Research Proposal and Industrial Age and Capitalism

Introduction and Problem Statement

According to Kamal and Uraz (2012), capitalism is an economic system that is characterized by privatized means of production with the goal of making profit. It dates back to the Renaissance period of mercantilism and agrarian capitalism. Moreover, the Industrial Age was a period that experienced changes in social and economic organization which featured the use of machines such as the steam engine and power loom, in place of hand tools. Its roots are traced to Great Britain in 1760 (Temin, 2014).  Capitalism and the Industrial Age played an integral role in human civilization and their impacts are present in contemporary society. Modern trade and commerce can be linked to the growth of capitalism and the Industrial revolution that empowered people to develop products that could be traded in the market system. 

Even though previous research has focused on the history of the Industrial Age and capitalism, few studies have addressed how these advancements have influenced modern society.  There is limited knowledge on the direct connections between capitalism and the Industrial Age, and the contemporary business environment. It is therefore important to conduct research on capitalism and the Industrial Age, and how they have evolved and shaped the modern business environment. This proposal seeks to analyze the features and impacts of capitalism and the Industrial Age, as a foundation to understanding how these two concepts have shaped the contemporary society. The thesis statement for the research will be ‘capitalism and the Industrial Age are the founding blocks for trade and commerce in contemporary society’. Through focus on how these two concepts have influenced contemporary society, the findings will fill the knowledge gap that has been ignored by past historians regarding how capitalism and the Industrial Age have shaped modern society. 

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Research Questions

There are various research questions that will guide the research and some of these are listed below; 

  • What is capitalism and how did it begin?
  • What is the Industrial Age and how did it start?
  • What are the features of capitalism and the Industrial Age?
  • How has capitalism and the Industrial Age shaped the contemporary society?

Literature Review

In capitalist economies, investment and decision-making activities are determined by property owners while the distribution of goods and prices charged are usually dictated by market forces such as supply and demand. According to Temin (2014), capitalism can be traced to the Renaissance where cities such as Florence applied merchant lending and renting activities in exchange for wage labor. Its features include capital accumulation, private property ownership, voluntary exchange, wage labor, competitive markets and a price system (Kamal & Uraz, 2012).

The Industrial Age is traced to Great Britain and it later spread to other countries. In addition to the replacement of hand tools by machines, it led to the development of industries that were concentrated in specific geographical regions (Wrigley, 2018). One of the main reasons why the Industrial Age started in Britain was due to its accessibility to production factors such as capital, land and labor. Britain was also able to trade due to its large harbours and its access to capital helped it to develop machinery, equipment and tools for use in industries. 

The modern world traces its economic progression to capitalism and the Industrial Age (Bannister, 2016). These dual factors encouraged societies to create industries and trade goods with other regions, thereby creating wealth. The Industrial Revolution has revolutionized trade and commerce in the contemporary world by creating local, national, regional and global industries that thrive under the global capitalism system. According to Bannister (2016), most countries in the world have adapted capitalism due to its benefits of furthering their economic growth and development. In addition, many organizations and countries have invested in industries to create more goods and services that will improve the lives of consumers. 

When the industrial revolution and capitalism began, people strived to create basic goods and services that furthered the survival of the human species. However, over time, the human race has evolved and currently, humans produce not only basic goods and services, but luxurious products that enhance their quality of life. Without the Industrial Age in Great Britain, or the rise of capitalism in cities such as Florence, then the human race would not have developed as it has today, and societies would still be struggling to access basic needs such as food. 

It is therefore important to appreciate the roots of capitalism and the Industrial Age since they have shaped the modern society and created prosperity and wealth for individuals, organizations, regions and nations. 


The research will be qualitative in nature since it seeks to analyze insights regarding capitalism and the Industrial Age, and their impacts on contemporary society. These are subjective issues that cannot be analyzed quantitatively. The research process will apply secondary information sources such as books and journals which discuss the history of capitalism and the Industrial Age, its features, and impacts on contemporary society. These sources will be peer-reviewed and based on empirical evidence so that the findings that will be developed will be accurate and valid.  The main advantage of these data sources is that the rely on factual evidence on historical facts that have been documented. However, they may also contain weaknesses such as the possibility of bias by the authors of these works, which will render the research findings inaccurate. Through interrogating the insights of the authors in these secondary data sources, conclusions will be made regarding how capitalism and the Industrial Age have shaped the contemporary society, especially on matters concerning trade and commerce. 

Summary of Findings

This section of the research will focus on the findings that have been made after analyzing the research sources. Before developing the findings, the research will evaluate key arguments made by each of the authors to determine whether there is convergence on the facts provided and issues discussed. If multiple authors share the same viewpoint regarding how capitalism and the Industrial Age have shaped the contemporary society, then it will be deduced that the research findings are accurate. However, if the authors have dissenting opinions on the research topic, then further research will be done to ascertain the accuracy of facts available. 


This research will seek to analyze how capitalism and the Industrial Age have shaped the modern world and advanced trade and commerce. Through assessing the roots of industrialization and capitalism, and how they have developed and evolved over time, it will be clear whether they have impacted contemporary society. Since capitalism and the Industrial Age are the foundations of modern trade and commerce, this research will be instrumental in understanding how past societies shaped the present day way of life. 


Bannister, S. C. (2016). Industrial capitalism. American Economic Association. Retrieved 


Kamal, F. & Uraz, B. (2012). “Capitalism of the future”, International Journal of Commerce 

and Management, Vol. 22 Issue: 4, pp.328-337,

Lucas, R. E. (2018). What Was the Industrial Revolution?, Journal of Human Capital 12(2): 


Temin, P. (2014). The Cambridge History of “Capitalism”. NBER Working Paper No. 20658

Retrieved from

Wrigley, E. A. (2018). Reconsidering the Industrial Revolution: England and Wales. The

Journal of Interdisciplinary History 49(1). Retrieved from

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