Mercantilism

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  • A theory of national wealth acquisition, which was popular from the 16th century to part of the 18th century in some European countries, including Britain, Spain, and France.

    Mercantilism is predicated on the idea that aggressive promotion of exports, more than imports, will lead to the acquisition of bullion (precious metals of gold and silver) or wealth. The thought of export as a basis of wealth led to the systematic colonization of territories to obtain raw materials and markets for finished products. The mercantilist era witnessed the colonization of coun tries in Africa, Latin America, the West Indies, America, and Asia by the French, the British, and the Spaniards.

    The control of major routes of commerce was a crucial aspect of mercantilism, and powerful European nations tried ...

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