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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter VIII - Trade, Society and the State

Summary
As the volume of trade grew, as the fleet of international shipping expanded, linking places and trades hitherto isolated, the operations of merchants and manufacturers slowly helped to change the face of western European society. The policies of economic nationalism that were adopted by the rising states of modern Europe and which came to be called 'mercantilist' had their roots in these scattered acts and thoughts of feudal and municipal authorities of the past. While in England the age of mercantilism saw the internal regulation of industry falling slowly into disuse, in France mercantilism was identified popularly most of all with the minutely detailed regulation of industry. France led the world in the volume of industrial production, foreign and domestic trade, down to a date late in the eighteenth century. In the eighteenth century, however, economic rivalry with France continued to be a dominant motive for war.
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The Cambridge Economic History of Europe from the Decline of the Roman Empire
  • Volume 4: The Economy of Expanding Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
  • Edited by E. E. Rich, C. H. Wilson
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054461
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521045070
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