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History - chapter 1 of the ascent of money summary.docx

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History 1803E
Jeffery Vacante

Chapter 1 of ascent of money Basically what this chapter talks mainly about is the evolution of money. Its evident that Ferguson discusses the change in money throughout the years. Money starts with trading commodities, then moves onto coins of bronze, silver and gold, and then it moves into nothing, mere numbers on a screen. Personally I find it fascinating as I always wondered to myself what is money now? How valuable is a paper. How valuable are numbers on a screen? What’s the history of all of this? In this chapter he talked about how the Inca empire, which was moneyless and appreciated the aesthetic qualities of rare metals. They called gold” sweat of the sun” and silver was “tears of the moon” . Also he mentions how the communists also used humans as currency. They were both moneyless in a sense as they relied on human trades as a form of currency. The chapter begins with Ferguson talking about coins and how they were used as a form of currency by the romans Chinese and Greeks. For some there was a shortage of silver coins but this was solved as a result of the rich silver mines in Lima, Potosí. As a result of the rapid demand in silver coins, inflation occurred in Europe. Something important that summarizes his point is when he says “ money is worth only what someone else if willing to give you for it and that an increase in supply will not make the society richer rather it would enrich the government that monopolizes the production of the money. He also states in the book is that money is based on belief. On page 31 he says that money is matter of belief and could be called faith. As you have to believe in the person paying you and believe in the person that’s issuing the money . its all based on this plateau of faith .without it , there would be no mechanisms
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