By Olivia Wooster


Economic system in which the factors of production are privately owned and money is invested in business ventures to make a profit
Replaced feudal empires (i.e. Holy Roman Empire) and monarchies
Created markets where buyers and sellers of goods and services agreed on prices.
Long distance trade increased dramatically due to innovation in transportation


Adam Smith

Adam Smith (1723 –1790) was a Scottish political economist and moral philosopher. His most popular work “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” was one of the earliest attempts to study the historical development of industry and commerce in Europe. That work helped to create the modern academic discipline of economics and provided one of the best-known intellectual rationales for free trade and capitalism. One of the main points of The Wealth of Nations is that the free market, while appearing chaotic and unrestrained, is actually guided to produce the right amount and variety of goods by a so-called "invisible hand". If a product shortage occurs, for instance, its price rises, creating a profit margin that creates an incentive for others to enter production, eventually curing the shortage. If too many producers enter the market, the increased competition among manufacturers and increased supply would lower the price of the product to its production cost, the "natural price". Even as profits are zeroed out at the "natural price," there would be incentives to produce goods and services, as all costs of production, including compensation for the owner's labour, are also built into the price of the goods. If prices dipped below a zero profit, producers would drop out of the market; if they were above a zero profit, producers would enter the market. Smith believed that while human motives are often selfish and greedy, the competition in the free market would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services. His theory, now referred to as "laissez-faire", which means "let them do", influenced government legislation in later years, especially during the 19th century. (However, it must be remembered that Smith advocated for a Government that was active in sectors other than the economy: he advocated for public education of poor adults; for institutional systems that were not profitable for private industries; for a judiciary; and for a standing army. One of his most famous and oft-quoted passages in The Wealth of Nations is: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography.His "An Essay on the Principle of Population" observed that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease, leading to what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe which saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man".
He criticized the Poor Laws, and supported the Corn Laws, which introduced a system of taxes on British imports of wheat.

David ricardo

David Ricardo was a British political economist. He was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and James Mill. He began his professional life as a broker and financial market speculator. He collected a considerable personal fortune, largely from financial market and, having retired, bought a seat in the U.K. Parliament. He held his seat for the last four years of his life. His most important legacy is his theory of comparative advantage, which suggests that a nation should concentrate its resources solely in industries where it is most internationally competitive and trade with other countries to obtain products not produced nationally. Ricardo promoted the idea of extreme industry specialization by nations, to the point of dismantling internationally uncompetitive and otherwise profitable industries. In this thinking Ricardo assumed the existence of a national industry policy aimed at promoting some industries to the detriment of others. For Ricardo some form of Central Economic Planning was a given.


The belief that the value of a thing or an action is determined by its utility.

The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.


Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) was a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.
Bentham became a important theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfare. He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts. He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children. He has also become known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights. Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".

Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism. Bentham has been described as the "spiritual founder" of University College London, though he played little direct part in its foundation.

Bentham's ambition in life was to create a "Pannomion", a complete utilitarian code of law. He not only proposed many legal and social reforms, but also expounded an underlying moral principle on which they should be based. This philosophy of utilitarianism took for its "fundamental axiom", it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong". Bentham claimed to have borrowed this concept from the writings of Joseph Priestley, although the closest that Priestley in fact came to expressing it was in the form "the good and happiness of the members, that is the majority of the members of any state, is the great standard by which everything relating to that state must finally be determined".

John stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was a British philosopher, political economist and civil servant. He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century". Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.

Mill expresses his view on freedom by illustrating how an individual's amelioration of personal quality and self-improvement is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such a beneficial standard of one's self, whilst in the absence of rendering external onerosity upon others, in their own journey to procure a higher calibre of self-worth, can true freedom prevail. Mill's attitude toward freedom and individual accomplishment through self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing an appreciable level of worthiness concerned with one's ability to fulfill personal standards of notability and merit, Mill was able to provide many with a principal example of how they should achieve such particular values.

He was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham. He worked on the theory of the scientific method. Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political philosophy.

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one who believes in the perfectibility of human society


Robert Owen

Was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. In 1824, Owen came to America to invest the bulk of his fortune in an experimental 1,000-member colony on the banks of Indiana's Wabash River, called New Harmony. New Harmony was to be a utopian, or ideal/perfect, society.

Robert Owen raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan: "Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest".

As Robert Owen owned a factory himself, he improved the conditions for his workers. he built houses which he rented out for low prices, he would not hire children under ten years old, and he gave free schooling.


a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies


Karl Marx

He Was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought.[5][6][7][8] He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867–1894).

While living in Paris in 1843, he began writing for newspapers and met Friedrich Engels, who would become his lifelong friend and collaborator. In 1849 he was exiled and moved to London together with his wife and children, where he continued writing and formulating his theories about social and economic activity. He also campaigned for socialism and became a significant figure in the International Workingmen's Association.

The philosophy of Communism appeared as a reaction to the condition of the Working Class in industrial society. Karl Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto (1848) that all of human history is based on the conflict between people who control the means of production and the working class. Marx predicted that the working class would rise up in a violent revolution to overthrow the people who control production and create a society with an equal distribution of goods and services. This socialists theory would form the basis for the Bolshevik, Chinese, and Cuban Revolutions in the 20th Century.

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The cause of most of the philosophies was that during the industrial revolution, everything was going very fast and people weren't thinking of the long term affect of child workers and bad work conditions. without these people we might still be in a society where people are treated inhumanely and have to work in the worst conditions.

  • they were also caused by changes in human behavior—Due to genetic change, changes in values, changes in worldview.
  • Short term effect

    To save on labour costs in the 1990s and 2000s, many corporations moved their manufacturing operations overseas to developing countries. There, in sweatshops, young children work long hours under wretched conditions. They are unprotected by child labour laws. For mere pennies per hour, children weave carpets, sort vegetables, or assemble expensive athletic shoes. Several organizations are working to end child labour, including the Child Welfare League of America and the International Labour Rights Fund.

    Long Term Effect

    we are now living in better conditions and they are being made better for workers around the world, although there are still cheap labour and bad conditions to some developing countries around the world.