Colbertism French finance minister and mercantilist Jean-Baptiste Colbert served for over 20 years. Mercantilism arose in France in the early 16th century soon after the monarchy had become the dominant force in French politics. Inan important decree banned the import of woolen goods from Spain and some parts of Flanders.
It was the economic counterpart of political absolutism. Mercantilism is an economic practice by which governments used their economies to augment state power at the expense of other countries. Governments sought to ensure that exports exceeded imports and to accumulate wealth in the form of bullion mostly gold and silver.
In mercantilism, wealth is viewed as finite and trade as a zero-sum game. Mercantilism was the prevalent economic system in the Western world from the 16th to the 18th century.
Learn more about mercantilism in Western colonialism. Which countries practiced mercantilism? The primary countries that employed mercantilism were of western Europe— FranceSpainPortugalItalyand Britainas well as Germany and the Netherlands.
Since colonies were regarded as existing for the benefit of their mother countries, the colonized parts of North AmericaSouth Americaand Africa were involuntarily involved with mercantilism and were required to sell raw materials only to their colonizers and to purchase finished goods only from their mother countries.
What were the effects of mercantilism?
Restrictions on where finished goods could be purchased led in many cases to burdensome high prices for those goods. Commercial rivalry tended to result in military rivalry as well, notably during the Anglo-Dutch Wars.
Colonists seeking to get around the trade restrictions mandated by mercantilism resorted to widespread smuggling. The constraints of mercantilism were a cause of friction between Britain and its American colonies and were arguably among the elements that led to the American Revolution.
Learn more about the East India Company. Mercantilism contained many interlocking principles. If a nation did not possess mines or have access to them, precious metals should be obtained by trade. Colonial possessions should serve as markets for exports and as suppliers of raw materials to the mother country.
Manufacturing was forbidden in colonies, and all commerce between colony and mother country was held to be a monopoly of the mother country.Mercantilism was the theory of trade espoused by the major European powers from roughly to It advocated that a nation should export more than it imported and accumulate bullion (especially gold) to make up the difference.
Mercantilism is an economic theory that advocates government regulation of international trade to generate wealth and strengthen national power.
Merchants and the government work together to reduce the trade deficit and create a surplus. It funds corporate, military, and national growth. Mercantilism is a form of economic nationalism.. It advocates trade policies that protect domestic industries. The most important economic rationale for mercantilism in the sixteenth century was the consolidation of the regional power centers of the feudal era by large, competitive nation-states.
Recent Examples on the Web. The economy is on an upswing, propped up by debt but also, for now, defying conventional theories that mercantilism will sap China’s creative vigor.
— Andrew Browne, WSJ, "If This Is a Trade War, China’s Winning," 26 Sep. His steel and aluminum tariffs punish friends who could forge an alliance against Chinese mercantilism.
Mercantilism, economic theory and practice common in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century that promoted governmental regulation of a nation’s economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers.
It was the economic counterpart of political absolutism. Mercantilism is a national economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports of a nation. Mercantilism was dominant in modernized parts of Europe from the 16th to the 18th centuries before falling into decline, although some commentators argue.