‘Capitalism’ is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom).
Following the demise of feudalism, the capitalism became the dominant economic system of the Western world.
A remarkable influence of advances in agriculture, cotton spinning and weaving, iron manufacture and machine tool design and the harnessing of mechanical power began to alter the character of capitalism profoundly in the last years of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th century.
The form of capitalism differs between nations because the practice of it is embedded within cultures. Markets cater to national culture as much as national culture mutates to conform to the discipline of profit and loss.
The Great Depression of the 1930 and brought the policy of laissez-faire (non-interference by the state in economic matters) to an end in most countries and for a time cast doubt on the capitalist system as a whole.
The performance of capitalism since World War II in the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany and Japan. However, has given evidence of its continued vitality.