World Silver and Monetary History in the 16th and 17th Centuries
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This collection reflects the evolution of a revisionist argument. The price revolution was indeed a monetary phenomenon, but Professor Flynn's position is not based upon mainstream monetary theory. Silver mines financed the Spanish Empire and Japan's consolidation. Ming China was the world's primary silver customer; Europeans acted as middlemen globally, including massive trade over the Pacific via Manila. American mines nearly led to the destruction of nascent capitalism in Europe (reverse of arguments by Hamilton, Keynes, Wallerstein and others). Silver-market disequilibrium caused silver's gravitation toward China; bullion did not flow to Asia due to European trade deficits. Such conclusions stem from application of the Doherty-Flynn model developed in the mid-1980s. Economic theory is normally applied to economic history; in contrast, development of the Doherty-Flynn model was a response to inadequate conventional theory. Theory emerged from history; its application back to history yields startling historical reinterpretations.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; A new perspective on the Spanish price revolution: the monetary approach to the balance of payments; Gresham's Law and the modern theory of the demand for money; The 'population thesis' view of inflation versus economics and history; Use and misuse of the quantity theory of money in early modern historiography; A microeconomic quantity theory of money and the price revolution; Final remarks on the Keio University conference on monetary history; A model of minting and melting of coins; Spanish-American silver and world markets in the 16th century; Fiscal crisis and the decline of Spain (Castile); Social returns to empire: a note; Early capitalism despite New World bullion: an anti-Wallerstein interpretation of imperial Spain; The microeconomics of silver and east-west trade in the early modern period; Review of ’Spenders and Hoarders: The World Distribution of Spanish-American silver, 1550-1750’; Comparing the Tokugawa Shogunate with Hapsburg Spain: two silver-based empires in a global setting; China and the Manila galleons; Index.