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Silver Flow Essay

  • Submitted by: Jessit
  • on January 6, 2012
  • Category: History
  • Length: 983 words

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Below is an essay on "Silver Flow" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The flow of the silver trade in the mid 16th through early 18th century was both a blessing and a curse for people of all classes in the regions of Europe, the Americans and Asia. The silver trade provided internal economic and social strife, particularly for those of the lower classes, however, in terms of global interactions, the silver trade provided considerable economic benefits for those who had silver resources and hardships for those countries that did not.
      Internally, the usage of silver for domestic taxes in Ming China in the 1570s was often an economic hardships for the local people, whether framers, writers, or simply middle class citizens. “The reason grain is cheap despite poor harvests… are due entirely to the scarcity of the silver coin… and tillers of the soil receive lower returns on their labors” (Wang). The authors of a court official in the Ming dynasty, after nearly 20 years of the domestic silver tax, attempts to address the difficulties faced by farmers. Wang believes that that the silver tax is responsible for increasing poverty by farmers in the courtside. A court order, issued in the 1570s soon after the imposition of the silver tax, may be attempting to refute this opinion. The emphasis of the author on a frugal man and an extravagant man in document 1, while advocating the frugality of silver use, may be attempting to assuage the fears of the average Chinese people that this tax will be financially deleterious to them. This indicates the possible presence of unrest about the imposition of this tax, though it would be interesting to see a document from the other side, for instance, a document from directly after the imposition of the silver tax; so as to judge the general social favor or disfavor for this tax. A final document about the internal struggles of the Chinese people is about merchants in Hang Zhou. Written 40years after the imposition of the silver tax, the author talks about the past, when “customers could pay … with...

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