Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700
Richard Von Glahn
In this study, the first of its kind in the English language, Richard von Glahn offers a definitive analysis of the economic, political, and social history of money and monetary policy during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and early Qing dynasties. Von Glahn presents a revisionist interpretation of previously held ideas about the effect of money and international trade in bullion on the rise and decline of dynastic power in China. Von Glahn's study also links Chinese monetary history to changing trends in money use and trade in gold and silver in Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere. China's shift to a silver economy had a decisive influence not only on the growth of a market economy in China, but also on the formation of a global economy in the early modern era. Exhaustively researched from original archival sources, Fountain of Fortune critically examines the many facets of China's domestic and foreign monetary policy: the foundations of Chinese monetary theory; mining and minting of bronze coin; the rise and fall of paper currency; and the transition to silver bullion as the monetary standard. Providing keen insight into the economic and social history of Chinese society, this volume will serve as an indispensable reference for the reader seeking to understand China's distinctive history and its relationship to the world at large.
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