The first use of the word “capitalism” has been credited to an 1855 British novel, The Newcomes, which narrates the story of an English family who became wealthy through business and marrying into money (Thackeray 1996). While the term retained associations with wealth, “capitalism” is commonly linked to Adam Smith and Karl Marx, two political economists whose writings about society were published one hundred years apart and who held opposing views regarding capitalism. These views became schools of thought and have influenced and divided the world in opposing camps until today. What follows briefly describes (a) key elements of Smith’s and Marx’s views; (b) the roots of capitalism in the Latin American region; and (c) the nexus between capitalism and migration from the Dominican Republic to the United States.

This essay may be found on page 28 of the printed volume.

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