Flow of Silver

Topics: Spain, Ming Dynasty, China Pages: 2 (711 words) Published: December 31, 2013
In the mid sixteenth century a silver mine located at Potosi, South America was formed. This silver mine was one of the few major silver mines in the world, the others located in Northern Central America and Southern Japan. This certain mine was known for its distinctive rich black flint. Extensive excavation required more than three-thousand Indians to work away with picks and hammers to break up the ore and bring it up to the surface. Just after refining the ore, the silver is shipped to Spain then from Spain to India, China, East Indies, Great Britain, and Imperial Russia. But all this only happened after the Spanish took over the city and put the Indians on silver mining overdrive. According to the Spanish royal records thirty-six million silver coins have been taken out of the mine since the invasion. Meanwhile in Spain, the high process ruined Spain as prices attracted Asian commodities with silver currency flowing out nonstop to pay for them. The constant flow of silver from Potosi made the Spanish very blind with their riches. Once the silver from Potosi was gone Spanish economy would plummet. Asian Trading ships where so common that some Spanish roads where paved with the extra granite cobblestones taken out of the Chinese trading ships’ ballast to compensate for the massive weights from the sheer load of silver. Silver economy was almost the complete opposite in the Chinese areas, for the need of silver was there, and there in large quantities. It just seems that way because of the lack of an actual metal currency. “The venerable elders of my home district explain that the reason grain is cheap despite poor harvests in recent years is due entirely to the scarcity of silver coin.” This is a quote from a report given to the Emperor from a Ming dynasty official. Basically since the Chinese national government uses silver as tax payment and gives little back into the Chinese economy cycle. Because of this, Chinese citizens are very wise with their small...
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