Mercantilists

mercantilism

[mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, -tee-, -tahy-]
noun
1.
mercantile practices or spirit; commercialism.

Origin:
1870–75; < French mercantilisme. See mercantile, -ism

mercantilist, noun, adjective
mercantilistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
mercantilism (ˈmɜːkəntɪˌlɪzəm)
 
n
1.  economics Also called: mercantile system a theory prevalent in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries asserting that the wealth of a nation depends on its possession of precious metals and therefore that the government of a nation must maximize the foreign trade surplus, and foster national commercial interests, a merchant marine, the establishment of colonies, etc
2.  a rare word for commercialism
 
'mercantilist
 
n, —adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mercantilism
1873, from mercantile + -ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
mercantilism [(mur-kuhn-tee-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-teye-liz-uhm)]

An economic doctrine that flourished in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Mercantilists held that a nation's wealth consisted primarily in the amount of gold and silver in its treasury. Accordingly, mercantilist governments imposed extensive restrictions on their economies to ensure a surplus of exports over imports. In the eighteenth century, mercantilism was challenged by the doctrine of laissez-faire. (See also Adam Smith.)

Note: The European quest for colonial holdings in Asia, Africa, and North and South America was partially a product of mercantile economics.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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