Mercantilism from a Colonist Perspective – Was this a Blessing or a Curse?

Mercantilism referred to the primary economic trade system used from 16th century to 18th century. Theorist of mercantilist believed in the static world wealth, and thus, European nations employed several measures to guarantee their countries gathered as much wealth as possible to their region. The main objective was to increase wealth of a nation by employing government la which facilitated the commercial interest of their country. Thus colonist focused on maximizing on exporting goods to their mother country, and minimizing imports from their mother country. This at first created huge wealth to the European countries as colonists exported of raw materials and agricultural products such as sugar, cotton, iron, tobacco, furs and indigo to their mother country. Thus. colonist enjoyed the concept of mercantilism for a while before it turned against them.

However, mercantilism resulted to adaption of different economic trade laws and restriction that limited colonial business freedom and which promoted stunted growth of their businesses. The Navigation acts for instance made American colonies more reliant on Great Britain manufactured products, reversing the initial intention of exporting more than it is imported by colonies. Mercantilism also resulted to slave trade to enhance agricultural production in US, which later resulted to split of stand about slaves’ rights and continuation of slave trade among colonists, weakening their strength. There was also high demand of silver and gold bullion, resulting to insufficient supply of bullion in the market, initiating the need for paper currency. The paper current mismanagement yielded to inflation periods. Constant war engagement among colonists, this resulted to need of higher taxation to support navy and army. The inflation and taxes combination resulted to discontentment of great colonials. All these resulted to failure of mercantilism. The most important aspect of mercantilism resulted to expansion of governmental system knowledge to colonies and expansion of knowledge on importance of resources, pushing the colonies to take action to protect their resources.

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