WHY DID BRITAIN SUCCEED IN MERCANTILE TRADE?
BRITAIN AND MERCANTILE TRADE | WHY DID BRITAIN SUCCEED IN MERCANTILE TRADE? | MERCANTILE TRADE | BRITAIN IN MERCANTILE TRADE
Britain was the most successful nation in Europe in mercantile trade, especially during the second phase which took place between the 15th and 18th centuries.
Britain was also the first country to industrialize because it was very active during mercantilism.
There are many factors that aided Britain to dominate mercantilism in Europe or the world.
a) Role of Tudor monarchy.
The Tudor monarchy played a great role in the development of mercantilism in Britain and ensured that the country became the most powerful during the mercantile period.
The monarchy acquired colonies that provided raw materials and markets to the merchants and it also promoted political stability that encouraged domestic production.
b) Development of maritime technology.
Maritime technology first developed on a larger scale in Britain then it spread to other countries. Maritime technology facilitated inters–continental trade that greatly contributed to the development of mercantilism in Britain.
Ever since the 14 th C Britain has been enjoying an extra advantage over navy supremacy than other European nations and used this advantage to dominate mercantile trade.
c) Increase in internal production.
There are various changes that took place in the agricultural and industrial sectors in Britain. These changes boosted internal production that stimulated trade with other countries.
Britain traded with north and South America, Asia and Africa thus she was able to dominate other countries in mercantile activities.
d) Acquisition of colonies.
Britain had so many colonies in Africa, America and China. These colonies guaranteed the merchants sources of raw material and markets thus leading to the development of mercantilism in Britain.
e) Imposition of protective tariffs.
The establishment of navigation acts of the 17 th C provided moral and material support to the merchants by protecting them from competition.
By this law, all goods exported to British colonies had to be carried by British ships and all goods from British colonies were supposed to be shipped first to Britain before exporting them to other countries. The navigation acts played a crucial role in helping Britain to dominate mercantilism.
f) Enclosure system.
Britain was the first country to implement the enclosure system in the 16 th century. The enclosure system involved grouping all peasants and common land in the villages in two compact forms, this land was subjected to commercial production.
The enclosure system led to increase in production which contributed to the development of mercantilism.
g) Exploitation of other countries.
Britain was able to exploit heavily the weak nations, Portugal depended heavily on the military support from Britain against her rivals such as Spain and in return Britain got economic gains. These activities contributed to the development of mercantilism in Britain.