Socials-Ms. Sue

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Explain the relationship between mercantilism and colonialism. Can there ever be a profit without one party being short-changed? Explain.

Mercantilism was the belief that colonies existed to enrich the mother country.

Ms. Sue I am having trouble on this question, please help, thanks

  • Socials-Ms. Sue -

    You're right about the relationship. Mercantilism depended upon the colonies supplying the raw materials for manufacturing. It required virtual slave labor in the colonies to obtain these raw materials.

    In the case of mercantilism/colonialism, the profits all went to the imperialistic country. The colonies got almost none of the profits.

    However, it's possible today that companies pay a fair price for labor and raw materials and make a reasonable profit. Even when we pay Chinese labor small amounts to make clothes, for instance, the companies make a profit. But the laborers often make more than they would have without the western countries.

    I was embarrassed to pay $5.00 for hand-embroidered t-shirts in Vietnam a couple years ago. But, the people who did the embroidery still made more money than they would have without this employment. It was sufficient to provide them with housing and food.

  • Socials-Ms. Sue -

    thank you Ms. Sue. I really appreciate your help, thanks

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