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mercantilism vs. capitalism

mercantilism vs. capitalism: What's the difference?

Mercantilism refers to a historical economic system that was the precursor of capitalism. Mercantilism focused on political supremacy through national wealth accumulation, particularly through acquisition of precious metals, high exporting, and low importing. Capitalism is an economic system focused on building profit for private individuals and corporations via production of goods and services.

[ mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, -tee-, -tahy- ]
  1. mercantile practices or spirit; commercialism.
  2. mercantile system.
[ kap-i-tl-iz-uhm ]
  1. an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

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