By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This booklet offers an in depth and spectacular heritage of cash from Charlemagne's reform in nearly AD800 to the tip of the Silver Wars in 1896. It additionally summarizes 20th century advancements and areas them of their ancient context.
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Extra resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
It eventually became, in the Germanic countries, the gulden. Many of these became debased, and there was an interesting language switch. As the Venetian ducat was never debased, the term ducat became synonymous with a sound coin, while the term florin implied a debased one. Although the Florentine original was never itself debased or devalued, its image suffered from the ‘devaluation’ abroad of its original name: it, too, became known as a ducat. England Unlike the rest of Europe, England entered the new age with a sound, undebased coinage.
The overall effect of the changes was to bring a plentiful supply of silver to the mint. The retariffing of gold was in two stages, in August and November: there was an unusually heavy coinage of gold. A proclamation was issued ‘forbidding any person to raise the price of any goods or merchandise under the colour of the money being enhanced’. This was an early attempt at price 42 A HISTORY OF MONEY control, and no more successful than those which were to follow in future centuries. This second coinage, taken alone, could be seen as simply another of the periodical adjustments needed to take account of normal wear and tear on the actual circulating coins and of changes in the relative prices of gold and silver.
Cipolla 1967:34–5) There is a fascinating example of an attempted currency reconstruction in Florence in 1378. The gold florin had been worth 20 shillings of black money when it was introduced in 1252. By the beginning of the fourteenth century the petty money had depreciated to the point at which there were 260 shillings to the gold florin. In 1378 a popular revolt overthrew a government of businessmen and replaced it with one drawn largely from wage earners. The Popular Party immediately set about trying to prevent any further depreciation of the petty coins, and proposed a radical plan, approved on 24 October 1380.