Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700 [Reprint 2019 ed.] 9780520917453

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Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700 [Reprint 2019 ed.]

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Fountain of Fortune

Ancient Chinese coins and silver, actual size. Left: Yuanbao silver ingot, marked with seal of Baohedian money shop. Right, top to bottom: coins from the Yongle (1403-24), Wanli ( 1 5 7 3 - 1 6 2 0 ) , and Chongzhen (1628-44) reign periods.

Fountain of Fortune Money and Monetary Policy in China, IOOO-IJOO


University of California Press BERKELEY



University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd. London, England © 1 9 9 6 by The Regents of the University of California Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Von Glahn, Richard. Fountain of Fortune : money and monetary policy in China, 1 0 0 0 - 1 7 0 0 . / Richard von Glahn. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0 - 5 2 0 - 1 0 4 0 8 - 5 (alk. paper) 1 . Money—China—History. 2. Monetary policy—China— History. I. Title. HG1282.V66 1996 332.4'95i—dc20 96-5579 CIP Printed in the United States of America 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences— Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, A N S I Z39.48-1984. ©

In homage to my teachers, Shiba Yoshinobu and Robert M. Hartwell



List of Illustrations







Functions of Money Typology of Money Origins and Nature of Money in Early Chinese Thought Monetary Doctrines in the Guanzi The Classical Synthesis of Monetary Analysis Paper Money and Classical Monetary Analysis CHAPTER 2 :

2.3 28 33 43 48 49 56 70


435-I57° The Rise of Private Coinage Chinese Coin and the Japanese Monetary System The Retreat of Coin Monetary Policy in the Later Jiajing Period CHAPTER 4 :

16 18


1000-1435 Erosion of the Bronze Coin Monetary Standard The Yuan Regime of Paper Money The Demise of Paper Money in the Early Ming Dynasty CHAPTER 3 :


83 84 88 97 104


CENTURY," 1 5 5 0 - 1 6 5 0 Maritime Trade and the Influx of Foreign Silver The Circulation of Specie in East Asia during the "Silver Century"

113 113 125



Contents Quantitative Estimates of Silver Imports in Late Ming China



Inadequacy of Silver as the Monetary Standard Monetary Policies of Zhang Juzheng Postmortems on Zhang Juzheng's Monetary Offensive Rising Value of Coin The Second Wanli Coinage Offensive The Sovereignty of the Market CHAPTER 6:


143 145 15Z 157 161 166


Fiscal Crisis and Monetary Expansion Operation of the Ministry of Revenue Mints Fiscal Distress and Monetary Retrenchment Deterioration of Coin in the Chongzhen Period Radical Experimentation: The Campaign to Restore Paper Currency CHAPTER 7 :



175 178 185 187 197



Early Qing Currency Policy Depression and Deflation in the Early Kangxi Period Responses to Economic Depression: Bullionism vs. Economic Autarky Bullion Movements in the Late Seventeenth Century New World Silver and the European Price Revolution The "Seventeenth-Century Crisis" Hypothesis




List of Abbreviations






Bibliography Index

211 215 224 233 237

311 329



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Paper Money of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties Gold/Silver Exchange Ratios in China, 1 1 0 0 - 1 7 5 0 Emission of Yuan Paper Currency, 1 2 6 5 - 1 3 3 2 Gold/Silver Ratios in China, Japan, and France, 1370-1660 Gold/Bronze Coin and Silver/Bronze Coin Exchange Ratios in Japan, 1 5 0 0 - 1 6 4 0 Rice and Land Prices in China, 1 4 5 0 - 1 7 0 0 Land Prices in Huizhou Prefecture, 1 4 1 0 - 1 6 5 0 Silver/Coin Exchange Ratios in China, 1 5 1 0 - 1 6 4 5 Origination of Chinese Ships Arriving at Nagasaki, 1647-1700 Five-Year Index of Silver Imports into China, 1600-1700 Index of Coin/Silver Exchange Ratios in Jiangnan, 1527-1712 Silver-Content Prices of Rice in China and Japan, 1620-1700

59 61 62 128 130 158 159 160 225 240 241 242


1 . Ming Dynasty China, Provinces and Provincial Capitals 2. Southeast China Coast Showing Major Ports

xiii xiv


1 . Means of Payment in Huizhou Land Sale Contracts prior to 1 5 0 0 (I) 2. Means of Payment in Huizhou Land Sale Contracts prior to 1 5 0 0 (II) 3. Chinese Coins Excavated from Japanese Sites

78 78 101 IX




4. Silver/Coin Exchange Ratios, 1 4 7 8 - 1 6 4 9 5. Silver Mining Remittances, 1 5 9 7 - 1 6 0 6 6. Arrivals of Chinese Merchant Vessels at Manila, 1577-1645 7. Japanese Silk Yarn Imports, 1634 8. Estimates of Philippine Silver Exports to China, 1586-1645 9. Estimates of Silver Carried by Portuguese from Japan to Macao in the Late Sixteenth Century 10. Estimates of Japanese Trade and Silver Exports, 1604-1639 1 1 . Exports of Silver from Japan by Dutch and Chinese Ships, 1 6 4 0 - 1 6 4 5 12. Officially Registered Exports of Silver from Acapulco to the Philippines, 1 5 8 1 - 1 7 0 0 1 3 . Estimates of Chinese Imports of Foreign Silver, 1550-1645 14. Metallic Content and Weight of Ming Coins 1 5 . Prices of Refined Copper Reported by Ming Mints 16. Emergency Tax Surcharges for National Defense, 1618-1643 1 7 . Output and Seigniorage Revenue of the Beijing Baoquanju Mint, 1 6 2 8 - 1 6 3 1 18. Balance Sheet for Baoquanju Mints, 1 6 3 0 - 1 6 3 1 19. Output and Seigniorage Revenue of Baoquanju Mints, 1630-1632 20. Seigniorage Revenue of Qing Mints, 1 6 4 5 - 1 6 6 0 2 1 . Japanese Silver Exports, 1 6 4 8 - 1 6 7 2 22. Japanese Copper Exports, 1 6 7 4 - 1 7 0 0 23. Estimated Imports of Silver into China, 1 6 0 1 - 1 7 0 0

106 115 120 122 124 134 136 137 139 140 147 153 177 187 191 192 210 227 230 232


This book originated in research I conducted while a Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Oriental Culture at T o k y o University in 1988-89. M y sojourn at Tobunken was immensely enriched by the wisdom, advice, and many kindnesses of Professor Shiba Yoshinobu, then director of the Institute. In gratitude, I wish to dedicate this book to Professor Shiba for his unstinting mentorship over many years. It would have been inconceivable for me to undertake this project without the benefit of the training in Chinese monetary history that I received from the late Professor Robert Hartwell. I also wish to acknowledge the insight and inspiration of Professor Hartwell by dedicating this book to him as well. M y debt to several generations of pioneering scholars of Chinese monetary history will be fully evident in the pages that follow. I have benefited more directly from the criticism and counsel of many comrades in economic history. Dennis O . Flynn and Ken Pomeranz read the manuscript with great care and keen critical eyes; their trenchant criticisms have immensely improved the final version of the book. M y w o r k has received generous encouragement from my colleagues in economic history at the University of California. I especially wish to thank Ken Sokoloff, M a r y Yeager, Jack Goldstone, Peter Lindert, Ken Pomeranz, Bin W o n g , and Jean Laurent Rosenthal, w h o personally and through the aegis of the V o n Gremp Workshop in Economic History at U C L A and the All-UC Group in Economic History have given me crucial support, advice, and criticism. Paul Smith and Ben Elman also read the manuscript and helped me to hone the structure and argument of the book. In Japan, I received much help and advice from Fuma Susumu, Kishimoto M i o , Hamashita Takeshi, Kojima Tsuyoshi, Ihara Hiroshi, Tashiro Kazui, and Saito Osamu. M y research in Beijing profited enormously from the assistance and wisdom of Professor W a n g Chunyu, director of the M i n g History section of the Institute of History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Angela Ki-tche Liang of the Sun Yat-sen Institute of Humanities and Social Science, Academia Sinica, made it possible for me to present some XI




of this work in its formative stage in a series of lectures at Academia Sinica. Steve West likewise arranged for me to present my work at UC Berkeley. I especially want to thank my research assistants, Liu Chang, Liao Hsien-huei, and Lu Miaw-fen, whose labors were essential to the completion of this project. Mr. James Cheng, head librarian of the East Asian Library at UCLA, spared no effort in helping me to obtain rare materials, for which I am deeply grateful. The research that has gone into this book has received crucial financial support from a number of sources. My year at the Institute of Oriental Culture was made possible by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. The Committee on Scholarly Communication with China and the National Endowment for the Humanities generously funded my research in China in 1 9 9 1 . And I have received continual research support from the Academic Senate of the University of California, Los Angeles, throughout the entire life of the project. I gratefully acknowledge the benefactions of these institutions.

/ I -f N O R T H , 'Taiyuan 5 2HIL1/ J



Grand \CanaI

S .--{











Guiyang Yunnan, YUNNAN



, GUANGIX)NG Guangzhou

Map i . Ming Dynasty China: provinces and provincial capitals. Coin-using areas indicated by shading.

Map 2.

Southeast China coast showing major ports.


Bronze coin constituted the fundamental form of money in China throughout the imperial period. Fiscal as well as monetary policy under successive dynastic regimes was premised on a bronze coin economy. In China, as elsewhere, the authority to issue money remained a closelyguarded sovereign privilege. The state exercised greater direct control over money than over virtually any other facet of the economy, particularly since Chinese political economy deemed monetary policy the single most important tool of economic management at the ruler's disposal. Yet despite the enormous prestige and power imputed to sovereign control over money, from the Song ( 9 6 0 - 1 2 7 9 ) dynasty onward China's rulers found it increasingly difficult to sustain a monetary system based on bronze coin. The Song and its successors, the Yuan ( 1 2 7 9 - 1 3 6 8 ) and Ming ( 1 3 6 8 - 1 6 4 4 ) empires, tried to supplement (or, at times, replace altogether) costly bronze coin with a purely nominal form of money, state-issued paper certificates. But paper currency became defunct early in the Ming period, and the state itself reluctantly condoned the use of uncoined silver both as a means of exchange and as an instrument of tax payments. The transition from the coin economy of the early imperial era to the silver economy of the late imperial period marked a crucial watershed in the evolution of Chinese society, economy, and culture. The purpose of this book is to study this transition, from its origins in the Song period to its essential completion in the Qing ( 1 6 4 4 - 1 9 1 1 ) dynasty, in order to advance our understanding of the market economy in premodern China. THE MARKET OF C H I N A ' S





Since the 1950s, the emergence of a market economy has occupied the center stage in the historiography of late Ming-early Qing China (ca. 1 5 0 0 - 1 8 0 0 ) . Chinese socioeconomic historians first drew attention to the dynamic commercial growth of this period, espying in it signs of "the sprouts of capitalism" growing between the cracks of China's " f e u d a l "





society. The "sprouts of capitalism" literature equated commercialization with capitalism, and portrayed the penetration of rural society by money and markets as a harbinger of the imminent demise of "feudal relations of production," a course of events derailed by the irruption of Western imperialism into the Chinese ecumene in the nineteenth century. 1 The "sprouts of capitalism" paradigm made a deep impression on Western scholarship on China. Although historians in the West remain unpersuaded by its Marxist framework of analysis, they have assimilated the substantive findings of the "sprouts of capitalism" scholarship, shorn of its conceptual dogma, into their own model of an "early modern" stage of Chinese history. The economic changes of post-sixteenth-century China were recast in the mold of a market-driven model of development. Monetization of public finance as well as private exchange, dissolution of servile social relations and the emergence of free labor markets, regional specialization in agricultural and handicraft production, rural market integration, "privatization" of commerce and the growing autonomy of merchant and artisan guilds, the stimulus of foreign trade, and the sanction accorded to the pursuit of wealth in both public and private morality all evinced a pattern of socioeconomic change deemed comparable to early modern Europe. 2 Thus, despite sharp contrasts in their basic assumptions about the nature of Chinese society, both the "sprouts of capitalism" and "early modern" paradigms are predicated on reified conceptions of modernity informed by the historical experience of Western Europe. 3 The "early modern" paradigm of late Ming-early Qing society and economy also has infused the study of cultural change. Few studies of intellectuals, the arts, literature, and popular culture in this period fail to include a prefatory invocation of the social consequences of the growth of the market economy and their impact on elite and popular mentality. Recent studies of the cultural history of late imperial China commonly rest on the implicit assumption that the market economy was a liberating force that expanded cultural horizons and opened up new vistas of intellectual creativity and artistic freedom. 4 According to this view, the complexity of a market society unmoored from its rigid hierarchies of status, gender, and social order overwhelmed the apparatus of state control, creating new opportunities to stake out domains of individual or corporate autonomy. Such portraits of a "restless, fragmented, and fiercely competitive" market society, 5 in which " a modernist response to questions of indi-




vidual human existence seemed to be brewing" 6 have grown increasingly elaborate as studies of the social, intellectual, and cultural history of late Ming-early Qing China have proliferated. But the centerpiece of this tableau, the market itself, has virtually faded from view. This neglect is unfortunate, because the question of whether the market actually functioned in the ways in which this model supposes remains very much an unproven hypothesis. Indeed, one major recent study of the rural economy in the late imperial era challenges the fundamental premise that commercial development in this period engendered prosperity and real economic growth. 7 Unfortunately, the actual workings of the late Ming-early Qing economy have not attracted nearly as much scholarly scrutiny in recent years as has the study of its symbolic representations.







Current scholarship defines "early modern" China above all in terms of an unprecedented monetization of economic life—that is to say, the transformation of an economy based largely on production for household use, exchange through custom and barter, and in-kind payments of rents and taxes into one characterized by production for the market and widespread use of money as a medium of exchange and tax payments. The crucial impetus to this transformation, it is argued, was provided by the importation of massive quantities of foreign silver from Japan and the Spanish dominions in the New World beginning in the mid-sixteenth century. 8 The coincidence of the huge influx of silver with the expansion of China's domestic economy during the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries has led to the conclusion that foreign silver fueled China's indigenous market economy. Commenting on the impact of foreign trade on domestic economic growth in the Qing, Susan Naquin and Evelyn Rawski assert that "it was the steady annual inflows of New World silver in enormous amounts that financed this commercial development and economic growth." 9 The vast increase in the supply of silver also has been credited with making possible the rationalization of the fiscal system and the monetization of taxes, drawing virtually every household into the money economy. 10 But the real economic impact of silver on China's domestic economy remains unexplored. The presumption that massive imports of silver were a boon to the economy finds little




support in economic theory, and the experience of Spain in the sixteenth century certainly offers empirical evidence to the contrary. The dramatic influx of foreign silver into China usually is explained as a consequence of the asymmetry of commercial exchange between China and Europe before the nineteenth century. Given the European appetite for Chinese goods, in contrast to Chinese indifference to European products, the balance of trade tipped decisively in China's favor. 1 1 Thus foreign traders were forced to pay for their purchases of Chinese commodities with bullion—a particularly galling concession in the age of mercantilism, when possession of precious metals was equated with national wealth and power. Yet by the same token, according to some scholars, growing integration into the global economy and dependence on foreign sources of silver also rendered China's economic prosperity vulnerable to interruptions in trade flows or reversals in the balance of trade. The issue of silver imports has taken on heightened significance in recent studies postulating that China, like Europe, plunged into a serious economic and political crisis in the mid-seventeenth century stemming from an abrupt diminution in the flow of bullion into its overheated economy. This idea was first adumbrated in the work of Pierre Chaunu, who emphasized that China's commercial ties to the European colonial trade networks drew the Middle Kingdom into a monolithic world-economy, "itself dominated by the powerful pulsations of the Atlantic zone." 12 Chaunu's pathbreaking study was marred, however, by his treatment of China as a passive and inert participant within this global economy. Observing that China and Europe simultaneously suffered economic contractions in the second quarter of the seventeenth century, Chaunu concluded that China's prosperity hinged on the Atlantic economy's cycles of growth and decline.13 More recently, historians of China have assigned China a more active role at the center of an East Asian "world-economy," but they nonetheless presume that China was beholden to uninterrupted infusions of foreign silver to maintain its economic prosperity. Indeed, the vicissitudes of bullion flows are now invoked as the crucial factor in a "seventeenth-century crisis" that culminated in the fall of the Ming dynasty. 14 Proponents of the "crisis thesis" contend that the influx of foreign silver in late Ming China resulted from the constant deficits in balance of payments incurred by Japan and the European states. These massive imports—estimated by some scholars to amount to a minimum of 250,000-265,000 kgs. of silver per year in the first third of the seven-




teenth century 15 —accelerated commercial development and the rise of the market economy. But it has been suggested that this flood of silver engendered negative consequences as well: "over-rapid urban growth, unbridled business speculation, and severe price inflation." 16 Most importantly, once primed with foreign silver, the Chinese economy became enmeshed in a global economy centered on Seville and lubricated by a constant stream of American bullion. According to these scholars, the severe depression of the Atlantic economy in the middle decades of the seventeenth century, compounded by disruptions of the flow of silver from Japan and the Philippines starting in the late 1630s, was a proximate, if not the principal, cause of the collapse of the Ming in the 1640s. Economic distress ramified into popular unrest, and the financially strapped Ming state lacked the resources needed to restore social order. 17 The "crisis thesis" thus conveys a more complex, and far darker, picture of the impact of silver imports and China's integration into the global economy than does the "early modern" paradigm. But the "crisis thesis" has not gone unchallenged. Briar) Moloughney and Xia Weizhong contend (rightly, in my view) that the decline in silver imports in the final years of the Ming was far less severe than Atwell suggests (see chapter 4). 18 Jack Goldstone has delineated a number of logical inconsistencies in the "crisis thesis" model, but Goldstone also rejects monetarist explanations entirely; instead, he claims that the fall of the Ming resulted from a fiscal crisis, not a monetary one (see chapter 7). 1 9 But neither Moloughney and Xia nor Goldstone offer an alternative theoretical model to explain why China attracted such a large portion of the world's silver supply or how silver functioned in the Chinese economy. A critical evaluation of the "crisis thesis" must begin with a reconsideration of its theoretical premises. The idea that bullion flows resulted from trade imbalances has been challenged by K. N. Chaudhuri in his monumental study of Indian Ocean trade. Chaudhuri instead utilized the specie-flow theory of David Ricardo to explain the drain of European bullion into India (and thence to China) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Ricardo departed from the classical theory of international trade, which explained bullion movements as adjustments to large differences in absolute price levels between two trading countries, by emphasizing the effects of changes in bullion stock on spending behavior. A sharp increase in the stock of precious metals—in essence, an expansion of the money supply—induced spending, raising the demand for goods and thus crying up prices. The disequilibrium in relative prices triggered a flow of specie from areas where the cost of producing precious




metals was low and the price level was high toward areas where costs of production were high and prices low. The flow would continue until an equilibrium in production costs and price levels was reached. In Chaudhuri's view, it was exactly a disequilibrium of this sort that drove the massive export of precious metals from Europe to Asia in the early modern period. 20 The Ricardian specie-flow mechanism, by recognizing that monetary metals were commodities governed by the same economic laws as other commodities, offers an important insight into the nature of money in a hard-money world. Dennis Flynn has expanded on Chaudhuri's use of Ricardo by stressing the specific role of silver as the chief commodity in the global trade of this era. Contrary to the usual depiction of European traders reluctantly surrendering precious metals in order to obtain the Chinese goods they desired, Flynn argues that Europeans brought silver to China because they profited immensely from this trade. (Indeed, European traders first intruded into the East Asian trading sphere by acting as middlemen in the exchange of Japanese silver for Chinese silk.) The discovery of vast silver lodes in Japan and the New World in the sixteenth century in effect lowered the costs of producing silver and enabled traders to reap enormous arbitrage profits by delivering silver from the new sources of supply to areas where silver commanded a high price—China above all. In other words, rather than exchanging commodities for money, Chinese merchants traded commodities they possessed in abundance (silk, porcelain) for a commodity they lacked (silver). Thus Flynn portrays the movement of silver as the primary cause—rather than the effect—of East-West trade. Turning Chaunu on his head, Flynn goes so far as to suggest that the formation of a global trading system largely stemmed from China's Jovian demand for silver. 21 An appreciation of the commodity nature of monetary metals resolves many of the logical contradictions of the balance-of-trade approach to bullion flows, and is more consistent with the available empirical data (see chapters 4 and 7). Discussion of the role of silver in the Ming-Qing economy has, in one way or another, reflected the debate over the "price revolution" of early modern Europe. The "price revolution" thesis advanced by Earl Hamilton explains the secular rise in prices across Europe from 1 5 0 0 to 1 6 5 0 as essentially a monetary event resulting from the import of bullion from the Americas . The causes behind the price revolution have provoked heated debate (see chapter 7); but its effects have been subjected to




equally contentious dispute. On the one hand, the price revolution has been credited with enabling the capital formation that made possible the take-off of the European economy. 22 On the other hand, the close of the price revolution around 1650 is said to have inaugurated a long-term phase of economic decline typically designated as "the crisis of the seventeenth century." 23 Scholarship on seventeenth-century China likewise has bifurcated into the "early modern" approach, emphasizing the economic stimulus of silver imports, and the "crisis thesis," which underscores the dire consequences of China's dependency on the world economy. But such global explanations of the role of silver imports in the economy of late imperial China have paid scant attention to questions of monetary demand, indigenous monetary media, and the infrastructure of markets and exchange within China itself. 24 A satisfactory understanding of the impact of silver imports must proceed from an investigation of the place of silver in China's domestic monetary system.






The integration of China's monetary system into the wider international economy did not begin with the rise of the European trading empires. Money ranks as the most fluid of all commodities, and the currents of international monetary flows easily breached political boundaries. Although the money issued by China's rulers was intended to serve exclusively as domestic currency, it often functioned as the international currency of the East Asian trading world (and beyond). In the Song and Yuan periods, China's bronze coin and paper currency circulated widely throughout eastern and central Asia, and in the Indian Ocean as well, as the common medium of international trade; Chinese coin even assumed the role of a domestic currency in Japan and in numerous Southeast Asian polities. The importation of foreign silver beginning in the sixteenth century altered, but did not radically transform, a monetary system that was already part of an international monetary order. The history of money in imperial China stands in marked contrast to the monetary regimes of Europe and western Asia, which primarily utilized precious metals—gold and silver—as currency. The predominance of bronze coin set apart the Chinese monetary system as a singular phenomenon in world history, though not an entirely unique one; from time to time base currencies manufactured from copper-silver alloys




prevailed in early modern Europe, and in parts of India as well. Among the many exceptional features of Chinese monetary history, two in particular stand out: the virtually complete absence of gold and silver coinage, and the appearance of paper money many centuries before paper currencies were issued by European states. These peculiarities of Chinese money—the former usually considered a sign of backwardness, and the latter evidence of precocity—are readily intelligible in terms of the basic principles of Chinese monetary theory, as the following chapters will show. But the key reconfiguration of China's monetary system—the shift from bronze coin to a silver standard—already was underway long before the influx of foreign silver in the late Ming. From the thirteenth century onward, paper currency and subsequently uncoined silver supplemented, and to a large extent supplanted, bronze coin as the monetary standard. The monetary system of Ming-Qing China conventionally is described as a type of "parallel bimetallism" in which uncoined silver and bronze coin were relatively discrete forms of money: high-value silver served as the principal instrument of exchange in wholesale commerce and long-distance trade, while bronze coin constituted the primary currency of petty retail marketing. 25 While this division of silver and coin into separate spheres of circulation generally held true, there were important exceptions. The secular movements of coin/silver exchange ratios demonstrate the existence of a complex, organic system involving frequent interchange between the two monetary media. Workers paid lump-sum wages in silver needed to convert their pay into coin; conversely, merchants regularly consolidated sales receipts in coins by exchanging them for silver. In the eighteenth century, the appreciation of coin induced many people to settle even large-scale transactions like sales of land and other real property in coin. 26 Despite its advantages over base bronze specie in large-scale transactions, uncoined silver only exacerbated the problem of a lack of a single monetary standard. Imperial China's currency system generally has been dismissed as primitive and inadequate for the needs of a market economy; a typical pronouncement states unequivocally that "China's money was chaotic and constituted a major obstacle to commercial development." 27 Complexity should not be confused with chaos, however. While Qing China may have lacked any monetary standard whatsoever, as Kuroda Akinobu recently has suggested, the erosion of a unified monetary standard itself was a result of market expansion. 28




The manifold currencies of late imperial China reflected the increasing diversity of market demand for monetary media as the range of moneyuse broadened. Curiously, despite the frequent citation of monetary phenomena as key causal factors in socioeconomic change, the monetary history of imperial China remains largely terra incognita. The pioneering studies, now more than forty years old, of Kato Shigeru, Miyazaki Ichisada, and, above all, Peng Xinwei still provide an indispensable foundation for research, but the economic theories that underlay their work are largely obsolete.29 The only monograph in a Western language devoted to the monetary history of pre-Opium War China is Herbert Franke's 1949 study of the Yuan monetary system. 30 Recently, a group of Japanese scholars centered around the Chugokushi kenkyukai in Kyoto has brought the transition from a coin economy to a silver economy into the foreground of analysis of statesociety relations in late imperial China. These scholars stress that the bronze coin monetary system was an artifact of the autocratic state that emerged in the Song period. In their view, the monetization of the Song economy owed more to what they call "fiscal trade" (tax remittances, state monopolies, and military procurement) than private commerce. This "fiscal trade" accounted for the bulk of long-distance exchange. Through its fiscal and monetary policies, the Song state integrated fragmented local markets into an enduring, empire-wide commercial network. The use of money in private commerce thus derived from its primary function as a means of state payments, rather than the other way around, and the value of coin was sustained by the demand for it created by the state. The strength of the state's monetary authority in Song times also can be inferred from the general absence of counterfeiting and the Song state's relative success in creating a viable paper currency system. The Song marked the apogee of a strong, unified monetary system. According to this school of thought, the role of money as a means of state payment remained paramount throughout most of the Ming period, too. Thus, in their view, the Ming state's gradual adoption of a silver standard in tax payments (begun in the early fifteenth century, and significantly advanced by the end of the sixteenth) prompted a shift from a coin to a silver economy in private exchange as well. By the seventeenth century, "market trade" had eclipsed "fiscal trade." But the silver economy failed to produce a unified standard of value, with




the result that a wide variety of monetary regimes prevailed in different regions of the country. The spread of commerce into the countryside in the eighteenth century, which brought most villages within the ambit of the market economy, engendered another change in the monetary system. Since coin proved far more suitable to the needs of petty exchange, commercialization in the early Qing period evoked greater demand for coin and a shift in exchange values to the advantage of coin against silver. Thus the coin economy of the eighteenth century represented an inversion of that of the Song period: whereas bronze coin originally functioned as an instrument of economic control wielded by the autocratic state, by the end of the imperial era the use of coin proliferated in concert with the growth of rural private trade. 31 This provocative thesis challenges the assumption that the use of money is a product of private commerce, and instead delineates a state theory of money reminiscent of the German school of historical economics. 32 I am by no means convinced by the Chugokushi kenkyukai's claim that the state played the determining role in setting the monetary standard down to the end of the Ming dynasty. In my view, the silver standard originated in private commerce, not from the monetization of state payments. I would also contend that the transition from the coin economy to a silver economy took place much earlier, over the course of the fourteenth century, even though coin remained an indispensable component of the monetary system throughout the late Ming and Qing periods. But I emphatically agree with the Chugokushi kenkyukai's insistence on the need to analyze the specific functions of each type of money. Their approach also places appropriate emphasis on differences in the demand structure for different forms of money and reminds us of the enormous variety of circulating media. Adoption of the silver tael as the money of account by the Ming and Qing states produced a homogeneous accounting system suited for the purpose of tabulating and transferring revenues. Yet we must remember that the official "Kuping" tael was not a real circulating money but, rather, an abstraction. As a means of payment, silver assumed a bewildering variety of physical forms whose complexity was masked by the false uniformity of the official monetary unit. By calling into question tacit assumptions about money and the market economy, the Chugokushi kenkyukai group challenges the essentially unilinear model of economic development underlying the "early modern" paradigm of socioeconomic change. Although the "early modern"




scholarship hails the rise of the silver economy from the sixteenth century onward as a progressive advance toward a rational and modern economic system, the fact that the use of bronze coin surged in the eighteenth century, reappropriating many of the functions usurped by silver, largely has been overlooked. 33 This apparent regression cannot be understood by simply invoking one-dimensional explanations like the relative supplies of metals; instead, it requires a thorough reassessment of how the monetary system functioned. Nor was such a "regression" unique to China; parallel phenomena can be seen in other parts of Asia. In the Indian subcontinent, the monetization of the rural economy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries also created demand for base currencies like cowries and badam (an inedible nut) in addition to bronze coin. 34 Tokugawa Japan's reversion from bronze coin to a rice standard as the basis of its fiscal system has long perplexed scholars; it is now clear that rice, a supposedly primitive "commodity money," supplanted coin as the medium of exchange in private trade, too, during the late sixteenthearly seventeenth centuries, precisely when national unification was spurring economic growth. 35 In China, the state lost effective control over the monetary system during the transition from the Song to the Ming dynasties. Adoption of the silver tael as the money of account and principal means of state payments did not lead to the creation of a unified monetary standard. On the contrary, the monetary system of the Ming-Qing era became progressively refracted into manifold regional currencies: the types and qualities of coin and silver varied significantly from province to province, and often from locality to locality. The preferred medium of exchange also shifted periodically between coin and silver. While the market, not the state, dictated the choice of the medium of exchange, the money market of late imperial China did not conform to the modernization narrative underlying the "early modern" paradigm. Indeed, the relative autarky of regional monetary systems and the apparent regression of Chinese currency (from paper money to silver to coin) belies conventional assumptions about unilinear economic development. The type of money that prevailed in a given market reflected its particular needs, resources, and patterns of trade. The weakness of the state's monetary authority and the lack of sophisticated credit institutions precluded the formation of a strong national monetary system. Yet it would be premature to conclude that the complexity of China's monetary system constituted an impediment to economic growth. Bronze coin, though an archaic anachronism to modern eyes, offered a number of advantages




over silver bullion in the periodic marketing system that spread over China during the Qing period. •

This study does not seek to evaluate the place of money in the Chinese economy as a whole, nor does it advance an economic analysis of the premodern Chinese economy per se. Instead, it examines what money meant to the Chinese themselves, how it was incorporated into economic thought and fiscal policy (which, for all intents and purposes, were virtually identical in imperial China), and how the state and market interacted through a medium vital to both. As the Chügokushi kenkyükai's work has demonstrated, analysis of China's monetary system entails more than perusal of numismatic inventories or sinological excavation of the documentary record; it also requires the application of economic analysis. Unfortunately, the surviving documentary evidence rarely gives scope to the kind of mathematical investigation on which economic analysis ordinarily depends. While numerical data of many sorts exist, the records are almost always defective or incomplete and thus unamenable to the techniques of quantitative analysis. In the absence of useful quantitative data, the extensive body of government records and private writings concerning money and monetary policy must be mined for testimony on the actual workings of the monetary system. In this domain monetary theory offers useful tools of analysis. Careful attention to the functions of money can yield valuable insight into the operation of the money economy. Of course, the historian also must be sensitive to the analytical categories of Chinese political economists and statesmen (as well as other learned witnesses), especially since classical Chinese monetary analysis itself provides an illuminating perspective from which we can survey the behavior of money (and its owners). By intention, this study will raise as many questions as it answers. A clearer understanding of money and its effects will provide insight into the nature of the market economy emerging in the late imperial period, and also aid us in tracing its cycles of growth and decline; but this study is only a first step toward a reevaluation of the late imperial economy. Apart from seeking to expand our knowledge of the market economy and the economic changes mediated by money, it also aspires to serve as a point of departure for a reassessment of the culture of late imperial China. The cultural repercussions of the rise of a market economy have attracted considerable attention and stimulated vigorous debate. The




current controversy over the question of a Chinese "public sphere" stems from the problem, still very much an issue in contemporary China, of the relationship between a market economy and political culture. 36 Just as the rise of a market economy in late Ming-early Qing China did not lead to the development of capitalism, neither did it presage the birth of a bourgeois culture. Yet the market did have a profound influence on culture in the late imperial period. Money and the notions of value it inspired readily translated into a metaphorical and symbolic language that became an important constituent of social and political discourse. 37 But we are only beginning to decipher this language. We should be wary of the presumption that the market economy nurtured a positivist faith in individual worth and the potential for social betterment, or any simulacrum of a Weberian capitalist ethic. In the realm of culture, as in the harsh environment of the economy, the uses of money created—and reflected—personal anxiety, social tensions, and political conflict. 38 Whatever its social meaning, though, few would disagree with the statement that by the beginning of the eighteenth century, money—in its physical and tangible forms, and also as a rhetorical medium and arbiter of social values—thoroughly permeated the social life of most Chinese. To understand the social meaning of money, we must first elucidate the internal dynamics of the money economy.


The Fundamentals of Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

Money eludes simple definition. Like light, money appears to possess the properties of both matter and energy. Money assumes manifold physical forms, but it also operates as an invisible dynamic force animating market exchange. Nor is determining the significance of money a simple matter. The mercantilist political economists of early modern Europe equated money with wealth, and made the accumulation of bullion the overriding goal of economic policy. The classical economists, in contrast, rejected the mercantilist fixation on bullion and, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, asserted that money was a mere sign or token lacking any value in itself; to the classical economists, "money doesn't matter." Twentieth-century economic theory has rehabilitated money and confirmed that money does indeed matter, though the precise significance of money still is hotly disputed. First of all, we must clarify the basic concepts, both the analytical categories of modern monetary theory and the doctrines of classical Chinese monetary analysis, employed throughout this study. Economists chiefly concern themselves with what money does; for them, money is an abstraction. Historians, and indeed virtually everyone who lived in the past, are preoccupied by what money is—not just the concrete objects that constitute money, but also the values it represents, how it affects consciousness and culture, and how the use of money intersects with other currents of historical change. Both conceptions of money are necessary for understanding its significance, but each entails different analytical categories. T o fully appreciate the nature of money, two parallel sets of definitions generated from the following two questions need to be kept in mind: On the more abstract level of economic generalization, what economic functions did money perform? And on the more concrete level of historical contingency, what types of money existed and to what extent did they fulfill the functions of money?




Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis




Economists generally define money in terms of three functional roles: (i) means of exchange; (2) measure of value; (3) store of value. These roles both specify the functions of money and articulate a logical explanation of how and why the use of money originated. In the economists' view, only something that fulfills all three of these functions can be considered true money (full-fledged money). It is important for us to distinguish between a logical conceptualization of the evolution of money and its actual historical development. Many forms of money, even in recent historical times, performed only some of these functions. Moreover, there are other attributes of money that are equally important in historical terms. In particular, to these three functions a fourth will be added that often is elided from contemporary economic analysis: (4) means of state payments. This section will delineate the evolution of money in terms of a logical progression from nonmonetary exchange (barter) to full-fledged money, while the next section will consider the historical origins of money. The uses of money as a means of exchange and as a measure of value are closely linked to each other and generally inhere in the same form of money, but the two functions are analytically distinct. The precise origins of money, in Europe as well as in China, remain obscure, and economists differ in their opinions on whether money first emerged as a means of exchange or a measure of value. In the footsteps of the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell ( 1 8 8 1 - 1 9 2 6 ) , economists have tended to treat the means of exchange function as logically antecedent to the measure of value function, though the latter often is regarded as historically more important.1 The earliest forms of exchange, prior to the development of money, involved trading something one possessed or could produce by oneself for something the individual desired but could not produce. Such a system of exchange, designated as simple barter, entailed the direct exchange of one commodity for another without recourse to a common measure of value. While a person might exchange a given number of eggs for a certain measure of grain, every transaction required a separate negotiation of each commodity's value, which varied depending on the immediate desires of the parties to the transaction. According to some theorists, the key step toward creation of a market is the development of indirect barter, wherein individuals acquire commodities not for their own use but because they intend to trade those items for other commodities they do desire.2 The goods obtained through indirect barter

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



thus serve as a means of exchange, that is to say money, rather than as objects of consumption. But indirect barter is a costly and unwieldy system of exchange. The commodities acquired through indirect barter must be moved physically from the place of purchase to the place of sale, and there is no guarantee that their purchasing power will be uniform from one market to another. Exchange would be greatly facilitated by establishing a stable measure of value that would serve as a consistent means of reckoning the worth of each individual commodity. Although many goods could, and probably did, serve in this capacity (e.g., livestock, hides, slaves), most commodity monies were encumbered by defects such as perishability and lack of uniform size. Eventually, metals were employed to fulfill the function of a measure of value. As rare and decidedly useful goods, metals possessed universally recognized exchange value. More importantly, metals could be worked into objects of uniform size and weight and thereby serve as stable measures of value. The monetary use of metals awaited the development of sufficient metallurgical skill to ensure standardization of size and purity. The general acceptability of metallic money in effect reduced transaction costs, since sellers were assured that the money they received could be deployed in other transactions, and in this way the use of metallic money stimulated the expansion of trade. Metallic money was also virtually imperishable, which enabled it to perform another important function of money: serving as a store of value. Barter or direct exchange was limited by the goods in the possession of the parties involved. The use of money enabled the seller to defer the satisfaction of his or her wants until a suitable commodity became available. Grain rotted; animals sickened or aged; but metallic money retained its value immune from the ravages of time. As a store of value, money enabled the transfer of value across time as well as space. Money also became an object of exchange in itself. An individual could receive money not in exchange for a comparable commodity but, rather, for a contract of debt, that is to say, a promise to return an equivalent amount of money (plus interest) at some later point in time. Here, too, the general acceptability of the monetary medium enhanced its utility as a store of value. The certainty that money could be redeemed in the future at face value endowed money with greater liquidity than assets like cattle or land. For some economists, notably those in the Keynesian tradition, it is this certainty of yield, derived from its liquidity, that constitutes the key characteristic of money. 3 Yet others consider store of value to be merely a secondary function of money, since it presumes the existence



Classical Chinese Monetary


of a system of exchange and eventual use of money as a means of exchange. 4 The fourth function of money to be considered, as a means of state payments, generally does not figure into modern monetary theory. Historically, however, rulers in their capacity as monetary authorities exercised considerable influence over the use and value of money. One need not subscribe to the "state theory of money," which posits that money is a creature of the state, to recognize the critical role the state has played in the evolution of money. 5 It seems likely that political authorities first issued coin not simply to facilitate private exchange but, rather, to provide themselves with a convenient means of extracting and mobilizing revenue. 6 Through its power to tax, and to determine the means by which obligations to the state must be fulfilled, the state could exert considerable leverage over the means of exchange. Although the state had no binding authority beyond its borders and could not legislate the form or value of money used in international trade, it exercised much tighter control over domestic currency. By issuing coin and demanding its use in tax payments, the state established both a definition of legal tender for state payments and a uniform standard of value for private exchange. The ruler's coin rapidly superseded other forms of money; although the guarantee of value represented by the ruler's mark was by no means inviolable, the sovereign authority of the ruler dwarfed the credibility of any private agents. We should also keep in mind that money as a means of state payments is logically distinct from its function as a means of exchange. Indeed, as Weber noted, ancient rulers collected tribute and other forms of payment long before a market and the use of money as a means of exchange emerged. 7




The foregoing functionalist definition of money is couched in the terms of economic abstraction. It presumes that rational economic calculation determined the evolution of money, ignoring the sociological and political complexities the use of money entailed. An alternative approach to conceptualizing money takes into account the tangible forms money takes and how the use of money actually unfolds in a discrete historical context. This approach emphasizes the qualities of money as well as its functions and gives due recognition to money both as an instrument of government policy and as a means of private exchange. Moreover, this typology of money is more useful for defining the historical roles of

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



money. In this construct, we can discern three distinct forms of money: (1) commodity money; (2) fiat money; (3) nominal money (or money of account).8 First, money in its earliest forms denoted an object or commodity whose value was universally recognized. Originally objects of exchange in themselves, these commodities eventually acquired the status of a standard of value. Thus, the Latin word for money (pecunia) evolved from "cattle" (pecus), because oxen served as the standard of wealth in the early Roman world. Similarly, the Chinese word for money (bi) originally meant an offering of silk. Depending on the particular material resources and needs of a given society, a wide range of goods could and did serve in the capacity of commodity money. The value of commodity money was determined by its exchange value as a commodity, or to put the matter more simply, by its market value. Precious metals, which had little utility as objects of consumption, appeared relatively late in the evolution of archaic money. Only after market exchange became a routinized feature of economic life did metallic money displace utilitarian articles of production or direct consumption as media of exchange, and even then the displacement was by no means complete. It is also very likely that the use of precious metals as money originated in payments of tribute rather than market exchange. The monarchs of Egypt and Mesopotamia accumulated hoards of stamped gold ingots, but this gold did not circulate in the market as money; instead, it remained secreted in the palace treasuries.9 One leading economist has suggested that metallic monies were first used as stores of value rather than media of exchange. 10 The advent of coinage marked a crucial turning point in the evolution of commodity money. The first coins, beginning with those struck by various Greek states ca. 700 B.C., were large and presumably high in value. From around 400 B.C., though, smaller coins, including bronze coins, were issued that served largely as means of payment and must have circulated at values greater than their intrinsic metal content. Even so, rulers could not set an arbitrary value to their metallic currency. The value of coin remained closely linked to the commodity value of the metals it contained. This rule was particularly true of precious metals, for which there was universal demand and the costs of melting or minting coin were relatively low. If the ruler assigned too low a value to his coin, the coins would be melted down and the raw metals shipped to wherever they commanded a higher price; if the ruler overvalued his coin, counterfeiters would rush in to profit from the artificially high purchasing power



Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

(relative to coin of equivalent intrinsic value elsewhere) accorded to the overvalued coin. Second, the term money is also applied to tokens whose value was established through the legislative fiat of the ruling authority. The value of fiat money derived not from the commodity value of the material it contained but, rather, from the ruler's stamp. The viability of fiat money rested on the authority of the ruler and public confidence in the ruler's ability to enforce that standard of value (thus fiat money is also known as fiduciary money). The classic example of fiat money is paper money, the commodity value of which is virtually nil. But many metallic currencies also possessed little intrinsic value and passed current only on the sufferance of the market and the strength of the ruler's authority. Prior to the rise of the modern nation-state, pure fiat currencies generally were unstable or short-lived. (The major exceptions to this rule were the paper currencies used in China during the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties, which will be discussed in more detail in chapter z.) Premodern states lacked the authority to maintain a fiat currency for a long period of time. But to a greater or lesser extent all sovereign monies partook of the character of token money, because the commodity value of money fluctuated with changes in economic conditions. What the state really guaranteed was not the intrinsic value of its coin but, rather, its value as a means of payment (and, to the extent the two were intertwined, its value as a means of exchange). The convenience of coin enabled it to circulate at a premium over bullion, and rulers took advantage of this agio by appropriating a portion of the bullion content of coin as a kind of commission (known as seigniorage) for issuing it. Full-bodied coin (i.e., coin whose face value is equal to its commodity value) became a practical impossibility, because the added convenience of being minted into coin ensured that its exchange value would transcend its intrinsic value. In practice, full-bodied coin implied a modest degree of seigniorage. The instability of the exchange values for metals as commodities also meant that the nominal value of coin often deviated from its intrinsic value. Even more importantly, rulers appreciated that their monopoly over coinage, at least within the domestic economy, enabled them to issue coin at less than full commodity value. In the medieval Mediterranean world, the intrinsic value of gold coin, the prevailing instrument of international exchange, remained stable for many centuries because any attempt to debase it would cause gold coins to flee elsewhere. In contrast, silver coins, the common currency, underwent steady debasement over time. Debasement, though decried by scholastic philosophers, was

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



a practical necessity, since economic growth required a constantly expanding money supply. Given the limited supply and high production costs of precious metals, progressive debasement and depreciation of coin was the only alternative to ruinous deflation.11 Base coinage, such as the bronze currency used in imperial China, was even more likely to circulate at token value. Finally, money also constituted a measure of value detached from any specific physical instrument employed as money. This concept of nominal money, or money of account, can be traced back to earliest times. Measures of value, such as units of grain, long preceded the use of money in trade. Ancient states like Egypt and Babylon established measures of value in terms of weight or volume of grain, cloth, copper, and other items of tribute before market exchange came into being. 12 The value of the earliest currencies generally was measured in terms of weight; the value of a given currency was rated in proportion to its intrinsic value as a commodity. Thus, the earliest standard Roman coin became popularly known as the libra, or pound, because it contained a pound (327.4 g.) of copper (later silver). The nominal value of metallic money exhibited much more stability than did its commodity value. The libra was far too cumbersome to serve as a convenient coin, and it was replaced by the silver denarius (or penny, weighing V10 of a pound) in the mid-third century B.C. Constant debasement reduced the weight of the denarius to a mere V72 of a pound by A.D. 200. In the Carolingian monetary system, the silver penny was equivalent to V240 of a pound. In fact, the Franks never issued a pound coin; instead, they relied solely on silver pennies. The pound was a unit of weight but also a measure of value. Even though the penny itself underwent depreciation, the exchange ratio between the pound and penny (1:240) remained constant. Thus, the pound no longer designated an equivalent weight of silver, but rather a monetary value equal to 240 pennies. The pound became a "ghost money"; no longer an actual physical money, instead it served as an abstract standard for reckoning monetary values and expressing prices and debts. 13 A money of account often is a surviving artifact of a defunct monetary system, as the example of the pound shows. The money of account makes possible a separation between the measure of value and the means of payment. Thus a debt expressed as one pound could be discharged by payment of 240 silver pennies, but it also could be commuted to a payment in gold coins at the prevailing rate of exchange. In the bronze currency system of imperial China, a string of 1,000 coins (known as guan or mm) became the standard accounting unit in state



Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

finance. But the guan did not always contain 1,000 coins. During the Tang and Song dynasties, which suffered from severe shortages of coin, the guan often contained far fewer coins but was rated as equivalent to a full string of 1,000 coins. In 977, the Song government established the official "short string" (known as shengbo) at 770 coins per guan. Later legislation added a variety of rates (ranging from 800 to 990) for specific forms of payment, but the official "short string" rate of 770 prevailed for most purposes. Thus the guan really was a money of account equivalent to 1,000 coins but in fact containing only 770 coins. The unit of account most commonly used in market transactions was the smaller bo, which nominally was worth V10 of a guan, or 100 coins. The actual number of coins in a bo varied by time, place, and local custom. Even in the Song capital of Kaifeng different commercial trades pegged the bo at a considerable range of actual coins. 14 The introduction of paper money during the Song also required the use of a money of account derived from bronze coinage to express the value of paper script. Paper money was denominated in units of coin (guan and bo) and bore inscriptions stating that the notes were redeemable in coin according to the "short string" standard. Later, in the Yuan period, weights of silver (liang, or ounce, and its fractions) also were used to denominate paper money. The use of monies of account, and the disjuncture between them and physical monies, is a source of considerable confusion. In this book I will use English words to express physical monies and Chinese words to designate monies of account. Thus a "string of coin" refers to an actual quantity of coin, while guan denotes a unit of value equivalent to a string of 1,000 coins. Similarly, one "cash" refers to a single coin, while one wen is a money of account equivalent to V1000 of a guan. In the case of silver, the issue becomes simpler, at least for our purposes. Since silver was uncoined, the silver money of account [liang) was identical to its actual weight in silver. In keeping with convention, I will designate monetary silver, both as a money of account and as an actual weight of silver, in terms of "taels" (abbreviated as "tls.") 1 5 Both the functional and typological approaches to defining money are useful analytical tools for investigating the historical significance of money. Just as the typological approach does not assume that any one form of money performs all the functions of money, we will discover that throughout Chinese history different forms of money performed different functional roles; but no money will be considered any less "money" because it does not fulfill all the functions of money. The modern econ-

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



omist's conception of full-fledged money must be set aside to appreciate the historical significance of money's different forms.








The genesis of monetary thought in the West can be traced to the Greek philosophers. Though neither articulated an explicit theory of money, Plato and Aristotle adumbrated contrasting views of money that diverged into the two main channels of Western monetary thinking. 16 In Plato we find the germ of what later evolved into the doctrine of theoretical cartalism: the idea that the value of money is determined by the monetary authority irrespective of the use value of the substance employed as money. In this view, money is an arbitrary creation of the community or state and its value is fixed by convention or legislation. The state (or community) chooses which substances can serve as the media of exchange and also determines their nominal values. Aristotle was more explicit than Plato in constructing a hypothetical history of the origins of money. Like Adam Smith and most modern theorists of economic history, 17 Aristotle proceeded from the assumption that primitive peoples initially traded with one another through barter. But barter was circumscribed by the limited range of commodities available for exchange and the lack of a standard by which to measure the values of different kinds of commodities. The inconvenience of barter impelled the adoption, through some form of consensus, of a standard medium of exchange (that is to say, money) which also served as a measure of value and thus made it possible to equalize the values of the goods exchanged in trade. Money thus transformed subjective desires and needs into objective, quantifiable, and comparable measures of value. The key feature of Aristotle's theory of money is that money principally functioned as a means of exchange, and therefore he can be seen as representing a catallactic (from the Greek word for "exchange") theory of money. 18 Aristotle drew a distinction between use value and exchange value, but he asserted that the latter derived from the former. He believed that in order to achieve general acceptance as a medium of exchange, money itself must be a useful commodity. In his pseudohistorical construct, Aristotle suggested that it is the stability of metallic money's intrinsic value as a commodity that enabled it to serve as a reliable measure of value for other commodities. The virtues of precious metals—



Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

rarity, durability, partibility, fungibility, and portability—recommended them as ideal choices to fulfill the requirements of a means of exchange. At the same time, Aristotle claimed that the substance used as money must have an exchange value independent of its monetary function. 19 The value of metallic money was not subject to the arbitrary whim of a sovereign but, rather, was directly proportional to its intrinsic value as a commodity: When the inhabitants of one country became more dependent on those of another, and they imported what they needed, and exported what they had too much of, money necessarily came into use. For the various necessaries of life are not easily carried about, and hence men agreed to employ in their dealings with each other something which was intrinsically useful and easily applicable to the purpose of life, for example, iron, silver, and the like. Of this the value was at first measured simply by size and weight, but in the course of time they put a stamp upon it, to save the trouble of weighing and to mark its v a l u e . 2 0

Aristotle's deduction that the nominal value of money signifies the intrinsic commodity value of the metal it contains can be categorized as a metalist theory of money. Although catallactic theory and metalism often are allied in monetary thought, the two concepts do not necessarily imply each other and should be kept analytically distinct. For example, Plato, like Aristotle, imagined that the use of money arose from the needs of exchange, but he did not subscribe to the metalist premise that the value of money was determined by its innate worth as a commodity. Yet it was Aristotle's concatenation of catallactic theory and metalism that prevailed in European monetary thought down to the nineteenth century. 21 In ancient China, rulers routinely bestowed as gifts and rewards a range of precious commodities, whose value derived from their desirability as objects of adornment. 22 These "offerings" (bi, a word which later came to mean "money") included jade, pearls, cowrie shells, tortoise shells, livestock, slaves, leather, hemp and silk cloth, grain, and metallic objects. In late Shang times (fourteenth to eleventh centuries B . C . ) , only cowrie shells seem to have been used as a medium of exchange. Although the Shang were familiar with gold, they apparently placed little value on it. 2 3 Cowries had a number of advantages as money: they were rare and could not be produced at will; being essentially uniform in size and quality, they were fungible (i.e., mutually substitutable); and any given number of cowries could be strung together, thus allowing for gradations of value. In addition to cowries, standard weights of metals (probably gold and copper) and bolts of cloth are mentioned as gifts,

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



rewards, and means of payment in documents of the "Western Zhou dynasty (eleventh to eighth centuries B.C.). But wealth generally was measured in utilitarian commodities like livestock, and in Confucius's (551-479 B.C.) day, salaries were paid in measures of grain. The earliest currencies issued by a ruling authority were made of bronze and cast in the shapes of spades and knives. The exact provenance of these metallic currencies is uncertain, but they can be roughly dated to the close of the so-called Spring and Autumn period (eighth to fifth centuries B.C.) or the beginning of the Warring States era (fifth to third centuries B.C.). Each of the seven major contending states of the Warring States period, as well as the nominally sovereign Zhou monarch, issued their own spade-shaped or knife-shaped currencies, often stamped with the name of the state. These currencies attained wide circulation by 400 B.C. Round bronze coins perforated with a square hole, initially unique to the peripheral state of Qin, eventually became the standard form of currency when Qin vanquished all of its rivals and established the first unified empire in 2.21 B . C . 2 4 Early Chinese monetary thinking did not share the Greek view that money originated from the requirements of exchange. Instead, Chinese philosophers of the Warring States period endorsed the cartalist belief that money was an artifact of the supreme ruling authority. Chinese theorists linked the invention of money to the ruler's crucial responsibility for securing the livelihood of his subjects, and traced its origins to the "civilizing" work of the sage-kings of antiquity. In the course of their Herculean efforts to tame and humanize a hostile natural world, the sage-kings created money for the express purpose of rescuing humankind from the perennial afflictions of flood, drought, famine, and plague. One of the earliest expressions of this myth of the origin of money appears in a speech attributed to the Spring and Autumn-era minister Shan Qi (sixth century B.C.): "In the face of famine and plague delivered by Heaven, the ancients took the measure of goods and money and assigned them greater or lesser values in order to succor and relieve the people." 25 Shan Qi's terse formulation counterposed money to commodities, but it did not define the exact relationship between them; it is impossible to state conclusively whether or not he intended to suggest that money itself was a commodity possessing use value. A clearer statement of the role of human authority in the invention of money appears in the Guanzi, an eclectic treatise dating from the late Warring States and early Han periods that played a fundamental role in shaping the Chinese discourse of political economy: "In the time of Tang [mythical founder of the Shang



Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

dynasty] the empire suffered seven years of drought, and in the time of Yu [founder of the Hsia dynasty] it endured five years of flood. Lacking even gruel to stay their hunger, the people were compelled to sell their children into slavery. Tang used the metal of Mount Zhuang, and Yu took the metal of Mount Li, to cast money, which they employed to redeem the children from bondage." 26 By Han times this passage had become enshrined as the definitive testament of the origins of money. 27 It depicts the invention of money as a magnanimous act on the part of the ancient sage-kings, who sought to reunite families torn asunder by the pitiless workings of improvident nature. In contrast to the Greek philosophers, the author of this work made no mention whatsoever of the exchange of commodities. The market is accorded greater significance in yet another Warring States-era work, the Ji Tumulus Book of Zhou, which purports to narrate the history of the founding of the Zhou dynasty, though this account does not deal with the invention of money per se. The author relates that in the waning years of the Shang dynasty, when the future King Wen of Zhou (later venerated by Confucians as the archetypal benevolent ruler) was still a petty chieftain, Heaven inflicted a great famine (presumably to punish the tyrannical Shang). Among the multitude of measures he adopted to relieve the distress of the people, King Wen was credited with issuing a stable currency that restored balance to the exchange values of goods and greased the wheels of commerce.28 But in this instance, too, it was not exchange that precipitated a need for money; rather, a dependable currency was considered essential to humane government. Catallactic explanations of the origins of money were not entirely absent from early Chinese thought. The Han historian Sima Qian (ca. 145-90 B . C . ) , for example, began the postscript to his treatise on political economy with the following pronouncement: "When farmers, artisans, and merchants first began to exchange articles among themselves, manifold forms of currency—tortoise and cowrie shells, gold and bronze coin, and knife-shaped and spade-shaped money—came into being." 29 Sima Qian continued by recounting the gradual decline of the golden age of the sage-kings, culminating in the exploitative economic stratagems of the Warring States' rulers. Underlying his recitation is the oblique but unmistakable admonition that monarchs all too often abused the privilege of issuing money to profit at their subjects' expense. Sima Qian's views on commerce, and particularly his ringing endorsement of the pursuit of private profit free from the stifling grasp of state

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



control, stood far from the mainstream of political economy and attracted few adherents. Nevertheless, a parallel narrative of the origins of money appears in a Confucian polemic delivered at a court debate over the economic role of the state convened in 81 B.C., less than a decade after Sima Qian's death: "The ancients had marketplaces but no coinage. Everyone exchanged what they had for what they lacked, such as the weaver who brought finished cloth to market to trade for yarn. In later ages, tortoise and cowrie shells, gold, and bronze coins emerged as the media of exchange. Each time the currency system changed, the people became more and more dishonest." 30 Like Sima Qian, this speaker evoked an image of a spontaneous emergence of the market as a reproof of meddlesome rulers who manipulated the currency system for their own profit. Yet this minority opinion already was almost entirely overshadowed by cartalist theories of money. Faint echoes of the catallactic interpretation occasionally appear in later writings. The Han historian Ban Gu (32-92) claimed that the earliest sage-king, Shennong (the "Divine Husbandman"), created money in order to facilitate trade. Ban based this claim on the following passage in the Appended Words, a Han-era commentary to the Book of Changes: "[Shennong] held the market at noon and induced the people of the Subcelestial Realm to come thither, thus gathering together all the products of his domain. Each exchanged what they possessed for that which they desired, and then retired." 31 This passage makes no mention of money, and can simply be read as a description of barter. Ban Gu himself added the assertion that Shennong invented money to facilitate trade at the noon market. 32 Some later commentators, notably the Song statesman Li Gou (1009-59), accepted Ban Gu's interpolation in principle, but attributed the invention of money to a succession of later sage-kings: "In ancient times, in the days of Shennong, the people gathered at noon to exchange the goods they possessed for those they lacked. Yet because there was no governing authority to determine the relative values of each commodity, later generations of sage-kings created money in order to equilibrate the exchange values of goods." 3 3 While this version of the origin of money perhaps can be categorized as a catallactic theory, nevertheless it does not suggest that money emerged as a spontaneous outgrowth of the evolution of trade; instead, it emphasizes the crucial intervention of sovereign authority in establishing a medium of exchange. Li clearly subscribed to the prevalent view that metallic money lacked use value; its utility as money derived from its convenience as a means of exchange. 34



Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis

By late imperial times, the Guanzi version of the origin of money prevailed over catallactic theories. It was given pride of place in all major historical surveys of government institutions.35 The Ming statecraft scholar Qiu Jun (1420-95) began his treatise on money by invoking the passage from Guanzi cited above, adding his own commentary rejecting the alternative premise that the purpose behind the invention of money was simply to facilitate trade. 36 Instead, Qiu emphasized the importance of money and trade as means to relieve the suffering of the people in times of distress. Chinese monetary thought remained anchored to the idea that money was a tool used by the ruler to promote economic welfare by ensuring an equitable distribution of goods and income.






None of the major Chinese philosophers of the Warring States period devoted serious attention to the theory of money. But the subject of money did emerge as a central theme in the sundry discourses on political economy gathered together in the work known as the Guanzi. The Guanzi purports to be a series of Socratic dialogues between two salient historical figures of the Spring and Autumn period, Duke Huan of Qi (r. 685-643 B.C.) and his prime minister, Guan Zhong (ca. 7 1 0 - 6 4 5 B . C . ) , but there is little doubt that the book actually was written much later. Although the existing text of the Guanzi was collated by the Han scholastic Liu Xiang (79-8 B . C . ) , many of the essays it contains are believed to have been composed at the Jixia Academy, a renowned forum for philosophical debate that flourished at the Qi capital during the fourth and third centuries B . C . 3 7 Most of the essays dealing with money appear in the "Ratios of Exchange" (qingzhong; lit., "the light and the heavy") chapters (chapters 68-86 in Liu Xiang's text) which probably were not put into their present form until the Han dynasty, and perhaps as late as the reign of the usurper Wang Mang (r. 9-23). 3 8 Although this work probably was the product of many different hands, it is unified by a consistent vision of political economy, one which reflected prevailing opinion in its own day and exercised enormous influence over monetary theory and policy throughout the imperial era. As a repository of economic doctrines, the Guanzi attained virtually canonical status. While the older portions of the book may very well embody the ideas of the historical Guan Zhong, the sections on money in the "Ratios of Exchange" chapters clearly took shape against the background of the more

Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis



sophisticated monetary universe of the Warring States-Han periods. For sake of convenience, I will refer to the author of these chapters as "Pseudo-Guanzi." Pseudo-Guanzi ignored the fundamentally moral issue that preoccupied Aristotle, namely, how can the use value of goods be expressed in terms that makes an equitable exchange possible. Instead, he asserted that the value of a commodity is determined not by its intrinsic worth but, rather, by the laws of supply and demand. Drawing, no doubt, on empirical observation of price fluctuations, Pseudo-Guanzi enunciated an equation of exchange that became the keystone of Chinese monetary thought: the values of money and commodities were related in inverse proportion to each other. This equation can be seen as a quantity theory of money, since it holds that the value of money (as measured by purchasing power) and the value of goods (measured by prices) are functions of the relative quantities of each. By manipulating the quantities of goods and money, the ruler can adjust the ratios of exchange and thereby control market prices. In contrast to Western monetary thought, which derived from the moral question of determining a "just price" in individual transactions, Chinese monetary theory, as exemplified by the Guanzi, was conceived as a set of methods whereby the ruler can ensure an equitable (though not equal) distribution of goods and wealth in society. The role of money as a measure of value, which Aristotle deemed the principal function of money, received scant attention in the Guanzi. Indeed, the Guanzi denies that money need possess use value in order to serve as arbiter of the exchange values of other commodities: "The three forms of currency [pearls and jades; gold; and knife-shaped and spadeshaped money] offer no warmth to the naked, nor can they fill the bellies of the hungry. The former kings used money to preserve wealth and goods and thereby regulate the productive activities of the people, whereupon they brought peace and order to the Subcelestial Realm." 3 9 For Pseudo-Guanzi, the crucial quality of money was its utility not as a measure of value but as a store of value. The notion of money as a store of value was derived from an analogy to grain: although grain has use value, whereas money merely has exchange value, each can serve as a substitute for the other. Just as the ruler must store up reserves of grain in order to feed his subjects during famine years, so too should he maintain stockpiles of money to purchase grain and other staples when natural disasters strike. Pseudo-Guanzi affirmed that money can serve as


Table 22. Japanese Copper Exports, 1674-1700 (in metric tons)

1674-75 1676-80 1681-85 1686-90 1691-95 1696-1700 SOURCE:

Chinese Exports

Dutch Exports

Total Exports

1,820 4,955 6,422 11,282 10,586 16,940

1,679 6,099 6,495 5,059 4,298 6,478

3,499 11,054 12,917 16,341 14,884 23,418

Innés, "The Door Ajar," pp. 52.8-29, table 34.

Chinese imports of Japanese copper climbed dramatically in the 1680s and 1690s (see table 22). According to one scholar of Qing monetary policy, the import of Japanese copper assured Qing mints of ample supplies of copper to meet their needs. 68 Yet the output of Chinese mints increased only modestly, from roughly 300 million to 400 million coins per year, during this period. Much of the stream of Japanese copper imports seems to have been diverted into the hands of private coiners. While the debasement of Qing coin in 1684 did cause a depreciation of coin as intended, it also induced counterfeiters to reenter the market. By the turn of the century state monetary policy once again centered on the problems of suppressing private coinage and reinforcing the value of standard coin. In the last two decades of the seventeenth century, complaints of endemic counterfeiting became legion. "After 1 6 8 1 , " Ye Mengzhu wrote, counterfeiting flourished once again and the quality of coin suffered. The very worst coin weighed no more than 2-3 jin per 1,000 coins (i.e., less than a third of the official standard), yet the value of a string of coin remained above 0.8 tl. (1:1250). The value of Yili coin issued by state mints stood at 1.0 tl. per string, and in some cases rose even higher, to 1.04 tl. (1:960), perhaps because of evil-doers who bought up good coin in order to recast it as private coin. If counterfeiting is not strictly prohibited, the decline of the currency system cannot be far off. This is something for those in authority to ponder.69 X u Yue, a contemporary and native of Jiashan (Zhejiang), corroborated Ye's lament, observing that private coin weighed a mere one-third as much as standard coin, yet circulated at only a modest discount. Consequently, the cheaper coin drove the better coin out of the market-

The "Monetary Crisis"



place. 70 In the late 1690s, when grain prices finally began to recover, the rise in the price level was attributed to the depreciation of coin resulting from the spread of counterfeiting. 71 Lack of reliable figures precludes any satisfactory quantitative measurement of the flow of silver across the Pacific in the second half of the seventeenth century. Official statistics indicate a complete collapse of Manila's external trade after 1650, reaching a nadir in the early 1670s before beginning a modest rebound after 1685 (see table 23). 7 2 Registered shipments of Crown silver to Manila fell by more than half after 1660, but no data is available on private exports of American bullion after that date (see table 12). Registered exports from the Philippines to China declined much more than did imports of silver from Mexico. 73 Since China was the end-market for all silver sent to the Philippines, the official statistics of China-Philippine trade (see table 23) obviously vastly underestimate the scale of this trade. Moreover, by all indications, a growing proportion of the trans-Pacific trade passed through the hands of smugglers who routinely violated the Crown's rigid limits on the export of silver across the Pacific. 74 Quan Hansheng cites several reports from the 1680s and 1690s claiming that the volume of silver exported from the Philippines to China remained at the level of 2 million pesos ( 5 1 . 1 metric tons of silver) annually. 75 Although we are unable to track the fluctuations of the Manila-China trade, the scale of Chinese silver imports via the Philippines probably was far greater than the figures in table 23 indicate. Although Hamilton's original study of European imports of New World silver posited that the quantity of silver arriving in Spain tailed off dramatically after 1650, recent research has shown that the volume of New World silver imported to Europe actually continued to rise. According to the exhaustive reconstructions of Michel Morineau, European silver imports rose from 205-255 metric tons per year between 1 5 9 5 and 164 5 to 3 o 5 tons annually in the second half of the seventeenth century (excepting a sharp falloff in the period 1670-75). 7 6 European exports of silver to Asia probably continued to climb as well. The Dutch and English East India Companies sent substantial quantities of silver, estimated at an average of 42 metric tons per year, to Asia in the second half of the seventeenth century. 77 Attman's estimate of total European silver exports to Asia is triple this figure.78 South Asia absorbed a considerable portion of European silver exports, but the price of silver in the Chinese market remained higher than anywhere else in the world. While we lack direct evidence to show that the bulk of New World silver entering



The "Monetary Crisis"

Table 2 3 . Estimated Imports of Silver into China, 1 6 0 1 - 1 7 0 0 (five-year totals; in metric tons)

Japana 1 6 0 1 - 1 6 0 5



Indian Oceanc


1 2 9 . 1

1 8 . 5

1 4 7 . 6 +

1 6 0 6 - 1 6 1 0

1 2 4 . 2

1 9 7 . 6

1 8 . 5

3 4 0 . 3

1 6 1 1 - 1 6 1 5

2 5 9 . 2

1 3 7 . 3

1 8 . 5

4 1 5 . 0

1 6 1 6 - 1 6 2 0

2 5 6 . 5

8 0 . 6

1 8 . 5

3 5 5 . 6

1 6 2 1 - 1 6 2 5

2 8 6 . 7


1 8 . 5

3 0 5 . 2 +

1 6 2 6 - 1 6 3 0

2 0 1 . 4

3 9 . 7

1 8 . 5

2 5 9 . 6

1 6 3 1 - 1 6 3 5

3 4 4 . 5

7 3 . 0

1 8 . 5

4 3 6 . 0

1 6 3 6 - 1 6 4 0

4 9 5 . 8

5 8 . 5

1 8 . 5

5 7 2 . 8

1 6 4 1 - 1 6 4 5

2 0 9 . 0

3 9 . 6

2 4 8 . 6

1 6 4 6 - 1 6 5 0

1 6 6 . 4

2 1 . 3

1 8 7 . 7

1 6 5 1 - 1 6 5 5

1 7 3 . 7

1 0 . 5

1 8 4 . 2

1 6 5 6 - 1 6 6 0

2 9 6 . 6

5 . 9

3 0 2 . 5

1 6 6 1 - 1 6 6 5

3 2 5 . 5

5 . 3

3 3 0 . 8

1 6 6 6 - 1 6 7 0

7 9 . 1

3 . 3

8 2 . 4

1 6 7 1 - 1 6 7 5

1 0 4 . 1

1 . 8

1 0 5 . 9

1 6 7 6 - 1 6 8 0

1 1 6 . 0

7 . 3

1 2 3 . 3

1 6 8 1 - 1 6 8 5

1 1 6 . 0

1 2 . 9

1 2 8 . 9

1 6 8 6 - 1 6 9 0

1 3 . 7

2 9 . 4

4 3 . 1

1 6 9 1 - 1 6 9 5

1 3 . 7

3 3 . 8

4 7 . 5

1 6 9 6 - 1 7 0 0

1 3 . 7

7 3 . 5

8 7 . 2

3 , 5 9 5 . 8

9 6 0 . 4


1 4 8 . 0

4 , 7 0 4 . 2

SOURCES: Innes, "The Door A j a r , " pp. 3 7 9 - 8 0 , 408, 4 1 0 , 4 1 6 ; Iwao, "Kinsei nisshi bóeki," p. 1 0 0 2 ; Tashiro Kazui, "Tsushima Han's Korean Trade, 1 6 8 4 - 1 7 1 0 , " Acta Asiatica 30 (1976)196-97; Chaunu, Les Philippines et le pacifique des ibériques, I: 2 0 0 205; Souza, The Survival of Empire, p. 56. " 1 6 0 6 - 1 6 4 7 : estimates based on 80 percent of value of imports; 1 6 4 8 - 1 6 7 2 : actual exports of silver from Nagasaki; 1 6 7 3 - 1 6 8 4 (Nagasaki only), 1 6 8 5 - 9 7 (Nagasaki 8c Tsushima): total for designated period averaged equally per annum. All Japanese figures converted to international standard (93% fine). b c

i o o percent value of exports to China extrapolated from customs duties. Crude estimate of Portuguese shipments of silver to Macao.

the Asian market wound up in China, the premium value accorded silver in China certainly suggests that this was certainly the case. The lacunae in quantitative data on intra-Asian bullion flows during the second half of the seventeenth century makes it hazardous to offer even a crude estimate of the size of Chinese bullion imports during this

The "Monetary Crisis"



period. What we can say with authority is that Japanese silver exports in 1648-97, totaling 1,546,794 kgs., 79 amounted to about 60 percent of the total stock of silver that I estimate Japan exported during the first half of the century. Chinese imports declined proportionately, though this decline did not really set in until the mid-1660s. Imports of New World silver probably fell far less sharply, but in the absence of firm data on private consignments and smuggling it is impossible to offer any quantitative estimates. The Qing government's ban on maritime trade undoubtedly caused some interruption in silver imports, but the economic policies of the Tokugawa shoguns and the activities of smugglers played a far more decisive role in determining how much silver entered the orbit of the Chinese economy. If any sharp decline in the import of silver into China occurred, it happened in the final third of the seventeenth century rather than the waning years of the Ming. The official reopening of China's ports in 168 5 boosted foreign trade, but by that time Japan's export of silver had all but ceased. China's direct trade with Europe remained negligible until the second decade of the eighteenth century, when the English East India Company eclipsed the VOC as the dominant European presence in the Asian trading world. Thus we find that there was no simple correlation between the deflationary cycle of the Kangxi depression and the prevailing trends in bullion flows. The fall of domestic prices in China commenced before Japanese silver exports began their irreversible descent, and prices began to recover in China without the stimulus of any surge in the inflow of foreign silver. This lack of a close fit between silver imports and price movements suggests the need to reappraise the role of foreign silver in the economy of seventeenth-century China. Given the significance attributed to silver's impact on the Chinese economy in this period, it is worthwhile to compare the case of seventeenth-century China with that of sixteenth-century Europe, which also experienced a dramatic surge in bullion imports. The theoretical perspectives and analytical lessons of the sizable body of scholarship on the "price revolution" of sixteenth-century Europe have important implications for understanding the impact of international bullion flows on the Ming-Qing economy.





During the period 1 5 0 0 - 1 6 5 0 prices in Europe suddenly soared, nearly tripling in Europe as a whole, and quintupling in England. Already in the



The "Monetary


late sixteenth century, contemporaries identified "American treasure" as the principal cause behind this "price revolution." Jean Bodin's famous exposition (1568) of a quantity theory of money, which blamed the pandemic European inflation on the abundance of bullion, overturned the once prevalent view (which was also espoused by Arai Hakuseki, we might note) that inflation was caused by a scarcity of bullion.80 Later development of the quantity theory of money by David Hume and others tended to emphasize the neutrality of money. For Hume, the quantity of money merely established its value as a medium of circulation; the value of money as capital was determined by "real" productive forces ("arts and industry," in Hume's language). Hume concluded that money was nothing but a unit of account. 81 But the critical impact of American bullion imports on Europe's economy in the sixteenth century received renewed attention after the publication of Earl Hamilton's classic work on the price revolution in Spain. Drawing on the Fisherian quantity theory of money and the Ricardian international specie-flow mechanism, Hamilton proposed that the increased quantity of money resulting from the influx of American bullion, especially silver, drove up prices in Spain, which in turn led to a substantial trade deficit as Spain's goods became priced out of international markets. Subsequently Spanish bullion drained off to its European trading partners to compensate for Spain's balance-of-payment deficits, thus engendering a continent-wide rise in the price level. 82 While widely accepted in many quarters (notably among the Annales school), Hamilton's monetary explanation of the "price revolution" often has been challenged, on two principal grounds: (1) apart from Spain, the augmentation of Europe's stock of money by New World bullion did not suffice to cause the enormous price increases of this period, particularly the five-fold rise in England; and (z) the peak period of inflation occurred prior to the peak period of bullion imports and thus could not have resulted from the influx of American treasure. The primary alternative to the monetary explanation for the "price revolution" is the "population thesis," which holds that demographic pressure on an inelastic supply of land was responsible for the escalation of prices, with agricultural prices rising far faster than prices for industrial goods. Proponents of the "population thesis" in turn have been criticized for confusing relative prices and the price level. Demographic pressure might raise agricultural prices, but if there were no additions to the money supply or increases in the velocity of circulation, the overall price level would fall. 83

The "Monetary Crisis"



Recently the population thesis has been reworked by Jack Goldstone and Peter Lindert, who link the price revolution in England specifically to urbanization rather than pressures on agricultural resources.84 In their view, the rapid pace of urban growth and occupational specialization dramatically accelerated the velocity of money. Town dwellers enmeshed in a commercial economy required smaller stocks of money, relative to the level of transactions, than their rural compatriots. They were more likely to spend excess money, and it was this increase in the velocity of money, rather than its quantity, that accounted for the steep rise in English prices. Economists remain skeptical of this argument, however, emphasizing that "a rise in velocity of this sort is also consistent with a growing national income, [which] could net out the effect of the rising velocity on the price level." 85 Moreover, apart from highly-urbanized England, there seems to have been little correlation between the level of urbanization and price inflation elsewhere during this period. Historians disposed toward the monetarist explanatory model have followed Hamilton's lead in formulating their analyses of the price revolution in terms of Irving Fisher's equation of exchange: MV - PT. The Fisher equation—which, it must be remembered, is only one version of the quantity theory of money—posits a proportional relationship between money supply (M) and velocity of circulation (V) on one hand and the price level (P) and quantity of transactions (T) on the other. Whereas earlier versions of the quantity theory simply described a proportional relationship between the quantity of money and the price level, Fisher's version—which is also known as the transactions approach— introduced velocity and the level of transactions (i.e., spending) as independent variables. The Fisher equation of exchange addressed a particular concern of neoclassical economics, the distinction between "active" and "passive" money. Consequently, velocity became a crucial variable in Fisher's theory, which focused on the question of the circulation of money and the need to keep money "active" (through a constant flow of spending), rather than to allow it to sit uselessly in banks and private hoards. The Fisher equation implies that only "active" money matters; it is the spending of money that generates economic activity. "Idle" money sitting in hoards ceases to be money at all. Modern quantity theory, however, rejects the emphasis on spending central to the Fisher model and instead highlights the demand to hold money. Modern quantity theory originated in an alternative equation of exchange, the so-called Cambridge cash-balance equation (M = kPY), which relates the price level to real income (Y) and the propensity to hold

23 6


77?e "Monetary


money (k).S6 In essence, the cash-balance equation and all subsequent monetary theory (both Keynesian and monetarist) are focused not on the propensity to spend but on the demand to hold money. In contrast to mechanistic versions of the Fisher model, wherein changes in the quantity and velocity of money automatically translate into corresponding changes in the price level, the cash-balance approach introduces an element of volition by taking into account the choices made by individuals whether or not to hold money and the wide variety of factors that influence those choices (e.g., interest rates; expectations of future inflation/deflation; liquidity preferences; and the whole range of investment assets). 87 Thus the demand to hold money plays at least as great a part in determining the price level as the activity of spending money. Any analysis of the economic effects of changes in the quantity of money must encompass a theory of money demand as well as a theory of money supply. The Fisherian approach is deficient in this respect. Historians who rely on the Fisher equation of exchange thus remain wedded to an outmoded theory. 8 8 Moreover, the Fisher equation is especially flawed as a tool of analysis for a hard-currency world because it fails to take into account the special character of metallic monies as commodities that have fixed costs (mining and minting costs) and nonmonetary uses. Although modern quantity theory, like the Fisher equation, was conceived in a world of fiat money, it has the useful advantage of treating money as an asset comparable to other real assets (i.e., as a commodity). Modern quantity theory also recognizes, as the Fisher equation does not, that the demand for money is strongly influenced by the total stock of money. The question of stock demand is particularly important for understanding the price revolution, because the significance of new infusions of bullion will depend on the size of existing stock. Net bullion imports will produce inflation only if they have a significant impact on the total stock of money, other things being equal. If there was a simultaneous increase in the stock demand for money, a sudden influx of bullion may have only negligible inflationary impact. In short, the Fisher equation of exchange cannot be used either to prove or disprove the contention that the price revolution was a monetary phenomenon. In recent years, though, the monetary explanation of the European price revolution of the sixteenth century has been recast in light of modern quantity theory. Dennis Flynn, drawing on a theoretical model of international trade and prices known as the monetary approach to balance of payments, suggests that the influx of New World bullion set in motion a chain of events that led to a vast increase in the

The "Monetary Crisis"



quantity of money issued by monetary authorities and a general rise in European prices. In a highly integrated market with fixed exchange rates (which, in a hard-currency world, are fixed automatically by the intrinsic value of coin), a single international price will prevail for any internationally traded goods. The demand for money in any given country is a function of its real income and the price level, but prices are determined exogenously in the world market. The monetary authority can only control (and at best imperfectly) the supply of domestic money, but not its demand. An excess in the supply of money, such as occurred with the Spanish importation of New World bullion, stimulates buying in the international market until the excess money is discharged, and these purchases inflate international as well as domestic prices. After the initial rise in Spanish prices, the Spanish Crown adopted a wide array of inflationary monetary expedients (including coining base money, a copper-silver alloy known as vellon) in order to meet domestic needs and protect its revenues. Base money was not acceptable for international payments, however. Thus while Spain's domestic economy became saturated with vellon, its gold and silver coin dispersed abroad as payment for foreign goods. According to this model, Spanish prices rose as a direct result of bullion imports (the specie-flow mechanism), but demand for money in other countries increased as international prices, driven by Spain's heightened demand for goods, soared. Monetary authorities throughout Europe met the increased demand for money by issuing more currency, especially the low-value vellon or "black money." The Spanish inflation thus was transmitted to its trading partners whether or not bullion actually was exchanged.89 Econometric analysis of European price correlations appears to confirm Flynn's hypothesis that during the price revolution of 1 5 0 0 - 1 6 5 0 the expansion of Spanish specie, both fullbodied coins and vellon, triggered continent-wide inflation. 90





As things stand, then, a monetary explanation for the European price revolution still seems to be preferred over explanations emphasizing population growth or structural changes in the economy. But the particular monetary explanation now invoked to explain the European price revolution proceeds from very different premises than the monetary analysis utilized by the "crisis theorists" who posit a direct link between



The "Monetary


a sudden reduction in the influx of foreign silver and the fall of the Ming dynasty. Thus, the "crisis thesis" itself must be reexamined in light of both the theoretical considerations outlined above and the empirical findings presented in this and earlier chapters. The precise effects of the purported decline in bullion imports during the late 1630s and early 1640s have not been analyzed in great detail. In essence, the crisis theorists maintain that the interruption of silver imports precipitated a sharp contraction in the circulation of money. In response, people tended to hoard whatever silver they possessed. The crisis theorists also contend that the state's escalating tax demands resulted in the extraction of a sizable quantity of silver from the private economy (see table 16), further diminishing the quantity of silver in circulation. The scarcity of silver slowed down the commercial sector of the economy; the textile industry was most seriously affected, but the repercussions are believed to have extended to manufactures in general. Prices for manufactured goods fell, in turn pulling down wages, which were further eroded by the falling value of coin. The widening commercial crisis rippled throughout the agrarian economy as well. As the value of silver rose, the real cost of taxes and loans, both increasingly denominated in silver, rose accordingly. Peasants found it impossible to meet these heightened obligations, and many went bankrupt or fled from tax and debt collectors. In essence, the inability of the market to satisfy the demand for silver drove up the price of silver while the value of goods plummeted, resulting in a severe commercial crisis and ultimately a crisis in production as well. 91 The crisis theorists do not spell out the economic theory behind this general explanatory model. Nonetheless, it is clear enough that the model is derived, implicitly at least, from the Fisher equation of exchange. Like Fisher, the crisis theorists emphasize the flow of money and the distinction between idle and active money. In essence, they conclude that the diminished influx of foreign bullion was exacerbated by a sharp contraction in the velocity of money (through hoarding and mounting tax demands), making money all the more "scarce." But as the discussion in the previous section suggests, this version of the quantity theory is analytically flawed. Rather than the flow of money, it is the stock of money—or, more precisely, the interaction of the supply of and the stock demand for money—that determines changes in the price level. And here again it is important to keep in mind that we must view stock supply and demand from a global perspective.

The "Monetary Crisis"



But the crisis thesis is not simply deficient in terms of theory; it also is contradicted by the available empirical data. The crisis hypothesis, at least in the Chaunu/Adshead version, is premised on the existence of a unified global economy dominated by the flow of bullion across the Atlantic. In this scenario, the fortunes of the Chinese economy, no less than those of Europe, fluctuated with the rhythms of trade converging on Seville, the nerve center of this world-economy. But the importation of silver into China did not correspond at all to the rise and fall of bullion flows across the Atlantic. Despite Adshead's assertion that the first contraction of the Atlantic economy in the 1590s triggered a desperate search for new domestic sources of silver in China, the period from 1595 to 1605 actually marked a new high in imports of foreign silver, especially in imports of New World silver via the Philippines. Nor is there any evidence of a reduction of Chinese silver imports coinciding with the second and more profound contraction of the Atlantic economy beginning in the 1620s. On the contrary, Japanese exports of silver to China reached their peak level precisely at this time, and remained high until the 1640s. As mentioned above, the decline in bullion remittances to Seville in the 1620s very well may have been caused by a dramatic surge in the smuggling of New World silver to the Philippines and thence to China. Far from sharing Spain's economic woes, China, buoyed by the unprecedented vitality of its domestic economy, actually may have caused them. The diminution in the import of foreign silver during the late 1630s and early 1640s was not nearly as great as the crisis theorists project. The late 163 os undoubtedly marked the apogee of silver imports, and the early 1640s represented a decline only by comparison to the unusually high level of the immediately preceding years. The volume of imports in the early 1640s was not significantly lower than during the 1620s and early 1630s (see table 23; figure 10). Even if we take the period 1636 to 1640 as the norm and conclude that from 1 6 4 1 to 1645 China suffered a shortfall in the influx of silver amounting to 3 00 metric tons, this quantity represented only 4 percent of the (very conservative) estimate of 7,325 tons of silver imported during the previous century (ignoring the indigenous stock of bullion altogether). A 4 percent decline (and probably far less) in the total stock of silver (relative to demand) could not have been significant enough to cause the drastic effects ascribed to it. If there had been a sizable decline in silver imports and a shortage of money in circulation, the quantity theory of money predicts that prices



The "Monetary


400 300








Figure 1 0 . Five-year index of silver imports into China, 1 6 0 0 1 7 0 0 ( 1 6 0 0 - 1 6 0 5 = 100). Source: table 2.3.

would decline. In actuality, the price of rice soared to unprecedented heights during the 1640s (see figure 6). The price of land increased at a more modest pace, but even this rise is significant because it reversed what had been a trend of long-term decline. The fragmentary data that exist for prices of manufactured goods such as cotton and silk textiles indicate a sharp decline. But the price of cotton goods rebounded in 1646-47, and reached new highs by the early 1650s even in the absence of any sizable increase in bullion imports. 92 In sum, price movements in

The "Monetary Crisis"



700 500






1500 Figure 1 1 .




Index of coin/silver exchange ratios in Jiangnan,

1700 1527-1712

( 1 5 2 7 = 100). Source: table 4.

the 1640s do not fit the hypothesis of a dramatic shortage of money; rather, they exhibit the characteristic features of a subsistence crisis. The catastrophic famine conditions of 1 6 3 8 - 4 2 placed intense pressure on food supplies, with the result that the price of grain skyrocketed. The high cost of food in turn caused a shift in spending patterns. As subsistence needs soaked up a greater portion of household income, the demand for manufactured goods like textiles vanished and their prices fell. But the enormous increase in the silver-denominated price of rice hardly suggests a scarcity of silver or a pattern of withdrawing silver from circulation. The principal evidence for a scarcity of silver is the dramatic depreciation in the value of coin relative to silver. 93 However, the falling value of coin cannot be neatly correlated to the vicissitudes of bullion flows; the depreciation of coin represented an acceleration, not a reversal, of a secular trend toward cheaper coin dating back to the late sixteenth century (see figure 1 1 ) . 9 4 Changes in the coin/silver exchange ratio are best explained, not by changes in their relative quantities, but by changes in quality. The flight from coin in the waning years of the Ming dynasty resulted from radical debasement of standard coin and rampant counterfeiting rather than increased hoarding of silver. Inflation was unlikely to induce hoarding. On the contrary, the runaway inflation of the 1640s should have had the opposite effect: as prices rose, the demand to hold



The "Monetary


Figure i z . Silver-content prices of rice in China and J a p a n , 1 6 2 0 - 1 7 0 0 . Source: Yeh-chien Wang, "Secular Trend of Rice Prices," pp. 3 9 - 4 1 ; Iwahashi, Kinsei Nihon bukka shi no kenkyu, pp. 4 0 9 - 1 1 .

money declined, and those with stocks of money, whether silver or coin, would have been inclined to spend their money before its value eroded any further. Nor is it correct to say that silver collected as tax revenue was withdrawn from circulation, since the state immediately spent this money to pay and provision its armies, thereby returning silver to the private economy. The argument for a scarcity of silver also is contradicted by another trend observed in the late Ming: the falling value of silver relative to gold (see figure 4). The value of silver in terms of gold declined steadily throughout the first half of the seventeenth century, finally falling to the prevailing international level exactly at the moment the Ming dynasty fell. During the early Qing period the value of silver in China once again rose above the international price, suggesting that the relative demand for silver had reached a low ebb in the 1640s—precisely when, according to the crisis thesis, it should have peaked. The movement of the gold/ silver exchange ratio, like the price movements, suggests a surfeit rather than a scarcity of silver. Moreover, the crisis hypothesis becomes even less compelling when viewed in the context of the seventeenth century as a whole. During the first half of the seventeenth century, price levels steadily rose in both Europe and East Asia. China experienced a gradual rise in prices until the 1630s, and a sharp spike of inflation from the mid-1630s until around 1660, followed by the protracted deflation of 1660-90 (see figures 5 & 12). In Japan, prices moved roughly parallel to those in China

The "Monetary Crisis"



until 1645, but in opposite directions thereafter. The mid-century inflation spike began around the same time, in the mid-1630s, but passed by 1645, t o be followed by a trough of deflation that lasted to the mid-1650s (see figure 12).The contrast between price movements in China and Japan was especially striking after 1 6 5 5 , when Japan experienced strong inflation while China plunged into the Kangxi depression. Neither trend makes sense in terms of the transaction version of the quantity theory. During this period Japan continued to export considerable quantities of silver, straining domestic supplies to the point where the shogunate in 1668 took the extraordinary step of prohibiting all export of silver. In China, prices tumbled beginning in the late 1650s, yet the inflow of bullion from abroad rose substantially in the decade from 1655 to 1665, once again approaching the levels attained in the early seventeenth century (see table 23). As we have seen, contemporaries blamed the deflation of the early Kangxi years on interruptions in the influx of silver, but a pronounced deflation set in five or six years before silver imports began to fall. Little correlation can be discerned between the flow of silver and the price level in either China or Japan at this time. The disparities between price movements in China and Japan during the second half of the seventeenth century suggest that despite the sizable trade between the two countries, the international market in East Asia remained weakly integrated. Competitive international markets obtained only for a few high-value commodities, chiefly silk goods and metals. Of course, price indices based on bulky commodities like grain do not afford especially good evidence of market integration. But apart from the contrasting trends in price movements, the absolute price levels in China and Japan diverged substantially. Before the crises of the late 1630s and early 1640s (when both China and Japan suffered catastrophic famines), the price of rice in China was roughly 20 percent higher than in Japan. Following the mid-century crises, though, the price level in Japan soared. After 1663, the price level in Japan remained two-and-a-half to five times greater than in China—while statesmen in both countries bemoaned a "dearth" of silver. This widening gap in price levels indicates that the domestic markets of the two countries remained essentially discrete. The Japanese inflation in the second half of the seventeenth century, it should be noted, is attributed to demographic pressures rather than monetary expansion, since by all accounts the stock of money shrank rather than grew during this period. 95 Market integration in East Asia was obstructed by institutional constraints and transportation costs. In both China and Japan relatively



The "Monetary


powerful central states subjected maritime trade to strict regulation. While political controls on international trade were far from fully effective, they nonetheless hindered the free play of market forces. Geographic distance and the perils of oceanic shipping limited international trade between the two countries to a few high-value commodities. Production and export of goods such as silk and copper demonstrated that in a few cases domestic production was sensitive to international markets, but changes in the prices of these goods had only a marginal impact on the overall domestic price level. In the absence of an integrated international market, bullion movements and changes in the total stock of bullion did not produce the same monetary effects within the East Asian trading sphere as they did in Europe. The infusion of foreign silver into China did not generate an increase in the price level comparable to that which took place in Spain, nor did it create a glut of money that was expended through purchases of foreign goods. On the contrary, the price level in China sank well below that of Japan even while Japan was exporting massive quantities of silver to China. In short, silver behaved like a commodity rather than a disembodied form of money. Tempting as it is to concur with contemporary observers and ascribe the Kangxi depression to reduced imports of foreign silver, such a conclusion cannot be justified on either empirical or theoretical grounds. Instead, the deflation of 1660-90 should be understood in terms of a falling demand for goods—or, what amounts to the same thing, a rising demand for money. Contemporaries who attributed low prices to hoarding of silver were more right than those who had complained that hoarding contributed to the runaway inflation of the last years of the Ming. The return on money as an asset to hold undoubtedly surpassed returns from investment in other assets. For example, as the price of land resumed its long-term decline, alternative uses of money such as moneylending became more profitable than buying land. To understand why the demand for money rose, we must look at other economic changes besides the quantity of money. Consider, for example, the following scenario. The early years of the Qing were marked by slow demographic growth following the substantial population decline of the 1630s and 1640s. The falling labor/land ratio ensured high wages and low rents, making farming less profitable and landownership a less attractive investment. Stagnant land prices reflected the lack of confidence in land as an asset.96 Already in the mid-i650s, it seems, confidence in economic growth was faltering. The decline in prices made holders of wealth all the more pessimistic. As expectations of prosperity

The "Monetary




waned, investment in production declined. Ironically, despite a "shortage" of labor, unemployment rose, weakening consumer demand even more and causing prices to fall even lower. Deflation encouraged those who had money to hold it, since the purchasing power of money would only increase over time. This was true for all hard currency, coin as well as silver: throughout the Kangxi depression, the value of bronze coin rose in tandem with silver—indeed, even more dramatically. Thus the Kangxi depression, rather than providing evidence for the view that the price level was determined by the flow of silver imports, is better explained as a consequence of a rising demand for money, as modern quantity theory would predict. The depiction of China in the seventeenth century as " a silver 'junkie,' addicted to large and steady fixes of the precious metal to maintain an economic high," 9 7 unfortunately is as widespread as it is misleading. Money—and silver in particular—certainly was a crucial element in the burgeoning commercial economy of late Ming China. Yet the prevailing consensus of a catastrophic scarcity of silver in the middle and late seventeenth century rests on shaky theoretical and evidential foundations. The late imperial Chinese economy cannot be understood in terms of a single-factor theory. While the behavior of money (or, more precisely, the behavior of those who hold stocks of money) can tell us a great deal about the Chinese economy, a full understanding of the dynamics of economic growth will require more profound knowledge of the interaction between society, economy, and state than we now possess. 98


Classical Chinese monetary analysis regarded money as a creation of the state. Chinese statesmen of the late imperial period concurred with this view and upheld sovereign control of money as an essential means of creating social and economic order. The precepts of Chinese monetary policy afforded little autonomy to the market, insisting that the right to issue money, no less than the power to declare war or decree capital punishment, was exclusively an imperial prerogative. Yet even a powerful central state like the Chinese empire of late imperial times found itself impotent in the face of the expanding private market. By the sixteenth century, the state's monopoly over money had been shattered. Although the demise of the state's monetary authority usually is attributed to the influx of foreign silver in the late Ming, both uncoined silver and private bronze coin had largely supplanted state-issued "standard coin" as the primary media of market exchange and state payments already in the fifteenth century. The economy of late imperial China gave birth to a de facto system of free coinage. In early modern Europe, monetary policy revolved around maintaining a stable foreign exchange and favorable trade balances. 1 The profusion of monetary authorities, and the resulting multiplicity of monetary standards, were subject to the iron discipline of the foreign exchanges, which ensured that no overvalued or undervalued currency could endure for long. Although rulers could (and did) issue base domestic monies, gold and silver currencies remained tightly yoked to the prevailing international standards. By extension, the exchange ratios of precious metals remained highly stable, at least until they were upset by the massive importation of American treasure during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Chinese statesmen, in contrast, paid scant heed to questions of foreign exchange or trade balances, which were not perceived as significant factors in the determination of exchange ratios, at least not before the nineteenth century. Instead, Chinese monetary policy focused on manipulating the relative quantities of goods and money in order to stabilize Z46




the exchange values of each. The emergence of manifold currency systems (bronze coin, paper notes, and silver bullion) beginning in the Song period shifted attention away from the supply of goods and toward maintaining parity between the different forms of money. Nevertheless, imprudent monetary policies undermined the paper currencies of the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties and spurred a headlong flight to hard currency, above all silver bullion. Unable to impose fiat money on the private economy, the Ming state soon acceded to the dictates of the market and adopted silver bullion as the basis of state finance. In contrast to patent assumptions ascribing the origins of the money economy to private commerce, the Chugokushi kenkyukai group contends that the monetization of the Northern Song economy resulted from the rise of an autocratic central state that supplanted the diffuse aristocratic order of the early imperial era. In their analysis, money was indeed a creature of the state. The spreading use of money stemmed not from the needs of private exchange but rather the priorities of fiscal administration. National finances and, above all, military procurement shaped the pattern of commercial development. The greatest impetus to the use of money came during the reform administration of Prime Minister Wang Anshi, who greatly accelerated the transition from in-kind payments to money taxes, which during Wang's tenure accounted for roughly 40 percent of all state revenues. Wang's economic programs elicited universal condemnation because they dragged peasants, willing or not, into market exchange. Only by selling a portion of their produce could farming households obtain the cash needed to discharge their obligations to the state. The primary function of money, then, was the fulfillment of state payments. Rather than mediating the relationship between the individual and the market, money became an instrument whereby the state defined its relationship with its subjects. Wang's administration vastly increased the output of coin, but the purpose of monetary expansion was not to satisfy market demand but to facilitate payments to the state. Moreover, little of this new coin remained in private circulation. Driven by bullionist beliefs, Wang and his successors accumulated enormous stockpiles of coin. At the time the Song capital of Kaifeng fell to the Jin conquerors in 1 1 x 7 , state treasuries contained 98 million strings of coin, more than three times the 30 million strings estimated to be circulating in the private market. Consequently, the use of coin in state payments guaranteed its value and bolstered popular confidence in its worth. The assurance that the state would accept coin as final payment




encouraged the use of coin in private transactions as well. Thus the utility of coin as a means of exchange derived not from its use as a measure of value (as conventional monetary theory maintains) but from its central role as a means of state payments.2 At the apogee of Song power in the eleventh century, bronze coin reigned supreme as the universal monetary standard. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Song coin assumed the role of the international currency of the trading world of East Asia, and to some extent of the Indian Ocean as well. But the widespread use of coin ultimately proved a curse to fiscal policymakers. The relatively high costs of manufacturing coin from a base metal like copper and fluctuations in the availability of raw materials hampered the state's efforts to satisfy the demand for coin. High levels of mint output could be sustained only by incurring substantial deficits. Ironically, the peak period of coin output in the 1070s and 1080s coincided with a prolonged bout of deflation as demand for coin outran even the rapidly growing supply. Unable to maintain the necessary level of mint output, the Southern Song turned to a pure fiat currency, paper money, to restore elasticity to the money supply and expedite the collection of tax revenues. The new paper currency (huizi) instituted in 1 1 6 0 linked the monetary system to silver, which provided the bulk of the reserve funds backing the huizi notes.3 Subsequently the currency system fragmented into a number of parallel currencies performing specific functional roles. Paper money became a critical component of state payments, while local tax revenues often were remitted to the central government in the form of silver. Individual commercial trades in the capital established their own "short string" standards for calculating the value of coin, in effect giving birth to a profusion of commodity monies. A similar variety of "short string" standards is found in Song rental contracts. In a sense, the multiplicity of "short string" denominations can be likened to a system of free coinage.4 Bronze coin retained its primacy as the monetary standard, but the use of measures of coin as monies of account became increasingly divorced from physical money. The "short string" units widely employed in state payments and private commerce no longer corresponded to quantities of actual coin, and as often as not payment was made in paper currency or silver. Yet coin only slowly surrendered its preeminent position as the measure of value. The Yuan regime of paper money, which completely repudiated coin in private exchange as well as state payments, marked the critical shift away from a coin economy.




The huizi notes remained viable as long as the state adhered to the principle of specie convertibility. By the end of the twelfth century, though, fiscal exigencies induced the court to issue paper currency in excessive quantities without adequate reserves of metallic money. The Yuan, too, retreated from its initial commitment to specie convertibility, while the Ming state from the outset severed its paper money from any hard currency reserve. Consequently, in each case paper money suffered acute depreciation and virtual evisceration of its purchasing power. Persons of means sought to preserve their wealth by shedding their holdings of paper money and taking refuge in the safety of precious metals. Silver's supremacy as a store of value eventually led to the adoption of silver as the monetary standard in exchange.5 In the thirteenth century, when silver enjoyed a premium over gold in the Muslim world, silver tended to flow out of China to the west. During the fourteenth century, however, the value of silver in China rose sharply, stanching the hemorrhage of bullion. The high value of silver during the early Ming period stymied efforts by the architects of the Ming monetary system to restore a fiat currency, prompting the state to ban the use of metallic money, silver and coin alike, as media of exchange. The failure of Ming paper currency, fully apparent by the turn of the fifteenth century, only enhanced the attractiveness of silver as both a store of value and a means of exchange. The appreciation of silver also stimulated domestic mining, which reached peak levels in the first half of the fifteenth century, and eventually compelled the state to abandon paper currency and adopt silver as the monetary standard of the fiscal system. Even as the Ming switched to silver as both the monetary standard and, increasingly, the preferred form of tax payment, it ceased to mint coin. Presumably this decision was motivated by the high cost of minting bronze coin as well as lingering hopes of reviving the now moribund paper currency. Scarcity of coin curtailed its use in many areas. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, coin no longer served as a common medium of exchange in much of southern and western China. Yet at the same time, the expansion of trade in the capital, in Jiangnan, and along the Grand Canal corridor breathed new life into coin. Petty commerce in cities and towns favored bronze coin, which was far more convenient than uncoined silver for the needs of sundry exchange. With the state mints shuttered, private coiners rushed to meet this demand, resulting once again in a de facto system of free coinage. Private coin invariably was substandard, but the market adjusted by circulating it at a discount. The inexorable workings of Gresham's law naturally caused private coin




to drive standard coin out of the market and into hoards or the melting pot. Despite the moral opprobrium heaped upon cheap coin, it provided an elasticity to the money supply that was crucial to commercial expansion. The disintegration of the bronze coin standard evoked only a muted response from the court before the beginning of the sixteenth century. Schemes to establish a balanced multiple-currency system with fixed ratios of exchange, such as the one proposed by Qiu Jun in 1487, died stillborn. State mints were reopened (briefly in 1 5 0 3 - 9 , and more or less continuously from 1522), but the various tactics employed by the state to restore a sovereign standard coin failed to dislodge private coin from the marketplace. In Japan, where Chinese coin had provided the bulk of domestic currency since the twelfth century, the absence of a strong central state forced the authorities to capitulate to the market and condone the use of a vast array of debased coins at whatever rates the market would bear. The cartalist principles of Chinese statecraft tolerated no such concessions, however. Ming officials routinely denounced the proliferation of private coin as the handiwork of money changers, a cabal of sinister engrossers who flouted imperial law and cleverly manipulated the fears and anxieties of the masses. But repeated efforts to establish full-bodied standard coin proved futile. The campaign to resurrect a uniform monetary standard took on added urgency with the dramatic escalation of silver imports during the "silver century," lasting from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-sixteenth century. The tide of foreign silver quickened commercialization of the Chinese economy, enabling some entrepreneurs to amass unimaginable fortunes while exposing many more to the caprice of distant and inscrutable markets. The market, invigorated by transfusions of foreign silver, threatened to subvert the paternalist agrarian economy and the canons of social hierarchy upon which it rested. In the face of this menace, statecraft theorists rallied around coin as the only viable form of money amenable to the will of the ruler. Lurking behind the litany of evils attributed to silver was a basic fear—grounded in classical monetary thought as well as contemporary circumstances—that the finite supply of precious metals rendered them incapable of performing the essential functions of money. Hostility to dependence on foreign sources of specie provoked a renewed emphasis on bronze coin as bullion. Full-bodied coin, it was argued, was no less valuable as bullion than was silver, and augmenting the supply of full-bodied coin would yield considerable social benefit by enlarging the wealth of the realm.




During the Wanli reign (1572-16x0), the Ming court redoubled its efforts to expand mint output and reestablish coin as the preeminent monetary standard throughout the realm. These monetary offensives ultimately were derailed by intractable economic realities. The high cost of full-bodied coin became prohibitive in the eyes of budget officials, despite the claims of political economists that the benefits of coinage outweighed the deficits it entailed. Proponents of monetary expansion undoubtedly were mistaken in believing that the people preferred fullbodied coin to the heterogeneous panoply of coin then in circulation. On the contrary, by all indications urban consumers, the primary users of coin, demanded that coin be cheap and plentiful. Concerted efforts to enforce laws against the use of private coin met stiff popular resistance, and on several occasions incited riots. Chastened by these setbacks, which officials predictably attributed to an invidious cartel of money changers, the Wanli court nonetheless abandoned its expansionary monetary policies. The military crisis created by the Manchu invasions from 1 6 1 8 onward led to a fundamental reorientation of monetary policy. Concerns about sovereign authority and the dictates of classical monetary theory paled before the dire threat to survival now confronting the Ming state. Desperate to raise revenues for national defense, officials at the Tianqi and Chongzhen courts (1620-44) sought to exploit coinage as a source of seigniorage profits. In order to maximize the revenue yielded by coinage Ming rulers tacitly countenanced a series of debasements that severely compromised the quality of their coin. Progressive degradation of standard coin during the final decades of the Ming era spurred counterfeiting and sent the value of coin plummeting to unprecedented lows. By the time the Ming succumbed to the encroaching Manchus in 1644 even the best coin had fallen to a mere 20 to 25 percent of the value it had in 1600. The debasements of the Tianqi and Chongzhen periods also bore witness to the final surrender of the state's sovereign authority over monetary matters to the market. According to classical Chinese monetary analysis, the chief virtue of bronze coin was that in contrast to commodity monies like gold and silver the value of bronze coin was believed to be a function of its quantity rather than its intrinsic metallic content. By manipulating the quantity of bronze coin the state could fix or alter the exchange value of money. The prevalence of private coinage from the mid-Ming onward induced money changers to rate coin according to its intrinsic value rather than simply measuring its value by




tale. This trend caused an uproar within the marketplace itself, since discounting of coin eroded the real incomes of soldiers, laborers, and others paid in coin. State officials initially responded by insisting that all coin should be accepted at par, but as the use of private coin expanded at an alarming rate the state mimicked the market in trying to institute its own sliding scale of exchange rates, but one that privileged coin issued by state mints. The market failed to comply with the state's wishes, though, and in the end the market, not the state, triumphed. Although the value of coin stabilized in the early years of the Qing dynasty, the Qing state proved no more effective than the Ming in asserting imperial dominion over the exchange value of money. In the early Qing, as in the late Ming, the state treated coinage more as a source of revenue than an instrument of sovereign control over the economy. Nominal efforts on the part of the Qing to demonetize old coin and enforce an official indenture of exchange rates had negligible impact. The radical depreciation of coin in the 1630s and 1640s notwithstanding, coin remained in demand in private commerce. The growth of the commercial economy in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries rekindled market demand for coin. In the 1680s, and again in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, the value of coin rose well above the official indenture (much to the consternation of the state, which found itself in the position of selling coin at below-market prices). In the eighteenth century, coin reclaimed, at least to some degree, the functions long since usurped by silver. Prices were increasingly denominated in coin, evincing its utility as a measure of value, and the use of coin in loans and frequent complaints about merchants hoarding coin for speculative purposes revealed a renewed faith in coin as a store of value. The central government was sufficiently dismayed by the strong appreciation of coin that it enacted measures designed to restrict the use and hoarding of coin and encourage the substitution of silver in its place. 6 Movements in the exchange ratio between coin and silver cannot be explained simply in terms of changes in the relative quantities of monetary metals, as some scholars—Michel Cartier, for example—have tried to do. Cartier rightly stresses the commodity nature of monetary metals in arguing that production of silver and copper rose and fell with the market prices for the metals. High prices stimulated mining, but increased output of silver bullion or bronze coin eventually would cause their prices to fall, bringing a halt to mining. Cartier persuasively argues that imports of foreign silver in the late Ming lowered the price of silver to a level that rendered domestic mines unprofitable, with the result that




domestic mining of silver all but ceased. But his analysis of exchange ratio movements during the Ming is deeply flawed by inadequate data. O n the basis of a single, misinterpreted exchange quotation Cartier posits that the value of coin rapidly appreciated in the early sixteenth century; he then concludes that coin began to depreciate in the late sixteenth century because of increased mint output. 7 In fact, as table 4 shows, the exact opposite was true. Coin depreciated in the early sixteenth century as a result of the proliferation of debased private coin; conversely, coin appreciated in value in the final decades of the sixteenth century, partly because of rising silver imports, partly because of the state's efforts to issue full-bodied coin, and partly because commercial growth spurred demand for coin. As Kuroda Akinobu suggests, silver and coin were not strictly commensurable as commodities. Silver bullion indeed behaved like a commodity, but coin was an instrument of currency whose value could not be reduced simply to its intrinsic metallic value. 8 The appreciation of coin in the mid-eighteenth century certainly did not correspond to trends in the relative stocks of silver and coin. Coin began to rise in value precisely at a time when state mints, nourished by Yunnan's copper mines, were accelerating their output of coin, while imports of foreign silver languished in a trough between the peak years of the early and late eighteenth century. 9 N o r can the appreciation of coin be explained in terms of commodity prices; both coin- and silver-denominated prices entered a long phase of uninterrupted inflation just at this time. 1 0 Instead, the rising value of coin in the mid-eighteenth century must be understood in terms of the relative demand for particular types of money. The greater utility of coin as an instrument of petty exchange, coupled with the infiltration of the commercial economy into the rural hinterland, gave bronze coin a premium over silver bullion. One historian has argued that uncoined silver, whose value was solely determined by weight and fineness, constituted a crude, and indeed regressive, money; the use of bronze coin, not silver, was the true hallmark of commercial expansion and economic progress. 11 The partial return to a coin economy in the middle decades of the eighteenth century did not presage the restitution of coin as a unified monetary standard. Most coin produced at this time was cast at provincial mints, whose standards of manufacture varied, and the enhanced value of coin stimulated counterfeiting. Coin remained largely immobile. The state obtained only negligible quantities of coin through tax payments, and commercial remittances generally were made using silver




or bills of exchange (denominated in coin as well as silver). In contrast to the unified bronze coin standard of Song times, enforced by the primacy of coin as the chief means of state payments, the monetary system of the Qing period was highly segmented. The circulation of coin remained fairly localized, and the monetary standard varied from place to place. In the final decades of the eighteenth century, coin began to lose its favored position in the marketplace as imports of Mexican silver coin surged. The superiority of a uniform silver coin over both uncoined silver and petty bronze coin quickly ensconced the Mexican dollar as the de facto monetary standard of the commercial world of South China. Thus from the 1770s onward the value of silver once again began to rise, even though the quantity of silver in circulation was rapidly increasing. 12 The rise of the money economy did not entail a "rationalization" of China's monetary system in the sense of creating a single monetary standard. On the contrary, the monetization of the rural economy during the Ming and Qing periods fostered the development of a wide variety of regional and local currencies that fit the resources and needs of local trading systems. 13 Kuroda notes that money-use in the Qing was divided between local currencies utilized in retail trade and interregional means of payment employed in long-distance commerce and tax payments. No single currency could satisfy both of these needs. Petty market exchange required a standardized measure of value whose intrinsic worth was less significant than its convenience as a means of reckoning commodity values. In this respect, counting coins by tale was far more efficient than cumbersome measurement of bullion silver. But interregional exchange demanded a monetary medium that maintained a stable value, especially since interregional transfers of funds by definition required that the money employed serve as a store of value. Uncoined silver, whose value was determined by its intrinsic metallic content rather than the ruler's stamp, effectively fulfilled this condition. 14 But characterizing the MingQing monetary system as "parallel bimetallism" is misleading. The expansion of rural commerce in the eighteenth century drove up the value of coin relative to silver and enhanced the desirability of coin as a store of value. Moreover, as long as a transaction did not require physical movement of money beyond the local marketing system, coin could serve as a means of payment for large-scale transactions such as purchases of real property. As Kuroda notes, the scale of transaction was less significant in determining the choice of money than the spatial range of money-use. Thus in the eighteenth century, coin once again displaced




silver as the prevailing form of money in many regional markets. But the viscosity of a bulky, low-value money like bronze coin, in addition to the wide variety of actual coins in use, precluded its re-emergence as a unified, nationwide monetary standard. The monetary history of Ming-Qing China conformed to the tenets of modern monetary theory, which holds that it is the demand for money, as much as the supply of money, that determines its value. Prevailing interpretations of late imperial China's relationship to the global economy need to be revised in light of this finding. Fluctuations in the supply of silver, or in the flow of silver imports, did not exercise such pervasive influence over China's domestic economy as has been often suggested. International bullion flows cannot be understood simply as mechanisms for offsetting trade imbalances. Rather, the surge of silver imports into China from the sixteenth century onward reflected a sharp increase in the demand for money. We must also remember that the flow of bullion was never one-dimensional. Precious metals were not simply bullion; they were commodities, and trade in precious metals ebbed and flowed according to the prices they commanded and the profits they were expected to yield. Economic logic would lead us to anticipate that the import of silver into China would slow in the middle of the seventeenth century as the price of silver fell. Moreover, any fall in the import of silver probably would have been accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the export of gold. Though hard data is lacking, circumstantial evidence indicates that the export of gold out of China did indeed slacken in the 1630s and 1640s. Imported silver undoubtedly gave China's money supply the liquidity it desperately needed. But the "value" of silver imports varied over time. The strength of the monetary demand for silver also is attested by the modest inflation that accompanied the import of bullion during China's "silver century." In contrast to the virulent inflation of the price revolution in sixteenth-century Europe, grain prices in China rose slowly before 1630; although inflation soared between 1 6 3 0 and 1660, decades of famine, war, and conquest, the real price level retreated to the early sixteenth-century plateau in the years after 1660. The price of land, a better gauge of long-term price movements, remained stagnant throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For Chinese analysts, the danger posed by dependence on foreign silver was not inflation, but deflation. Although their economic analysis was flawed, their observations were not. The hunger for silver—that is to say, the demand for money—remained unabated throughout the seventeenth century.

Z5 6



The reinterpretation of the relationship between bullion flows and China's domestic economy presented here also suggests that we must reexamine the significance of the drain of silver out of China in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Prevailing scholarly opinion holds that massive imports of opium in the 1830s and 1840s produced substantial trade deficits and a hemorrhage of silver abroad. The resulting contraction of China's monetary supply caused severe economic dislocation, which prompted the Opium War and China's involuntary incorporation into the imperialist world order. 1 5 Recently, Lin Manhoung has modified this version of the economic crisis of the 1 8 3 0 s and 1840s by emphasizing that the drain of silver abroad resulted from three intersecting trends: Chinese imports of opium, paid for with silver; economic depression in Europe, with a corresponding loss of foreign markets for Chinese tea and silk; and the decline in world silver production. 16 While there is much merit to this analysis, it is based on a balance-of-trade theory of bullion flows that fails to do justice to silver as a commodity. Lin correctly recognizes the connection between the drain of silver abroad and the steep decline in world output of silver, but her approach is fixated on questions of supply and overlooks the issue of monetary demand. Louis Dermigny noted long ago that the scale of opium imports could not account for more than half of the outflow of silver, and that China's net outflow of silver from 1 8 2 5 to 1 8 5 0 must be seen in the context of the drastic reduction in world output of silver. But Dermigny went further to argue that the considerable appreciation of silver in the West raised the demand to hold silver stocks (especially in the United States, whose exports of silver to China fell 80 percent). The value of silver (relative to gold) on world markets exceeded the domestic value of silver in China, eliminating the incentive to export silver to China. 1 7 The global economic depression of the 18 3 os and 1840s indeed had a significant impact on China's domestic economy in ways that the European "general crisis of the seventeenth century" did not, but satisfactory understanding of the "monetary crisis" of nineteenth-century China awaits close study of the workings of the monetary system. Thus the monetary history of late imperial China offers little support to either the "early modern" paradigm, which emphasizes the parallels between the commercialization of the late imperial Chinese economy and the genesis of capitalism in Europe, or the "seventeenth-century crisis" hypothesis, which depicts the Chinese economy as highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of an all-encompassing global economy dominated by trade and bullion flows. The real story in Chinese monetary history is not




whether the monetary system provided the necessary preconditions for economic growth but, rather, how the monetary system adapted to the specific needs of Chinese markets. The intense attention devoted to silver imports in Ming-Qing China unfortunately has obscured the significance of the other monetary medium, bronze coin, which played a far more important role in the commercial economy than is usually realized. The commercial expansion inaugurated in the sixteenth century was fueled not only by imports of foreign silver but also by the proliferation of private coinage. As these two forms of money superseded standard coin, the state lost its sovereign authority over money. What often has been labeled a degenerated and chaotic monetary system actually was the result of the profusion of market monies in the absence of a strong and effective monetary authority. Silver and coin each had unique advantages and satisfied particular forms of monetary demand. Silver prevailed as the store of value, and hence eclipsed coin as the measure of value and the medium of interregional commerce and state payments. But coin endured as an important means of exchange; not merely a subsidiary of silver or a vestige of an archaic economy, bronze coin was the lifeblood of local commerce. Nor should we regard the functions of silver and coin as mutually exclusive. Under specific market and monetary conditions coin enjoyed a premium over silver. The silver economy was not a product of the massive influx of foreign silver in the century between 1 5 5 0 and 1650. Silver displaced coin as a store of value and measure of value during the Yuan period, and Ming monetary policies from the outset abetted the ascendancy of silver over coin. It would be more correct to say that the rise of the silver economy was a precondition of the influx of foreign silver, which was triggered by the conjuncture of escalating demand in China and falling costs of production in the silver-mining regions of the world. Ultimately, it was the particular institutional character of the market system, rather than the choice of means of exchange, that determined the course of China's monetary history. To fully appreciate the dynamics of the silver economy we must train our gaze on the infinite numbers of daily transactions in markets throughout China as well as the macrohistorical trends in global bullion movements.


Abbreviations used in notes: BJXS BQXD CSJC CZCB


Biji xiaoshuo congshu collectanea Chen Yuting. Baoquan xindu. 1624. Congshu jicheng collectanea. Wan Yan et al., ed. Chongzhen changbian. Rpt. in Ming shi lu fulu. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1962. Chongzhen changbian. Tongshi ed. Qingdai dang'an shiliao congbian. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1978-. Shen Shixing et al., ed. Da Ming huidian. 1587. Rpt. Taibei: Xinwenfeng chuban gongsi, 1976. Qiu Jun. Daxue yanyi bu. 1487. Siku quanshu collectanea ed. Bi Ziyan. Duzhi zouyi. 1633. Tan Qian. Guo que. Ca. 1653. Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1958. Guanzi. Guoxue jiben congshu ed. He Changling et al., ed. Huangchao jingshi wenbian. 182,6. Rpt. Taibei: Guofeng chubanshe, 1963. Ban Gu. Han shu. Beijing ed. Gu Yanwu. Tianxia junguo libing shu. Sibu congkan ed. Chen Zilong et al., ed. Huang Ming jingshi wenbian. 1 6 3 J . Rpt. Taibei: Guofeng chubanshe, 1964. Zhang Xueyan et al., ed. Wanli kuaiji lu. 1582. Rpt. Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, n.d. Dong Qichang, ed. Shenmiao liuzhong zoushu huiyao. 1624. Ming shi lu. Rpt. Taibei: Academia Sinica, 1962. 259




Abbreviations Sun Chengze. Chunming mengyu lu. Rpt. Yangzhou: Jiangsusheng guangling guji keyinshe, 1990. Qingchao wenxian tongkao. Shitong ed. Hu Wokun. Qian tong. Siku quanshu collectanea ed. Gu Yanwu. Ri zhi lu jishi. Ed. Huang Rucheng. Shijiazhuang: Huashan wenyi chubanshe, 1990. Sima Qian. Shiji. Beijing ed. Siku quanshu collectanea. Sun Chengze. Shan shu. 1668. Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 1989. Du You. Tongdian. 801. Shitong ed. Dai Jin, ed. Huang Ming tiaofa shilei zuan. 1 5 3 1 - 3 3 . Rpt. Tokyo: Koten kenkyukai, 1966. Wang Qi. Xu wenxian tongkao. 1 6 1 3 ed. Wu Liang. Wanli shuchao. 1609. Ma Duanlin. Wenxian tongkao. 1308. Shitong ed. Ji Huang et al., ed. Xu wenxian tongkao. 1749. Shitong ed. Ye Mengzhu. Yueshi bian. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1 9 8 1 .



1. The pioneering study of Fu Yiling traced the "sprouts of capitalism" to the "commercial revolution" of the sixteenth century. See Fu, Mingdai Jiangnan jingji shitan (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1957). 2. The concept of an "early modern" stage in Chinese socioeconomic history was introduced in William T. Rowe, Hankow: Conflict and Community in a Chinese City, 1796-1895 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989), p. 3 ff. But the phenomena subsumed under this label had achieved the status of a paradigm well before the label "early modern" was applied to them. See William T. Rowe, Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, 1796-1889 (Stanford University Press, 1984), pp. 341-46; Rowe, "Approaches to Modern Chinese Social History," in Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History, ed. Olivier Zunz (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985), pp. 24041; Evelyn S. Rawski, "Economic and Social Foundations of Late Imperial Culture," in Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, ed. David Johnson, Andrew J. Nathan, and Evelyn S. Rawski (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985), pp. 3-33; Susan Naquin and Evelyn S. Rawski, Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), pp. 221-32. 3. For a more extensive review and critique of scholarship on the socioeconomic history of late imperial China, see Philip C. C. Huang, "The Paradigmatic Crisis in Chinese Studies: Paradoxes in Social and Economic History," Modern China 17.3 (1991): 299-341. 4. See, for example, Paul S. Ropp, Dissent in Early Modern China: Ju-lin wai-shih and Ch'ing Social Criticism (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981). 5. Mark Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1973), p. 235. 6. Ying-shih Yii, Zhongguo jinshi zongjiao lunli yu shangren jingshen (Taibei: Lianjing chuban shiye gongsi, 1987), pp. 103-4. 7. Philip C. C. Huang, The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1550-1988 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990). 8. The massive scale of silver imports was first pointed out in the 1930s by Momose Hiromu and Liang Fangzhong. See Momose, "Mindai no ginsan to gaikoku ginni tsuite," Seikyü gakusö 19 (1935): 90-147; Liang, "Mingdai guoji maoyi yu yinde shuchuru (1939)," reprinted in Liang Fangzhong jingjishi lunwen ji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989), pp. 132-79. But this issue began to attract 261



Notes to Pages


widespread attention only after the publication of studies by Quan Hansheng and William S. Atwell. See Quan, "Meizhou baiyin yu shiba shiji Zhongguo wujia geming de guanxi," Zhongyang yanjiuyuart lishi yuyan yanjiusuo jikan 28.2 (1957): 5 1 7 - 5 0 ; Quan, "Ming Qing jian Meizhou baiyinde shuru Zhongguo," Zhongguo wenhua yanjiusuo xuebao 2.1 (1969): 59-74; Atwell, "Notes on Silver, Foreign Trade, and the Late Ming Economy," Ch'ing-shih wen-t'i 3.8 (1977): 1 - 3 3 ; Atwell, "International Bullion Flows and the Chinese Economy circa 1 5 3 0 - 1 6 5 0 , " Past and Present 95 (1982): 68-90. 9. Naquin and Rawski, Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century, p. 104; See also Rawski, "Economic and Social Foundations of Late Imperial Culture," pp. 3-4; Rowe, "Approaches to Modern Chinese Social History," pp. 2 7 2 - 7 3 ; Rowe, Hankow: Conflict and Community in a Chinese City, p. 3. 10. Fu, Mingdai Jiangnan jingji shitan, pp. 2-6; Michel Cartier, "Les importations de métaux monétaires en Chine: Essai sur la conjoncture chinoise," Annales: Économies, sociétés, civilisations 36.3 (1981): 455. 1 1 . Cartier, "Les importations de métaux monétaires en Chine," pp. 4 54-55, 459; Yeh-chien Wang, "Evolution of the Chinese Monetary System, 1 6 4 4 1 8 5 0 , " in Modern Chinese Economic History: Proceedings of the Conference on Modern Chinese Economic History, Academia Sinica, ed. Chi-ming Hou and Tzong-shian Yu (Taibei: Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, 1979), pp. 432-33. 1 2 . Chaunu, "Manille et Macao, face à la conjoncture des XVIe et XVIIe siècles," Annales: Économies, sociétés, civilisations 17.3 (1962): 555-80; the quoted passage is found on p. 570. 1 3 . For a precise statement of Chaunu's conception of the Atlantic economy as a world economy, see Pierre and Huguette Chaunu, "Économie atlantique, économie mondiale," Cahiers d'histoire mondiale 1 (1953): 9 1 - 1 0 4 . Immanuel Wallerstein, in his landmark study of the rise of capitalism, denied that China had become part of the Eurocentric "world-economy" before the nineteenth century. But Fernand Braudel, while embracing Wallerstein's "world-systems" approach to global economic integration, took issue with Wallerstein and essentially reaffirmed Chaunu's view that an integrated global economy had emerged already in the seventeenth century. See Wallerstein, The Modern WorldSystem I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1974), pp. 328-44; Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, Fifteenth to Eighteenth Century, vol. 3: The Perspective of the World (New York: Harper & Row, 1984), pp. 69-76,490-91. 14. S. A. M. Adshead, "The Seventeenth Century General Crisis in China," Asian Profile 1 . 2 (1973): 2 7 1 - 8 0 ; William S. Atwell, "Some Observations on the 'Seventeenth-Century Crisis' in China and Japan," Journal of Asian Studies 45.2 (1986): 223-44; Frederic Wakeman, Jr., "China and the Seventeenth-Century Crisis," Late Imperial China 7.1 (1986): 1 - 2 6 ; Wakeman, The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth-Century China (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985), I: 1 - 9 . 1 5 . Wakeman, "China and the Seventeenth-Century Crisis," pp. 2 - 3 . 16. Atwell, "International Bullion Flows," p. 86.

Notes to Pages 5-8



17. Adshead, "The Seventeenth Century General Crisis in China," passim; Atwell, "International Bullion Flows," pp. 87-89; Atwell, "Some Observations on the 'Seventeenth-Century Crisis,'" p. 229; Wakeman, "China and the Seventeenth-Century Crisis," pp. 3-4. 18. Brian Moloughney and Xia Weizhong, "Silver and the Fall of the Ming: A Reassessment," Papers on Far Eastern History 40 (1989): 51-78. 19. Jack A. Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991), pp. 360-62, 371-7520. K. N. Chaudhuri, The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660-1760 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 153-89. 21. Dennis O. Flynn, "The Microeconomics of Silver and East-West Trade in the Early Modern Period," in The Emergence of a World Economy, 15001914, ed. Wolfram Fischer, R. Marvin Mclnnis, and Jürgen Schneider (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1986), I: 37-60; Flynn, "Comparing the Tokugawa Shogunate with Hapsburg Spain: Two Silver-Based Empires in a Global Setting," in The Political Economy of Merchant Empires, ed. James D. Tracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 332-59; Flynn and Arturo Giraldez, "Arbitrage, China, and World Trade in the Early Modern Period," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 38.4 (1995): 429-48. 22. Earl J. Hamilton was the first to ascribe Europe's economic takeoff to the import of American treasure. Keynes agreed, emphasizing that in its earlier phases the "price revolution" constituted a form of "profit inflation" that spurred capital accumulation. Wallerstein likewise links the price revolution to capital accumulation, which in his view redistributed global wealth in Europe's favor and inaugurated Europe's economic hegemony over the rest of the world. See Hamilton, American Treasure and the Price Revolution in Spain, 1501-1650 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1934), pp. 299-306; John Maynard Keynes, A Treatise on Money (London: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1930), II: 152-63; Wallerstein, The Modern World-System I: 68-85. 23. Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System II: Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World-Economy, 1600-1750 (New York: Academic Press, 1980) remains the most thorough examination of the "seventeenth-century crisis" thesis. 24. See the cautionary remarks expressed by Frank Perlin, "Monetary Revolution and Societal Change in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Times," Journal of Asian Studies 45.5 (1986): 1037-49. 25. For a cogent exposition of this notion of a "parallel bimetallic" monetary system in late imperial China, see Frank H. H. King, Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1845-1895 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965). As Yehchien Wang notes, King's analysis does not really address the issue of the relationship between silver and bronze coin. For Wang's own "hydraulic" model, see his "Evolution of the Chinese Monetary System," pp. 426-31. 26. Kuroda Akinobu, "Shindai gin sen nikasei no közö to sono hökai," Shakai keizai shigaku 57.2 (1992): 232.



Notes to Pages


27. Lloyd E. Eastman, Family, Field, and Ancestors: Constancy and Change in China's Social and Economic History, 1550-1949 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 108. 2.8. Kuroda, "Shindai gin sen nikasei," passim. 29. Katö Shigeru, Tö Sö jidai ni okeru kingin no kenkyü (Tokyo: Töyö bunko, 1943); Katö, Shina keizai shi köshö (Tokyo: Töyö bunko, 1953); Miyazaki Ichisada, Godai Sösho no tsüka mondai (Kyoto: Hoshino shoten, 1943); Peng Xinwei, Zhongguo huobi shi (2nd ed., Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1958 [originally published in 1954]). Katö's lecture notes on Chinese monetary history recently have been published under the title Chügoku kahei shi kenkyü (Tokyo: Töyö bunko, 1991). 30. Herbert Franke, Geld und Wirtschaft in China unter der MongolenHerrschaft: Beitrage zur Wirtschafts-geschichte der Yuan-Zeit (Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1949). Lien-sheng Yang's Money and Credit in China: A Short History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952) is a handy guide to the evolution of the monetary system but devoid of economic analysis. 3 1 . Miyazawa Tomoyuki, "Tö-Sö jidai no tampaku to kahei keizai no tokushitsu," Shirin 7 1 . 2 (1988): 1 9 1 - 2 2 2 ; Miyazawa, "Hoku-Sö no zaisei to kahei keizai," in Chügoku sensei kokka to shakai tögö, ed. Chügokushi kenkyükai (Kyoto: Bunrikaku, 1990), pp. 279-332; Miyazawa, " T ö yori Min ni itaru kahei keizai no tenkai," in Higashi Ajia sensei kokka to shakai, keizai, ed. Nakamura Satoru (Tokyo: Aoki shoten, i993),pp. 185-220; AdachiKeiji, "Min Shin jidai ni okeru senkeizai no hatten," in Chügoku sensei kokka to shakai tögö, pp. 3 8 7 - 4 1 2 ; Adachi, "Chügoku kara mita Nihon kaheishi no ni, san no mondai," Atarashii rekishigaku no tame ni 203 (1991): 1 - 1 1 ; Adachi, "Chügoku ni okeru kindai e no ikö—shijö közö o chüshin to shite," in Higashi Ajia sensei kokka to shakai, keizai, pp. 255-84. 32. Their analysis clearly is inspired by Max Weber's adaptation of the state theory of money. See Weber, Economy and Society, ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978), I: 7 5 - 8 2 , 166-93. 33. See Kuroda Akinobu, "Kenryü no senki," Töyöshi kenkyü 45.4 (1987): 692-723; Kuroda, "Shindai gin sen nikasei," pp. 227-59. 34. Frank Perlin, "Money-Use in Late Precolonial South Asia," in Perlin, The Invisible City: Monetary, Administrative and Popular Infrastructures in Asia and Europe, 1500-1900 (Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1993), pp. 1 3 7 - 4 9 . 35. Kozo Yamamura, "From Coins to Rice: Hypotheses on the Kandaka and Kokudaka Systems," Journal of Japanese Studies 14.2 (1988): 3 4 1 - 6 7 . 36. See the recent symposium issue on "'Public Sphere' / 'Civil Society' in China?" in Modern China 19.2 (1993). 37. See, for example, Judith A. Berling, "Religion and Popular Culture: The Management of Moral Capital in The Romance of the Three Teachings," in Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, pp. 1 8 8 - 2 1 8 ; Yü, Zhongguo jinshi zongjiao lunli yu shangren jingshen; Craig Clunas, Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China (Cambridge: Probity Press, 1991); Joanna F. Handlin Smith, "Gardens in Ch'i Piao-chia's Social World:


to Pages




Wealth and Values in Late-Ming Kiangnan," Journal of Asian Studies 5 1 . 1 (1992): 50-81. 3 8. See Richard von Glahn, " T h e Enchantment of Wealth: The G o d Wutong in the Social History of Jiangnan," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 51.2. (1991): 6 5 1 - 7 1 4 . CHAPTER


1. The logical approach to reconstructing the origins of money emphasizes the priority of its use as a means of exchange; see Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit (New Y o r k : Harcourt, Brace & Co., 193 6), pp. 30-34; John Hicks, A Theory of Economic History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), pp. 63-68. Historical evidence, however, favors the measure of value function; see Rupert J. Ederer, The Evolution of Money (Washington, D C : Public Affairs Press, 1964), pp. 1 1 - 1 8 . A m o n g the theorists w h o stressed the primacy of the measure of value function was John Maynard Keynes; see A Treatise on Money (London: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1930), I: 3 - 4 . 2. John Hicks, Critical Essays in Monetary Theory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), pp. 4 - 7 ; Ederer, Evolution of Money, pp. 33-34. 3. Hicks, Critical Essays in Monetary Theory, pp. 1 7 - 3 7 . 4. Ederer, Evolution of Money, pp. 1 1 - 1 2 , 47-48. 5. The state theory of money was widely championed by the German school of historical economics. Its classic statement can be found in Georg F. Knapp, The State Theory of Money, trans. H. M . Lucas and J. Bonar (London: Macmillan, 1924). While much derided by mainstream neoclassical economists (see von Mises, Theory of Money and Credit, pp. 242.-57), Knapp's w o r k had a profound influence on theorists such as M a x Weber; see Weber, Economy and Society, I: 75-80, 184-93. 6. Hicks, Theory of Economic History, p. 66. 7. Weber, Economy and Society, I: 78. 8. Pierre Vilar, A History of Gold and Money, 1450-1920

(London: N L B ,

1976), PP- I9-2.29. Vilar, Gold and Money, p. 26. 10. Hicks, Theory of Economic History, pp. 64-67. 1 1 . This point is brilliantly argued in Carlo M . Cipolla, Money, Prices, and Civilization in the Mediterranean World: Fifth to Seventeenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956), pp. 2 7 - 3 7 . 12. Ederer, Evolution of Money, pp. 56-58. 13. Cipolla, Money, Prices, and Civilization, pp. 3 8 - 5 1 . 14. For a technical discussion of "short strings," see M i y a z a w a , " T o So jidai no tampaku." 15. The use of silver of specified fineness as a money of account, such as the official Qing standard known as the "Kuping tael," will not concern us. For more details on the intricacies of Chinese monies of account, see King, Money and Monetary Policy in China, pp. 2 8 - 3 1 , 243-47. 16. O n the significance of the Greek heritage for the development of the



Notes to Pages 2 3 - 2 7

contrasting approaches of theoretical cartalism and metalism, see Joseph A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1954), pp. 53-66; Arthur E. Monroe, Monetary Theory before Adam Smith (1913; rpt. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1966), pp. 5-9. 17. See, for example, Hicks, Theory of Economic History, pp. 63-68. For Adam Smith's narrative of the development of the use of money out of a primitive barter economy, see The Wealth of Nations, bk. I, ch. 4 (New York: Modern Library, 1937), pp. 22-29. 18. On the classification of theories of money including the "catallactic" approach, see von Mises, Theory of Money and Credit, pp. 4 1 3 - 3 3 . 19. Actually, Aristotle was not consistent on this point. In the Nichomachean Ethics, bk. V, ch. 5, v. 1 1 3 3 a , Aristotle seized upon the semantic identity between "money" (nomisma) and " l a w " (nomos) to articulate a view closer to that of Plato; namely, that money does not exist by nature but instead is an artificial construct of human convention. But in contrast to Plato and theoretical cartalism, which holds that the value of money can be changed by the will of the state, Aristotle regarded the "laws" of value, which were derived from a just estimation of the actual worth of the commodities exchanged, as immutable. Unlike classical economists such as Smith and Marx, Aristotle did not believe that "use value" was inherent in goods themselves; rather, for him use value and exchange value both were determined by human beings, and a commodity's exchange value was equal to its genuine use value. See The Complete Works of Aristotle, ed. Jonathan Barnes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), II: 1788; Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, pp. 62-64; Josef Soudek, "Aristotle's Theory of Exchange: An Inquiry into the Origin of Economic Analysis," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 96.1 (1952): 45-75. 20. Politics, bk. I, ch. 9, v. 1257a, in The Complete Works of Aristotle, II: 1995. 2 1 . Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, pp. 64, 288-90. 22. For a brief sketch of commodity monies in ancient China, see Yang, Money and Credit, pp. 1 1 - 1 6 , 40-43. 23. Kwang-chih Chang, Shang Civilization (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), pp. 1 5 3 - 5 7 . 24. For brief summaries of the evidence for the use of money in the Warring States period, see Yang, Money and Credit, pp. 1 4 - 1 6 , 20-22; Cho-yun Hsu, Ancient China in Transition: An Analysis of Social Mobility, 722-222 B.C. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1965), pp. 122-26. 25. Guoyu, "Zhouyu xia" (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1988), I: 118. 26. G Z 75, "Shanquanshu," III: 73. In Han times, Mount Zhuang was still an important source of copper ore, so the author of the text probably imagined that the metal used for coinage in high antiquity was, as in his own day, copper. 27. Huan Kuan, Yantie lun, 2, "Ligeng" (Guoxue jiben congshu ed.), p. 7. 28. Jizhong zhou shu, 1 1 , "Dakuang jie" (Sibu congkan ed.), 2.7b-8a. 29. SJ 30.1442. 30. Huan Kuan, Yantie lun, 4, "Cuobi," p. 16. 3 1 . Zhou yi, "Xici," xia, 2 (Sibu congkan ed.), 8.2a.

Notes to Pages 2 7 - 3 4



32. HS 2 4 A . 1 1 1 7 . 33. Li Gou, "Fuguo ce (8)," in Li Gou ji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981), 16.145. 34. A similar perspective is found in the preface to the Yuan scholar Ma Duanlin's (1254-after 13 23 ) encyclopedic history of political institutions. Ma observed that money, in contrast to food and clothing, lacked use value, yet because it was "a substance convenient as a means of exchange" (shiyong zhi wu ) the sage-kings of antiquity utilized money to mediate the value of goods and ensure sufficiency for all. See WXTK, " Z i x u , " 4a. 35. See, among others, TD 8.45c; WXTK 8.83a. 36. DXYYB z6.ia-b. 37. On the origins and history of the text of the Guanzi, see the introductory essay to the translation by W. Allyn Rickett: Guanzi: Political, Economic, and Philosophical Essays from Early China, vol. 1 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985). 3 8. The view that the "Light and Heavy" chapters date from the Wang Mang era is propounded in Ma Feibai, Guanzi qingzhongpian xinquan (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), I: 3-50. The "Light and Heavy" chapters are not translated in the single volume of Rickett's translation that has appeared thus far. A serviceable but abbreviated translation was published in Economic Dialogues in Ancient China: Selections from the Kuan-Tzu, ed. Lewis Maverick (Carbondale, IL: Lewis Maverick, 1954); but the analysis of monetary doctrines by Huang Han appended to this translation (pp. 280-93) unreliable. For a more insightful (albeit tendentious) critique of monetary theory in the Guanzi, see Hu Jichuang, Zhongguo jingji sixiang shi (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1962), I: 335-4539. G Z 73, "Guoxu," III: 70. 40. G Z 73, "Guoxu," III: 67; 75, "Shanquanshu," III: 77. 4 1 . GZ 73, "Guoxu," III: 66-67. 42. Commentary of the Han scholastic Zheng Xuan (127-200) on a passage in The Rituals of Zhou, quoted in DXYYB 26.3b. 43. G Z 73, "Guoxu," III: 66. The Sovereign of Destiny (Siming) was a deity believed to have the power to determine the length of an individual's life-span. 44. This crucial but problematic passage appears four times, in slightly different forms, in the existing text of the Guanzi. This translation is based on G Z 77, "Dishu," III: 84; see also G Z 73, "Guoxu," III: 70; G Z 78, "Kuidu," III: 89; G Z 8 1 , "Qingzhong yi," III: 102. 45. G Z 4, "Shengma," I: 18. 46. On Xenophon's theory of money, see René Gonnard, Histoire des doctrines monétaires dans ses rapports avec l'histoire des monnaies (Paris: Sirey, T 935)> 39-4347. Robert M. Hartwell, "Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis and Economic Policy in T'ang-Northern Sung China," Transactions of the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan 13 (1968): 7 1 . 48. G Z 74, "Shanguogui," III: 7 1 . 49. G Z 76, "Shanzhishu," III: 81-82. 50. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, pp. 288-90.



Notes to Pages


51. SJ 30.1442; HS 24B.1152. 52.. The metallic content of coins varied considerably over time. Originally they were manufactured from an alloy of copper, lead, and tin. By the Ming dynasty lead was usually replaced with zinc, and only traces of tin remained. 53. For surveys of Qin-Han monetary policies, see Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 7 5 - 8 3 , 1 0 9 - 2 1 3 ; Nancy Lee Swann, Food and Money in Ancient China: Han Shu 24 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), passim. Recent archaeological discoveries have been incorporated in Xiao Qing, Zhongguo gudai huobi shi (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1984), pp. 53-145. 54. Jia Yi, "Tongbu," Xin shu (CSJC ed.), 3.30; Jia, "Zhuqian," ibid., 4.45-47. See also HS 24B.1152-57, which merges these two essays into one. 55. S] 30.1419; See also Burton Watson, trans., Records of the Grand Historian of China (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), II: 80. 56. The Wushu (i.e., "five shu") coin, like other early Chinese coins, derived its name from its designated weight. One shu was V24 of a liang, or ounce. The Wushu coin weighed 3.35 g., 67 percent more than the Sanshu coin (2 g.) it replaced, but less than half of the Banliang coin (8 g.) of Qin. 57. I.e., the "white metal" coins introduced by Emperor Wu. These coins were issued in three denominations. Those bearing a likeness of a dragon were worth 3,000 wen\ with a horse, 500 wen; and with a tortoise, 300 wen. See SJ 30.1427; Watson, Records of the Grand Historian, II: 88-89. 58. Huan Kuan, Yantie lun, 4, "Cuobi," pp. 16-17. 59. HS 2 4 A . 1 1 3 1 ; Swann, Food and Money, p. 161. 60. Huan Kuan, Yantie lun, 1, "Benyi," pp. 2-3. 61. I disagree with Watson's identification (in keeping with traditional exegesis) of sanbao as the products of the other three classes; see Watson, Records of the Grand Historian, II: 478, n. 4. The word bao generally denoted luxury goods consumed only by the upper classes, rather than staples like food and fuel. The "three bao" most likely referred to the three types of money in antiquity (pearls and jade; gold; and bronze currency) repeatedly mentioned in the Guanzi and other contemporary works. The reading of bao as money also draws support from the parallel passage in Yantie lun, cited in text, which replaces sanbao with baohuo, "precious commodities." Although baohuo could simply refer to commodities, it also was explicitly used as a collective designation for media of exchange, and the word itself appeared as the name of a number of metallic currencies. 62. S] 129.3253; Watson, Records of the Grand Historian, II: 478. This quotation does not appear in the existing version of the "Book of Zhou" in the Book of Documents. 63. The meaning of bu here is ambiguous, in part because it is used as both subject (a form of money) and predicate (as a verb, bu means "to spread, diffuse, disseminate"). In the previous sentence bu is clearly paired with silk cloth as a form of money measured in bolts of a standard size, and thus the word must mean "hemp cloth." But in texts referring to money bu usually appears in combination with "knife-shaped money" and invariably denotes "spade-shaped money." Since hemp cloth was not widely used as a medium of exchange, it is unlikely that the nominal bu in this sentence parallels that in the previous sentence

Notes to Pages 39-49



(wherein "knife-shaped money" is not mentioned, either); instead, its use here should be taken as a reference to spade-shaped bronze money. 64. HS 2.4B.1149; Swann, Food and Money, p. 2 2 1 . 65. Xiao Zixian et al., Nan Qi shu (Beijing ed.), 37.652. See also TD 9.49c50a; WXTK 8.873-883. 66. See the discussion and translations of key documents in Penelope A. Herbert, " A Debate in T'ang China on the State Monopoly on Casting Coin," T'oung Pao 62.4-5 ( J 977) : z53~9267. Liu's memorial is quoted at length in Liu Xu et al., Jiu Tang shu (Beijing ed.), 48.2097-99; TD 9-53a-b. For a translation, see Herbert, "Debate on the State Monopoly on Casting Coin," pp. 287-92. 68. See, for example, DXYYB 26.8b~9a. 69. TD 8.45a. 70. DXYYB 2 6 . 1 1 b . 7 1 . See Hicks, Theory of Economic History, p. 68; Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, III: 452. 72. Guoyu, 3, "Zhouyu xia," I: 1 1 8 - 2 0 . Although this dialogue was set in the year 524 B.C., it probably is apocryphal. There is no evidence that King Jing of Zhou issued currency in any form. The Guoyu account thus should be seen as reflecting the monetary world of the Warring States era in which it was written. In the speech attributed to Shan Qi, the speaker did not elaborate on what the detrimental effects of raising the value of currency were; presumably he anticipated that deflation, which harms farmers and other primary producers more than consumers, would ensue. 73. Tian Liying, "Chengti zhi shuo: Nan-Songde zhibi guanli lilun," Zhongguo qianbi 1986.1: 5 1 - 5 5 . 74. For examples, see XTK 7.283913-2840^ 75. Dai Zhi, "Shujuan yuanliu," Shupu (CSJC ed.), pp. 22-25. 76. Quoted in WXTK 9.102a. This essay is not included in the standard editions of Ye Shi's collected works. 77. Ye Shi, "Cai zonglun (1)," Shuixin bieji, 1 1 , in Ye Shiji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), III: 770. 9.1023-1033.

7 8 . WXTK

79. 80. (SKQS 81.

Ibid.; Ye, "Caiji (zhong)," Shuixin bieji, 3, in Ye Shi ji, III: 660-62. See, for example, Yang Guanqing, "Zhong shubi shuo," Keting leigao ed.), 9.ia~4b; Dai Zhi, "Shujuan yuanliu," Shupu, pp. 22-25. DXYYB 2 7 . 1 4 3 - 1 7 3 .

82. Hartwell, "Classical Chinese Monetary Analysis," pp. 74, 80. CHAPTER


1. See Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past, pp. 1 1 3 - 9 9 . 2. Miyazaki, Godai Sösho no tsüka mondai, pp. 57 ff. 3. For detailed studies of early Song monetary history, see Hino Kaisaburö, "Hoku-Sö jidai ni okeru dötetsusen no chüzögaku ni tsuite," Shigaku zasshi 46.1 (1935): 4 6 - 1 0 5 ; Hino, "Hoku-Sö jidai ni okeru dötetsusen no jukyü ni tsuite," Rekishigaku kenkyü 6.5 (1936): 482-510; 6.6 (1936): 663-85; 6.7 (1936):



Notes to Pages


791-98; Miyazaki, Godai Sösho no tsüka mondai, passim; Katö, Chügoku kahei shi kenkyü, pp. 226-462; Robert M. Hartwell, "The Evolution of the Early Northern Sung Monetary System, A.D. 9 6 0 - 1 0 2 5 , " Journal of the American Oriental Society 87.3 (1967): 280-89; Christoph Schifferli, "Le système monétaire au Sichuan vers la fin du Xe siècle," T'oung Pao 72.2 (1986): 269-90. 4. Hino, "Dötetsusen no chüzögaku," pp. 4 6 - 1 0 5 . On "currency famines," see Hino, "Dötetsusen no jukyü (2)," pp. 664-72. 5. In 1080, the Song minted 5.06 million strings of bronze coins, and 890,000 strings of iron coins. See Hino, "Dötetsusen no chüzögaku," pp. 48-63. 6. Katö, Chügoku kahei shi kenkyü, pp. 4 2 1 - 2 8 . 7. Qiao Youmei, "Lun Songdai wujia yu huobide guanxi," Zhongguo jingji shi yanjiu 1992.1: izo. 8. For an overview of paper money in the Southern Song, see Sogabe Shizuo, "Nan-Sö no shihei," in Sogabe, Södai zaisei shi (Tokyo: Seikatsusha, 1941), pp. 2 6 8 - 3 3 1 . 9. For a brief outline of the Song-Jin trade agreements, see Shiba Yoshinobu, "Sung Foreign Trade: Its Scope and Organization," in China among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, Tenth-Fourteenth Centuries, ed. Morris Rossabi (Berkeley Sc Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983), PP- 1 0 2 - 3 . 10. Qiao Youmei, "Song Jin maoyizhong zhengduo tongbide douzheng," Lishi yanjiu 1982.4: 1 1 7 , 1 2 1 . 1 1 . Ibid., pp. 1 1 7 - 2 0 ; Qiao Youmei, "Jindai huobi zhidude yanbian jiqi dui shehui jingjide yingxiang," Zhongguoshi yanjiu 1983.3: 1 1 7 . 12. Sogabe, "Nan-Sö no shihei," pp. 283-95; Kusano Yasushi, "Nan-Sö tönan kaishi no kaisei to hakkögaku," in Ryü Shiken hakase shojü kinen Söshi kenkyü ronshü, ed. Kinugawa Tsuyoshi (Kyoto: Dobunsha, 1989), pp. 2 1 3 - 3 0 ; Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 4 8 1 - 8 3 . 1 3 . Qiao, "Song Jin maoyizhong zhengduo tongbide douzheng," pp. 124-27. 14. Yamamura Kozo and Kamiki Tetsuo, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins: A Monetary History of Medieval and Modern Japan in International Perspective," in Precious Metals in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, ed. J . F. Richards (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1983), pp. 336-39. 1 5 . Mori Katsumi, "Sö dösen no wagakuni ryünyü no dansho," in Mori, Nissö böeki no kenkyü (Tokyo: Kokusho kankokai, 1975), III: 197. 16. Bao Hui, "Jin tongqian shensheng zhuang," Bizhou gaolüe (SKQS ed.), i . i 8 a - b . A typical ship, Bao reported, might contain "several ten thousands of strings of coin." See ibid., 1.20a. 1 7 . Li Tao, Xu zizhi tongjian changbian ( 1 1 8 3 ; rpt. of 1883 ed., Taibei: Shijie shuju, 1961), 85.19b. 18. Katö, Tö Sö kingin, II: 546-61. 19. Bao Hui, "Jin tongqian shensheng zhuang," 1.20b. 20. The conjecture that China exported silver to Japan rests on ( 1 ) the wide disparity in the relative values of the precious metals (silver being worth twice as much in Japan as in China) and (2) the numerous blanket prohibitions against the export of precious metals issued by the Southern Song government. Yet there

Notes to Pages j j - j 8



is no evidence in Japanese historical records that Japan imported silver from the continent at this time. Yamamura and Kamiki assert that China exported silver to Japan, but the only evidence they offer consists of tribute gifts from the Ming emperor. See Yamamura and Kamiki, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins," pp. 333, 33721. Robert M. Hartwell, "Foreign Trade, Monetary Policy, and Chinese 'Mercantilism,'" in Ryu Shiken hakase shoju kinen Soshi kenkyu ronshii, ed. Kinugawa Tsuyoshi (Kyoto: Dobunsha, 1989), pp. 462-65. 22. Kato, To So kingin, I: 265-73. 23. Kato Shigeru, "Nan-So jidai ni okeru gin no ryutsu narabini gin to kaishi no kankei ni tsuite," in Kato, Shina keizai shi kosho, II: 1 1 1 - 1 2 . Numerous other taxes formerly collected in commodities and coin were converted to payments in silver and silk, because these commodities were easier to transport. See Li Zhaochao, "Songdai huobi jingjizhongde baiyin," Zhongguo qianbi

1 9 8 9 . 2 : 59.

24. Huang Cheng, "Cong kaogu faxian tan Nan Song baiyin liutongde jige wenti," in Songshi yanjiu jikan, ed. Hangzhou daxue lishixi Songshi yanjiushi (Hangzhou: Zhejiangsheng shelian tansuo zazhi, 1988), II: 2 1 3 - 2 5 . 25. On this score I concur with Peng Xinwei's conclusion that "during the Song, silver did not fully function as money." See Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 419-20.

26. Ouyang Xuan et al., Jin shi (Beijing ed.), 48.1089. 27. The Yuan is an unusually well studied period of Chinese monetary history. The synopsis that follows in the text is based on Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 5 5 4 - 6 3 1 ; Maeda Naonori, Gencho shi no kenkyu (Tokyo: Tokyo daigaku shuppankai, 1973), pp. 3 - 1 4 3 ; Herbert Franke, Geldund Wirtschaft in China unter der Mongolen-Herrschaft; and especially Iwamura Shinobu, Mongoru shakai keizai shi no kenkyu (Kyoto: Tohosha, 1968), pp. 471-546. 28. On the silver poll tax, see Abe Takeo, Gendai shi no kenkyu (Tokyo: Sobunsha, 1 9 7 2 ) , pp. 7 5 - 2 3 2 .

29. Otagi Matsuo, "Atsudatsusen to sono haikei: Jusan-seki Mongoru Gencho ni okeru gin no doko," Toyoshi kenkyu 32.1 (1973): 1-Z7; 32.2 (1973): 163-201.

30. Ahmad was singled out by Chinese statesmen and historians as a heinous and corrupt official whose fiscal policies impoverished the empire and allowed his co-religionists, the Muslim ortakh merchants, to extract obscene profits in their dealings with the peoples under Yuan rule. On Ahmad's career and the harsh historical judgments of it, see Morris Rossabi, "The Muslims in the Early Yuan Dynasty," in China under Mongol Rule, ed. John D. Langlois, Jr. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), pp. 278-83. 3 1 . For Mongol monetary policy prior to the reforms of 1260, see Abe, Gendai shi no kenkyu, pp. 363-424; Thomas T. Allsen, Mongol Imperialism: The Policies of the Grand Qan Mongke in China, Russia, and the Islamic Lands (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 1 7 1 - 8 6 . 32. Iwamura, Mongoru shakai keizai shi, pp. 480-81. 33. The actual value of the "short string" was left unspecified, to be determined by the exchange bureau that cashed the note. The legislation that




to Pages


created the notes mentioned the figure of " 7 0 to 80 percent" as an example of the type of discount that would apply. See Wang Yun, "Zhongtang shiji," Qiujian xiansheng quanji (SKQS ed.), 80.17a. 34. Iwamura, Mongoru shakai keizai shi, pp. 4 8 1 - 8 7 . 35. Jingshi dadian, cited in Yuan wen lei (SKQS ed.), 4 0 . 2 1 b . 36. Yuan dian zhang (ca. 1 3 2 2 ; Yuan ed.; rpt. Beijing: Beijing daxue yanjiusuo guoxuemen, 1932), 20.2b, 4a. It is also worth noting that some issues of Yuan paper money were called yinchao, or "silver notes." The qian as a unit of weight (one-tenth of a liang) must be distinguished from the qian (= wen) that denotes a single bronze coin; even as accounting measures the two uses of qian differed drastically in actual value. 37. Huang Huai et al., comps., Lidai mingchen zouyi ( 1 4 1 6 ; rpt. Taibei: Xuesheng shuju, 1964), 6 7 . 1 2 a . 38. Otagi, "Atsudatsusen to sono haikei (2)," pp. 1 8 8 - 2 0 1 ; Iwamura, Mongoru shakai keizai shi, p. 503; Robert P. Blake, "The Circulation of Silver in the Moslem East Down to the Mongol Epoch," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 2.3-4 ( I 9 3 7 ) : 3 2 6 - 2 8 . 39. Andrew Watson has concluded that the return to silver coinage in the Muslim world largely depended on imports of silver from Europe. In his view, the disparity in gold/silver ratios in the European and Muslim states caused silver to flow west and gold to flow east, with the result that at roughly the same time, around 1 2 5 0 , Europe returned to a gold standard while the Muslim world adopted a silver standard. Watson recognized that the demand for bullion in India and China could also have affected the movements of precious metals, but monetary conditions in Asia did not figure into his analysis. See Watson, "Back to Gold—and Silver," Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 20.1 (1967): 1 - 3 4 , esp. p. 34. 40. Maeda, Gencho shi, p. 1 3 6. As Iwamura points out, the sudden upsurge in the emission of paper money also reflected an increase in demand as the advanced commercial regions of South China were brought under Mongol suzerainty. But Iwamura, too, concludes that by the mid-i28os the surfeit of paper money had a significant inflationary impact. See Iwamura, Mongoru shakai keizai shi, pp. 494-97. 4 1 . Wu Cheng, "Liu Zhongxuan gong xingzhuang," Wu Wenzheng ji (SKQS ed.), 88.6b-7a. 42. According to Wang, the gold and silver reserves were withdrawn from circuit exchange bureaus in 1 2 7 6 : Wang Yun, "Lun chaofa," Qiujian xiansheng quanji (SKQS ed.), 90.2715-293. 43. Hu Zhiyu, "Baochao f a , " Zishan daquanji (SKQS ed.), 2 2 . i a - i 2 b . 44. Ibid., 22.2b, 3b. 45. Representative of this conservative posture were Zhang Zhihan ( 1 2 4 3 96) and Zhao Mengfu ( 1 2 5 4 - 1 3 2 2 ) . See Iwamura, Mongoru shakai keizai shi, p. 523; Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 6 1 8 - 1 9 . 46. Huang et al., Lidai mingchen zouyi, 67.98-16a. 47. Ibid., 67.9b, 1 2 a . 48. Yuan dian zhang, 20.8b. 49. Song Lian et al., Yuan shi (Beijing ed.), 97.2484.

Notes to Pages 65-72



50. In Yuan usage, "Jiangnan" often implied all of the former Southern Song territories of South China, rather than just the lower Yangzi basin (southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang provinces), which is the more common sense of the term as used in the Ming and Qing periods. 51. Cheng Jufu, "Jiangnan maimai weixi yi xuyong tongqian huo duozhi lingchao," Xuelou ji (SKQS ed.), io.4b-5b. 52. In 1 3 1 1 , the court recommenced printing Zhongtong chao in quantities about 1 0 - 2 0 percent that of the Zhiyuan chao. 53. Yuan dian zbang 20.8a-b, 9a. 54. Cheng Jufu, "Tongqian," Xuelou ji, io.24b-z6a. 55. Yuan dian zhang, 20.30(3-3 la. 56. Token monies circulating within limited areas also appeared in the Song. A memorial of 1 2 3 8 reported that given the dearth of bronze coin, both public authorities and private merchants issued paper tickets (zhitie) as well as wood and bamboo tokens worth 50 or 100 cash to meet the demand for petty currency. See Lü Wu, Zuoshi liancao (SKQS ed.), 14b. 57. Huang et al., Lidai mingcben zouyi, 67.13b. 58. Maeda, Genchö shi, pp. 80-86. 59. Lu Wengui ( 1 2 5 2 - 1 3 3 6 ) , "Liumin tanli chaofa sibi," Qiangdong leigao (SKQS ed.), 4.18a. 60. Katö, To Sö kingin, II: 696-705. 61. Maeda, Genchö shi, pp. 84-85. See also Peng, Zhongguo huobishi, pp. 626-27. 62. Katö, Tö So kingin, II: 702-3; Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 6 1 3 . 63. Wang Yi, "Quanhuo yi," JSWB 4 - i 3 a - i 8 a ; Huang Zongxi, ed., Ming wen hai (Qing ms.; rpt. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), 77.i8b-23a. 64. Kong Qi, Zhizheng zhiji (1360; Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987), 1.25-26. 65. Yang Yu, Shanju xinhua (13 60; SKQS ed.), 1.2a. Yet Yang's book refers in several places to the use of paper money in making sundry purchases (see 1.3a, i.8b), and most commonly quotes prices in Hang (i.e., paper money; see 1.7b, 2.5a, 3.5b). In other cases he refers to transactions in coin (see 4.8a-b, 4.9b). 66. Wang Yi, "Quanhuo yi," JSWB 4.14b. 67. Song Lian et al., Yuan shi, 97.2485. 68. MSL Taizu 9.ia-b. While the guan was used as the standard unit of account, this guan was subdivided into 1 0 liang and 100 qian, both units of account derived from the Yuan paper currency system. 69. For an analysis of early Ming monetary policy that emphasizes this political dimension, see Danjö Hiroshi, "Shoki Min öchö no tsüka seisaku," Töyöshi kenkyü 39.3 (1980): 527-56. 70. In contrast to the Yuan, the Ming issued paper money bearing the dynastic name, rather than reign-titles, throughout the entire dynasty. For the sake of concision I will simply use baochao to designate the Ming paper currency. 7 1 . Ye Ziqi, Caomuzi (1378; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), 3B.65-66. 72. MSL Taizu 98.ia-b. 73. Ibid., 98.3b.



Notes to Pages


74. Ibid., ii2.3b~4a. 75. Ibid., 160.10a, 196.1b, 196.5b, 2.08.6a. 76. Ibid., 205.1b. 77. Ray Huang, Taxation and Governmental Finance in Sixteenth-Century Ming China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), pp. 69-70. 78. MSL Taizu 234.2a. 79. Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 669. 80. MSL Taizu 251.2b. 81. Danjo, "Shoki Min ocho no tsuka seisaku," pp. 540-44. 82. Huang, Taxation and Governmental Finance, pp. 138-39. 83. The exact date is a matter of dispute. According to DMHD 194.8b, Yongle coins were first issued in 1408; another passage in the same work (3i.8b~9a) states that the coins were first issued in 1 4 1 0 and additional mints were established in Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangdong in 1 4 1 1 . Sun Chengze dated the initial emission of the Yongle coin to 1410: MYL 47-3b-4a. 84. MYL 47.313-43. 85. MSL Xuanzong 6.i5a-b. 86. In late 1433, Xuande ordered the mints in Beijing and four southern provinces to manufacture 100,000 strings of coin: MSL Xuanzong 106.13b; DMHD 194.8b. But Xuande's government minted coins only for a few years before closing the mints in 1436. 87. Danjo, "Shoki Min ocho no tsuka seisaku," pp. 546-48. 88. MSL Xuanzong 55.8b. 89. Huang, Taxation and Governmental Finance, pp. 52-53. 90. MSL Yingzong 15.913-ioa. 91. MSL Yingzong 12.5b. 92. Adachi, "Senkeizai no hatten," p. 393. 93. MSL Taizong 29.2b. 94. Maeda, who strongly emphasizes the primacy of Yuan paper currency as a medium of exchange, acknowledges that paper notes failed to establish a foothold in Fujian, Guangdong, and Guangxi; see Maeda, Gencho shi, p. 76. A 1436 memorial stated that coin was the primary medium of exchange in Guangdong and Guangxi: see MSL Yingzong 12.5b. Also, Qiu Jun asserted that the only provinces in which coin prevailed in the early Ming were Fujian, Guangdong, and Guangxi; see DXYYB 27.16a. 95. Li Ruoyu, "Cong Mingdaide qiyue kan Mingdaide bizhi," Zhongguo jingjishi yanjiu 1988.4: 39-43. 96. Liu Dingzhi, "Celiie," cited in Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, pp. 7 2 9 - 3 1 . 97. DXYYB, chs. 26 and 27. 98. Ibid., 27.17a. 99. Ibid., 26.11b. 100. Ibid., 27.16b. 1 0 1 . Here and subsequently the exchange value of coin will be rendered as i:n (1 tael of silver = n bronze coins). 102. Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 671. 103. DXYYB 27.16b.


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1. KJL 4 1 . 2 a , 2b. 2. MYL 47.4a; XTK 11.2868a. A year later, in 1 4 5 4 , the minister of revenue informed the court that despite the government's strenuous efforts to encourage the use of paper money, coin had completely supplanted baochao in private trade in the two capitals: KJL 4 i . 2 b - 3 a . 3. MSL Yingzong 268.313-43. 4. "Jinyue sizhu tongqian li," in TFSL II: 249(3-2503. 5. TFSL II: 25ob-252a. 6. "Qianchao xianjian xingshi li," TFSL I: 34313-3443. 7. TFSL II: 2 5 1 3 - 2 5 2 3 . 8. The figure of twenty to thirty cssh is cited in 3 1480 memorial. See TFSL II: 252b-253b. A memorial of 1479 st3tes that " 3 single poor kborer earns only five, ten, or fifteen cssh per day." See TFSL I: 3403. 9. TFSL II: 252b-253b; MSL Xianzong 2 1 0 . 6 3 - b ; KJL 4 1 . 4 3 - b . 1 0 . TFSL II: 253b-254b; MSL Xianzong 2 i 2 - 3 a - b . 11. KJL 4 i . 3 b - 4 a ; MSL Xianzong 19.5b. 12. Adachi Keiji, "Mindai chuki ni okeru keishi no sempo," Kumamoto daigaku bungakubu ronso 29 (1989): 76. In 1488, the Ming adopted 3 new t3x schedule designed to collect more tsxes in notes rather than coin. According to the new policy, salt ration taxes would be collected solely in notes in Beijing, Shandong, and Henan. In addition, the transit taxes along the Grand Canal and in Jiangnan would be collected in notes and coin in equal proportions. See KJL 41.4I3-53. 1 3 . TFSL II: 249b-25oa; MSL Xiaozong 29.12b. 14. MSL Xiaozong 196.913-103; XTK 11.2869c. 15. Xu Xueju, ed., Guochao dianhui (1601; rpt. Taibei: Xuesheng shuju, 1965), 2 6 . i 4 b - i 5 a ; XTK 11.2869c. 1 6 . MSL Wuzong 2.22b-23b; XTK 11.2869c. 1 7 . MSL Xiaozong i 9 6 . 9 b - i o a ; see also MSL Wuzong 9 . 1 5 3 - b (1506), where "old coins" 3re referred to 3S zheer jiuqian. 1 8 . MSL Wuzong 29.13. 19. Zheng Ji, "Shutong qianfa shu," Dongyuan wenji (SKQS ed.), 3.153-17^ 20. XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 0 3 . 2 1 . Lu Rong, Shuyuan zaji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985), 1 0 . 1 2 2 - 2 3 . 22. MSL Xiaozong 2 9 . 1 2 b , Wuzong 29.1a, 83.613-73; XTK 11.28693-b. 23. KJL 41.53; MYL 47.4a. The term pigun is virtually untranslatable. Pi, or "skin," probably was an allusion to the thinness of the coin, or perhaps referred to its shiny color, and gun, which denotes a scoundrel, reflected the coin's suspect origins as well as its debased metallic content. 24. KJL 4i.5a-b. 25. MSL Wuzong 83.6(3-73. 26. Dong Gu, Bili zacun (CSJC ed.), shang, 58-59. The term banqian appears 3S 3n epithet for debased coin in Xiao Duanmeng's (jinshi 1541, d. 1554)



Notes to Pages 88-94

essay, "Zhuqian y i J S W B An edict of 1 5 5 3 that banned the use of counterfeit coins referred to them as huoban'r; see XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 1 a . 27. Gao Shiqi, Tianlu shiyu (1690; Shuoku ed.) xia, 36a-b. 28. Lu Shen, "Hefenyan jianlu," xia, in Yanshan waiji (1545), 4.6a-b. 29. Choson wangjd sillok (rpt. Seoul: Kuksa p'yonch'an wiwonhoe, 1982), Sejong sillok 46.14b. 30. Zhang Weihua, Mingdai haiwai maoyi jianliie (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1956), pp. 16-22; Chen Wutong, "Ming Hongwu nianjiande mulin waijiao yu haijin," Shixue jikan 1988.2:1-8. 3 1 . Osumi Akiko, "Mindai Kobutei no kaikin seisaku to kaigai boeki," in Yamane Yukio kyojii taikyu kinen Mindai shi ronso, I: 4 9 7 - 5 1 9 . 32. Kobata Atsushi, Chusei ttisshi tsuko boeki shi no kenkyu (2nd ed.; Tokyo: Doko shoin, 1969), pp. 36-46, 395-404; Kobata, Nihon kahei ryutsu shi (2nd ed.; Tokyo: Doko shoin, 1943), pp. 582-87; Wang Yi-t'ung, Official Relations between China and Japan, 1368-1549 (Cambridge: HarvardYenching Institute, 1953), pp. 65-67. 33. Kobata, Chusei nisshi boeki, p. 398. 34. Ibid., pp. 398-401; see also MSL Yingzong 236.ia-2a; Kobata, Kahei ryiitsu, pp. 487-90. 35. Kobata, Chusei nisshi boeki, pp. 4 0 9 - 1 1 ; Wang Yi-t'ung, Official Relations, pp. 72-74, 103-6. 36. Kobata, Kahei ryutsu, p. 599. 37. Kobata, Chusei nisshi boeki, p. 409. 38. Japanese historians continue to dispute the historical significance of the erizeni legislation. One interpretation, espoused by Kobata Atsushi and Takizawa Takeo, sees these ordinances as responses to the dire shortage of coin and thus primarily intended to increase the supply of money. See Kobata, Kahei ryutsu, pp. 9 5 - 1 3 0 ; Takizawa Takeo, Nihon kahei shi kenkyu (Tokyo: Azekura shobo, 1966), pp. 43-95. Another school of thought argues that the erizeni regulations, and the monetization of taxes in general, enabled seigneurs to increase their economic control over their vassals and the peasantry. See Fujiki Hisashi, Sengoku shakaishi ron (Tokyo: Tokyo daigaku shuppankai, 1974), pp. 2 6 1 - 8 3 ; Yamamura, "From Coins to Rice," pp. 345-53. Undoubtedly both forces were at work. 39. A 1504 ordinance from the Nara region confirms that contemporaries often refused to accept Yongle and Xuande coins; but at the same time the ordinance castigated their resistance as "groundless." See Fujiki, Sengoku shakaishi ron, p. 277. 40. Kobata, Kahei ryutsu, pp. 1 1 0 - 1 2 , 620-22; Delmer M. Brown, The Money Economy in Medieval Japan: A Study in the Use of Coins (New Haven: Far Eastern Studies Association, 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 37. The original text of the 1485 ordinance is reprinted in Dai Nihon shiryo (Tokyo: Tokyo teikoku daigaku bungakubu shiryo hensanbu, 1 9 0 1 - ) , ser. 8, XVII: 2 4 9 - 5 1 . 4 1 . Takizawa, Nihon kahei shi kenkyu, pp. 53-63. 42. Zheng Ruozeng, Chouhai tubian (1562; SKQS ed.), 2.52a. See also the passage from Zheng Shungong, Riben yijian, cited in Kobata, Kahei ryutsu, p. 6 1 3 .

Notes to Pages 94-99



43. Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, pp. 97, 1 5 0 - 5 2 . 44. Hou Jigao, Riben fengtu ji, in Mao Yuanyi, Wubei zhi ( 1 6 2 1 ; rpt. Taibei: Huashi chubanshe, 1991), 23i.4a-b; Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, p. 631. 45. Seigneurial authorities themselves attributed deflation to the scarcity of coin; see Takizawa, Nihon kahei shi kenkyü, p. 84. 46. Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, pp. 1 1 9 - 2 5 ; Takizawa Takeo, "Early Currency Policies of the Tokugawas, 1 5 6 3 - 1 6 0 8 , " Acta Asiatica 39 (1980): 26-28. 47. Fujiki, Sengogku shakaishi ron, pp. 272-77; Yamamura, "From Coins to Rice," pp. 352-53. 48. Yamamura, "From Coins to Rice," pp. 352-53; Nagahara Keiji, "The Sengoku Daimyó and the Kandaka System," in Japan before Tokugawa: Political Consolidation and Economic Growth, 1500 to 1600, ed. John Whitney Hall, Nagahara Keiji, and Kozo Yamamura (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), pp. 43-5549. Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, pp. 125-28; see also Brown, Money Economy in Medieval Japan, pp. 38-39. The text of Nobunaga's monetary regulations is reprinted in Dai Nihon shiryó, ser. 10, II: 2-3. 50. Takizawa, Nihon kahei shi kenkyü, pp. 64-68. 51. Uranagase Takashi, "Jüroku-seki kóhan Nishi-Nihon ni okeru kahei ryütsü: shiharai shüdan no henka o chüshin to shite," Hisutoria 106 (1985): 23-46. 52. Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, pp. 147-98. 53. See Takizawa, "Early Currency Policies of the Tokugawas," pp. 28-38. 54. MSL Shizong 83.13-3^ XTK 11.2870c; Wang XTK i 8 . i 8 a - b . 55. KJL 41.7a; Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 641. 56. In 15 27 the government cast 41,491,000 coins, which at the official rate of exchange was equivalent to about 60,000 taels: see KJL 41.7a. This figure in fact was scarcely larger, if at all, than the amount of coin produced during the period 1503-9 under the Hongzhi emperor. No complete statistics for the Hongzhi period survive, but we do know that in 1503 the Nanjing mint had a quota of 25,660,800 coins, which was reduced in 1504 by one-third, to 17,187,200 coins, because of high costs of production. In 1 5 2 7 the Nanjing mint produced 22,660,800, slightly more than the Beijing mint ( 18,830,400): see XTK 11.2869c; KJL 41.7a; Nanjing gongbu zhizhang tiaoli (Jiajing ed.), 2 (unpag.). If the relative proportions of coin produced at the two mints in 1 5 2 7 were the same as in the Hongzhi period, then the total annual output in the early Jiajing period would have been roughly equal to that of the years in which the Hongzhi mints were in operation. 57. MSL Shizong 8 3 . 1 3 - 3 ^ XTK 11.2870c; Wang XTK i 8 . i 8 a - b . 58. He Mengchun, "Ji qianchao shu," He Wenjian shuyi (SKQS ed.), 3.6b9b. According to a memorial from Guo Zhengyu (ca. 1600), some money shops dealt exclusively in baochao, buying them at the current market price of 0.020.03 tl Jguan, and then selling them to merchants at the official exchange rate of 0.13 tl Jguan. See Adachi, "Mindai chüki keishi no sempò," pp. 83-84. 59. MSL Shizong 47-3a-b. 60. Ibid., i05-3a-b. 61. Ibid., 83.ia-3b; KJL 4i.7b-8b.



Notes to Pages


62. MSL Shizong 191.73-83; XTK 11.28700-28713. 63. DXYYB 27.16a. 64. Wang XTK 18.17a; DMHD 31.10a. 65. MSL Xiaozong i97.7b-8b; XTK 11.2869c. 66. Zhu Zhe, "Putian qianfa zhi," in Tianma shanfang yigao (1569), 4.i8a-b. 67. JGLBS 2 6 . i 2 o a - i 2 i a . 68. Xinning xianzhi (1545), cited in Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 682. 69. Hans Ulrich Vogel, "Cowry Trade and Its Role in the Economy of Yunnan: From the Ninth to the Mid-Seventeenth Century," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 36.2 (1993): 2 1 1 - 5 2 ; 36.3 (1993): 309-53. 70. Xie Zhaozhe, Dianliie (SKQS ed.), 4.ib-3a; Xie, Wu za zu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), 1 2 . 3 1 6 . 7 1 . Kang Hai, "Zhuqian yi," in Kang Duishan xiansheng quanji (1582), 72. You Risheng, Yijian huikao (1612), 4 (unpag.). 73. Yang Cheng, "Yu Tan Erhua dasima s h u J S W B 36i.6a~7b. 74. Pan Jixun, "Shutong qianfa yi yu jingyong," Dufu Jiangxi zoushu (1578), 2.233-343; MSL Shenzong 59.6a-b. 75. Cited in Kobata, Chusei nisshi bdeki, p. 436. 76. Gu Qiyuan, Kezuo zhuiyu ( 1 6 1 7 ; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983), 4.108. Gu's claim that Tang Kaiyuan coins prevailed in this area during the Jiajing reign is supported by a local gazetteer from one of Nanjing's outlying counties. See Jiangpu xianzhi (1579), 6-49b-5oa. 77. Wujiang xianzhi (1561), i 3 . i o a - b . See also Wujiang xianzhi (1488), 6/fengsu (unpag.). 78. Changshu xianzhi (1540), 4.15b. 79. Xu Xueju, Guochao dianhui, 93-3b-4a. 80. MSL Shizong 249.3b. The Beijing mint had already been shuttered late in 1540; the Nanjing mint followed suit in the spring of 1 5 4 1 ; see Xu Xueju, Guochao dianhui, 93.4a. 81. MSL Shizong 408.33-43; XTK 11.2781a. 82. MSL Shizong404.13,405.13-b; XTK 11.27813; KJL 4i.8b-93. A level of 19 million strings would have far exceeded the highest recorded output of mints in Chinese history, the 6 million strings produced annually in the late eleventh century. 83. MSL Shizong 408.33-43; XTK 11.27813-b. 84. According to a report from 1563, an average of 15,200 taels per year were disbursed to the mints between 1554 and 1562: see KJL 41.10b. Given prevailing costs, that level of capitalization could have produced only 15,000 strings annually. 85. A mint wss established in Yunnan in 1555. In 1558, the provincial governor of Yunnsn reported that despite a capitalization 50 percent higher than originally budgeted, the mint's actual production came to only 28,740 strings per year. See MSL Shizong 42i.3a-b, 461.4a; XTK 11.2781b; KJL 41.103-b.

Notes to Pages ioj-114



86. YuZhizhi, "Liudu sizhugongxingqianfa bihuai," LZZShu, 5.61b; Tan Qian, Zaolin zazu (ca. 1650; BJXS éd.), zhiji, 5a. 87. Fan Shouji, Huang Ming suhuang waishi (1582.), 44 (unpag.); Xu Jie, "Qing tingzhi Baoyuanju zhuqian," in JSWB 2.44.i6a-i8a; Wang XTK 18.19b; MSL Shizong 540.zb~3a. 88. MSL Shizong 546.6a-b. 89. Xu Jie, "Qing tingzhi Baoyuanju zhuqian"; Tan, Zaolin zazu, zhiji, 5a. 90. MSL Shenzong49.9b-ioa; Song Yingxing, Tiangong kaiwu (1637; rpt. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), zhong, 24(3-2.53. 9 1 . Zhou Liangyin, "Shutong qianfa yi yu jingyong shu," WLSC zy.ia-^b. 92. Liu Yaohui, "Zhiqian," Dasima Liu Nizhai xiansheng Xulai ji (Ming ed.), i . i 3 b - i 4 a . 93. MSL Shizong 47-3a-b. 94. Ibid., 83.ia-3b. 95. Zhu Zhe, Tianma shanfang yigao, 4.i8a-b. 96. The memorial castigated "certain vile persons" who "when coin is plentiful, devalue coins in order to deceive others; and when coin is scarce raise its price in hopes of reaping profit." MSL Shizong 546.6a-b. 97. Ge Shouli, "Shutong qianfa shu," Ge Duansu gong ji (1802 ed.), 2.2a6a. This memorial is dated to 1567 in KJL 4 i . n a - i 2 a . 98. MSL Muzong 4.8a-b. 99. Ge, "Guangzhu zhiqian zuyong shu," Ge Duansu gong ji, 2 . i 2 a - i 4 b . 100. MSL Muzong 44.6b~7b. An abbreviated version of Gao's memorial is contained in JSWB 20i.5b-8a. Around the turn of the sixteenth century, manual laborers earned twenty-five to thirty cash per day, a sum considered sufficient to feed one's family; see Peng, Zhongguo huobishi, p. 642. Converted to silver, this would amount to 0.025-0.033 liang, or about one gram. 1 0 1 . KJL 4i.i2a-i3a. CHAPTER


1 . On the debate over the impact of American bullion on the European economy, see chapter 7. 2. Pierre Chaunu, Les Philippines et le pacifique des ibériques (XVIe, XVIle, XVIIIe siècles) (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., i960), I: 268-69. 3. Liang Fangzhong, "Mingdai yinkuang kao," in Liang Fangzhong jingjishi lunwenji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989), pp. 1 2 0 - 2 4 . The post-1487 reports combined quotas for gold and silver into a single sum. The 1558 memorial cited in note 4, below, disaggregated gold and silver receipts, with gold amounting to only 4 percent (by weight) of the total. It seems reasonable to assume that the total figures essentially represent receipts in silver. 4. MSL Shizong 454.5b. Surprisingly, this report makes no mention of silver mining in Zhejiang and Fujian, which at their peak in the 1420s produced an annual average of 3,284 kgs. and 1,570 kgs. respectively. By the late 1430s many of these mines had been worked to exhaustion, and the quotas for the two provinces were reduced by half. By 1489 the quota for Zhejiang's silver mines




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had dwindled to a mere 406 kgs. The Fujian mines were closed down entirely at some later date. See Lu Rong, Shuyuan zaji, 1 1 . 1 3 7 - 3 8 ; Y u Jideng, Diangu jiwen (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1 9 8 1 ) , 1 1 . 2 0 3 - 4 ; Fuzhou fuzhi (Wanli ed.), 34_2a-b. In all likelihood the silver mines of the southeast had virtually ceased operation by 1 5 5 8 . Song Yingxing, writing in the 1630s, stated that the silver production of Yunnan was more than twice as great as all other provinces combined: See Song, Tiangong kaiwu, xia, 4a-b. 5. The figures recorded in table 5 are not entirely reliable; close scrutiny reveals a number of scribal errors in the Dingling zhuliie. Remittances of "mined silver" during the decade of the "Mines and Taxes" initiatives are partially recorded in MSL. For 1 6 0 1 , probably the peak year of "mined silver" receipts, the MSL records a total of 92,289 liang (3,460 kgs.) in contrast to 1 5 6 , 1 2 2 Hang (5,885 kgs.) in Wen Bing's work (see MSL Shenzong 355.5a, 359.9b, 36o.7a-b, 365.12a). But the MSL reports do not include remittances from several provinces, such as Fujian and Zhejiang, that in the past had been major silver producers. Another source gives much higher figures for the period 1 5 9 7 - 1 6 0 0 . In 1600, Wang Dexian reported that a total of 485,000+ liang (equivalent to more than 1 8 , 1 8 8 kgs.) of "mined silver" (kuangyin) was forwarded to Beijing during the first four years of the "Mines and Taxes" initiatives. See Wang Dexian, "Ji caiyong kuijie zhi yuan . . . JSWB 444.26b. Wang Dexian's figure is double that reported by Wen Bing (235,556 liang) for those years. Wen Bing's figures thus at best can give us only an order of magnitude. 6. Quan Hansheng, "Mingdaide yinke yu yinchane," Xinya shuyuan xueshu niankan 9 (1966): 2 5 7 - 5 9 . 7. Kobata Atsushi, "The Production and Uses of Gold and Silver in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Japan," Economic History Review, n.s., 1 8 . 2 (1965): 245-66; Robert L. Innes, "The Door Ajar: Japan's Foreign Trade in the Seventeenth Century" (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1980), pp. 5 3 2 - 4 4 . 8. Innes, "The Door Ajar," p. 38. 9. Kobata Atsushi, "The Production and Uses of Gold and Silver," pp. 2 5 2 - 5 3 ; Atwell, "International Bullion Flows," pp. 68-72; Iwao Seiichi, "Japanese Foreign Trade in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries," Acta Asiatica 30 (1976): 1 - 1 8 . 1 0 . On Japan's diplomatic and trade relations with the Ming in this period, see Wang Yi-t'ung, Official Relations, esp. pp. 6 0 - 8 1 ; Tanaka Takeo, "Japan's Relations with Overseas Countries," in Japan in the Muromachi Age, ed. John W. Hall and Toyoda Takeshi (Berkeley 8c Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977), PP- 1 5 9 - 7 8 , esp. pp. 1 6 3 - 7 1 . 1 1 . Li Yangong, Riben kao ( 1 5 7 3 ; Guoli Beiping tushuguan shanben congshu ed.), 1 . 1 1 b . 1 2 . The author here associates the Portuguese with Japan because of their role as intermediaries between the Japanese and Chinese markets. "Western nations" (xifan) in this period invariably referred to central Asian peoples rather than Europeans. 1 3 . Zheng Ruozeng, Chouhai tubian (1562; SKQS ed.), 1 2 . 1 1 1 a . 1 4 . Zhang Xie, Dongxiyang kao ( 1 6 1 6 ; C S J C ed.), 7.89. 1 5 . Haicheng xianzhi (1633), 1 1 . 2 a , 1 9 . 1 2 b .

Notes to Pages 117-125



16. Xie Bin, "Deng gong fu Cheng dezheng bei," Haicheng xianzhi (1633), 17.16a. 1 7 . Zhu Wan, "Zengshe xianzhi yi an difang shi," Piyu zaji (1587), 3.10a. 18. Xie Bin, "Chaofu shiyi yi," Haicheng xianzhi (1633), 19.10a. 19. Quoted in C. R. Boxer, The Great Ship from Amacon (Lisbon: Centro des Estudos Historíeos Ultramarinos, 1959), p. 2 1 . 20. MSL Shenzong 210.6a; Zhang Xie, Dongxiyang kao, 7.89-91. 2 1 . Zhang Xie, Dongxiyang kao, 7.91; Kobata Atsushi, Kingin böeki shi no kenkyü (Tokyo: Höseidaigaku shuppankyoku, 1976), pp. 248-53. 22. Xu Fuyuan, "Shutong haijin shu," JSWB 400.ia-6b; MSL Shenzong 262.9b-ioa. 23. Yao Shilin, Jianzhi bian (CSJC ed.), shang, 50-52. 24. Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 77-83, 193-98; Kobata, Kingin böeki shi, pp. 2 7 1 - 8 0 . 25. MSL Shenzong 4 7 6 . 3 3 - 4 ^ 26. MSL Shenzong 496.2b-3a; 498.23-43; 5 i 3 . i a - b . 27. Kobata, Kingin böeki shi, pp. 2 7 1 - 7 3 . The widespread evasion of the ban on trade with Japan also led the court to issue an edict in 1 6 1 3 that prohibited maritime traffic between the regions north and south of the Yangzi River; apparently many Fujian/Zhejiang ship captains claiming to be headed for destinations in northern Jiangsu actually veered off toward Japan: MSL Shenzong 5i3.ia-b. 28. John K. Whitmore, "Vietnam and the Monetary Flow of Eastern Asia, Thirteenth to Eighteenth Centuries," in Richards, ed., Precious Metals in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, p. 379. 29. Ibid., pp. 3 7 8 - 8 1 ; Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 56-62. 30. Quoted in Iwao, "Japanese Foreign Trade," p. 9. 3 1 . Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 149-55. 32. Ibid., pp. 430-32, 626-29. 33. Chaunu, Les Philippines et le pacifique des ibériques, I: 249, 266-67. 34. Atwell, "International Bullion Flows," p. 74. I use a slightly lower estimate of the silver content of the peso, based on John J. TePaske, "New World Silver, Castile, and the Philippines, 1 5 9 0 - 1 8 0 0 , " in Richards, ed., Precious Metals in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, p. 444. 35. Kobata, Kingin böeki shi, pp. 259-63. 36. Boxer, The Great Ship from Amacon, pp. 1 1 0 - 1 4 . 37. See the annual reports of almojarifazgo receipts recorded in Juan de Ybarra, "Discussion regarding Portuguese Trade at Manila" (1636), in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, ed. E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1905), X X V : 143-44. 38. George Bryan Souza, The Survival of Empire: Portuguese Trade and Society in China and the South China Sea, 1630-1754 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 81; Atwell, "International Bullion Flows," p. 87. 39. Souza, The Survival of Empire, pp. 78-83. 40. Fu Yuanchu, in a memorial of 1639, advised the court that the accessibility of Taiwan ports to Fujian vessels had rendered the ban on maritime trade entirely ineffective. See JGLBS, 26.333-348.



Notes to Pages


4 1 . Quoted in Kobata, "The Production and Uses of Gold and Silver," p. 253. 42. Quoted in Pierre-Yves Manguin, Les portugais sur les côtes du Viêt-nam et du Campa: Etude sur les routes maritimes et les relations commerciales, d'après les sources portugaises (XVle, XVIle, XVllle siècles), (Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1972), pp. 236-37. 43. Kobata, Kingin bôeki shi, p. 59. 44. Feng Zhang, "Tong fanbo yi," JSWB 28o.i6a-2oa. 45. Xue Xueju, "Chu bao hongmaofan shu," JSWB 43 3.2b. The coins were, of course, Spanish rials, which served as the international currency of much of maritime Asia as well as Europe. 46. Li Tingji, "Bao Xu Shilou," JSWB 36o.23b-24a. 47. He Qiaoyuan, "Qing kai haijin shu," Jingshan quanji (1641), 23.30b34a. He's memorial was quoted at length in a similar plea by Fu Yuanchu nine years later. See JGLBS, 26.333-343. 48. Vitorino Magalhäes Godinho, L'économie de l'empire portugais aux XVe et XVIe siècles (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1969), pp. 5 1 4 , 524. The exact same choice of words is employed in Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, III: 490. 49. Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, & Discoveries of the English Nation (Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1 9 0 3 5), V: 405. 50. Cited in Godinho, L'économie de l'empire portugais, p. 5 3 1 . 5 1 . Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, V: 498 (spelling modernized by author). 52. Kobata, "The Production and Uses of Gold and Silver," p. 237; Brown, Money Economy in Medieval Japan, pp. 72-79; C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan, 1 5 4 9 - 1 6 5 0 (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1 9 5 1 ) , pp. 1 1 2 - 1 8 . 53. Quoted in Iwao, "Japanese Foreign Trade," p. 6. 54. Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VI: 3 54. See also Boxer, The Great Ship from Amacon, pp. 54-55. 55. The annual quota for Yunnan's gold mines was 2,000 Hang, or 75 kgs. See Yu Jideng, Diangu jiwen, 18.326; Zhang Xueyan, "Ti mian Yunnan jiazeng jinliang shu," JSWB 363.263-303. The memorial of 1 5 5 8 , cited in note 4, above, reported that in recent years the amount of gold remitted to the central government averaged 1,978 liang (74 kgs.). 56. Quoted in Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan, pp. 425-27. 57. Boxer, The Great Ship from Amacon, p. 179. 58. Letter of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, cited in Kobata, Kingin böeki shi, pp. 47-48. 59. Ibid., pp. 48-49; Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 586-91. 60. Antonio de Morga, The Philippine Islands (trans, of Sucesos de las islas philipinas, 1609; London: Hakluyt Society, 1868), p. 340. 61. Quoted in C. R. Boxer, "Plata Es Sangre: Sidelights on the Drain of Spanish-American Silver in the Far East, 1 5 5 0 - 1 7 0 0 , " Philippine Studies 18.3 (1970): 463. 62. JGLBS 26.110b. 63. Zheng Ruozeng, Chouhai tubian, 2.52a.

Notes to Pages 132-136



64. Kamiki Tetsuo, "Chuseimatsu-kinsei shoto ni okeru kahei mondai: chûseiteki kahei taikei kara kinseiteki kahei taikei e," Shakai keizai sbigaku 57.2 (1991): 174-7765. Godinho, L'économie de l'empire portugais, pp. 394-98. 66. Since the export of coin was illegal, no figures are available. A native of Canton, Huo Yuxia, complained in a memorial ca. 1 5 7 0 that foreign merchants (i.e., the Portuguese at Macao) carried away contraband items such as "private" (i.e., counterfeit) coin and gunpowder in addition to silks and porcelain. See "Shang Pan daxun Guangzhou shiyi," JSWB 368.5b. 67. Kobata, Kahei ryütsü, pp. 254-59; Whitmore, "Vietnam and the Monetary Flow of Eastern Asia," pp. 367-69, 379-82. 68. See Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giraldez, "Born with a 'Silver Spoon': World Trade's Origins in 1 5 7 1 "Journal of World History 6.2 (1995): 2 0 1 - 2 1 . 69. Yamamura and Kamiki, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins," p. 3 5 1 . 70. Moloughney and Xia, "Silver and the Fall of the Ming," pp. 58-59. 7 1 . Souza, The Survival of Empire, pp. 54-58. 72. Yamamura and Kamiki, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins," p. 3 5 1 . 73. Ch'en Ching-ho, The Chinese Community in the Sixteenth Century Philippines (Tokyo: Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies, 1968), p. 68. 74. Ibid., pp. 107-9. 75. Zhang Xie, Dongxiyang kao, 5.61; Haicheng xianzhi (1633), 1 1 . u a . The Englishman Peter Mundy recorded that in the 1630s the rial-of-eight (i.e., the peso) traded at 0.73-0.74 tl. in Macao and Canton. See Boxer, The Great Ship from Amacon, p. 337. 76. Yamamura and Kamiki, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins," p. 353. 77. See Harry F. Cross, "South American Bullion and Export, 1 5 5 0 - 1 7 5 0 . " in Richards, ed., Precious Metals in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, p. 409. 78. Artur Attman, American Bullion in the European World Trade, 16001800 (Goteborg: Kungl. Vetenskaps- och Vitterhets-Samhallet, 1986), p. 77. 79. K. N. Chaudhuri, The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660-1760 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 153-89. 80. Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, V: 498. 81. Yamamura and Kamiki, "Silver Mines and Sung Coins," p. 3 53. See also Iwao, "Japanese Foreign Trade," p. 10; Iwao, Shüinsen böekishi no kenkyü (2nd ed.; Tokyo: Yoshikawa köbunkan, 1985), p. 382; Kobata Atsushi, "Nihon no gin yüshutsu wa donna imi o motsu ka?" in Kaigai köshöshi no shiten, ed. Yanai Kenji and Numata Jirö (Tokyo: Nihon shoseki, 1976), II: 76. 82. See the reservations expressed in Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 376-77; Moloughney and Xia, "Silver and the Fall of the Ming," passim; Souza, The Survival of Empire, p. 8 5. For only one year, 163 4, do we have reliably complete statistics of the total volume of Japanese foreign trade. In that year the aggregate value of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and "vermillion-seal" imports was equivalent to 80,000 kgs. of silver. The Kobata/Iwao estimates of exports of 1 5 0,000200,000 kgs. per annum clearly were exceptional. 83. Katö Eiichi, "The Japanese-Dutch Trade in the Formative Period of the



Notes to Pages


Seclusion Policy: Particularly on the Raw Silk Trade by the Dutch Factory at Hirado, 1 6 x 0 - 1 6 4 0 , " Acta Asiatica 30 (1976): 65. 84. Innes, "The Door Ajar," p. 298. 85. This method of calculation assumes that the volume of exports was roughly equivalent to the volume of imports. Innes suggests that imports probably exceeded exports, because foreign merchants consumed a portion of their earnings to maintain trading depots in Japan. Yet the balance sheet of the Dutch factory at Hirado in 1636 shows that in that year the factory's exports (valued at 2,897,667 guilders) vastly exceeded its imports (valued at 1,5 52,960 guilders). Exports of silver alone amounted to 2,485,200 guilders, or 60 percent more than the total value of imports! (See Kato Eiichi, "The Japanese-Dutch Trade," p. 65.) We might surmise that the Dutch factory had substantial capital reserves held over from earlier years, and that over time these year-to-year imbalances would be evened out. But using the statistics on Japanese imports to estimate silver exports may well underestimate the volume of exports. 86. Innes, "The Door Ajar," pp. 580-82. 87. Atwell, "Notes on Silver," p. 2. 88. TePaske, "New World Silver, Castile, and the Philippines," p. 439. 89. Quan, "Meizhou baiyinde shuru Zhongguo," p. 62. 90. Ni Laien and Xia Weizhong, using a more conjectural method, have arrived at an estimate of roughly the same magnitude. They calculate that Chinese imports of silver from Japan and the Philippines (they do not offer an estimate of imports from Europe via the Indian Ocean) ranged between 5,740 and 7 , 1 1 0 metric tons. See Ni Laien (Brian Moloughney) and Xia Weizhong, "Waiguo baiyin yu Ming diguode pengkui: guanyu Mingmo waiguo baiyinde shuru jiqi zuoyongde xin jiantao," Zhongguo shehui jingjishi yanjiu 1990.3: 54. CHAPTER


1 . Huang, The Peasant Family and Rural Development, pp. 77-92. Huang's data, drawn from the seventeenth century and later, show a crude trend; no useful wage data for the late Ming has yet been discovered. 2. MSL Muzong 35.78-93; Tan Lun, "Lun licai s h u J S W B 3 2 2 . 1 3 8 - 1 6 3 . 3. Jin Xueyan, "Jiang qiu caiyong shu," JSWB 2 9 9 . n a - i 7 b . 4. MSL Muzong 44.6b-7b. 5. XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 2 c . 6. Hamaguchi Fukuju, "Ryukei Banreki no sempo no shin tenkai," Toyoshi kenkyu 3 1 . 3 (1972): 390-91. 7. Zhang's policies were characterized as such by Deng Yuanxi (1529-93) and Zhang Pu (1602-41). See Deng, Han shi (Ming ed.), xiapian, i6.22a-24a; Zhang Pu, Guochao jingji lu, cited in XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 3 c . 8. MSL Shenzong 47-ioa-b, 48.3b; KJL 4 i . i 3 a - b ; XTK n . 2 7 8 i b - c . 9. Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 642. 10. Wang Jiabing, "Da Li Jintai futai lun zhuqian," Fusu shanfang ji (Ming ed.), 26.283-b; JSWB 393.6b-7b.

Notes to Pages 146-152



1 1 . Tan Lun spoke of using coin to fill the gaps "where silver does not reach" (yin zhi buji), but Zhang Juzheng focused on the "inadequate supply of silver" (yin zhi buzu). iz. Zhang Juzheng, "Da Min fu Pang Xing'an," Zhang Taiyue wenji ( 1 6 1 2 ed.; rpt. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1984), 29-22b-23a. 1 3 . KJL 4 1 . 1 5 8 - 1 7 a ; Zhou Liangyin, "Shutong qianfa yi yu jingyong shu," WLSC 27-ia-5b; MSL Shenzong 49.14a.; XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 2 a , 2874b. 14. Pan Jixun, "Shutong qianfa yi yu jingyong," Dufu Jiangxizoushu, 2.23a34a; MSL Shenzong 59.6a-b. 1 5 . Yang Cheng, " Y u Tan Erhua dasima shu," JSWB 36i.6a-7b. 16. Pang Shangpeng, "Shutong qianfa yi yu jingyong shu," Baiketing zhaigao (1832 ed.), 4.983-993; MSL Shenzong 66-3b-4a. The letter by Zhang Juzheng quoted earlier was written in response to Pang's memorial, and Zhang warmly complimented Pang on the "omen of prosperity and peace" signalled by the initial success of coinage in Fujian. 1 7 . Zhangpu xianzhi, cited in JGLBS 2 6 . i 2 o a - i 2 i a . 18. MSL Shenzong 69-5b-6b, 77.ia-b; KJL 4 i . i 7 a - i 8 b . 19. You Risheng, Yijian huikao, 4 (unpag.). 20. Jiangpu xianzhi (1579), 6.49(5-503. 2 1 . Zhang Juzheng, "Da Chu anyuan Guo Longju," Zhang Taiyue wenji, 31.5b. 22. KJL 4 i . i 8 b - i 9 b ; XTK 11.2874b. 23. Zhang Juzheng, "Qing tingzhi shuqian neiku gongshang shu," JSWB 325.228-23^ 24. Ibid. 25. Tang Yi, "Qi ding qianfa guili shu," in Zhu Wubi, ed., Huang Ming liutai zouyi (1605), unpag.; QT 2 . i 3 b - i 6 a . 26. MSL Shenzong 97.6b~7a. In a letter to the provincial Censorate, an irate Zhang Juzheng denounced the clemency displayed by the provincial officials, which had only served to encourage counterfeiters in Zhenjiang and in outlying areas north of the Yangzi River. Zhang, "Da Anyuan Wang gong Wei," Zhang Taiyue wenji, 32.5a. 27. At the same time, a proposal to unify the currency by reducing the three types of state coin to a single generic coin was rejected by the Ministry of Revenue on the grounds that "evil people are inciting rebellion," and any sudden change in coinage would elicit popular suspicion and perhaps violent opposition. KJL 4i.23b-25a. 28. Yao Shilin, Jianzhi bian, shang, 6; Tao Yunyi, "Da Zhang shijun wen minbing shu," Jingxintang cao (Ming ed.), 1 3 . 1 b . 29. On the Hangzhou mutiny and tax riots of 1 5 8 2, see Fuma Susumu, "Late Ming Urban Reform and the Popular Uprising in Hangzhou," in Cities of Jiangnan in Late Imperial China, ed. Linda Cooke Johnson (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), pp. 47-79; Richard von Glahn, "Municipal Reform and Urban Social Conflict in Late Ming Jiangnan," Journal of Asian Studies 50.2 (1991): 280-307. 30. MSL Shenzong 128.4b; XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 3 c , KJL 4 i . 2 3 a - b .



Notes to Pages


3 1 . Apart from the three zones centered around the mints at Wuchang, Jingzhou, and Hengzhou, the northern prefectures of the province, where old coins circulated along with new ones, formed a fourth sphere of circulation. See Wang XTK 18.2.0b. 32. But Li Yue, otherwise a harsh critic of Zhang Juzheng, praised the goals behind Zhang's expansion of coinage while criticizing specific features of the plan, such as opening mints in provinces that already used coin. Li chastised Zhang for "not knowing his limits." See Li Yue, Jianwen zaji (Wanli ed.; rpt. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1986), 10.899. 33. Panjixun,"Shutongqianfayiyu jingyong,"DufuJiartgxizoushu, 2.23a34a. 34. Implying an exchange ratio of 1:3300. 35. Liu Yingqiu, " Y u Dasitu Shi Dongquan shu," JSWB 4 3 1 . 1 1 3 - 1 3 3 . 36. Deng Yuanxi, Han shi, xiapian, i6.22a-24a; Yang Cheng, " Y u Tan Erhua dasima shu," JSWB 3 6 1 . 6 3 - 7 ^ 37. Yang Cheng, " Y u Tan Erhua dasima shu," JSWB 36i.6b-7a. See also Wang Jiabing, "Da Li Jintai futai lun zhuqian," Fusu shanfang ji, z6.z8a-b. 38. Guo's three essays on currency policy, "Qianfa ce," "Qiangu yi," and "Guang zhuqian yi," are collected in Huang Zongxi, ed., Ming wen hai, 7 8 . 1 a 13a. The first of these essays, "Qianfa ce," was also reprinted in JSWB 4 1 9 . 2 0 b 26a. 39. Peng, Zhongguo huobi shi, p. 735. 40. "Qiangu yi," Ming wen hai, 78.7b. 4 1 . And yet Guo Zizhang also proposed establishing a series of tariffs for coins of different quality to depreciate the value of "market coins [shiqian] of middling or low quality" as a first step in a scheme for eventually eliminating them altogether. Guo suggested that good quality "market coins" and newly minted coin be tariffed at an exchange rate of 1:700, while discounting "old coins" at 1:800. The middling and low-quality "market coins" initially would be pegged at 1 : 1 4 0 0 , but gradually this rate would be lowered to 1 : 1 5 0 0 , 1 : 1 6 0 0 , etc., until the nominal value of such coins fell below the intrinsic value of the copper and lead they contained, at which point holders of these coins would be willing to sell them to the state. See "Guang zhuqian yi," Ming wen hai, 78.12b. 42. Wang Xijue, " Y u Gu Chongan xunfu," Wang Wensu gong wenji (Ming ed.), i8-9b-iob. 43. Kishimoto Mio, "Minmatsu no dendo shijó ni kansuru ichikòsatsu," in Yamane Yukio kyóju taikyù kinen Mindaishi ronsó, II: 7 5 1 - 7 0 . In Kishimoto's view, stagnant land values in Huizhou indicate that the supply of silver relative to its demand was indeed deficient. 44. MSL Shenzong i64-6b-7a; XTK 11.2874b. 45. MSL Shenzong 187.7b; XTK 11.2874b. 46. Ge Xi, "Qing guang zhuqian yi zuo dagong shu," Jiyu shanfang gao (SKQS ed.), i.24a-25b. 47. MSL Shenzong 214.9b, 216.5b. 48. He Jing, "Qing xing qianfa shu," Shancaotang ji (1630), "Jianyi," shang, i o a - i 9 a ; MYL 47.8a-i5a; XTK 1 1 . 2 8 7 4 ^ 2 8 7 5 8 . 49. MSL Shenzong 333.4a, 345.2b.

Notes to Pages 163-168



50. Gu Qiyuan, Kezuo zhuiyu ( 1 6 1 7 ; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), 4.108-9; Wang Wanzuo memorial in QT 2.i9b~3ob. 5 1 . There is conflicting information on the capacity of Ming mints. At the beginning of the Ming, according to a report of 1 3 9 3 , each furnace was expected to cast 583,000 coins per year; see DMHD 1 9 4 . 1 4 3 - 1 5 8 . But Liu Yuanlin, in a memorial opposing this proposed expansion of coinage in Nanjing, claimed that the Beijing mint's 26 furnaces could produce 93.6 million coins per year, or more than 3.5 million per furnace (Liu assumed 100 percent capacity utilization, which was highly unrealistic); see Liu Yuanlin, "Liudu qianfa," LZZS, gong, 3.26b-2.7a. In the 1590s, when 60 furnaces were in operation, Nanjing's annual quota was 60 million coins, or 1 million coins per furnace. Thus the ten-fold increase in the number of furnaces in 1 6 0 1 - 2 probably raised the total annual production capacity in Nanjing to a level of at least 600 million coins. 52. Gu Qiyuan, Kezuo zhuiyu, 4.108-9. 53. Q T 2 . i o b - i 3 b . 54. Gu Qiyuan, Kezuo zhuiyu, 4.108-9; Wang Wanzuo memorial in Q T 2.20b. 55. Gu Qiyuan, Kezuo zhuiyu, 4.108-9; Wang Wanzuo memorial in Q T 2.21a. 56. Q T 2.21a. 57. Q T 2.i9b~3ob. 58. Liu Yuanlin, "Liudu qianfa," LZZS, gong, 3.26b. 59. Q T 2.28b. 60. Ding Bin, "Liudu qianfa dahuai shu," Ding Qinghui gong yiji (1638), 2.3 ia~34a; Fu Zonggao, "Liudu fengshi guangzhu yuli zubi chenggong," LZZS, gong, 3.363-41 a; Zhang Bangjun's untitled memorial in Q T 2 . 1 7 8 - 1 9 3 . 61. See the memorials by Fu Zonggao and Zhang Bangjun cited in the previous note. 62. The Beijing Ministry of Works official responsible for coinage had already registered strong opposition to Wang's plan in a memorial of August 8; see Liu Yuanlin, "Liudu qianfa," LZZS, gong, 3.238-3 5b. On December 16, the court censured Lu Changgeng for requesting a leave of absence on account of illness, accusing him of abandoning his responsibilities at a time of crisis; see MSL Shenzong 489.4b. 63. Ye Xianggao, "Da Shi Lianyue," Cangjiacao (Ming ed.), i9.28b-29a; "Da Ding Jingyu," ibid., i9.25a-b; "Da Lu Nayan," ibid., 19.34a. 64. Ding Bin, " Y u Ye Taishan gexia," Ding Qinghui gong yiji, 8.38b-39b. Ding repeated much of the text of this letter in another letter in which he added that "the people's livelihood is secure and social custom stable; in recent times, only the issue of coinage has loomed as a matter of serious concern." See " Y u Xu Shaowei fuyuan," ibid., 8 . n a - b . 65. Xie Zhaozhe, Wu za zu, 1 2 . 3 1 5 . 66. Wang Yingjiao, " Y i nanzhu beiyong xinjin jianxing shu," Wang Qingjian gong zoushu (Tianqi ed.), "Jibu zoushu," 1 . 1 0 b . 67. Cipolla, Money, Prices, and Civilization, pp. 27-37. 68. Hou Xun, "Tiaochen guzhu shiyi," MYL 38.14b. 69. Chen Mouren, Quannan zazhi (BJXS ed.), xia, 5a.



Notes to Pages


70. The Dading and Zhenyuan coins were Yuan issues that had been minted in small quantities; the Kaiyuan coin was the standard coin of the Tang dynasty, while the Daguan and Taiping xiangfu (rather than Xiangfu taiping) coins were common Northern Song issues. 7 1 . Runan

zhi ( 1 6 0 8 ) , 2 . 3 2 1 5 - 3 3 3 .

72. KJL 4i.i5b-i6a. 73. KJL 4i.6b~7a; MSL Shizong 105.33-!). 74. Thus Ge Shouli referred to money changers 3S "proprietors who string coin and offer it for sale" (quanhuan maiqian renhu). See Ge, "Shutong qianfa shu," Ge Duansu gong ji, 2.2b. 75. DZZY, "Xinxiangsi," 23.5ob-53a. 76. Rumeng lu (ca. 1660; Kaifeng: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1984), 6.39. 77. The term itself dates back 3t least to the Southern Song, when currency dealers who exchanged coin for paper money were known 3s zhuopu or zhuozipu. See Kusano, "Nan-So tonan kaishi," p. 328. 78. Zhang Yingyu, "Zhajiang xiu huanqian zhuochu," Dupian xinshu (Wanli ed.), 1 . 1 4 3 - 1 5 3 . 79. Huscun kanxingshizhe (pseud.), Tan wang (early Qing; Shiyuan congshu ed.), buyi, 2a-3b. 80. Rumeng lu, 6 (Kaifeng: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1984), pp. 28-73. 81. Xizhousheng (pseud.), Xingshi yinyuan zhuan, ch. 1 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1982), 1:14. At a later point in the novel, Chao Yuan borrows money from "pawnshops and money tables"; see ibid., ch. 9, I: 139. 82. For example, in 1578 the minister of revenue ordered Beijing's "money guild" (qianhang) to supply twelve money changers per year to suthenticste coins st the Chongwen Gate customs ststion; see KJL 41.19b. 83. Chen Jiru, "Da Fang Yuxiu taizun xiu junzhi," Chen Meigong xiansheng quanji (Ming ed.), 5 6 . i 2 b - i 3 b . 84. Q T 2 . 2 2 a .

85. QT 2.25b; Liu Yuanlin, "Liudu qianfa," LZZS, gong, 3.29a. 86. QT 2.173-193; Wang Yingjiao, Wang Qingjian gong zoushu, "Jibu zoushu," 1 . 8 3 - n b . CHAPTER


1. Xu Dunqiu, "Ji shibian," Jingsuo biji (ms.), rpt. as an appendix to Chen Xuewen, "Mingdai zhongye minqing fengshang xisu ji yixie shehui yishide bianhua," in Yamane Yukio kyojii taikyu kinen Mindaishi ronso, II: 1 2 2 3 - 2 5 . 2. Li Zhizao, "Zhuqian yi," JSWB 4 8 4 . 1 8 - 4 ^ 3. For fuller surveys of these events, see Frederic Wakeman, Jr., The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in SeventeenthCentury China (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985), I: 23-86; William S. Atwell, "The T'ai-ch'ang, T'ien-ch'i, and Ch'ung-chen Reigns, 1620-1644," in The Cambridge History of China, ed. Denis Twitchett, volume VII, part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 590-640. 4. On the land tax surcharges, see Tang Wenji, " 'Sanxiang' jiapai—Ming-

Notes to Pages IJ6-I8I



mo fandongde caizheng," in Yatnane Yukio kyójù taikyù kinen Miniai shi ronsó, II: 9 7 9 - 1 0 0 1 . 5. MSL Shenzong 570.i5a-b; XTK 11.2876b. 6. MSL Xizong i3.27a-b. 7. In the preface to his collection of memorials on the operation of the new Ministry of Revenue mint, Chen Yuting specifically stated that opinion at the court favored expanding coinage in order to defray military costs. See BQXD, preface, ia. Many other contemporaries identified mounting defense expenditures as the primary cause of the expansion and debasement of coinage. See Li Qiyuan, "Dongxi liangju weijie shu," Jibu zoushu (1626), 3.109b110b; DZZY "Xinxiangsi," 9.51b; SS 8.180-81; Zhang Shichun, "Zhong qianfa yi zu caiyong," Zhiping yaoliie, xu, shang, 508-56a, in Zhangshi sizhong (Ming ed.). 8. MSL Xizong i 5 . n a - b . 9. Hou Xun, "Tiaochen guzhu shiyi," MYL 38.5b. 10. The exact date of the creation of the Baoquanju, which is not recorded in MSL, is a matter of some dispute. MYL 3 8.1a dates it to 162.2., but Hou Xun's "Tiaochen guzhu shiyi," quoted in full in the same text, gives 1 6 2 1 ; see ibid., 38.5 b. The editors of XTK, unable to decide between these two possibilities, cite both; see XTK 11.2876b. A report of 1630 from the minister of revenue, Bi Ziyan, indicates that the administrative apparatus of the Baoquanju was created in 1 6 2 1 , but the mint did not begin operation until 1622; see D Z Z Y "Xinxiangsi," 8.61b. 1 1 . BQXD 1 . i b . 12. BQXD 1 . i b , 8a-b, 15b, 2.29a~3ib. 1 3 . Zhao Shiqing, "Guokui minqiong xiuju qianfa yi kai caiyuan shu," WLSC 27-6a-8a; MSL Shenzong 547.7b-8a; XTK 11.28750-768. 14. BQXD 1.2b, 9a, 1 1 b , 14b, 353-393; 2.298-3ib. 15. BQXD 1.4b, 7b-8a, 15a, 23a-28b, 298-348; 2.ia~4b, 5a-6a, 8a-iob. 16. BQXD 1.4b, 2.16a. 17. SS 8.180; BQXD 2.29a-3ib; according to Chen's directive of 1623.5, large coins were supposed to account for no more than 20 percent of the total: see ibid., i.7b-8a. 18. MYL 3 8 . 1 5 3 - 1 6 3 ; SS 8.180. 19. MYL 47.1a. 20. MSL Xizong 71.27b. 2 1 . MSL Xizong 76.8a-b. 22. Chen Yuting, the director of the Baoquanju, vehemently protested against the competition between the Ministries of Revenue and Works to corner the market for copper, which resulted in higher prices; see BQXD 1.473-480. Yet toward the end of his term, Chen himself proposed raising the mint price for copper to a new record level in order to attract more metal to his mint; see BQXD, 2.7a-8a. 23. Li Qiyuan, "Zunzi jushi zoubao shuguan guzhu benli shumu," Jibu zoushu, 4.i26a-i29b. 24. MSL Xizong 23.9a-b, 57.25b.




to Pages


25. MSL Xizong 40.33a-b; Li Qiyuan, "Tangzang rikui yiri shu," Jibu zoushu, 3 . 1 5 3 - 2 8 ^ "Guzhu jixu burong shaohuan shu," ibid., }.66a-6 PP- 357-4*6. 1 3 . The elaboration of manifold currency zones in China during the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries parallels similar developments in money-use in South Asia. See Perlin, "Money-Use in Late Precolonial South Asia." 14. Kuroda, "Shindai gin sen nikasei," pp. 2 2 8 - 3 1 . 15. For this interpretation, see, e.g., Yeh-chien Wang, "Evolution of the



Notes to Page


Chinese Monetary System," pp. 442.-45; Frederic Wakeman, Jr., The Fall of Imperial China (New York: The Free Press, 1975), pp. 126-28. 16. Lin Man-houng (Lin Manhong), "Zhongguode baiyin wailiu yu shijie jinyin jianchan (1814-1850)," in Zhongguo haiyang fazhan shi lunwen ji 4, ed. Wu Jianxiong (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan Sun Zhongshan shehui renwen kexue yanjiusuo, 1991), pp. 1-44. 17. Louis Dermigny, La Chine et l'occident: Le commerce à Canton au XVIIle siècle (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1964), III: 1340-57.


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