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Unformatted text preview: Neomercantilism is a term used to describe a policy regime which encourages exports, discourages imports, controls capital movement and centralizes currency decisions in the hands of a central government. The objective of neo-mercantilist policies is to increase the level of foreign reserves held by the government, allowing more effective monetary policy and fiscal policy . This is generally believed to come at the cost of lower standards of living than an open economy would bring at the same time, but offers the advantages to the government in question of having greater autonomy and control. Economic Factors that precipitated colonial conquest – competitiveness of international trade leads to the emergence of neomercantilism —a set of economic policies to protect the fledgling industries of Europe and America – European countries used their colonies as markets for their manufactures. They established monopolies whereby the colonized country could only purchase products from the colonial power – the colonized countries also became a source of the raw materials—cotton, palm oil, rubber, minerals, etc.—that were the basis of European industrial production – colonies are also a place to invest surplus capital generated by the capitalist system of production in Europe Political Factors that precipitated colonial conquest – Nationalism: the no. of colonies a European nation acquired was a measure/symbol of its prestige and power – Surplus population: Colonies were important outlets for resettling a large no. of unemployed and poor Europeans who might otherwise become a radical and disruptive force at home Berlin Conference (1884/1885) – The rules governing the conduct of the colonial powers were put down – 1. every Western nation except Switzerland and the United States were represented – 2. no African leaders, states or governments were represented The Berlin Act (1885) – 1. Before any nation claimed an area it had to inform the other powers – 2. For a claim to be valid, the colonizing power had to annex and occupy the territory – 3. Treaties signed w/ African rulers were legitimate proof of the right of occupation – 4. Each power could extend its powers from the coast to the interior Conquest of Africa • A. Stage I : Exclusive treaties were signed between African rulers and imperial powers. – Europeans offered Africans protection in exchange for economic advantages like the right to conduct trade in that area – Oftentimes the ‘fine print’ of the treaties contained clauses or exceptions that gave the Europeans far more advantages than the Africans – Some African leaders were tricked into signing treaties that were very disadvantageous to them and their subjects • B. Stage 2 : Bilateral treaties were signed between the imperial powers to define their spheres of interest and delineate their boundaries – African rulers were not consulted about these bi-lateral treaties • C. Stage 3 : Military conquest of African states, the occupation of African territory, and...
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- Fall '07
- Government, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund