The publication, a collection of essays based on the second year of the Legatum Institute’s unique History of Capitalism course, was praised by Antony Beevor: “Nothing is more valuable than the Legatum Institute’s open-minded examination of the varied aspects of capitalism’s long history”, he said. “In this second volume we see the individual at work, whose imagination and enterprise enrich so many.”

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The essays within A World Transformed span many centuries. Philip Kay argues that capitalism’s roots can be found in ancient Rome; David Abulafia examines the beginnings of the global trade phenomenon; Maarten Prak reassesses the causes of the Dutch Golden Age; Deirdre McCloskey argues that it was ideas, not institutions, which created capitalism and enrichment; and Bronwen Everill explores the role of the Royal African Company—and slave trade—in capitalism’s history.

Moving forward into the twentieth century, Philipp Blom examines culture in the interwar period; Stephen Clarke explores the British experience of the 1930s’ Depression; and Andrew Roberts shows how Winston Churchill gradually became committed to free enterprise

In 2016, the programme’s third year, The History of Capitalism series will focus on the city and its role in the expansion of capitalism across the globe.

About the History of Capitalism Series​

This series of lectures, which forms part of the Legatum Institute's 'The Culture of Prosperity' programme, investigates the origins and development of a movement of thought and endeavour which has transformed the human condition. Capitalism's characteristic emphasis on freedom of trade and market expansion has encouraged social mobility, global exploration and intellectual curiosity. Wherever and whenever it has appeared across the world's continents capitalism has undermined monopolies, economic protectionism and restrictive practices. The series' lecturers therefore assess case studies in business history and the individual biographies of thinkers, writers and inventors as well as describing particular periods in the histories of cities, states and nations. Further information available here.