Dbq Essay 2006

2006 DBQUsing the documents, analyze the social and economic effects of the global flow of silver from the mid-sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century.Example 1The flow of silver, economically and socially, was fueled by greed. Traders from countries like China and Portugal would come back from major silver mines with only silver nothing else. In the Ming dynasty in China, the government wanted silver so much that taxes were to be paid with it. This greed ruined countries like Spain around 1570, and brought economic decline in China around 1593. In document 2, de Mercado spoke of silver currency leaving Spain to pay for Asian commodities. In China, court official Wang Xijue (doc 3), reveals that although the national government wants taxes to be paid in silver, they don’t disburse enough silver and now prices of crops have dropped. But the government isn’t the only face of greed. A county official indocument 1 states that a poor man with only 1 bar of silver is well enough but an extravagant mancan never have enough. Portuguese and Chinese traders leave from China with silks, perfumes, and porcelain to go to Japan or the Philippines and return with nothing but silver (doc 4 and 7). In fact, the Portuguese have a ship that goes to Japan every year that brings back more than 600,000 coins of Japanese silver.In document 6, de Espinosa remarks on the greed of Spanish merchants. He tells about the 326,000,000 silver coins taken from mines in Potosi, and about the large amount of silver being smuggled out to avoid taxes and registry fees to places China and the Philippines. Europeantraders take the silver to China as well as gold in exchange for materials to supply luxury. They admit in document 8 that this is the only thing of solid worth they get from Asia.Silver was an important part of the economy but only because of greed and luxury. Governments wanted silver so bad it became the main currency. Silver was smuggled out of mines to avoid taxes. Suppliers of silver were exploited by their consumers need for silver. Example 2The social and economic effects of the global flow of silver from the mid-sixteenth century all the way to the early eighteenth century had many diverse and specialaffects worldwide. Silver was the economic backbone of China, and was the main source of commodity money used, and with the rich black flint ore found at Potosi, 326 million silver coins have been taken out according to the Spanish royal records. Silver the currency used in China, and was very valuable among the Chinese and Japanese people alike, and it fluctuated in the markets. In fact, the Portuguese went to Japan just to acquire silver coins, and from there, they would take those silver coins to China and bring back Chinese gold, perfumes, copper, porcelain, and many other luxury goods; the Portuguese used silver to its advantage in China. Ye Chunji, a county official during the Ming dynasty, which was when Silver reached its apex in China, said, “the


By contrast to the non-opinionated economic effects, the social effectsof the silver circulation differs opinions that represent each nation involved. Taking a look through the Ming Dynasty’s eyes, they believe that the greedinvolved in the silver is corrupting their lives. Interesting enough, all of thedocuments that are considered “Social Chinese”, they all are from the Mingofficials. In document one, the Ming official is arguing that if you become tooentrenched in silver, you develop an inevitable lust for the silver and youneed more. He is trying to limit the amount of silver the common man willget because they will be devoured by said lust. In document 3, also by aMing official, he reports that the respectable elders are blaming thegovernment for the poor amounts of grain. This document is a little lessbiased than document 1 because it shows fair representation of the peopleto the emperor. The last Ming official document (doc 7) is saying that theyshould allow foreign trade because the Spanish are making a profit sellingthe Chinese products in the Philippines. His request shows us that theywould rather have money than the country’s pride. For the Spanish,document 2 is from a scholar. This scholar is complaining about thegovernment’s spending. He is saying that the government is spending toomuch silver for the Asian goods- so much that it is ruining Spain. Lastly,document 8 is from an English scholar. This scholar is figuratively on thesame boat as the Spaniard. He is announcing that Europe has become tooenticed in the Asian commodities as well. His specific argument is that they

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