Mercantilism is a pre-classical economic thought, according to which the prosperity of nations is reached by promoting agriculture and manufacturing. The aim is to increase exports and restrict imports, thus accumulating gold and precious metals, relevant as a sign of wealth. Bullionism, which is considered part of mercantilist theory, was specific to the monetary matters of this economic thought.
In order to implement policies recommended by the authors of this doctrine, mercantilist policymakers resorted to either prohibiting imports outright on some goods or resorting to high tariffs or quantitative restrictions. Mercantilism was the economic policy prevailing in Europe from 1500 and 1750. Although mercantilist literature was written all around Europe, the most significant texts and thoughts came from French (mainly from Physiocracy authors) and English writers.