DBQ Prompt Using the documents, ANALYZE THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS of the global flow of silver from the mid-sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century.
Possible areas of analysis Economic and Social Effects on China, England, Spain Changing Effects over Time (early, middle, late) Specific positive and specific negative effects on economies and societies
Sample Theses The global flow of silver during the 16 th to the 18 th centuries affected China by threatening the traditional Confucian social order, had inflationary effects on both China and Spain, and caused a greater need for trade between England and Asia. The global flow of silver made changes to the values of Chinese society from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries. The flow of silver also was viewed as having positive economic effects, such as increased trade and wealth, at the beginning of the period but negative economic effects, such as inflation and greater competition, towards the end of the period The global flow of silver caused inflation and social unrest but enriched many people in both Europe and Asia.
Groupings UNACCEPTABLE: – Docs 1, 3, and 5 all reflect the social impacts on China. ACCEPTABLE: – The global flow of silver threatened the Chinese social order by challenging Confucian social values (Docs 1, 3, and 5).
Example Groupings Region/Point of Origin (Spanish, Chinese, British) Profession Negative/Positive effects of the flow of silver (For Groupings ONLY!!!) Economic purpose Competition Changing Chinese attitudes over time
Document Interpretations Doc 1 – “Frugal” does not mean “poor” and “extravagant” does not mean “rich” – this document is making a commentary on Confucian values of frugality and avoiding unnecessary spending Doc 2 – The Spanish were not buying cobblestones – the author is trying to paint a picture about how much silver was being used to buy goods from China – enough cobblestones to pave the streets of Manila = A LOT OF SILVER!!!
POV Analysis Chinese documents – – Confucianism Values which support traditional Chinese society/economy Elevation of trade which is counter to Confucian values Wanted to recover profits on goods lost to European middlemen – Protect/advocate for local constituency against central gov’t policies which support trade for silver
POV Analysis Spanish documents – Scholar: Personal economic effects (EX: high prices/inflation) – Priest: Emphasis on social effects on Indians due to his job to minister/convert Native Americans, pity, compassion, etc. British documents – Competition for trade/wealth with Portuguese/Spanish (mercantalism) – Rivalry with other European nations even if Asian goods not necessary (nationalism)
What many of you wrote… In Group No. 1, Doc 2 says that “high prices ruined Spain” and that the Spanish bought too many cobblestones to pave streets. He says this because he is a scholar and would know about such things because he wrote a book called the Manual of Deals and Contracts.
What you should have written… One negative economic effect caused by the global flow of silver was inflation. This was especially true in Spain which had an overabundance of silver. A Spanish scholar at the time, Tomas de Mercado, observed that “high prices ruined Spain” caused by the trade for Asian goods with Spanish silver. He comments on how huge the quantity of silver which flowed out to China was by saying “…the streets of Manila…could be paved with granite cobblestones brought from China as ballast…(DOC 2)” He most likely takes this sarcastic tone because as a Spaniard, he was probably severely affected by the high prices he had to pay everyday for both necessary and luxury goods.
Additional Documents Chinese peasant S. American Indian laborer Chinese merchant Any source in Japan Spanish/Portuguese colonial settler or Indian Spanish N. American silver source (shown on historical map) Any source from N. Africa (shown on historical map) BUT….
Additional Documents You MUST ALSO explain: – How this would help you to answer the question – How this additional point of view would provide further insight into the understanding of the historical subject related to the essay prompt