During the 1600’s and 1700’s, a busy trade developed between Europe and its American colonies. The colonists sent sugar, molasses, furs, rice, rum, potatoes, tobacco, timber, and cocoa to their “mother country” - in return, the colonists received manufactured (man-made) goods, luxury items, and slaves. The leading countries of Europe soon found themselves competing for control of world trade routes. Trade meant money and money meant power. An economic system called mercantilism developed based on the principle that a nation’s strength depended on its wealth. Kings tried to increase their country’s exports while decreasing imports. (Exports are goods sold, imports are goods bought).
Let’s explore the positive and negative qualities of the economic system of mercantilism… of course these depend on who you ask… Take a role playing card that matches the color of your desk sticker (if you have 5 people, the 5th person should take the blue card). Read your “role” and create, then complete a T-chart in your notes based on YOUR role