How did a settler empire turned into a capitalist one: James Parisot, ‘The Two Hundred and Fifty Year Transition: How the American Empire Became Capitalist’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 2016
Abstract: This paper aims to rethink United States history from the colonial era through the Civil War and Reconstruction by examining how capitalism and empire joined together as the logic of expansion increasingly became driven by the logic of capital over approximately two hundred and fifty years. Specifically, it argues that (what became) the United States originated as a ‘society with capitalism’ and became a ‘capitalist society’. This transition was a highly complex and uneven process as a variety of social forms developed and interacted, and in which there was not one road to capitalism, but a variety, depending on the historical circumstance. To accomplish this, first, the article reviews the Marx-Weber debate to develop a theoretical and methodological approach to the historical sociology of capitalism. The remainder of the paper focuses on narrating an empirical interpretation of the transition to capitalism including the diversity of labor forms capital historically utilized.
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