Tracing The Origins of Money

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Money not only faciltates trade activities but also serves as an expressive unit of account and a carrier of value. The first issue of paper money surfaced in Massachusetts in 1690, and by 1723 it was succeeded by another issue in Pennsylvania which was also supplemented by a second in 1729.

Other related experiments were held in various places, in Maryland all those identified as taxpayers obtained some cash in new notes. It is remarkable that the tickets were purchased in cash after a certain period.

At the end of the seventeenth century, the notes were a great success, despite the fact there is a varying perception around its original period of conception. The system was by then primed for spreading around the globe.

John Law who hailed from Scotland was behind the establishing of a system that involved the introduction of metal coins which were made available to banks. In return, tickets were established in a manner that rendered them redeemable in a movement of precious metal money.

There once was a bill introduced earmarked for the substitution of the use of temporary and refundable metal coins. And the result involved the eventual replacement of the coins altogether, with the banknote paper money.

While China is on record as having utilized tickets as far back as the eleventh century, at a time when a shortage of metal blocked the coinage. The Jiao ZI were wooden planks bearing the inscription in black ink and vermilion issued in settlement money as a substitute for metal traders for their own use.

The boards did very little circulation in the markets, but even this limited movement was not without abuses. This enabled the Song Dynasty, which was running short of cash, to take the initiatives around the 1024’s to monopolize the issue and to make legal tender, hence the paper currency was employed to pay the taxes.

Fortunately, the operation was a tremendous success, the paper money enjoyed usage for several centuries to the benefit of technological advancement such as with the paper mills introduced in that era.

The shells (cowries) in China have played a multi-millennium role as small change (until the late nineteenth century), the monetary standards eventually changed and the standard of the main currency. The cowries were found in many places and served for very long in Africa as small change.

In Europe paper money found its way into circulation in the 1660’s, and copper was used to make substantially larger coins, hence


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