Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Mercantilism and the Muslim states: Lessons from the history

Islahi, Abdul Azim (1991): Mercantilism and the Muslim states: Lessons from the history.


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Mercantilism was the dominant current of economic thinking and practice during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries till the emergence of physiocracy. The scientific discoveries in Europe helped the development of mercantilism in many ways. Discovery of new world provided them with new market and a new all water route of European trade through the Cape of the Good Hope. On all these fronts the Muslim states lagged behind. Their absence from this front left the merchant-patronizing governments free to impoverish a larger part of the world by establishing colonies and exploiting them to their own benefit. The development of mercantilism marked the shift of paradigm. It ignored ethical considerations and destroyed moral values that had been hitherto inseparable part of economic thinking and practices.

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