Global Flow of Silver Dbq Essays

1397 WordsFeb 22, 20126 Pages
The global flow of silver managed to redefine the social structure in many societies, as well as dramatically altered the basis of the economy in many European and Asian countries. Despite the economic change that came from the mass production of silver and its use as a standard currency, the growth of the silver industry brought as much change socially and culturally as it brought economic transformation. Many people viewed the conversion to silver being the standardized currency as a huge hindrance to their daily lives, but the silver industry brought wealth to many societies and became a necessity in trade. On one side of things, the flow of silver throughout the world brought a wave of economic change, as mentioned in documents 3,5,6,…show more content…
Documents 3,5,6, 7 and 8 all mention how the economy changed dramatically due to the arrival and growth of silver as a currency. In document 3, a Ming dynasty court official writes about how the silver coin is hard to come by because the government is hoarding all of it. They take silver for taxes but do not redistribute it to the people. He is writing this because he is trying to convince the emperor to distribute the silver more appropriately to the people, and because his family is obviously not doing well financially. He is a court official who most likely has small influence in the government and writes in hopes of getting the emperor to consider spreading the wealth to the lower classes of China, to save his family, and other families like his. Document 5 expresses a different, but somewhat related view about how silver has become a hindrance to regular business interactions, because customers can no longer trade items of their own to purchase goods, they have to go through a lengthy process to pay everything in silver. Document 6 shows a counter point of view about the wealth that the mining of silver has brought to Spain. Document 7 is a report written to convince the emperor of China that there is much wealth to be found in foreign trade, because of how much silver some countries will pay for Chinese goods. Finally, document 8 examines how European countries are able to purchase Asian commodities freely because of their immense supply

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