, Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc.