Definition of mercantilism in US English:



  • 1Belief in the benefits of profitable trading; commercialism.

    • ‘Under mercantilism, everyone sought the advantages of being an exporter, because having a trade surplus meant that wealth was accumulating.’
    • ‘But even if the logic of mercantilism was correct, this strategy could never work if all nations tried to follow it simultaneously.’
    • ‘Unlike the Saskatchewan approach to canola, Smith is a proponent of a cooperative mercantilism that develops local advantages and creates strong social networks regionally to provide benefits locally.’
    • ‘For some, Christmas is an oppressive reminder that mercantilism and materialism have replaced Christ as the heart of Christmas.’
    • ‘We should, as a nation, decide whether to operate our nation as a constitutional republic, a nation of laws, or if instead we prefer to be a country driven and defined by corporate capitalism and mercantilism.’
    • ‘Colbertism was an extreme form of mercantilism built around war financing schemes, high taxation, and central planning.’
    • ‘Who benefits from mercantilism is no mystery: look at the list of lobbyists and signatories to the complaints.’
    • ‘Hobbes indeed borrowed a great deal from contemporary accounts of how to increase a nation's prosperity - the literature of the movement subsequently known as mercantilism.’
    • ‘As tsar he wanted to apply western mercantilism to stimulate agriculture, industry and commerce.’
    • ‘There is, as well, a close connection between mercantilism and patriotism.’
    • ‘Historians have been dubious about the benefits of mercantilism, but they have also been unanimous in attributing much of Spain's industrial and commercial underdevelopment to the absence of such policies.’
    • ‘Having thus established his high position and noble motive, Mun declares his rule of commerce, which may be taken as the central principle of English mercantilism.’
    • ‘The rise of Britain can be attributed, Ormrod argues, largely to successful and sustained mercantilism.’
    • ‘The view that trade was the engine of economic growth was a central tenet of mercantilism, the European economic orthodoxy in the first half of the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘Regulation then as now is a form of mercantilism that benefits some at the expense of others.’
    1. 1.1historical The economic theory that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by the accumulation of profitable balances, which a government should encourage by means of protectionism.
      • ‘We should not be swayed by 17th century mercantilism, which viewed imports as bad and exports as good.’
      • ‘Privateers operated within the political economy of mercantilism, which recognized the expansion or protection of a nation's trade as a legitimate purpose of war.’
      • ‘King George ‘wanted to forcefully impose British mercantilism on the colonies.’’
      • ‘Originally free trade was not like mercantilism, where the government monopolizes and otherwise hinders the right to trade across borders.’
      • ‘Instead the programs associated with Alexander Hamilton introduced a system of mercantilism, discarding free trade in favor of tariff protection for manufactured goods.’