1.) What were the key ideas of mercantilism?
Mercantilism is an economic program often (but not exclusively) associated with absolutism. It was what is considered a “fashionable” economic teaching in the 16th to late 18th centuries, and it’s main aim was to increase the wealth of a country through stimulation of exports and limitation of imports. Although this program was really about privileging certain businesses and government, it was marketed to the people as a “favorable balance of trade”.
2.) What were the causes and outcomes of the wars involving France in the latter half of the seventeenth century?
Throughout the seventeenth century, France was finding itself in great turmoil. The kick off in 1704 being the defeat of Louis XIV at Blenheim; this loss demolished his previously unscathed reputation, and France’s demise only progressed from there. This lead to the Invasion of France in 1708-09, and France began to realize how exhausted they really were, both financially and otherwise. The people had been ravaged with famine, starvation, illness, and taxes so high that they were forced out of their homes. Ultimately, France went from being the top dog in Europe, to being viewed as greasy and problem-causing, which could have been avoided had there been an effort towards peace and cooperation with the English, Dutch, and the Holy Roman Empire.
3.) What was at stake in the War of the Spanish Succession?
In the Spanish Succession, not only was the dynasty at risk, but all of Spain’s land/territory was also at stake. Ultimately, the Spanish Netherlands and Spain’s Italian holdings went to Austria. France lost conquest east of the Rhine. The Dutch got a series of fortresses against French attack (in what is now the Austrian-controlled Netherlands). England gets Gibraltar, Minorca, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Hudson’s Bay along with some other permits. Austria also holds Milan, Naples, Sicily and Belgium. War has exhausted the French and the Dutch, the English however become a great power.