This essay has a total of 526 words and 3 pages.


20TH-CENTURY CAPITALISM For most of the 20th century capitalism has been buffeted by wars,
revolution, and depression. World War I brought revolution and a Marxist-based communism
to Russia. The war also spawned the Nazi system in Germany, a malevolent mixture of
capitalism and state socialism, brought together in a regime whose violence and
expansionism eventually pushed the world into another major conflict. In the aftermath of
World War II, Communist economic systems took hold in China and Eastern Europe. However,
as the cold war came to an end in the 1980s and the former Soviet-bloc nations turned to
free enterprise (though with mixed success at first), China was the only major power to
retain a Marxist regime. Many of the developing nations, strongly influenced by Marxist
ideas in the early postcolonial period, turned to a modified form of capitalism in their
search for answers to economic problems.

In the industrial democracies of Western Europe and North America, the sharpest challenge
to capitalism came in the 1930s. The Great Depression was by far the most severe economic
upheaval endured by modern capitalism since its beginnings in the 18th century. Contrary
to the logic of Marx's prophecy, however, Western nations failed to collapse into
revolution. Rather, in meeting the challenge of the Depression, these capitalist systems
demonstrated remarkable abilities for survival and adaptability to change. Democratic
governments began to intervene in the economy to correct the worst abuses inherent in
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