Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
History of Money from Ancient Times
to the Present Day by Glyn Davies
This site contains a chronology, written by Glyn and Roy Davies,
and a collection of essays written by Roy Davies, [email protected]
on various themes using information mainly from the book with the same
Glyn. A History of money from ancient times to the present day. rev.
ed. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996. 716 pages. ISBN 0 7083 1351
Originally published in 1994 and reprinted in November
1995, as a hardback of 696 pages, ISBN 0 7083 1246 2.
|The revised, paperback version is available
from various sources in addition to the usual bookshop channels.
|Comments from reviews
via the University of Wales
|Click on the picture for a larger image of the cover
of the book (47K), showing various forms of money used at various times
in different places.
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Won By this Site
The search form covers all the pages on money maintained by Roy Davies
at this site.
of Contents of A History of Money
A detailed listing of the contents of each chapter of the book.
Comparative Chronology of Money
A detailed chronology of money in its social and political context from
the very earliest times onwards. Around the next corner there may be
lying in wait apparently quite novel monetary problems which in all probability
bear a basic similarity to those that have already been tackled with varying
degrees of success or failure in other times and places. The chronology
is split into sections by period to provide faster access.
Metatheory of Money
Keynesianism and monetarism have many precursors. Why does a monetary theory
enjoy a vogue then give way to an opposing theory which in turn is displaced
by a theory similar to its predecessor? There is a perpetual conflict between
the interests of debtors, who seek to enlarge the quantity of money and
creditors, who seek to maintain or increase the value of money by limiting
its supply. Military expenditure and population pressures affect this conflict
of interest. Furthermore money is fungible by nature and always attracts
of Money and of Banking
The use of money evolved out of deeply rooted customs as is shown by the
study of primitive forms of money, e.g. cattle, cowrie shells, whales teeth
and manillas (ornamental jewellery). The clumsiness of barter was merely
one factor in the development of money, and not the most important one.
Banking was invented before coins and reached a high level of sophistication
in the Egypt of the Ptolomies. Military conquests, such as those of Alexander
the Great, spread the use of coins which became the most convenient means
and Financial History
From blood money payments in primitive societies to the military-industrial
complex of the present day developments in warfare and finance have, unfortunately,
been closely connected. Even the word to pay comes from a Latin
word meaning to pacify. This essay covers conflicts from the wars
between Ancient Greece and Persia to World War II. Warfare played an important
part in the spread of the use of coinage and the invention of the national
debt, while the adoption of paper money in the West was both a cause of
the American Revolution and a means of financing it.
Significance of Celtic Coinage
The Celts on the Continent and in parts of Britain produced large numbers
of coins before the Roman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon invasions put an end
to minting in Britain almost completely for nearly two hundred years and
in Wales production
of coins did not become common until after the English conquest.
Vikings and Money in England
Paying through the nose! The impact of Danegeld - history's best-known
protection racket! In an age when a penny was a substantial sum
of money literally millions of silver pennies were minted in England to
buy off the Viking invaders. (This essay comes via the server of the Viking
Network for Schools, which also carries an essay on Viking
Coinage in Norway by Thor-Egil Paulsen).
in North American History
The British colonies in North America were chronically short of coins and
were forced to use various substitutes including wampum, like the native
inhabitants, and tobacco. The enthusiastic adoption of paper money and
its suppression by the British was a factor in provoking the American revolution,
which was financed by hyperinflation. Ever since independence banking has
been the subject of political controversy and although the US emerged from
the two World Wars as the dominant superpower the US financial system may
be in relative decline.
and European Monetary Union
Why is Britain sceptical? The pound Sterling has a very different history
from continental currencies. Other European countries have more experience
with currency unions, e.g. the Latin Monetary Union of 1861-1920, the Scandinavian
Monetary Union which lasted until 1924, and the Zollverein of 1834 which
led to political union between the German states. Furthermore the history
of the pound sterling goes back 1,300 years whereas most European currencies
date back only to the end of the Second World War since that conflict led
to the destruction and reform of their previous currencies. Consequently
a change of currency would arouse more suspicion in Britain than on the
and Government Control of the Money Supply
When coins were the predominant form of payment governments controlled
minting. The development of modern banking and paper money broke the government
monopoly of money creation and fostered the growth of democracy. Will the
advent of electronic money have a similar significance?
World Money and Debt in the Twentieth Century
The pressure of a rapidly expanding world population on finite resources
is a virtually silent explosion as far as monetarist literature is concerned.
The task of enabling millions of the world's poorest men and women to earn
a decent living for themselves is the greatest problem facing mankind.
Reanchoring the runaway currencies of many Third World countries is a prerequisite
for successful development.
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