The increased production and flow of silver during the mid-16th century to the early 18th century caused many social and economic effects all around the world. It helped increase the integration of Europeans in the world trade, hurt Spain’s economy, and created more economic opportunities and greater social divisions within China.
The flow of silver during this time had a large effect on the division of social classes in China. Documents 1, 3, and 7 show the greater social division in China due to the over-production of silver. Document 1 [Ye Chunji] gives a quote about how Chunji has noticed the social gap and how the upper class is becoming increasingly unsatisfied and greedy; whereas document 3 [Wang Xijue]tells more of the economic social gap between the two main classes and explains how the economy is aiding the social gap through the harvest. In document 7 [He Qiaoyuan] another Ming court official talks about how China makes goods that are worth maybe 100 silver coins but sells them for triple that amount. All three of these documents also contribute to the fact that the Ming dynasty played a major role in the global trade of silver.
During this time the economic impact of silver in Spain can be seen in Documents 2 and 6. Document 2 [Tomas de Mercado] shows that the ballast stones used in the ships on the outgoing trip were replaced by silver during their return trips; while document 6 [Antonio Vazquez de Espinos] claims that from 1545 to 1624 a total of approximately 326,000,000 silver coins were taken out of the mines in Potosi. These documents show that during this time there was an excessive amount of silver found and it drastically affected the economy in Spain. “High prices ruined Spain as the prices attracted Asian commodities and the silver currency flowed out to pay for them.” (de Mercado) Just because there was silver flowing into Spain they neglected to keep track of how much silver was flowing out of Spain and it essentially...