How did capitalism come about in Europe?
Capitalism: Simply Explained
What is capitalism
"Capitalism" describes an economic and social order. In it, a few people - the entrepreneurs - have the capital. This is the name given to everything that is necessary for the production of goods: money, tools, machines, factory buildings ... What the entrepreneurs do with their capital is up to them themselves. So there are only goods for sale that entrepreneurs offer on their own initiative. Because they want to earn as much as possible, they make exactly the products that many people want to buy. So supply and demand regulate the market.
How long has capitalism existed?
The first capitalist factories were built in the late 18th century, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. The workers have to toil hard in it for little wages. There are still no laws to protect them.
Advantages of capitalism
Kings and princes used to be rich just because of their origins. In capitalism, in principle, everyone can get money - if they have the necessary capital. Because successful entrepreneurs need good ideas, the capitalist economy also promotes inventiveness - and progress, for example in technology and science.
Disadvantages of capitalism
In capitalism, successful entrepreneurs get richer and richer: With the money they earn, they keep buying new machines, tools - or other companies through which they earn even more. Those who have no capital, on the other hand, can often only survive by selling their labor. And the employers pay their workers as little wages as possible. In the worst case, the following applies: Only those who are willing to work hard for a low wage can get a job. And if you get sick or lose your apartment, you can see where you are.
Even if people now often plow in offices instead of factories, the capitalist order has prevailed in many places. In most European countries, however, the state now ensures that companies treat their employees fairly. In Germany, laws regulate working hours and guarantee a minimum wage. In addition, many workers form trade unions: together they are stronger and can negotiate better with employers.#Subjects
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