development of British capitalism

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Joined: 24-11-10
Nov 19 2011 14:34
development of British capitalism

When do you think Capitalism really began to develop and predominate in Britain?, with the advent of industrial revolution in 1750? the revolution of 1640? or before?

I'm just beginning to research the topic and at the minute I would say that it really began with the penetration of the European wool trade in the 13th century and the moves this encouraged towards the enclosure of commons for sheep farming, agricultural relations were commercialised at the same time a proto-working class was divorced from the land. By the time of the revolution in 1640 capitalist social relations dominated in the countryside and the political organisation of Feudalism had been destroyed by Tudor absolutism and the expropriation of the Church in the 1530s. Therefore 1640 doesn't deserve the pivotal role it is so often given. I think this is quite close to what Dobb argued against Sweezy though I haven't read either yet.

I'm only really throwing around ideas at the minute so I would be interested in other perspectives.

Alf's picture
Joined: 6-07-05
Nov 19 2011 17:18

The Italian communist left did an interesting study of this in the 1930s, although it takes up the story mainly from the 17th century, and you have to go further back. Marx wrote a lot about this in Capital Vol I.....

plasmatelly's picture
Joined: 16-05-11
Nov 19 2011 17:25

Ellen Meiksins Wood's good a source, imo.