Mercantilism In The 1500s And 1600s

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In the 1500's and 1600's, the world powers of Spain and England began to settle and colonize the land in what is now known as America. Both Spain and England followed the concepts of Mercantilism to attempt to strengthen their countries. Each of the two nations however, had a very different idea of how to use the land they occupied to benefit themselves. Their ideas of how to extract wealth from the newly found land in North America determined how successful their colonies and settlements were. Mercantilism is the concept that to be successful, a government should be "designed to secure an accumulation of bullion, a favorable balance of trade" (Meriam Webster). England and Spain, used the concept of Mercantilism to gain wealth and power from their newly developed colonies in North America. Spain had a plan to go to the colonies and extract gold and silver from the land. England however, had a plan to go to the colonies, settle on the land, and accumulate items that could be traded to other countries in exchange for money. Spain sailed over the Atlantic Ocean in the late 1500's to settle in North America. "St. Augustine in Florida was established as a Spanish fort in 1565, the first permanent settlement in what would become the United…show more content…
The settlers began immediately on using the raw materials in the area for trade. Some of the raw materials used for trade included corn, wheat, tobacco, lumber, and fish. The system of trade that England developed in their colonies set them up for a substantial income in their country since, "The policy of Mercantilism favored England because the raw materials from the colonies were used to make different products in England" (Trade in the Colonies). England's use of the land and the resources within it benefited them greatly and helped them gain power due to their strong source of raw materials coming from from North
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