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Summary of Mercentalism Concepts.docx

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Jack Leach

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The history of Commerce presents to us 3 important reflections:
1. Nations that have invested in industry vs. agriculture have prospered more. They have produced
conventional wealth as opposed to natural wealth. You also need to industrialize in order to
make most use of you natural resources. For example. Without an industry, no country has been
able to do much with an abundance of gold and silver.
Agriculture and industry are the essence of commerce; they are so closely linked that if one
should prevail over the other, both would be destroyed. Without industry the fruits of the land
will be of no value; if agriculture is neglected, the well springs of commerce dry up.
Agriculture and industry go hand in hand. Both dependent on one another.
2. You need to be commercial. If you’re not, you will reach a gradual commercial decline. You need
to excel in your competitive advantage and make other nations do commerce with you. It is
EXTREMELY dangerous to let a nation be self-sufficient.
3. The comforts of life appeal to all men. If a nation is involved in commerce and the quality of life
has increased, most non- commercial nations would want to come into this commercial nation.
Therefore, more people would come in, wanting to work, bringing in their new skills… and thus,
the nation would prosper even more.
The purpose of commerce in any state is to keep the greatest possible number of men in
comfortable circumstances by means of their work. Agriculture and industry are the only means
of subsistence; as long as they both bring advantages to those who engage in them, there will
never be a lack of manpower in the state.
Nine principles which the English, the nation most knowledgeable about commerce, propose in their
books as the criteria for judging the useful or deleterious effect of commercial operations.
1. Export of its surplus is the best means for a nation to gain a clear profit.
2. The best way of exporting the surplus products of the land is to export them in a semi finished or
manufactured state.
3. It is a great saving in money to import raw materials from abroad and use them for manufacture
rather than to procure them in a semi finished state.
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