Mercantilism Was The Prevailing Economic Philosophy During The Age Of Exploration

1084 Words Dec 16th, 2015 5 Pages
Mercantilism was the prevailing economic philosophy during the Age of Exploration. Spain, France, England, and the Germany all practiced mercantilism during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The big idea of mercantilism was for a country to increase their trade deficit, and therefore overall wealth, by exporting more goods than they import. The time of exploration was all about countries conquering new lands to show their strength and power. The colonies of a country were the backbone of this self-sufficient economy. The idea of mercantilism was a driving force behind the desire to conquer new lands. New lands would provide a country with a wider variety of natural resources, therefore making it easier for a country produce all the goods needed within that country. There were several key concepts within the economic idea of mercantilism. These concepts included: bullionism, a favorable balance of trade, economic self-sufficiency, regulated commerce, captive markets, and the insurance of sea power. The founding of the new colonies in the Americas coincided with the rise of mercantilism, and proved to be a necessary component.
Bullionism is the economic theory that defines a countries wealth by the amount of precious metals it has. There was a limited amount of gold and silver available across the continent, so the mercantilist government’s goal was to just get as great a percentage of it as possible. The best way of ensuring a country’s wealth was to maintain a…

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