Mercantilism is the economic theory holding that the prosperity of a
nation depends upon its supply of capital and that the global volume
of trade is unchangeable. The amount of capital, represented by
bullion (amount of precious metal held by the state), is best
increased through a favorable balance of trade with large exports and
low imports. Mercantilism suggests that the government should advance
these goals by playing an active, protectionist role in the economy by
encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the
use of tariffs. Mercantilism was the dominant school of economics
throughout the early modern period (from the 16th to the 18th
century). Domestically, this led to some of the first instances of
significant government intervention and control over the economy, and
it was during this period that much of the modern capitalist system
was established. Internationally, mercantilism encouraged the many
European wars of the period and fueled European imperialism. Belief in
mercantilism began to fade in the late 18th century, as the arguments
of Adam Smith and the other classical economists won out.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Maria Theresa assumed the throne of Austria, following the Pragmatic
Sanction of 1713.
An allied British, French, and Russian naval force destroyed a
combined Turkish and Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino, a
decisive moment in the Greek War of Independence.
Former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping
business magnate Aristotle Onassis.
Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, was formally opened by
Queen Elizabeth II.
The Oakland Hills firestorm killed 25 people and destroyed 3,469
homes in Oakland, California, United States.
Wikiquote of the day:
"I think for it to be unhip to be idealistic is weird, you know? I
mean, even all the best rebels to me had some sense of hope in them."
-- Tom Petty