December 11, 2012
As silver grew popular, it had many affects globally. Silver was seen positively as a way to increase trade and to involve the government in society whereas silver was not liked as it destabilized societies. Ralph Fitch, a British merchant, and He Qiaoyuan, a Ming dynasty court official both believed silver was a great asset to trade. Similarly, Ming court official, Wang Xijue and Antonio Vazquez de Espinosa, a Spanish priest, admired silver seeing it was a way to involve the government in their societies. On the other hand, Xu Dunqiu Ming, a writer and Tomas de Mercado, a Spanish scholar, disliked silver as it tainted their societies.
Silver was praised throughout the world in the 16th to 18th centuries for its positive effect on the economy of both the Portuguese and Chinese. Ralph Fitch, as he traveled the East Indies, wrote about the Portuguese using silver to their advantage while trading throughout the world. One could assume Fitch wanted Britain to start trading with silver to boost their economy and to not be left out by the rest of the world. In the same way, He Qiaoyuan, reporting to the emperor, wrote about the great advantage to using silver for trade. He stated the Chinese were able to receive more money than what the product being sold is worth, therefore increasing the Chinese economy. He Qiaoyuan wrote this document with the intentions of having the 1626 ban on foreign trade repealed seeing as foreign trade had been improving the Chinese economy. An additional document that can be used to emphasize the praise of silver is a Ming dynasty businessman who conducts business with silver and is glorifying the government for continuing trade with silver because he is able to receive three times what his item is actually worth.
Silver was politically great as it was used to grab the attention of the government. Wang Xijue, in the late 16th century, reported to the emperor the problem of...