An analysis of the performance of sixteen countries over the epoch of capitalist development (since 1820). Examines the stages of advancing agrarianism, merchant capitalism, and the theories of capitalist development of Karl Marx, David Ricardo, and Joseph Schumpeter in an attempt to identify dynamic forces in capitalist development. Analyzes the characteristics of three successive leading economies since 1700: the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, discussing the quantitative evidence regarding the role of natural resources, labor supply, capital, technical progress, and economies of specialization and scale in long-term capitalist development. Presents an analysis of phases of development and reviews alternative theories of long waves. Interprets the underlying factors determining productivity growth and investigates the impact of policy on economic performance. Appendices present detailed information on procedures, sources, and quantitative evidence. The author is at State University at Groningen, the Netherlands. Index.