Exploration Concepts

Mercantilism vs Capitalism & Columbian Exchange vs Internet

Mercantilism vs Capitalism

Mercantilism (1400-1700)

  • Belief in the benefits of profitable trading

an economic and political system in which a country's trade

Pros of Mercantilism

  • Would take raw materials < mother countries

  • Reduces unemployment rates: more jobs are available

  • It promotes the independent spirit: This allows the independent spirit to do what they want and make money doing it.

  • It creates economic stability: Because everyone in a system of mercantilism is working toward earning a profit, there are natural checks and balances in place that help keep the system flowing.

  • It provides an opportunity to eliminate poverty: If everyone is participating within a system of mercantilism, then each person has the opportunity to eliminate poverty and live in relative comfort.

Cons of Mercantilism

  • High levels of resentment

  • Encourages the hoarding of resources: Resources are hoarded because people feel like they worked hard to receive them.

  • It encourages the complete development of all natural resources


  • An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Pros of capitalism:

  • Profits: They made more money...

  • Helps political freedom: it invariably leads to a powerful state and creates a large bureaucracy which may extend into other areas of life.

  • Economic growth: this helps to increase real GDP and lead to improved living standards

  • Efficiency: These incentives create the pressures to cut costs and avoid waste.

Cons of capitalism:

  • Monopoly Power: Private ownership of capital enables firms to gain monopoly power in product and labour markets.

  • Monopsony Power: Firms with monopsony power can pay lower wages to workers.

  • Social Benefit Ignored: A free market will ignore extenalities.

  • Inherited Wealth and Wealth inequality: A capitalist society is based on legal right to private property and the ability to pass on to future generations.

  • Inequality creates social division: A capitalist society is based on legal right to private property and the ability to pass on to future generations.

  • Diminishing marginal utility of wealth: A capitalist society argues it is good if people can earn more leading to income and wealth inequality, however, this ignores the diminishing marginal utility of wealth.

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Columbian Exchange vs. Modern Day Internet

Columbian Exchange-

  • The Columbian Exchange or Grand Exchange was the widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, technology and ideas between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres in the 15th and 16th centuries, related to European colonization and trade after Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage.

Pros of the columbian exchange:

  • It Helped To Increase Food Production: it became cheaper to grow more food.

  • Livestock Was Introduced: When European settlers came, they were able to introduce the various livestock options This meant sheep, cattle, and pigs. It also meant that they were able to introduce domesticated horses to the continent.

  • It created change: The countries that had a presence in the Americas were able to expand trade with all of their partners from the East and the West. This gave them a natural monetary advantage compared to their neighboring countries that were not involved with the American colonization

  • The United States Was Created: Without the Columbian Exchange, the United States might never have come into existence.

Cons of the columbian exchange:
  • Diseases Traveled Fast: Tribal groups of humans aren’t generally asked those to harmful diseases like smallpox, or measles, or the flu. They have no immunities to these diseases and so even someone who was just a carrier from Europe of something like Typhus could end up wiping out an entire native population.

Internet (www)-

  • The global communication network that allows almost all computers worldwide to connect and exchange information. Some of the early impetus for such a network came from the U.S. government network Arpanet, starting in the 1960s.

Pros of Internet:

  • Communication: One of the main goals of the internet is to connect people.

  • Information: Anything you could ever want to know can be found on the internet

  • Entertainment: Entertainment is becoming a growing focus for internet users.

  • comfort: The internet makes everything convenient.

  • New economic methods are made: It has become the biggest marketing tool, ever. People can also make purchases on the internet, meaning that anyone can be a business owner.

Cons of the internet:

  • Personal Information Compromised: Identity theft has dramatically risen since the internet made it’s appearance in a mainstream setting.

  • Pornography: Very violent, sexually explicit, and other illegal things can be easily accessed for viewing using the internet.

  • Addiction: Social media, online games, and other time consuming things are beginning to take over the youth.

  • Wide Spread Audience: This provokes people to purposefully danger themselves or other in order to gain some viral fame.