History of Money

History of Money

Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 3
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  • Book Info
    History of Money
    Book Description:

    An account of the central importance of money in the ordinary business of the life of different people throughout the ages from ancient times to the present day. It includes the Barings crisis and the report by the Bank of England on Barings Bank; information on the state of Japanese banking; and, the changes in the financial scene in the US.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2379-3
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. iii-iv)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. v-viii)
    George Thomas

    From earliest times money in some form or another has been central to organized living. Increasingly it shapes foreign and economic policies of all governments. It is synonymous with power and it shapes history in every generation.

    Professor Glyn Davies, Economic Adviser to the Julian Hodge Bank Ltd, and sometime Chief Economic Adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales, and then to the Bank of Wales, is an ideal person to write the history of money itself. In his fifteen years as Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking and Finance at the University of Wales Institute of Science and...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Preface to the Third Edition
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. 1 The Nature and Origins of Money and Barter
    (pp. 1-33)

    Perhaps the most common claim with regard to the importance of money in our everyday life is the morally neutral if comically exaggerated claim that ‘money makes the world go round’. Equally exaggerated but showing a deeper insight is the biblical warning that ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’, neatly transformed by George Bernard Shaw into the fear that it is rather the lack of money which is the root of all evil. However, whether it is the love or conversely the lack of money which is potentially sinful, the purpose of the statement in either...

  7. 2 From Primitive and Ancient Money to the Invention of Coinage, 3000–600 BC
    (pp. 34-65)

    If economics, defined briefly, is thelogic of limited resource usage, money is the main method by which that logic is put to work. In commonsense terms, therefore, economics is very largely concerned with how to make the most of one’s money, since the allocation of resources and changes in the valuation of assets necessarily involve accountancy and payment systems based on money, although the degree to which such allocations are left to the freedom of the market, and therefore the demands which are made upon the efficiency of the monetary system, will vary from place to place and age...

  8. 3 The Development of Greek and Roman Money, 600 BC–AD 410
    (pp. 66-112)

    From its birthplace in Lydia and Ionia the knowledge and use of coins spread rapidly east into the Persian empire and west through the rest of the Ionian and Aegean islands to mainland Greece, and then to its western colonies, especially Sicily. It also spread northward to Macedonia, Thrace and the Black Sea, but it was only partially, reluctantly and belatedly accepted in Egypt. Mainland Italy also was at first rather slow in accepting the Greek financial innovations, in contrast to the speed with which they were adopted by Sicily. Apart from these two limited exceptions of mainland Italy and...

  9. 4 The Penny and the Pound in Medieval European Money, 410–1485
    (pp. 113-175)

    Before tracing the rise of the penny and the pound sterling it is convenient to look briefly at the development of early Celtic coinage, a generally neglected subject the importance of which has been overshadowed by the money of imperial Rome. Peripheral in every sense of the word to the Graeco-Roman coinage system were the many mainly imitative coins produced by the Celtic tribes along the northern and western borders of the Roman empire. The coins of the Celts had been in existence for a century or more before their lands, extending from Finisterre in Spain, through Gaul and southern...

  10. 5 The Expansion of Trade and Finance, 1485–1640
    (pp. 176-237)

    The most spectacularly obvious difference between the old era and the new was the discovery by Europeans of the New World of the West Indies and, at least in outline, North and South America, most of Africa, South-East Asia, and, after a long pause, Australia and New Zealand. The great oceans of the world had been opened up through the daring of the European seaman, supported by royal sponsorship and joint-stock finance. In less than a decade following Columbus’s first voyage of 1492, the size of the world known to Europeans was more than doubled. Within a generation it was...

  11. 6 The Birth and Early Growth of British Banking, 1640–1789
    (pp. 238-283)

    Many of the most important aspects of modern banking emerged in Britain in the century or so after 1640, during which the forces of constitutional, agricultural and commercial revolution intermingled to prepare the way for the world’s first industrial revolution. From being simply an industrial and financial apprentice of continental Europe, particularly Holland, Britain had by the end of the period clearly established a position of international leadership. The expansion of private debt and credit channelled mainly through London by new groups of financial intermediaries using new forms of notes, bills and cheques; the crucial change in government debt from...

  12. 7 The Ascendancy of Sterling, 1789–1914
    (pp. 284-366)

    Although it is quite true that economic history, unlike political history, has no abrupt turning-points, yet monetary, financial and fiscal history share with political history certain decisive dates which mark changes in policy, and share also with economic history the gradual evolution of the factors which help to bring about those more abrupt changes in policy. Thus, as all the world’s schoolchildren know, the French Revolution began on 14 July 1789; but many esoteric and controversial volumes have been written concerning when the industrial revolution started. All however agree that the world’s first industrial revolution took place in Britain and...

  13. 8 British Monetary Development in the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 367-456)

    Every success and every failure experienced in all previous monetary history have been repeated, with additions and on a vaster scale, in the twentieth century. In money as in economic, social and political life in general, this has been a century of extremes. Only in the case of money, however, have the violent oscillations repeated themselves quite so faithfully in their familiar reversible pattern in the advanced countries of the world. Primitive commodity moneys were still in use over large tracts of the ‘undeveloped’ world as recently as the 1960s, as described in chapter 2; while throughout the developed world...

  14. 9 American Monetary Development since 1700
    (pp. 457-548)

    The American dollar, by far the world’s most important currency for most of the twentieth century, is the natural product of what has long been and still remains easily the world’s strongest economy. Nevertheless the strength of the dollar relative to gold, and (much more importantly) relative to other currencies, has fluctuated widely so causing greater problems and creating greater opportunities for traders and speculators than has been the case with any other currency, including gold. The role held undisputedly by sterling for a hundred years before 1914, based on the world’s first industrial revolution, has been overtaken by the...

  15. 10 Aspects of Monetary Development in Europe and Japan
    (pp. 549-595)

    Only the briefest glimpse can be given here of some of the salient features of the development of money and banking in parts of continental Europe since about 1600 and in Japan during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Special emphasis will be given to the close attention which the banks and the monetary authorities have continued to give to industrial and regional development when compared with the situation elsewhere, and in particular the United Kingdom. One of the most persistent and intrusive factors influencing the growth of monetary institutions, instruments and policies over most of Europe, which tended to bring...

  16. 11 Third World Money and Debt in the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 596-641)

    Although there are hundreds of millions of relatively well-to-do people in the world today, far more than ever before, yet at the same time it is also true to say that most of the world’s inhabitants remain desperately poor. The relatively rich, lucky to be born in industrialized countries, form a substantial and powerful global minority, whereas the majority of the world’s population, concentrated mostly in what has come to be called the Third World, suffers from chronic poverty. Individuals and even certain countries may rise above such poverty, but up to now these are rather exceptional. The general rule...

  17. 12 Global Money in Historical Perspective
    (pp. 642-659)

    From early times when money first began to be used for a variety of purposes up to around the second half of the seventeenth century some form of physical commodity supplied either the only or the main form of money. In general, therefore, during that very long earlier period the limits within which money could become relatively scarce or plentiful were closer than have subsequently been the case. Even so, quite wide swings did occur from time to time in the relative quantities and velocities of circulation of money despite communities being reliant solely or mainly on commodity moneys. To...

  18. 13 Further towards a Global Currency
    (pp. 660-683)

    By far the biggest changeover in monetary history was successfully completed in the first two months of 2002, when twelve nations comprising over 300 million people gave up their own currencies and replaced them with euro notes and coins. The centuries-old dream of resurrecting the single currency system of the Roman Empire had finally become a reality. For some years after around AD 800 the popularity of Charlemagne’s currency, which like the English penny, was copied and circulated over much of Europe, renewed hopes that the nebulous Holy Roman Empire might develop an international currency. The gold ‘solidus’ of the...

  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 684-702)
  20. Index
    (pp. 703-720)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 721-721)