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Mercantilism

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Mercantilismo
Se puede entender al mercantilismo como un conjunto de ideas que se desarrollaron durante los siglos XVI y XVII en Europa y tuvieron gran influencia en las políticas económicas de los nacientes Estados-nación. Por otro lado se puede denominar mercantilismo también al proceso histórico de nacimiento y consolidación de los Estados-nación europeos.

El mercantilismo como doctrina económica del nacionalismo

El mercantilismo es una doctrina económica (política económica) que aparece en periodo intervencionista y “ Describe un credo económico que prevaleció en la época de nacimiento del capitalismo, antes de la Revolución Industrial”. El término “mercantilismo” fue inventado en 1763 por Mirabeau., para describir el sistema de ideas económicas dominantes durante los siglos XVI, XVII e inicios del XVIII.
El concepto de “mercantilismo” se define a partir de los grandes descubrimientos geográficos, consecuencia de la apertura de las rutas comerciales marítimas por los portugueses entre el siglo XV y 1500 (fecha del descubrimiento de Brasil) y la consolidada corriente inagotable del metal precioso (oro y plata principalmente) llevado desde los territorios nuevos a Europa, en particular después del establecimiento de los virreinatos de Nueva España y de Perú, por los castellanos.
Los españoles del siglo XVII, llegaron a considerar al mercantilismo, como el sentido mismo de la riqueza mediante la teoría del enriquecimiento de las naciones a través de la acumulación de metal precioso. El oro y la plata constituyen el objetivo del comerciante y por lo tanto el impulso al intercambio de mercancías. El oro y la plata por sí mismos no generaron los acontecimientos económicos de la época, sino que conjuntamente con otras causas fueron moldeando la economía europea de esos tiempos. Algunas de estas causas fueron: los grandes descubrimientos geográficos, el renacimiento, la reforma religiosa, la aparición del estado moderno y el régimen colonial, o sea la primera globalización o el “primer sistema-mundo”, según la expresión de Fernand Braudel. Intimamente conectado a la emergencia del Estado-nación moderno y basado en la existencia del binomio “metrópoli – colonias”, el mercantilismo asumió formas nacionales, de las cuales destacamos: España, Inglaterra, Holanda, Francia e Italia durante los siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII. En esta época, el mercantilismo evoluciona de tal manera que genera un estudio apropiado y se traduce como un actividad económica, a tal grado que se habla de políticas económicas y normas económicas. Al mercantilismo se le empieza a conocer con otras denominaciones, mismas que dan sentido a su concepto, estas son: sistema mercantil, sistema restrictivo, sistema comercial, Colbertismo en Francia y Cameralismo en Alemania. Derivado de la expansión militar europea e del incipiente desarrollo manufacturero, como complemento de la producción clásica de la agricultura, el mercantilismo incrementó notablemente el comercio internacional. Los mercantilistas fueron los primeros en identificar la importancia monetaria y política del comercio internacional.
El pensamiento se puede sintetizar a través de las nueve reglas de Von Hornick 1. Que cada pulgada del suelo de un país se utilice para la agricultura, la minería o las manufacturas 2. Que todas las primeras materias que se encuentren en un país se utilicen en las manufacturas nacionales, porque los bienes acabados tienen un valor mayor que las materias primas 3. Que se fomente una población grande y trabajadora 4. Que se prohiban todas las exportaciones de oro y plata y que todo el dinero nacional se mantenga en circulación 5. Que se obstaculicen tanto cuanto sea posible todas las importaciones de bienes extranjeros 6. Que donde sean indispensables determinadas importaciones deban obtenerse de primera mano, a cambio de otros bienes nacionales, y no de oro y plata 7. Que en la medida que sea posible las importaciones se limiten a las primeras materias que puedan acabarse en el país 8. Que se busquen constantemente las oportunidades para vender el excedente de maufacturas de un país a los extranjeros, en la medida necesaria, a cambio de oro y plata 9. Que no se permita ninguna importación si los bienes que se importan existen de modo suficiente y adecuado en el país

Mercantilismo como proceso económico

Como consecuencia de lo anterior emergieron, de manera natural, tres cuestiones fundamentales que generaba esta lucrativa actividad comercial: 1. El monopolio de exportación, 2. El problema de los cambios y su derivación, 3. El problema de la balanza comercial.
En la obra “The Circle of Commerce”(1623), Misselden desarrolló un concepto de balanza comercial expresado en términos de débitos y créditos, presentando el cálculo de la balanza comercial para Inglaterra desde la Navidad de 1621 hasta la navidad de 1622.…...

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