AP world 1/22/12 DBQ on Flow of silver in mid-16th to 18th century
The increasing flow of silver during the mid-16th to early 18th century had a very large impact on the economic and social parts of many countries through effect on land, trade, and value of silver.
The huge influx of silver brought many economic problems in both Spain and China. Antonio Vásquez de Espinosa, a Spanish priest appears indignant at the huge amount of silver being taken and stolen from the mines in the west indies some paying no 20 % tax and/or registry fee and shipping silver out to the Philippines and china. (doc 6) As shown in document 2, a Spanish scholar, named Tomás de Mercado, tells of the problems that the sudden influx of silver is causing Spain. “ The streets of Manila in the Spanish territory of the Philippines could be paved with granite cobblestones brought from China… in Chinese ships coming to get silver for China” De Mercado is showing anger in the amount of Asian ships coming to receive silver, the large amount of which is undoing the Spanish economy. Wang Xijue, a Ming dynasty court official reports to the emperor (document 3) that Chinese economy is declining, with cheap grain despite poor harvest “due to the scarcity of the silver coin” The government . The large amount of silver coming in created problems socially as well. Xu Dunqiu Ming, a writer, tells in an essay that seems directed at the general public, of the unfairness of dye shops in the commercial city of Hangzhou. Dye shops must now be paid with sliver from a moneylender, instead of livestock or crops. Borrowing from a money lender instead of trading animals or food is plunging china’s poorer class of people even further into debt, as well as changing the economy type of the Chinese people. (doc 5)
Socially, other problems occurred as well. Greed became serious, as shown in doc 1, where Ye Chunji, a county official, says “the frugal man with only