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Chapter Summary

This introduction covers the key concepts discussed in the book The Origin of Capitalism in England, 1400-1600. It presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized. The book explains how the capitalist form developed out of the feudal form in England in medieval and early modern periods. It is divided into two parts. Part one contains a series of discussions that amount to a defence of the work of Robert Brenner, and reviews the most convincing thesis on the fundamental characteristics of feudal and capitalist societies, and on how capitalism developed from feudalism. Part two presents a case study on the origin of capitalism in a region of Kent in south-east England c. 1400-1600, and argues that an economic crisis in the 1520s and increasing threats posed to coastal communities in Kent by Henry VIII's wars led to attempts by the new capitalist farming interests.

Keywords: capitalism; early modern period; economic crisis; England; feudalism; Henry VIII; Kent; Robert Brenner



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