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Not Gold

By | Jan. 2013
Page 1 of 2
The colonization of the Americas by Spain and the beginning of extensive silver mining in Japan greatly increased silver production. However, this increase of the supply of silver, while to some people seemed good, overall caused problems. Although the increase in silver mining appeared to benefit Japan and Spain- the suppliers- as well as Ming China- the receivers- overall this increase caused worldwide problems. The effect of the increase of silver production, while being beneficial to the middlemen that facilitated the trade, eventually weakened states empires that supplied received silver in vast qualities. In China, though many people believed the increase of trade that increased the amount of silver in china was beneficial, overall the extreme amount that flowed in caused problems. Granted the flow of some silver into China was not a bad thing, in fact, it was needed when the Ming Dynasty decreased that all taxes and trade fees be paid in silver in the 1570s, the scarcity of silver coins harmed the economy since people could not pay for their taxes and had to go through middlemen who supplied them with silver, decreasing the value of their produce ( doc 3). The problem, demonstrates the need for silver in Ming China. Xijue, being a count official, probably sees that a declining economy by this issue will cause there to be public grumbling,maybe ever cause rebellions, against the ming. Therefore, in an act to save his position, he informs the emperor of his problem. In addition, He Qlaoyuan, also a court official of the Ming, describes the extreme amount of silver that the Ming, a country with little interest in international trade, would have flowing into it if it began to trade with the European ( doc7). Indeed, the price that could normally fetch silk yarn instead is 2 or 3 times that amount in the Philippines ( a Spanish colony) , giving the Ming a hefty profit if they began trading. However, though this problem of the scarcity of silver was inn need of...
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