[This is part of the series: The Complete Guide To Economics 101.]
What is mercantilism?
Mercantilism is an economic system where the government endorses, protects, and assists, selected big businesses.
This is done to further the interests of the nation.
Many countries, knowingly or not, follow mercantilism in-part, or in whole.
The poster child of this sort of arrangement (a private company backed by public interest) is probably the East India Company, formed in London in 1600.