By the time the term mercantile system was coined in by the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, European states had been trying for two centuries to put mercantile theory into practice.
Agriculture in the Middle Ages Early in the first millennium, improvements in technique and technology began to emerge. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and became important centers for the collection of knowledge related to agriculture and forestry.
The manorial systemwhich existed under different names throughout Europe and Asia, allowed large landowners significant control over both their land and its laborers, in the form of peasants or serfs. Arabs introduced summer irrigation to Europe.
By AD in Europe, developments in iron smelting allowed for increased production, leading to developments in the production of farm tools such as ploughs, hand tools and horse shoes.
The plough was significantly improved, developing into the mouldboard ploughcapable of turning over the heavy, wet soils of northern Europe. This led to the clearing of forests in that area and a significant increase in agricultural production, which in turn led to an increase in population.
This resulted in increased productivity and nutrition, as the change in rotations led to different crops being planted, including legumessuch as peas, lentils and beans.
Inventions such as improved horse harnesses and the whippletree also changed methods of cultivation. Peas, beans, and vetches became common from the 13th century onward as food and as a fodder crop for animals; it also had nitrogen-fixation fertilizing properties.
Crop yields peaked in the 13th century, and stayed more or less steady until the 18th century. Soil exhaustion, overpopulation, wars, diseases and climate change caused hundreds of famines in medieval Europe. Famines such as Great Famine of — slowly weakened the populace.
Few people died of starvation because the weakest had already succumbed to a routine disease they otherwise would have survived. A plague like the Black Death killed its victims in one locality in a matter of days or even hours, reducing the population of some areas by half as many survivors fled.
The Black Death touched every aspect of life, hastening a process of social, economic, and cultural transformation already underway Fields were abandoned, workplaces stood idle, international trade was suspended.
Traditional bonds of kinship, village and even religion were broken and the horrors of death, flight, and failed expectations. There was also social unrest; France and England experienced serious peasant risings: These events have been called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages.
Viking raids and the Crusader invasions of the Middle East led to the diffusion of and refinement of technology instrumental to overseas travel. People made improvements in ships, particularly the longship. The astrolabefor navigation, greatly aided long-distance travel over the seas.
The improvements in travel in turn increased trade and the diffusion of consumer items. Crafts and urban growth[ edit ] From the 11th Century to the 13th Century, farmers and small-scale producers of crafts increasingly met in towns to trade their goods.
They met in either seasonal trade fairs or they traded in an ongoing basis.
Craft associations called guilds fostered the development of skills and the local growth of trade in particular goods. Over the course of the centuries of this period towns grew in size and number, first in a core in England, Flanders, France, Germany and northern Italy.
The economic system of this era was merchant capitalism.
The core of this system was in merchant houses, backed by financiers acting as intermediaries between simple commodity producers. This system continued until it was supplanted by industrial capitalism in the 18th Century. Economic activity over a broad geographic range began to intensify in both northern and southern Europe in the 13th Century.
Trade flourished in Italy albeit not united, but rather ruled by different princes in different city-statesparticularly by the 13th Century.
Leading the trade in Mediterranean Europe were traders from the port cities of Genoa and Venice. The wealth generated in Italy fueled the Italian Renaissance. This facilitated the growth of trade among cities in close proximity to these two seas.
The League was a business alliance of trading cities and their guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe and flourished from the toand continued with lesser importance after that.Mercantilism was the primary economic system of trade from the 16th to 18th century with theorists believing that the amount of wealth in the world was static.
China's multiple barriers to American products Howard Richman, 4/1/ The latest statistics released on March 18 by the BEA show that for every $1 that the United States bought from China in , the Chinese government only let its people buy 28¢ of American products.
Mercantilism is an offensive policy aimed at accumulating the largest trade surplus (China, Germany). Conversely, protectionism is a defensive policy aimed at reducing the trade deficit and. Research Director Peter has 27 years experience in the mobile industry with extensive experience in market analysis and corporate development.
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