Beyond Trade: Mercantilist Ideas of Dependency, Value, and Transmutation and Justification of Union

  • Aida Ramos
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


This chapter explores how the writings of the three most influential mercantilist writers, Thomas Mun, Charles Davenant, and William Petty, supported the idea that Scotland was a “dependent” country that should join with England. Mun’s discussion of trade as the origin of value and authority demonstrates the notion that wealth is tied to one’s total volume of trade. Davenant’s work is pivotal in arguing for what makes a nation dependent and independent. His arguments regarding trade and national defense are applied to Scotland. Petty’s work is explored for its use of political arithmetic to justify particular policy positions and for the concept of transmutation, or how to create a union not by joining two nations together but by transforming the less productive into the more productive.


Thomas Mun Charles Davenant William Petty Trade Value Dependency Transmutation Authority Money Mercantilism Scotland National defense Transplantation Political arithmetic 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aida Ramos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DallasIrvingUSA

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