Global History Focus Assignment Carleton Essay

739 words - 3 pages

Being born with a silver spoon is an English expression that is synonymous with wealth, more specifically inherited wealth. Ownership of a silver spoon was an indication of social class, denoting membership in the land- owning classes. The silver spoon was the equivalent of a passport of driving license[footnoteRef:1]. This is related to the article I have chosen to write this on, Born with a "Silver Spoon": The Origin of World Trade in 1571. Global trade emerged when all important populated continents began exchange products continuously, with each other directly and indirectly via other continents, and in values sufficient to generate crucial impacts on all the trading partners. It is true that there was an important intercontinental trade before 1571, but there was no direct trade link between America and Asia, so the world market was not fully coherent or complete. In 1571, the city of Manila was founded and it was the crucial entrepot linking substantial, direct, and continuous trade between America and Asia for the first time in history[footnoteRef:2]. [1: “Definition of Silver Spoon.” What Does Silver Spoon Mean? Silver Spoon Definition. Meaning of Silver Spoon. OnlineSlangDictionary.com, onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/silver-spoon.] [2: Flynn, Dennis Owen, and Arturo Giraldez. Born with a "Silver Spoon": World Trade's Origin in 1571. All-U.C. Group in Economic History, 1994.]
The singular product most responsible for the birth of world trade was silver. More than the market for any other commodity, the silver market explains the emergence of world trade. China was the dominant buyer of silver. On the supply side, Spanish America, Mexica and Peru, with unprecedented production of the white metal. Conservative official produced about 150,000 tons of silver between 1500 and 1800 perhaps exceeding 80% of the entire world production over that time span. Despite America’s dominance in silver production over three centuries. Japan may have been the primary exporter of silver to china in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, shipping perhaps 200 tons per year at times. Japanese silver exports, however, fell off dramatically in the second half of the seventeenth century. This explains why europeans and Asian merchants were so enthusiastic...

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