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The founding of the colonies in the New World coincided with the rise of mercantilism. Many European rulers during the 16th and 17th centuries embraced the precepts of mercantilism, an economic system that sought to increase national wealth through a strictly regulated economy and a favorable balance of trade. In short, a nation’s strength was directly linked to its ability to be self-sufficient and accumulate capital. Colonies were acquired to supply raw materials to the “mother country” and serve as exclusive markets for domestic manufactured goods.
a mighty armada of Chinese ships crossed the China Sea, then ventured west to Ceylon, Arabia, and East Africa. The fleet consisted of giant nine-masted junks, escorted by dozens of supply ships, water tankers, transports for cavalry horses, and patrol boats,Loaded with Chinese silk, porcelain, and lacquerware, the junks visited ports around the Indian Ocean. Here, Arab and African merchants exchanged the spices, ivory, medicines, rare woods, and pearls so eagerly sought by the Chinese imperial court.
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