Evolution of Economic Systems


Cowrie Shells

1200 BC

Cowrie shells were the earliest form of representative money.

First Metal Coins

1000 BC

This marked the first use of metal coins.

Modern Coinage

500 BC

Coins began to be made of precious metals, as well as taking the shape coins are today.


800 - 1400

Feudalism was most prominent at this time. It was also one of the first organized economies.

Paper Money

806 AD

The first form of paper money was created at this time in China.


1500 - 1800

Peak of mercantilist prominence. Modern economic thinkers were born into this system.

Wealth of Nations


Wealth of Nations was published. Written by Adam Smith, this book laid the groundwork for capitalism.

Das Kapital


Das Kapital was published in 1867. This book, written by Karl Marx, was the foundation for a communist economy.