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mercantilism

is a set of economic ideas that attempts to promote the wealth and power of a nation. It involved a great deal of government regulation and the promotion of trade surpluses so as to increase the flow of gold and treasure into the country.

Main changes leading to mercantilism

*increase in trade/exploration
*agricultural changes/improvements
*growth of nation-states and weapons technology
*decrease of the manor/increase in urbanisation
*renaissance and reformation

Purpose of voyages

*establish colonization
*search for precious metals/new products
*Convert others to religion
*adventure/scientific exploration

Agricultural improvements

*3 field crop rotation
*increasing # of water/wind mills
*heavy plow
*horses replace oxen

Decline of manor/increased urbanization

*enclosure movement: lords enclosed common lands to graze own sheep and consolidated scattered holding of strips of land by imposing inheritance tax
*feudal obligations became increasingly monetized
*putting-out system became more important

growth of nations and weapons

*increased urbanization
*agricultural improvements
*increased trade/exploration
*improvements in weapons technology (long bows and gun powder)

renaissance

*fall of Constantinople in 1453 led to florence becoming the intellectual hotbed and location of first university
*single most important invention of all time was printing press invented by johannes guttenberg
*age of reason places individual and intellect at center stage (reason and scientific investigation)

reformation

*penances (punishments) and indulgences (sin can be forgiven through these)
*Luther's 95 theses (criticism of catholic church)
*rise of protestantism
*protestant ethic (work and thrift are way to salvation)

Contrast the main features of the feudalist age and the mercantilist age.

Feudal age (500-1500AD)
*static society & economy, few improvements, low economic growth
*low level of trade, few money transactions, self-sufficient
*rule of tradition and the church, dominant ethic: christian paternalism
*low urbanization, manors are centers of economic activity
*decentralized power, nation-states of little importance, power in hands of baron/lords, merchants not important

Mercantilist age (1500-1750AD)
*dynamic changes taking places, many innovations and inventions
*increased trade and exploration, increased use of money
*ruse of reason, rise of renaissance and reformation, dominant ethic: protestant ethic
*increased urbanization, towns replace manors
*power became centralized, increase in power of nation-states and power in kings/merchants

bullionism

an economic policy designed to accumulate, and hold, as much gold and silver, i.e. treasure, as possible.

enclosure movement

the enclosure of common pasture land and the consolidation of dispersed plots by lords of the manor during the late middle ages in England and France.

excommunicate

to exclude from fellowship in a church or community indulgence: remission of punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins.

mercantilism

a set of economic ideas and policies established in several European countries during the seventeenth century which emphasized government control of industry and the belief in the importance of trade surpluses.

penance

a form of punishment whereby one who has confessed his sins to a priest can obtain pardon.

Protestant ethic

the belief that salvation can be achieved through work and thrift.

Renaissance

(lit) "the rebirth" of learning which occurred during the middle ages and led to the dissemination of the "classical" works of the ancient Greek and Roman scholars.

Reformation

the reformation of the Christian church as the result of the challenge by Martin Luther and others to the Catholic Church and which led to the rise of Protestantism.

principles of mercantilist thought

*money is source of prosperity, prestige and strength for a nation
*need to have favourable balance of trade
*countries should be self sufficient (autarky)
*powerful merchant fleet is necessary
*acquiring overseas colonies is necessary
*big population encouraged for more output
*state action necessary to achieve principles

characteristics of money

*durable
*portable
*easily recognised/not easily copied
*widely accepted
*divisable

types of money

*commodity money
*gold/precious metals
*coins
*deposits
*paper money

functions of money

*medium of exchange to buy goods and services
*unit of account (measure value)
*store of wealth

definition of money

*anything that is widely accepted as a medium of exchange and therefore can be used to buy goods/services or to settle debt

trade regulations

*quotas
*tariffs
*subsidies

jean baptiste colbert

*tariffs
*regulations
*monopolistic trading companies
*free trade zone in france only

ways to acquire gold

*trade
*piracy/war
*colonialism

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