The differences in the economic philosophies of different time periods can be attributed to the main ideas or mentalities prevalent during those times, as the effect of new experiences or ‘impressions’ on the mind. We chronologically list the main events that may have caused people to have those new experiences from which they developed new ideas.
|Essence: Rise of the Merchants
The Venetians give Europe the first taste of commerce and manufactures
|1204||Constantinople is sacked during the Fourth Crusade and treasures are brought back to Venice, which becomes a European power
|1271||Marco Polo, a Venetian, leaves for Asia
|1300||The Travels of Marco Polo is published, describing the East
|1368||Start of the Ming Dynasty
|1405||The Ming show off its power through its Treasure Fleet
|Essence: Discovery and Conquest for Gold and Silver
The Portuguese want to join in the Italians’ business through exploration and colonization. Soon the Spanish enter the picture with their lust for gold.
|1425||Henry the Navigator develops the caravel to be used to seek a sea route to the East|
|1488||Portuguese Bartolomeu Dias reaches Cape of Good Hope|
|1492||Italian Christopher Columbus reaches the Americas through Spanish support|
|1498||Portuguese Vasco da Gama reaches India|
|1577||Venice suffers from the Black Death while having lost its Eastern trade to the Portuguese
|1588||Spanish Armada defeated|
|Mercantile Period (1600-1799)|
|Essence: Trade and the Mercantile Company for High Profits
With the Spanish defeated, other Europeans join in the colonization game with their own merchants through the invention of companies, paper financial products, and commodities trading.
|1600||English East India Company established|
|1602||Dutch East India Company established|
|1609||Bank of Amsterdam established|
|1660||Royal African Company established|
|1694||Bank of England established|
|1695||Bank of Scotland established|
|1711||South Sea Company established|
|1752||Royal African Company dissolved|
|1755||Richard Cantillon publishes Essai, contributing to monetary theory|
|1759||Adam Smith publishes The Theory of Moral Sentiments, advocating a new system of morality|
|1776||Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations, creating maxims on societal wealth|
|1789||Start of the French Revolution|
|Pre-Capitalist Period (1800-1889)|
|Essence: Utility and Money for Pleasure and Industrial Development
The too-big-to-fail mercantile company model proves unsustainable. The Industrial Revolution peaks, leading to new material experiences to gratify the senses. The word ‘scientist’ replaces ‘natural philosopher’. Big non-corporate companies are established to build steel plants and railroads.
|1800||Dutch East India Company dissolved|
|1803||JB Say publishes A Treatise on Political Economy, advocating utility, the cause of producers, and removing ethics from the Political Economy|
|1850||South Sea Company dissolved|
|1874||English East India Company dissolved|
|1848||John Stuart Mill publishes Principles of Political Economy|
|1861||John Stuart Mill publishes Utilitarianism corrupting the Political Economy with utility, something that Smith argued against in The Theory of Moral Sentiments
|1867||Karl Marx publishes Capital: Critique of Political Economy, arguing against an economic system originating from England and France (espoused by Mill) that would eventually evolve to become Capitalism
|1870||John D. Rockefeller establishes Standard Oil|
|1871||William Stanley Jevons publishes The Theory of Political Economy, adding Calculus to the Political Economy, also based on utility
|1872||Andrew Carnegie enters the steel business|
|1871||Carl Menger publishes Principles of Economics|
|1874||Leon Walras publishes Elements of Pure Economics with the General Equilibrium Theory|
|Essence: Microeconomics and Big Business
The ‘firm’ picks up what the mercantile company has left off. Economics is formalized. By now Western moral philosophy has died, leading to world wars.
|1890||Alfred Marshall publishes Principles of Economics, turning the Political Economy into Economics. By now, moral philosophy is totally alien to Economics.
|1892||Irving Fisher publishes Mathematical Investigations in the Theory of Value and Prices|
|1895||J.P. Morgan and Company established|
|1913||Federal Reserve System established|
|1914||World War 1|
|1929||Start of Great Depression|
|1936||John Maynard Keynes publishes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, establishing macroeconomics. Moral philosophy is still nowhere, proven by his reference to ‘animal spirits.’ He merely puts economic moral obligation on governments instead of properly putting it back into the science.
|1939||World War 2|
|Global Capitalism (1944-)|
|Essence: Macroeconomics and the Rebirth of Capitalism
The US emerges from the ashes of both world wars and the Cold War to impose its own system of global capitalism. The firm evolves into huge corporations, a type of which is the too-big-to-fail bank which can crash the global economy by itself.
|1944||Bretton Woods established; The US becomes a superpower after World War II
|1947||The Cold War begins leading to sub wars such as Korean, Vietnam, and Afghan wars.
|1948||Paul Samuelson publishes Economics, standardizing Economic science|
|1998||Repeal of Glass-Steagal|
|2008||Start of Financial Crisis in the US
||Brexit + Trump. Stagnation caused by Economic Science, plus the lack of moral philosophy, makes the British go on their own and allows Trump (our super mercantilist) to be the most powerful person in the world.