mercantilism

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mercantilism

a set of economic ideas and policies that became established in England during the 17th century, accompanying the rise of commercial capitalism. The mercantilists stressed the importance of trade and commerce as the source of the nation's wealth, and advocated policies to increase a nation's wealth and power by encouraging exports and discouraging imports in order to allow the country to amass quantities of GOLD. These protectionist ideas (see PROTECTIONISM) were criticized by later classical economists like Adam SMITH.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the introduction, Phelps reviews available economic data on both output and real wages per worker in England during the era of "mercantile capitalism" (between 1500 and 1800), which emphasized the distribution of products to consumers.
JG-W: It was mercantile capitalism. Merchants were exporting wool from the Cotswolds on credit so they had these really sophisticated systems of credit.
Certainly as far as mercantile capitalism and its concomitants were concerned, the East was no laggard, controlling trade in the north Pacific and making voyages to the Indian Ocean and the shores of East Africa well before the Portuguese managed to navigate the Cape of Good Hope.