This paper traces the development of economic theory up till ‚Äėeconomic rationalism‚Äô became a household name. At each developmental stage factors leading to changes in economic theory are examined and leading protagonists and antagonists identified. Economic systems such as Mercantilism; classical economics; marginalism and neoclassical economics are embraced.
The advance of neoclassical liberalism was subjected to strong pressure during the Great Depression and the Second World War and this led to reliance on macroeconomic theory as explained by John Maynard Keynes. An economic time line has been developed and placed in the appendix of the full paper.
Keywords: Economic rationalism; neoclassical economics; classical economics; Keynesian economics; Mercantilism; liberalism or libertarianism