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    Mercantilism and King James and the Virginia Company

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    What was mercantilism? Why did the logic of mercantilist ideas encourage King James to grant a charter to the Virginia Company?

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    Mercantilism was an economic theory that posited that wealth and power were determined by a favorable balance of trade. Mercantilism was the primary economic theory in Europe from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The goal of each country was to export more products than they imported. Though the actual tonnage of items exported may not have been more than the tonnage imported, countries made sure that the value of exports was greater than the value of imports. In this way they accumulated gold and silver in the national treasury.

    This concept of mercantilism can be illustrated by all the European powers of the day. Spain was concerned primarily with stripping its colonies of precious metals. Gold from Mexico and silver from Peru were shipped to Spain in huge convoys of dozens of galleys. They also made some attempts to control crops such as sugar. The French in North America made huge inroads in the fur trade. French trappers ...

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    This post describes the mingling of mercantilism with King James decision to grant a charter to the Virginia Company. Over 500 words of original text along with links to sources for consideration and research.