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Arts and MindsHow the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation$
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Anton Howes

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182643

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182643.001.0001

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Exciting an Emulation

Exciting an Emulation

(p.29) 2 Exciting an Emulation
Arts and Minds

Anton Howes

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the Royal Society of Arts' promotion of commerce. It traces trade in the eighteenth century, which was closely tied to the coercive power of the state and was one of the principal sources of government revenue. It also describes trade as a tool for enriching a country at the expense of its neighbors, emphasizing the belief among rulers and politicians across Europe that it was essential to maximize a country's stock of specie. The chapter explains mercantilism as an attitude towards trade in which rivals were made to pay for exports, while as little as possible were spent on foreign imports. It also points out how mercantilist attitudes had geopolitical repercussions.

Keywords:   Royal Society of Arts, commerce, government revenue, mercantilism, trade, mercantilist attitudes, geopolitical repercussions

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