Capitalism is a social and an economic system in which the land and capital, means of production or non-labor factors of production are owned by individuals (privately owned). This means that the labor, goods and other resources are traded in the market with the aim of making profit. The profit is then distributed to owners or even invested in industries and other technologies. In other words, this is a system where factors that make money, like the communications, factories, transportation system and land are owned by private traders and corporations with the aim of making profit. Private means of production, manufacturing of goods and services with the aim of making profit, wages and prices are the elements of capitalism. The economic elements of capitalism include the items like commodities which may be consumer or capital goods, money, labor power, cost of production, pricing and means of production. This usually leads to small group of people having a lot of wealth and big corporations hence creating an economic inequality between poor and the rich (John, 2000).
Capitalism stresses on the individual economy enterprise freedom. Capitalism has been there from time of industrial revolution where it existed in limited forms in all civilizations economies. In Britain, merchants, industrialist and bankers started displacing landowners due social, economic and political importance. This however was abused capitalism, government needed to take action so as to curb this; this was like the case of the slavery in United States and Britain and the apartheid in South Africa. This gave rise to monopolist cartels and the frauds in finance sector. Capitalism made the British to be faced with a lot of crises in many sectors like labor and social welfare. Due to unchecked situation, the Britain workers continued to struggle and demanded for more freedom and wages in the employment sectors like industries (Mark, Joel, Christopher & Stephen, 2008).
By the end of 19th century in United States, direction and the control of large areas of industries came into hands of financiers, trust and also holding companies. By this time, many companies or oligopolistic firms were getting or earning supernormal profits in their operations. Some of the major characteristics of capitalism in this era included the establishment of monopolies or large industrial cartels, management and the ownership of industries by financiers, changed process of production to profit making business; development of banking system that was complex and holding of corporate capital through the ownership of stocks.
In late 19th century, Britain saw the industrial capitalism like supernatural hands which had powers to make a country succeed. This was mainly expressed when Britain became first nation to be industrialized. The economic and political development in the Britain was seen to have been driven by the British capitalism. British capitalism was seen as a model which needed to be followed by other countries for them to be able to develop politically and economically.
In 200 years since American constitution was written, there were some striking American capitalism attributes which included the organized improvement of North American continent natural resources; the diversification that was deliberate of national economy from agriculture into mining, services and manufacturing; and public policy effectiveness in promoting growth. The tension between the public and private interest was rising in United States mainly due to increased interest by the individuals to get everything to their own or rather maximizing on their profits. Individuals were putting the interest of their own as first priority rather than the welfare of whole society. Markets were supposed to be guided by a clear system which could not favor the interest of few individuals. Market was supposed to be guided by policies which were to look and serve the interest of the public and not giving few individuals a chance of making abnormal profits (Rubinstein, 1994).