Chapter 14: The Origin of Capitalism

Europe is thought to have the roots of capitalism. This comes from the lack of hydraulic societies because there was no despot powerful enough to control and change the movements of rivers in Europe. Instead, Europe was home to widespread feudalism. From feudalism’s fall came the economic system of capitalism. Political unrest after the bubonic plague contributed to the demise of feudalism, but Harris writes that the largest contributor was the increase in production due to the encouragement of feudal lords. Capitalism grew from there into intensified growth in production and, for a while, growing production efficiency.