French Mercantilist Doctrines before Colbert

French Mercantilist Doctrines before Colbert

French Mercantilist Doctrines before Colbert

French Mercantilist Doctrines before Colbert

Excerpt

To define any great movement is always difficult. Of Romanticism, for instance, no thoroughly satisfactory definition has ever been suggested. Yet an understanding of Romanticism can be achieved by a review of its origins and components, and of the men who put it into practice. It would be necessary to examine the reaction against Neo-classicism, the works of Rousseau, the return to medievalism, the back-to-nature movement, the attempt to escape reality, the religious revival, the rise of emotionalism, the vogue of fantasy, and the lives and writings of great figures like Wordsworth, Byron, Hugo and Goethe.

In the same manner, though definition is difficult, an appreciation of mercantilism can be attained through an inquiry into its early stages, its outstanding lines of development, and the works of the great mercantilists. Perhaps the best approach to the subject would be a study of Colbert, whose beliefs and efforts so well exemplified the mercantilist tenets that Colbertism has become a synonym for mercantilism. An investigation of Colbert's policies would, however, quickly reveal that they were in large part merely a continuation of those already inaugurated or advocated by Richelieu.

The great Cardinal, in turn, would be found to have adopted ideas and theories already common in France.

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