Global Flow of Silver Dbq

1419 words 6 pages
The global flow of silver managed to redefine the social structure in many societies, as well as dramatically altered the basis of the economy in many European and Asian countries. Despite the economic change that came from the mass production of silver and its use as a standard currency, the growth of the silver industry brought as much change socially and culturally as it brought economic transformation. Many people viewed the conversion to silver being the standardized currency as a huge hindrance to their daily lives, but the silver industry brought wealth to many societies and became a necessity in trade. On one side of things, the flow of silver throughout the world brought a wave of economic change, as mentioned in documents 3,5,6, …show more content…

Documents 1 and 6 explicitly show how social distinctions were affected because of silver. They show that while silver may have brought good fortune and wealth to some, it caused stirring among many people. Document 1 explains that silver brings greed, and it only causes the rich to be richer. Ye Chunji, a county official, writes this document because he is appalled at how the rich have become greedy because of silver, and because he wants someone to put an end to the endless, unnecessary amounts of spending. This document also presents a unique point of view because he also mentions how “the frugal man with only one bar of silver currency can have something left over,” because it leads to more debate about the effect of silver on society. It shows that a man with only one piece of silver can manage to survive, simply because that one piece of silver is valuable, and it is non perishable. It will always be worth the same amount, and this document shows that Ye Chunji notices how silver has brought a sense of wealth to even the poorest of people. Document 6 briefly touches on the fact that many Indians work to mine the silver in some very poor conditions, which shows that little regard is shown for these people, that the higher officials that order this mining are simply in it for the wealth, with absolutely no concern for the