It may be said that capitalism was invented in 1602 with the introduction of the first publically-traded company, The Dutch East India Company. See Ray Dalio. This allowed unlimited capital to fund enterprise, free of money supply or ethical constraints. From a critical perspective, this may be classified as one of the darkest events in human history, though economists extoll this as the most beneficial.
The critique is that by creating a mechanism for unlimited funding, and separating control (financial contract) from operations (the workers and their executives) - a perverse incentive system of unaccountability was created on a global scale. The basic mechanism was that the contollers - or the investors - wanted returns - so that the workers and executives were required by contract law to rape and pillage resources in order to meet the returns requirements. In this system, there was no check on the environmental depletion or human abuse involved in enterprise - as long as returns were made. Welcome to a world of legally-sanctioned slavery and resource depletion.
On the positive side, new enterprises could grow and prosper, to create unprecedented human 'progress,' funneling wealth from the poor and indigenous to the haves in the first world. The average human in the developed world also gained access to the stock market, enabling upward mobility.
But without any checks and balances for ethical enterprise - the invention of 'capitalism' as above was a disaster.
Since then, much of legal slavery has been abolished, while ecocide still prospers. The emergence of the concept of Natural Capitalism can perhaps be the next major evolution of capitalism. The final frontier that still exists and is little talked about - is Distributive Enterprise. Rather than re-distributing resources - see Distributive vs Re-Distributive, OSE believes that resources should be distributed in the first place - which is the essence of Distributive Enteprises. This addresses the gap between the rich and poor, and between political ideaologies - from the start. Everyone wants prosperity. Distributive Enterprise is an apolitical, secular way to attain prosperity. It is based on collaboration and open source.