Mercantilism and accounting remain two dynamic and debated concepts in terms of definition and scope. It brings together a collection of studies by authors who share a common starting point: how did individuals across space and time negotiate and navigate systems of exchange and trade, particularly when confronted with world views and cultural systems that conflicted with and disrupted perceptions of their own. This chapter brings together the research of global scholars whose original studies were part of an interdisciplinary session at the XVI World Economic History Congress (WEHC). It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, issues of mercantilism, its antecedents and impacts. The chapter examines contexts of early contact and how actors negotiated cultural divides. It investigates merchant trading in two different settings, Europe and Africa and explores the colonial and Indigenous economy of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This introduction presents a keyconcepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book.