Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Rise and demise of the global silver standard

Irigoin, Alejandra (2020) Rise and demise of the global silver standard. In: Battilossi, Stefano, Cassis, Youssef and Yago, Kazuhiko, (eds.) Handbook of the History of Money and Currency. Springer Nature Singapore, 383 - 410. ISBN 9789811305955

[img] Text (The rise and decline of the global silver standard) - Accepted Version
Download (848kB)

Identification Number: 10.1007/978-981-13-0596-2_13


In the early modern period, the world economy gravitated around the expansion of long-distance commerce. Together with navigation improvements, silver was the prime commodity which moved the sails of such trade. The disparate availability and the particular demand for silver across the globe determined the participation of producers, consumers, and intermediaries in a growing global economy. American endowments of silver are a known feature of this process; however, the fact that the supply of silver was in the form of specie is a less known aspect of the integration of the global economy. This chapter surveys the production and export of silver specie out of Spanish America, its intermediation by Europeans, and the reexport to Asia. It describes how the sheer volume produced and the quality and consistency of the coin provided familiarity with, and reliability to, the Spanish American peso which made it current in most world markets. By the eighteenth century, it has become a currency standard for the international economy which grew together with the production and coinage of silver. Implications varied according to the institutional settings to deal with specie and foreign exchange in each intervening economy of that trade. Generalized warfare in late eighteenth-century Europe brought down governance in Spanish America and coinage fragmented along with the political fragmentation of the empire. The emergence of new sovereign republics and the end of minting as known meant the cessation of the silver standard that had contributed to the early modern globalization.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E4 - Money and Interest Rates > E40 - General
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2023 07:45
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2024 00:03

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics