Mercantilism And Colonialism

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The historical phenomenon of colonialism commenced in the 15th century during the “age of discovery” that led the imperial powers of Portugal and Spain to the Americas. At this time, dominant European powers participated in the active exploration and exploitation of newly discovered land, for the purpose of accumulation of land, wealth, political power, and its colonies resources. Similarly, this era strived on the economic policy known as mercantilism, designed to maximize its nations trade markets. In essence, mercantilism encouraged powerful European powers to accumulate more natural resources – such as gold and silver – that arguably fueled the particular European nation’s need, for further expansion and imperialism. Therefore, the practice of acquiring full political control over another land in exchange was in order to exploit its natural resources, the customary norm of colonialism. So, the ideology suggests, the more colonies acquired by a nation, primarily means, the more resources to exploit as a result of the systemization of mercantilism. Through that medium, it provided products for that nation’s trade markets while increasing its overall wealth and power. Correspondingly, by means of exploration, powerful Europeans nations looking for alternative routes to Asia consequently found themselves in areas rich in natural resources from the discovery of the New World. Under those circumstances, ethnocentric principles developed in the Europeans colonies, interactions

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