During the early 19th century many people began to question whether or not laissez-faire capitalism was meeting the needs of all people in society. Laissez-faire capitalism was the dominant economic system in Europe at the time and, in general, was based upon little or no government intervention in the economy. In fact, some argued that laissez-faire capitalism was causing a wide income gap in society between business owners and the working class. Socialism developed as a response to how some felt about laissez-faire capitalism and its apparent failings. For example, early socialists argued that laissez-faire capitalism led to several issues of the Industrial Revolution, including: child labor, dangerous and dirty working conditions and a lack of basic workers’ rights. Therefore, socialism is a left-wing economic system that favors government intervention in the economy in order to try to decrease the imbalances created by laissez-faire capitalism. In general, socialism was favored by working class people, as it sought to create a more equitable distribution of income. With that said, historians acknowledge several different types of socialism that each formed over different periods of time. For instance, early socialist movements included Utopian Socialism and Marxism, while Communism and Democratic Socialism are more modern. The central difference between these types of socialism is the degree to which they support government intervention and what types of political systems they are combined with. In history, socialism played an important role in several major events, including: the Industrial Revolution, Great Depression and the Cold War. Click on the links above to learn more specific information about each form of socialism.