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an economic concept which was accepted by European nation-states in the 16th and 17th centuries
1. goal is to increase the wealth of the nation
2. world's wealth is finite- so one nation gains wealth at the expense of another nation or people
3. nation should export more than it imports
4. colonies are important for precious minerals, raw materials, and to provide markets to the Mother nation
5. colonies exist for the benefit of the Mother country
1. motivated European nations to develop colonies in the Americas and elsewhere
2. colonists eventually grew to dislike mercantilism and the dislike helped cause many of the colonies to fight for independence in the 1700 and 1800s
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