Essay 1 - Mercantilism
During Louis XIV’s reign in the 17th Century, he had troubles financing his many wars. So, what did he do? He got lucky! It was because an official, named Colbert, that was recommended to Louis XIV that the French found a way to become very wealthy. A brilliant economic system was brought forth that is still used today in all parts of the world. Colbert was the inventor of this system, called Mercantilism, and he created it to bring wealth to the French and his king.
The goal that Colbert aimed to do was to acquire gold for France. He knew France had to export as much as possible. This meant maximizing exports, so this Mercantil system said to sell as many goods as possible to the rest of the world. So, they used their flourishing champagne and chambord industries that were hard to imitate. Their grapes and berries were rare in other parts of the world, and the way they carbonated the wine into champaign made it a luxury item. French Mercantilism was big on selling luxury goods, and furniture was another one of those items. Most people during the 17th Century did not have furniture. Their beds and other furniture were made of straw. So, when France started exporting real, quality furniture, the rest of the world ate it up. Especially the rich, who could afford the expensive furniture.
Not only did Colbert’s Mercantil system tell France to acquire wealth, it also told them to keep that wealth. So, Colbert created the idea of minimizing imports so that France would not throw its riches back into the rest of the world. Mercantilism said to buy the least possible from other countries. Although, tea was one good that the French imported a lot of. So, to compensate somewhat for their import costs, they started taxing foreign items in order to keep as much money in the country as possible. This might have been seen as being selfish to other countries, which is why other nations eventually started...