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 ?
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.
Cacao provides a good example of this, with the initial impetus toward mercantile capitalism and a plantation economy coming from a crisis in the cacao supply for New Spain itself.