Did you know that the history of
It all goes back to Chris Columbus. Now Chris himself is not very important. If he had not discovered The New World in 1492, someone else would have done so within the next few years, likely the Portuguese. In fact, the existence of a large land mass to the west was well known in
The big deal is that within a few years after
Now gold has always been considered to have great value, and its scarcity ensures that will always be the case. I saw an exhibit in
Silver is gold’s poorer cousin. It has never had the cachet of gold, in part because there is a lot of it around. It was used as coinage in the ancient world, but then so was copper and other metals and alloys.
The Spanish within a few years had seized all the gold that the Incas and Aztecs had accumulated over a very long time. They faced loss of the cash flow needed to carry on the conquests, but, by that time, they had discovered the incredibly productive silver mines of
But, by coincidence, the Chinese economy was expanding at this time, and the Chinese people had a real love for silver, a love not shared in the same way by anyone else in the world.
So the Chinese started buying up the Spanish silver, and that kept up the price, so
Part of that silver bought textiles and other goods which were bartered in Africa for slaves, who mined the silver and eventually created the great estates in
We are off to