The Stage of Liberalism

  • Robert Albritton


In order to ease the readers journey from the stage of mercantilism to the stage of liberalism, it would seem logical to construct a bridge that would focus extensively on the transition from the one to the other. But this would force us to leave the high plateau of stage theory behind and plunge into the teeming jungle of historical analysis. Although I have nothing against historical analysis, it is largely beyond the scope of this book, which is limited mainly to the abstract types of stage theory. The aim of this chapter, then, is to explore that type of accumulation most characteristic of the stage of liberalism that is at the same time most capitalist. There may be occasional references to the transition from mercantilism to liberalism, but these will always be subsumed to the main focus on stage theory, which could also be called “the theory of abstract types”.


Free Trade Capital Accumulation Legal Person Capitalist Development Stage Theory 
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  1. 42.
    Thomson (1950, p. 16); Crouzet (1982, p. 153) According to Crouzet, who bases himself on Hobsbawm and Rude Captain Swing (London, 1969), threshing machines caused the so-called Captain Swing riots during the summer of 1830, in which 387 of these machines were destroyed.Google Scholar

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© Robert Albritton 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Albritton
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityNorth YorkCanada

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