Writing histories of capitalism involves making decisions about how to contextualise the wider non-capitalist formations that underpin and sustain capitalist processes. This article introduces Boltanski and Thévenot’s economies of worth (EW) framework as a tool and stimulus for historians to historicise capitalism as a social order while simultaneously avoiding the determinism of concepts such as commodification and capitalist accumulation. The article identifies four dominant approaches to contextualisation of capitalism in Australia in the past: economic history, radical nationalism, the New Left and settler capitalism. It then introduces EW, a repertoire of competing conceptions of the common good that, we argue, offers a framework for systematically drawing contested, hybrid and co-existent forms of capitalist and non-capitalist value, or “worth,” into view across multiple temporal and spatial scales. The potential usefulness of this framework is illustrated through a discussion of recent scholarship in the history of capitalism in Australia.