What Is Mercantilism Define History

What Is Mercantilism, Define Mercantilism

Mercantilism is the name given to the economic literature and practice of the period between 1500 and 1750. Although mercantilist literature was produced in all the developing economies of Western Europe, the most significant contri­butions were made by the English and the French.

Whereas the economic literature of scholasticism was written by medieval churchmen, the economic theory of mercantilism was the work of merchant businessmen. The literature they produced focused on questions of economic policy and was usually related to a particular interest the merchant-writer was trying to promote. For this reason, there was often considerable skepticism regarding the analytical merits of particular arguments and the validity of their conclusions. Few authors could claim to be sufficiently detached from the issues to render objective analysis. However, throughout the mercantilistic period, both the quantity and the quality of economic literature grew. The mercantilistic literature from 1650 to 1750 was of distinctly higher quality; scattered through­out it are nearly all the analytical concepts on which Adam Smith based his Wealth of Nations, which was published in 1776.