Global Flow of Silver Dbq

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The global flow of silver from the mid-sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century affected all areas involved in the trade, both socially and economically. It influenced the world economy and changed the customary life in Ming China. The global trade of silver shaped the economies in all regions involved. (Docs. 2, 4, 6, 7, 8) Although the author of Doc. 2 believed that the flow of silver currency out of Spain ruined their economy, it is evident in Docs. 7 and 8 that they were mining much silver and could afford to trade it. In Doc. 4, it is clear that Portugal became a great trading region, mostly due to the trade of silver. Because they were getting so much Japanese silver, they were able to trade that silver for Chinese luxuries. In Doc. 6, although the excavation of silver helped to improve the Spanish economy, it was extremely damaging to the native Indians who had to mine it all. In Doc. 7, the author’s report to the emperor explains how foreign trade is beneficial to their economy. Trading with the Spanish Philippines would have resulted with receiving coins and bars of silver, which would have then increased their trading with other regions since silver was highly valued. In Doc. 8, the author stated, “It can never be advisable for England to quit this trade, and leave it to any other nation.” Even though England did not hold much silver, they traded it for Asian luxuries that were custom to their way of life. The silver trade ultimately caused China to become less traditional in how they viewed trade. (Docs. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8) Doc. 1 illustrates how greedy some wealthy people were during the Ming dynasty because they wanted to collect all the silver they possibly could. Doc. 3 further shows how greedy government officials were by requiring taxes to be paid in silver, but then hoarding it. In Doc. 8, the author states that in Asia, silver “is there buried and never returns.” Doc. 5 shows how silver caused China to become a market economy rather than...
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