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Daily Kos: Allow Me to Put On a Tinfoil Hat...

In the late 18th century wars and trade with China, which sold many trade goods to Europe but the Chinese had little use for European goods (and demanded silver bullion for all payment).  (The trade imbalance literally) drained silver from the economies of Western Europe and the United States. Coins were struck in smaller and smaller amounts, and there was a proliferation of bank and Demand Notes used as money.

In the 1790s (due to Chinese hoarding), Britain suffered a massive shortage of silver coinage and ceased to mint larger silver coins. It issued "token" silver coins and overstruck foreign coins. With the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain began a massive recoinage program that created standard gold sovereigns and circulating crowns, half-crowns, and eventually copper farthings in 1821. In 1833, Bank of England notes were made legal tender, and redemption by other banks was discouraged.

 Wikipedia

plus ca change...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:29:46 AM EST
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