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This paper explores the rise of capitalism in the Atlantic area using Columbus's discovery of America as a starting point. It briefly looks at the issue of why Europe expanded outwards more aggressively than other parts of the globe; the nature of pre Columbian social formations in the Americas; the impact of Europe on the Americas and the relationship of the Americas to the failed development of Spain and the development of capitalism in North Western Europe. This is related to competing theories of the transition from to capitalism - Frank, Wallerstein, Brenner etc.
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