How Effective Was Colbert's Mercantilist Policies?

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During the beginning of the 17th century, France was participating in the Thirty Years’ War in order to weaken the Habsburgs as the territory they controlled was close to French boarders. France had also signed the Treaty of Barwalde in order to swing the Swedish to their side. Both the French participation in the war and the treaty had been incredibly costly and put the French treasury at risk of default. The Fronde followed as Mazarin attempted to rebuild the treasury through taxation. The state of the French economy as well as the rest of Europe was dire. The people became very conscious of their own personal finances. After Mazarin’s death in 1661 Louis XIV took control of the government and chose Jean-Baptiste Colbert as his minister of finance. Colbert used a mercantilist approach towards rebuilding the French Treasury. Although Colbert’s methods and the methods France took differed from other countries such as England, Colbert’s policies proved to have some success. How effective were Colbert’s mercantilist policies and what effects did these policies have after Louis XIV’s and Colbert’s reign? Mercantilism is the belief that government intervention into the economy will build the national treasury through three main policies; a positive balance of trade, expanding into overseas colonies, and promoting…show more content…
His role in the government allowed his influence to be carried through France. He had hit on every single idea in mercantilism. With his overseas expansion, his efforts to balance trade, the industries he tried to build, and his work with taxes we can obviously see that Colbert did in fact did improve the economic condition of France during Louis XIV’s reign. After implementing his mercantilist policies there was little lasting effects when compared to Colbert’s efforts in taxation (Ames

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