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Why did ancient Chinese banknotes perish in the middle of the Ming Dynasty

※ Published: 2019-12-23 10:02:09 ※ Published Author: habao ※ Where from:

According to the textbook for middle school students, the hometown of Chinese paper money was born in the Northern Song Dynasty (1023), and it was the earliest paper money in the world, more than 600 years before Europe. However, Khan Qing also tells us that when the British strong ship bombarded China's door in 1840, the Bank of England's banknotes had already passed the world, but China was still using silver and copper coins as spring coins. Where is the Chinese paper money? Originally, as early as the middle of the Ming Dynasty, China's banknotes had perished. Why did the Chinese banknotes that were once at the forefront of the world slowly go down? The story from making friends to meeting people will tell us a thought-provoking affair.  

The initial deal was actually a proof of deposit. In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty, Chengdu, Sichuan, saw the emergence of “crowd-shops” that operated cash storage for merchants who did not carry large sums of money. The depositor delivers the cash to the shopkeeper, and the shopkeeper fills in the deposit amount on a paper roll made of paper and returns it to the depositor, and charges a certain storage fee. This type of paper coupon that temporarily fills in the deposit amount is called a friend.  

With the growth of the market economy, Jiaozi has become more and more widely used. Many merchants have established Jiaozi Shops, which specialize in issuing and redeeming Jiaozi. Because the shopkeepers keep their promises, and pick up as they go, Jiaozi has gradually won a high degree of credit. For large transactions between merchants, in order to avoid the hassle of coin handling, more and more people pay directly for payment. Later, Jiaozi shop owners invented in the business and only used part of the deposit, which did not endanger Jiaozi's credit, so they started to print Jiaozi with the same denomination and pattern, and issued it to the market as a new smooth means. It is precisely this step-by-step growth that makes "Jiaozi" gradually have the characteristics of a credit spring coin and truly become a banknote.  

With the gradual expansion of the influence of Jiaozi, the demand for standardized governance of it is also increasing. During the Northern Song Dynasty (1004--1007), Yizhou Zhizhou Zhang Yong reorganized Jiazizi households and eliminated the evildoers, and was run exclusively by 16 Yin merchants. At this point, the release of Jiaozi was officially recognized by the authorities. In the first year of Song Renzong's Tiansheng (1023), the authorities set up Yizhou to handle child affairs, with a cost of 360,000 yuan as a reserve fund, and the first issue of "guanjiazi" 1.26 million yuan, with a reserve rate of 28%.  

From the trade credit certificate to the official method of Dingquan Coin, Jiaotong has undergone a rebirth change in just a few decades. It has all kinds of basic elements of modern paper money, leaving Europe, which is still in the gloomy Middle Ages, far behind. . However, this is also the turning point of China's banknotes from prosperity to decline.

After receiving the release of Jiaozi, the court suddenly invented that paper money is actually a good device! At no cost, as long as you print a few words on a piece of paper, you can use it as real gold and silver, in exchange for real wealth, and you don't have to stigmatize it. It is actually a good business without any profits! So Song Huizong's indecent first year (1107), the Song Dynasty authorities changed their relations to Qianyin. Qian Yin's paper, printing, Danqing and seals are all very good, but the biggest difference with Jiaozi is that it does not have a reserve fund, is not exchangeable, and can be added at will, which opens the door for Chinese paper money.  

With the door of Doom open, the situation turned sharply. With the exception of a few sober emperors such as Song Xiaozong, most of the emperors used the issuance of banknotes (including Jiaozi, Qianyin, and later meeting) as a means to increase income. If you want to raise soldiers, you need to print banknotes, you have to contact them, and then you have to print banknotes. After the battle, you have to reward the army, and you still print banknotes. In the Song Dynasty, where printing was already flourishing, the manual money printing machine started to run at full speed, providing the emperors with countless banknotes that can be wasted at will, and what followed was naturally the extinction of hyperinflation and credit-losing banknotes. .  

Taking the Southern Song Dynasty as an example, according to the designation of the main road for four years (1168), it is held every three years, with 10 million rounds issued each time. After the expiration, the next session is issued to acquire the previous session. The smooth amount remained at 10 million yuan, and the fourth set was priced at 1 yuan in 1980 . This number is certainly eight times that of the Northern Song Dynasty! But after all, with a limited amount, the scope of inflation can also be controlled to a certain degree. However, not permitting additional banknotes meant breaking the future financial path, which the emperors and ministers could not accept. As a result, the official family (commonly known as the Emperor of the Song Dynasty) set the rules, but after 8 years it was subverted by the official family itself. In the three years of Chunxi (1176), the court allowed the third and fourth sessions to be extended for three years, which means that at the time of the release of the new session, the old session was still flowing, and the amount of flow doubled. Since then, the extension of Huizi has become commonplace, and even grows to be smooth forever, no longer acquiring. The circulation of each industry has also grown from 10 million to hundreds of millions. Even more frightening is that the exchange rate of the old and new clubs is no longer one to one, but has become two to one, three to one, or even five to one. This means that in the modern economy, the currency reform that had to be adopted only under extreme conditions of inflation, was carried out every 3 years in the Southern Song Dynasty! According to the exchange rate of the central bank notes in the Yuan Dynasty, the sixteenth session of the inflation rate has already been 1,250 times (a total of eighteen sessions have been issued), and if it is pushed to the first level of exchange rate, you have to worry about the multiple of inflation. Measured in tens or even 100,000.  

The people are not stupid people. After seeing the official family issuing banknotes in this way, no one is willing to use real gold and silver to exchange those pieces of waste paper that have already damaged their credit. From the beginning of the first year of Jiading (His Excellency 1208), the meeting has been unable to run smoothly in the market. The re-issue of the meeting after this is just the nature of the government's self-entertainment and self-entertainment, or a concealed cloth used by the court as a fake and fake payment. At this time, more than 30 years have passed since the first letter break of the official family broke the sub-track system.  

Since then, both the Yuan and Ming dynasties have issued banknotes for a time, but the court's stance on banknotes and the fate of banknotes are no different from those of the Southern Song Dynasty. By the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1488—1505), the last banknote used in China before the Opium battle, the Daming Pass, had stopped flowing in the market, and copper and silver once again dominated the smooth market. China's paper money was strangled in the cradle.  

Paper money is a kind of credit symbol. Only when it represents the credit time of Quan Coin, it has value. It can be smooth, can greatly facilitate and promote the growth of the market economy. Once the credit is dropped, it becomes A piece of waste paper. The upsurge of Jiaozi is precisely the result of the rapid growth of China's market economy and trade credit. The decline of Huizi and other ancient Chinese paper money is also due to the authorities' destructive plunder of Quanyuan's credit.

Speaking of which, a problem is confusing. At first, the banknotes issued by several merchants in Chengdu were creditworthy, but the banknotes issued by the authorities in later Dynasties were not creditworthy. Could it be said that the merchants were more powerful than the authorities? In fact, this is not difficult to understand. The businessman is weak in strength and has no compulsive ability to the society. Instead, he must be constrained by the market and cannot be confused, otherwise there will be a risk of being eliminated by the market and losing his family business. This restraint just made him establish his own trade credit. Jiaozi shop households gradually differentiated during the growth process, from the beginning of the good and bad mixed, to the natural elimination of good, good growth slowly and strong to dominate the market, is exactly a lively portrayal of this mechanism.  

The authorities, especially those in China's feudal society, are highly centralized and lack supervision and restraint mechanisms. It has powerful national machinery, and has the power to force society to accept it. It is precisely this power that makes it free from the shackles of the market and does not need to value its own credit. Therefore, the court must not have a reserve fund, and the court must not have it. The court must not obey the rules for issuing banknotes. In the absence of external restraint, if there is no self-restraint, the authorities will easily embark on the arbitrary abuse of power, thus destroying their own credit, destroying the banknote system, and destroying This is the beginning of the growth of Chinese capitalism.  

For the authorities, this is not a merit. The moment when banknotes are issued indiscriminately, it feels really cool, but before long, hyperinflation and the demise of banknotes will make it more difficult. In the sixteenth year of Ming Chongzhen (1643), under Li Zicheng's soldiers, the emperor Chongzhen remembered the banknotes again. He set up an internal treasure banknote office to rush through the day and night to pass the money. However, no one has long been willing to use real gold and silver to replace these finely printed waste paper. Accompanied by countless treasures, the Emperor Chongzhen hung himself on a tree in Coal Mountain. At this moment, would he think that if his ancestors in the past were not so greedy, maybe today's treasures can flow smoothly and save himself and his dynasty?  

Forgetting the lessons of the past, China was once the world's most economically prosperous country, but finally failed to develop capitalism. The lack of external oversight and self-restrained authorities' abuse of public power is an important reason. The rise and fall of paper money in China as a symbol of market economy and trade credit is a prime example. With more than 30 years of reform and opening up and the establishment of a socialist market economy system, our authorities are also facing the situation of insufficient external supervision. Therefore, if the socialist market economy is to continue to grow, the authorities must even Strengthen self-binding consciousness. At present, the authority of the central government has delegated the authority to issue bonds to the premises. The issue of bonds is quite similar to the issuance of banknotes. This will not only help to stimulate the economy and resist the international financial turmoil, but also self-restraint of the authorities everywhere A test of talent. It is hoped that our authorities at all levels can learn the lessons of the youth, endure the test of life, and get the merits.  

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