What is the main idea of mercantilism?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 4th, 2022

The main idea of mercantilism is that the power and wealth of a nation are best served by increasing exports and trade. It was an economic principle and policy followed by the European colonial empires.

The main idea of mercantilism are:

  • The amount of wealth in the world is static, relatively
  • The wealth of a country is best known by the amount of precious metal it has
  • It is necessary to promote exports instead of imports to obtain a favorable balance of trade to obtain precious metals.

Characteristics of Mercantilism

Mercantilism is an economic policy designed to increase exports and reduce imports for an economy. It was an economic policy that gave rise to colonialism and imperialism among European nations.

The five characteristics of mercantilism are

  • Accumulation of wealth and power
  • The belief that wealth is static. This was the core belief of mercantilism
  • Establishment of monopolies on certain trade items
  • Trade barriers
  • Positive trade balance.

The Sugar Act of 1764 was an example of mercantilism, which required the American colonists to pay high tariffs and duties on foreign refined sugar product imports.

Summary:

What is the main idea of mercantilism?

The main idea of mercantilism is that the wealth and power of a country are served best by increasing exports and trade. It was an economic principle and policy followed by the European colonial empires.

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