. Use the words import, export, and mercantilism in a paragraph about the colonies.

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During the 17th and 18th centuries Europeans believed in an idea called mercantilism, the idea that a nation's existence depended on power, and power depended on wealth. To gain wealth a country had to have colonies. These to provided a constant source of raw materials and become markets for the manufactured goods to the country that owned them or their "Mother Country." Mercantilism revolves around trade. Exports are goods sent for sale outside a colony or country. Imports are goods brought into a colony or country. Exported goods earn money. Imported goods cost money. Great Britain followed the most cost effective trade routes to increase profits. 


The concept of mercantilism is maximizing net exports, making it a tool for national prosperity. Relevant to this is the idea that the only accepted measure of a country’s wealth and success was the amount of gold that it had. If a country had more gold than another, it was probably better off. In the contrary, this idea had important consequences for economic policy. Thus, the best way of securing a country’s prosperity was to make few imports and many exports, thus generating a net inflow of foreign exchange and maximizing the country’s gold stocks.

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