AP World: Notes on the Early Modern World
Silver was a newly traded and highly valued item the world had not yet seen in depth. The Spanish and the Dutch had most of the silver, but because during this time period it was considered the accepted medium for trade goods, nearly all the silver ended up in China. Spain was dominant over Mexico and Peru so it naturally had much silver that put them in a role of power. Japan also claimed a hand in the silver market.
Silver and Europe drove the first global market. However many historians believe that it was actually China that drove the global market due to the fact they were so self sufficient and rarely ever needed any goods from outside their own country.
This silver distribution in turn had an effect on Africa by slaves being traded for silver as well as an impact upon Europe who struggled to maintain dominance over Japanese silver production as well as impacted the Americas because Europe had an iron fist held over their heads.
Why did China need the silver? Because the paper currency had become worthless during the Ming dynasty, so a new one was needed to collect taxes. The long term effect was that the value of silver went down while gold, porcelain and silk rose. When this happen economies all over the world were forced to become more independent without relying on the Chinese for all their goods.
During this time period goods such as coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco and cocoa all became incredibly popular and valued by the rich. Sugar especially was a luxury good introduced to western Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages. Sugar plantations were prominently created on the Persian Gulf and islands like Cyprus and Sicily. Sugar became so big due to the fact it grew in warm climates, needed a huge labor force for intensive care and was highly acclaimed and wanted all around the world. It connected every part and social status the world had to offer. For Europe, sugar...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document