mercantile system

mercantile system
a system of political and economic policy, evolving with the modern national state and seeking to secure a nation's political and economic supremacy in its rivalry with other states. According to this system, money was regarded as a store of wealth, and the goal of a state was the accumulation of precious metals, by exporting the largest possible quantity of its products and importing as little as possible, thus establishing a favorable balance of trade.
[1770-80]

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • mercantile system — /ˈmɜkəntaɪl sɪstəm/ (say merkuhntuyl sistuhm) noun a system of political and economic policy, devised in the 17th century but evolving with the modern national state, which sought to secure the political supremacy of a state in its rivalry with… …  

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  • mercantile — (adj.) 1640s, from Fr. mercantile (17c.), from It. mercantile, from M.L. mercantile, from L. mercantem (nom. mercans) a merchant, also trading, prp. of mercari to trade, from merx (see MARKET (Cf. market) (n.)). Mercantile system first appears in …   Etymology dictionary

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  • mercantile — /merr keuhn teel , tuyl , til/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to merchants or trade; commercial. 2. engaged in trade or commerce: a mercantile nation. 3. Econ. of or pertaining to the mercantile system. [1635 45; < F < It: pertaining to merchants,… …   Universalium

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