China And Capitalism: A History of Business Enterprise in by David Faure

By David Faure

This ebook describes China's stumble upon with capitalism from the 16th century to the 20th century. It poses poignant questions in uncomplicated language, publications the reader via a fancy literature and offers a special perspective.

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In Britain, where not only did legal recognition for limited liability lag behind some other parts of 48 China and Capitalism Europe, but also the Bubble Act made it a criminal offence to "presume to act as a corporate body", the possibility that the holding of a share in a partnership might imply unlimited liability did not impede the promotion ofjoint-stock companies in times of economic boom in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. There, the joint-stock company might be incorporated by registration only from 1844 and limited liability was granted as a right only from 1855.

Of course, that did not happen. Tradition stood side by side newly introduced institutions from the West, with few people 32 China and Capitalism comprehending the massive changes which were to engulf the entire society and having few ideas as to how they might come about. Looking back, historians have wavered between condemning Qing officials as conservatives and singing the praises of Confucianism as an i d e o l o g y which m i g h t u n d e r p i n East Asian e c o n o m i c development. Neither embodies a research strategy which answers the question why China had found it difficult to adopt steam technology.

Buyers of salt certificates, no doubt, were The Sprouts of Capitalism 23 betting ultimately on the possibility of obtaining salt that might be sold at a profit, and, for this reason, the certificates may be regarded as a futures instrument, even though one should be careful not to exaggerate their transferability, as it is quite unclear how easily they were bought and sold. A speculative element soon came to bear on the buying and selling of salt certificates. The salt certificate, naturally, was only as good as the amount of salt that might be put on the market by the Ming government, and as the government, like most governments, altered rather unpredictably the amount of debt that it was able to honour, the value of the certificates fluctuated.

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