Mercantilism is the economic idea that a country’s wealth is measured by the amount of gold it owns. The goal of mercantilist economic policy is to export more goods than you import, so that you bring more money into the country than you send out to other nations.
The goal of mercantilist economic policy is to export more goods than you import, so that you bring more money into the country than you send out to other nations.
Under mercantilism, national governments were deeply involved in the economic development of the country, largely through protectionist trade policies; governments placed high tariffs on imported goods to discourage citizens to buy foreign, imported goods and thus keep money from within the country. The system developed during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as powerful nation-states emerged in Western Europe. Each of these new European states attempted to gain dominance over their rivals through political, military, and economic means. As European nations began to develop their economies, the idea of mercantilism drove these European nations to establish colonies throughout the world; the purpose of these colonies was to support the economy of the mother country.
As European nations began to develop their economies, the idea of mercantilism drove these European nations to establish colonies throughout the world; the purpose of these colonies was to support the economy of the mother country.
Great Britain was especially aggressive in pursuing colonies. As a part of the British Empire, the British North American colonies were expected to contribute to the accumulation of wealth for their mother country. Ultimately, British attempts to enforce mercantilist policies in the colonies contributed to the rift between the two that led to the American Revolution; Britain hindered the colonist pursuit of trade with other countries. While this was helpful for Britain, it was frustrating and harmful for the American colonists as they could not trade with other countries.
Phommavongsa 3no longer holding to chastity, put it on sale” and “children of the needy receive a deplorableupbringing.” He also states that “some know that they have a duty of charity to the poor” (Doc.3). In saying all of this, the poor is seen as sympathetically and Vives believed that it is one’sduty to care for the poor because of the dreadful living conditions they lived under. In Rembrandtvan Rijn’s
Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House
, a clergyman is shown to be givingalms to a poor family (Doc. 9). One of the reasons this is shown could be that the clergyman wassympathetic in seeing this family. This is an example of how people in Europe viewed the poor caringly, and as a result, giving alms to them.Another common viewpoint of the poor was that some of those in poverty were seen asidle. These people were not active in society in order to gain essential needs to continue life andto earn their own living. In 1531, Emperor Charles V stated that “if begging for alms is permittedto everyone indiscriminately, many errors and abuses will result, for they will fall into idleness”(Doc. 4). Charles V believed that begging as opposed to working for things will lead to lazinessand idleness in society. This would be the case for some members of the poor in Europe between1450 and 1700. In
New Booke of Spiritual Physick,
an English doctor named William Turner wrote that the poor “would much rather be sick and live with ease and idleness than to be welland to honestly earn their living with great pain and labor” (Doc. 6). He agrees in that some people who are poor would rather take it easy and live in idleness than to put hard work inearning their living. Jean Maillefer also agreed that some poor people were idle in that “theyhave no cares, pay no rents or taxes, have no losses to fear.” He believed that those idle poor people have “grown accustomed” to life and have “no worries” (Doc. 11).The minimum amounts of food and lack of shelter to sustain life created many attitudestoward the poor of Europe. These outlooks included the need for relief benefits and charity that