Explain the goal of England's mercantilist policy.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The goal of England’s mercantilist policy was to make the country richer.  In those days, people believed that mercantilism was the best way to do this.

In the 1600s and 1700s (and even into the 1800s) most people believed in mercantilism.  They believed that countries increased their wealth by increasing their exports and reducing their imports.  They wanted to enact policies that would cause this to happen.  Countries imposed tariffs and quotas on imports or even banned the imports of certain goods altogether.  They banned people from exporting things, like machinery, that would help other countries compete with their own country.  In the case of England, they even banned their own colonies from competing with industries that existed in England.  All of this was done so that England would be able to export more things and import fewer things.  This would bring gold and silver (the main forms of hard currency in those days) into the country, thus making the country richer.

Today, economists do not believe that mercantilism makes countries richer. However, in those days, people did believe in mercantilism.  They enacted mercantilist policies with the goal of increasing exports, reducing imports, and thereby making their country wealthier.  

jose33 | Student

 I have something to share in this topic.

A good example of the imposed policy was, the navigation act of 1650's, this was among of the act which ensured  protectionism in British during the mercantilism. thus this policy did the following to the development of Britain economic;

1. the policy ensure availability of quality raw materials which enabled the British to have wide market to her goods in both Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

2.the policy ensure national income through collection of tax and tariff for imported goods, thus this policy enable British to have good chance to maintain her economy through mercantilsm system.

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