Shall we compare things?

Mercantilism VS Capitalism & Columbian Exchange VS Internet!

By: Angelica and Rebecca

Mercantilism VERSUS Capitalism

What is Mercantilism?

Mercantilism was once a popular economic philosophy around the 17th and 18th centuries, which was an unpleasant neglect. It was an economic system that was used to enlarge the nation's wealth and earnings by government regulation of all nation's commercial interests. The British economy put restrictions on how colonies would spend their money so that they would be able to watch and take control their economies.


  • It engages the idea of completing the development of all natural resources.
  • It encourages the idea of trade deficits for other nations.
  • It reduces the percentage of unemployment rates.
  • Cultural exchanges take place to promote trade amongst others.
  • The home country, in Europe, could now expand their armies. It helped with the Colonies AND the home country.


  • It creates high levels of resentment.
  • It's preference is that the mother nation (the nation that they live in) always comes first above all things.
  • There is always a risk of raw material shortage or they can run out.
  • The system of Mercantilism is inefficient because of the cost involved in shipping goods back and forth between nations.
  • The home countries in Europe made risks by relying on the colonies in America to make themselves more powerful. The colony could weaken, making them weaker as well.
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What is Capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic network that is based on private ownership of both production and capital intakes. It recognizes individual rights, along with property rights, of which all property belongs to private persons. The nature of the foreign policy of capitalism is free trade.This was the nation's opening to new trade routes to free international exchange among private citizens of ALL countries.


  • It is for the good of the society in a way that each job is connected to each other and it benefits the people around you. For example, a hairdresser provides services that help people look good. In return, the individual feels good about the way he looks and builds his confidence.
  • It promotes equality and encourages people to work towards achieving financial freedom. If one works hard, there is an opportunity to improve your way of life. For example, if an employee works hard, he gets promoted to higher position and receives a salary raise. This way, he is able to provide his family with a better life.
  • It results in a decentralized economic system whereby you will find business selling similar products or services which allows an open competition. As a result, the quality of products and services improve to win a bigger share of the market. People have a choice because of a wide variety of products and services that are available to them. “Capitalism encourages economic growth”.
  • It provides a certain level of freedom since the government does not get involved. People have the right to choose which type of work or business they would like to get into. People are free to choose what education or college course they want to study to enable them to apply for a job they want in the future.
  • It provides the ability to own private property. When people work hard, they earn more, or make more money to be able to buy the things they want including their own home, buildings, schools and businesses.


  • It creates a money-oriented economy. Businesses do get out of hand and focus on the money they are making. Business owners start to concentrate on profit only and at times forget to look into the working conditions of their employees. For example, there are products that are out in the market now that are not really safe for consumers because businesses are not thorough in their quality control. An example would be the hover boards that are now so popular but are also dangerous.
  • It lessens the need for manpower in a way that we have evolved in automation. This means that because business want to produce more of their products in a short period of time, machines are invented to do the work, therefore, needing less people. As a result, we currently have a high rate of unemployed people.
  • It does not really create an equal opportunity for all. This can be seen in the way people live. The children of the rich get better opportunities since they are able to afford good colleges. After college, they inherit the business and properties of their parents. This goes on from one generation to the other.
  • It does not guarantee a stable economy. Since there is limited control by the government and its legislations, the economy can experience periods of growth and decline.
  • Social benefits are ignored. Free market normally would ignore “externalities” like the pollution that a factory can be causing, and as a result, gets an entire community sick. Some businesses do not provide health insurance for their employees to cut down on cost and increase profit. This is where the government needs to step in to provide provision for social services like the Obamacare.
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Compare and Contrast

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Columbian Exchange Versus The Internet

What is the Columbian Exchange?

The Columbian Exchange took place when there was trade between the "Old World" and "New World". It involves the exchange and trade of plants, animals, technology, and diseases. This transformed the ways of life between the Europeans and the Natives of America. This advanced agricultural productions in both worlds, warfare evolved, and morality and education rates increased through this as well.


  • The “New World” and “Old World” were temporarily allied and were able to trade supplies with one another.

  • Helped To Increase Food Production. European’s crops (such as: wheat, barley, rice, etc.) had not yet been traded and have not yet traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The Native’s crops (such as: maize, potatoes, etc.) had not yet been taken over to Europe.

  • Livestock was introduced. Animals such as the llama, alpaca, dog, many fowl (a species of bird), and the guinea pig were introduced from the “New World” to the “Old World”.

  • With newly discovered animals, new forms of transportation were discovered as well.

  • “The Columbian Exchange brought about the greatest interchange of different people, ideas, plants, and animals that has ever been known in the history of the world.” One can even say that globalization today evolved from the Columbian exchange.


  • Diseases Traveled quickly from place to place (smallpox, chickenpox, measles, whooping cough, bubonic plague, and typhus were the known diseases to be spread). When the Europeans came to America, there was an epidemic spreading throughout Eurasia (Europe+Asia). Because the Natives had never suffered from any of these diseases before, this was one of the many reasons their population decreased.

  • Tension between countries (especially in Europe) arose because some countries were privileged to have been given resources from the colonies, while other countries were not as privileged.

  • It resulted in the inhumane treatment of the Native Americans and the African slaves. The Native Americans were enslaved, their villages were destroyed and their gold were all taken. All these happened after they showed the Europeans how to grow corn, where to find fresh water, how to survive the winter conditions, etc.

  • The Columbian Exchange also destroyed the Native American beliefs and culture. Spain brought religions and started churches for Christianity and Catholicism. They also brought guns and gunpowder to America.

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What's the internet?

The Internet is a "network of networks", a global system that interconnects devices through the internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). The internet allows people to explore, communicate, research, and more. The internet has no single inventor like the light bulb and the telephone. The internet has revolutionized communications so much that now it is used as an everyday communication.


  • With Electronic Communications, one is capable of speaking or sending a message to someone who is not in the same general area as they are (meaning you can do this without being in the same room).
  • When Online Shopping, people are able to purchase and have items and products delivered to their homes or download it. All it takes is to search, click a few things, and you should get it within a moment's notice.
  • You can take online classes. This benefits those who choose not to physically go to school or are homeschooled.
  • You can do grocery shopping online. It saves you transportation costs, and if you don't have any type of transportation, you can easily have it delivered to your home.
  • You are given a wide range of UNLIMITED information. Just by using Google, Bing, and other search engines on the internet, information is generated to you instantly.


  • Violation of ones privacy and security are at risk. People take advantage of being able to communicate electronically. They can steal the identities of others easily, they are capable of sending inappropriate messages, etc.
  • Many create fake websites, claiming that they are selling products at unbelievably low prices to attract the interests of others.
  • With online education, there is always a possibility of it enrolling, paying for tuition and suddenly they close down and you lose all your credits. You must make sure they are reliable sites or universities.
  • When researching on the internet, there is the possibility of being given false information with unreliable sources.
  • People are so dependent on the internet that basic skills to do things manually in the event of a "black out" is lost, i.e. memorizing phone numbers or calculating tips for servers.
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Compare and Contrast

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Capitalism has put some positive and negative effects on our world.

  • A person can start their own business without the government being in control over them, having their own freedom of selling whatever they want or getting money however they want (with a few restrictions of course).
  • If someone starts their own business, they can become very wealthy with the money they make.
  • Capitalists start to only worry about the profit, and not the humans who are purchasing the products or providing the service to produce products by overlooking safe working environments and conditions.
  • An employee could get hurt from working on the job if the machines aren't safe or if their environment is harmful. People have the tendency to become greedy, letting the money get to their heads, and wanting more of it. This can lead to destruction of relationships, partnerships and the entire business can fail.
  • Capitalists have been known to exploit others. Homeless and poor people are exploited, child labor is still taking place: this is due to "imprisonment of the capitalist system".
Of course, these issues will lessen over time.

Why Capitalism Works
The Internet has given our world positive effects but at the same time, there are lots of negative effects.

  • It allows us to create relationships, communicate, purchase foods and clothes, and to research information.
  • People have grown and have become more intelligent from using the Internet.
  • People have the ability and freedom to say things they want that, which can leads to harming others with the use of words or photographs.
  • The Internet has allowed cyber bullying which can lead to depression and negative effects in a person. Cyber bullying has lead to the death of teens.
  • There are black markets, where people have been selling drugs, guns, and even people.

Will there always be a dark side to everything?

How the internet works
The dark side of the internet
We already know how terrible things have been, in terms of both Capitalism and the Internet. But what will our future turn into if we follow only the shadows of terrible people and their actions?



I believe that every future depends on the fact that history existed. The topic we have discussed (Mercantilism, Capitalism, the Columbian Exchange, the Internet, etc.) is no exception. Everything a person does affects the future, just like in the chaos theory, the Butterfly Effect, where "the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state." Even by doing something so small, we can make the world better. Even if it may not seem like much, but just by teaching the future generations at least one thing about history, we can stop them from repeating the dark shadows of the past. We have made many mistakes in the past, but we can prevent them by knowing the positive and negative results of what has happened. For example, we don't want to have the government steal our ideas, like in Mercantilism. We want to be able to express ourselves, and gain something from it, like in Capitalism. We don't want to nearly wipe out the population of other races, like in the Columbian Exchange. We want to be able to communicate peacefully with others, even if we're just reading something from a screen on the Internet. History can't be changed, but it can influence the future. Keep that in mind.


From what I've learned, we can grow and improve as a global community because of our knowledge of the Columbian Exchange, the Internet, Mercantilism, and Capitalism. These all gave us the knowledge of profit, business, product, systems, trading, diseases, and Internet. We can grow because there are negative effects off of all these things and we can use our knowledge to get through them as a global community. For example, since we discovered more diseases due to the Columbian Exchange, we can become more aware of spreading diseases. Another example is the Internet has shown us some negative effects of how cruel the world can be and we can become more aware and safe on the Internet. We all can improve as global community by using everything we know to discover and create new things. We can also improve by using what we know to make us stronger as a whole.