In The Stages in the Social History of Capitalism Henri Pirenne identifies periods into which our economic history may be divided and distinct and separate class of capitalists. Pirenne saw that at every change in economic organization there is a breach of continuity as if the capitalists who have up to that time been active, recognize that they are incapable of adapting to conditions that are unknown to. They then withdraw from the struggle and become an aristocracy, which if it again plays a part in the course of affairs, does so in a passive manner only, assuming the role of silent partners. A word first of all to indicate clearly the point of view which characterizes the study. I shall not enter into the question of the formation of capital itself, that is, of the sum total of the goods employed by their possessor to produce more goods at a profit. It is the capitalist alone, the holder of capital, who will hold our attention. My purpose is simply to characterize, for the various epochs of economic history, the nature of this capitalist and to search for his origin. Pirenne's concept is an interesting study looking back at recent past decades that have seen a flood of "New Rich" their methods of success and social beliefs. Henri was a leading Belgian historian, a medievalist of Walloon descent who wrote a masterful multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a national hero. Pirenne argued that profound, long-term social, economic, cultural, and religious movements resulted from profound underlying causes, and this attitude influenced Marc Bloch and the outlook of the French Annales School of social history.