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A study of western capitalism could perhaps start by reading the biographies of the wealthy and powerful medieval land barons and the legends of their plundering and pillaging in the neighbouring villages and territories.  Surely their goal was greater wealth through higher land-based income. But wait.

There is another approach to studying the origins of western capitalism. Ordinary people had to struggle to survive. They had to think to struggle. Their wealthy feudal landlords didn't have to do so much critical thinking and planning -- their all-to-typical response to external stresses was a knee-jerk reaction -- just send over a contingent to murder your enemy or simply bribe the King to give you title to the offender's lands.

So where is the data to support this theory that ordinary folk had a hand in nursing capitalism as a new ideology for society? It is, admittedly, hard to find. But it is out there and indeed, findable, if you strategically dig deep enough. We believe we have some supporting data on this web site. These are just a few of the relevant pages. It is up to you to use your skills of inquiry to find others.


Capitalism -- The Impact of Ordinary People

Winners and Losers Fall-out from the Agricultural Revolution -- "The Invasion of the Sheep"
Before the Sheep Replaced People Some progressive but ordinary farmers had lots of sheep
Progressive Tenants Expanding their farms
Pedlars Unlikely heroes of the new economy
Capitalists, Entrepreneurs and Professionals Some successful people
Capitalist in Training Rise of a coalmaster


Ok, how did it all begin -- this notion of capitalism? Where was the seed planted? Who was Adam Smith watching? What was he seeing day by day? Who had the vision? Or was there some collective vision?

The very short answer is "attitude". Your job is to research and synthesize a "long answer".