The most important was the growth of Industrial Capitalism. Another was the evolution of a Scientific Revolution.
The opening of America and the East and the consequent influx of Spanish gold and silver created a tremendous demand for shipbuilding and navigation and for the making of compass, maps and other instruments.
The age of Galileo, Newton, Harvey, Descartes, Copernicus and Leibnitz saw the victory of the experimental method and of the application of Mathematics in the explanation of reality.
It was in this cultural climate that the school of ‘arith politicians’-Grant, Petty and Halley-rose and developed. It helped to create an institutional structure and a business ethics, which accentuated the development of industrial capitalism and thereby was the prime cause of the growth of large towns and industrial centers.
Another effect of commercial capitalism was a rise in demand for consumer and capital goods-textiles, wine, weapons, equipment of various kinds etc. and also for commercial and transport services for the transportation of finished goods as well as raw materials from one place to another. The slave trade resulted in transportation of black population to America.
The rise in demand produced two different sets of consequences. One was the rise in demand resulted in increased production, but due to certain bottlenecks in productive apparatus, production could not be proportionately increased leading to a rise in demand, which again resulted in rise in prices. The Trice Revolution’ was therefore an inevitable consequence of Commercial Capitalism.
Scholars have also attributed a special maturity to the English pre-industrial economy. Accumulation of capital, big or moderate, for example, enabled business to develop more elaborate techniques of capitalism.
The credit system was developed substantially because all these techniques were directly linked with the extension of credit. The simple form of Bill of Exchange, for example, gave way to a more complicated type called the draft, which was in use by the mid- 14th century and common by the 15th century.
Commercial Capitalism resulted in the growth of markets that again had a very important outcome-the rise of towns. From the nucleus of small trading centers, they slowly and gradually evolved into flourishing, prosperous towns with all characteristics of urban civilisation.
There is undoubtedly an eclectic explanation of the rise of medieval towns, but one fact is certain: without capital, these towns could never have emerged as significant centers of exchange of goods and products.
Therein lay the role of Commercial Capitalism though of course, it would be wrong to regard them as microcosms of capitalism, because many towns in the early stages were themselves subordinated to feudal authority. Nevertheless, they nourished the ‘first germs’ of merchant and money-lending capital that was later to be employed on a larger scale.
Commercial Capitalism helped to accelerate the pace of the coming of Industrial Capitalism by accumulation of capital, by stimulating expansion and diversification of demand and thereby creating new markets, by favoring the growth of the bourgeoisie.
Commercial Capitalism brought about drastic changes in the entrepreneurial attitudes after discarding the conservative ways and methods and paved the path for the entry of the Industrial Revolution-a spectacular landmark in the history of human evolution.
Critics argue that capitalism is associated with the unfair distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward market monopoly or oligopoly (and government by oligarchy); imperialism, counterrevolutionary wars and various forms of economic and cultural exploitation; repression of workers and trade unionists, and phenomena such as social alienation, economic inequality, unemployment, and economic instability.
Capitalism is regarded by many socialists to be irrational in that production and the direction of the economy is unplanned, creating many inconsistencies and internal contradictions. Environmentalists have argued that capitalism requires continual economic growth, and will inevitably deplete the finite natural resources of the earth, and other broadly utilized resources.
Labour historians and scholars, such as Immanuel Wallenstein have argued that unfree labour-by slaves, indentured servants, prisoners, and other coerced persons-is compatible with capitalist relations.