789 Recognized generally by Locke, Considerations 24. Further, Galliani, Della Moneta, II, 2; Adam Smith, I, ch. 5. Schaeffle, N. OEk., II, Aufl., 127, maintains that a constant measure of price, such as would enable a person to stipulate for a salary for instance that would be always of the same value, is impossible. Similarly, Hildebrand's Jahrb., 1871, 315 ff.
790 Compare J. Tucker, Four Tracts on political and commercial Subjects, 28 ff., who maintains that it is a rule, almost without exception, that "operose or complicated manufactures" are cheapest in rich countries; "raw materials," in poor ones. Thus, for instance, corn (?), garden products in the former; cattle, wool, milk, skins, flesh-meat, in the latter. Ships and movable property are cheaper in the former, whereas wood may be said to be almost the free product of nature here. See especially Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, ch. 11, Digr.
791 Senior, Outlines 119 f., makes the following calculation: Of the 15d. which a loaf of bread costs in England, 10d. goes to buy the wheat, the other 5d. to the miller, baker etc. If now, we suppose, that in consequence of an increased demand, and therefore of increased production under more unfavorable circumstances, the price of wheat should rise to 20d., the cost of production would possibly, because of an improved division of labor, come down to 3-3/4d., and hence the price of the loaf of bread would be increased to 23-3/4d. It is quite the reverse in the case of lace, because here a piece of raw material worth only 2 shillings may, by reason of the labor expended on it, become worth as much as L105. If the consumption of lace should increase so that the value of the raw material rose to 4 shillings, the simultaneous decrease of the cost of manufacture to the extent of one-quarter of the aggregate price, would leave the price of the manufactured article L78, 19s.
792 When, for instance, the inhabitants of the Baltic coasts, by way of preference, kept up their relations with the Hanseatic cities, the Dutch and English, that is with the most important industrial and commercial nations in their own sphere, they in all this pursued only their own interest. As to how this intercourse between "old" and "new" countries is susceptible of the very highest development, see Torrens, The Budget: On Commercial and Colonial Policy, 1844, and earlier, Wakefield, England and America, II, 1823.
793 The clearing up of primeval forests, the cultivation of natural meadows, etc.
794 In Hungary, during the sixteenth century, the choicest venison was consumed by plebeians and nobles alike. Herberstein, Rer. Moscov. Comm., 97. In Russia, even the lowest classes not unfrequently partake of roast hare and duck etc. Kohl, Reise in Russland, II, 386. Still, in St. Petersburg, wild-fowl game rose between the time of Peter the Great and Alexander I. 600 per cent. in price. (Storch, Handbuch, I, 368.) In Pittsburg, in 1807, mutton, beef and veal cost from 4 to 6 cents a pound, and game only from 3 to 4-1/2 cents a pound. (Melish, Travels through the United States, II, 57.) The more the game laws are enforced, the longer does the low price of game continue, especially when it is not easy for the poor to procure them. The moderns have seldom thought of raising game artificially; among the Romans, artificial raising was confined to the hare and fieldfare. (Varro, R.R., III, 12 ff.; Columella, R.R., VIII, 10.) Hence, the enormous prices paid for game, of which Pliny, H. N. X., 43, relates an example from the time of the emperors. On the other hand, Polybius assures us that, in his time, game was to be had as good as gratis in Lusitania. XXXIV, 8, 7.
795 In Buenos Ayres, in the nineteenth century, beggars on horseback were to be seen. (Robertson, Letters on South America, II, 294.) In Krasnojarsk, in 1770, 1-1/2 rubles was the price of an ox, 1 ruble of a cow, from 2 to 3 of a horse, from O.3 to O.5 of a sheep; O.15 of a deer. (Pallas, Sibirische Reise, III, 5, II 12.) According to the Tables of Prices in Sir F. M. Eden, State of the Poor, Append. I, and Rogers, History of Agriculture and Prices (1866), I, 245, 361, the following prices obtained in England;
(On an average.)
in 1125-26, one ox, 1 shilling; one quarter of wheat, 20 shillings; in 1260-1400, one ox, 13 shillings 1-1/4d; one quarter of wheat, 5 shillings 10-3/4d; in 1406, one ox, 9-1/2 shillings; one quarter of wheat, 4-1/2 shillings; in 1463, one ox, 10-20 shillings; one quarter of wheat, 1-⅔-4-⅔ shillings.
Compare Hume, History of England, a. 1327. Under Henry VIII. veal, beef, mutton and pork were food for the poor in England, and cost on an average 1-1/2d per pound; while wheat cost from 7 to 8 shillings a quarter. (24 Henry VII, c. 3. Price, Observations, II, 148 f.) The same appears from the "reasonable prices" which Charles I, in 1663, had established by sworn juries viz.: that the different kinds of meat were much cheaper comparatively than corn in our days. (Rymer, Foedera, XIX, 511. Anderson, Origin of Commerce, a. 1633.) In many places in the highlands of Scotland, in the middle of the seventeenth century, one pound of oat-bread cost as much or more than one pound of the best meat. The union of Scotland with more highly civilized England soon changed the relation, so that in Adam Smith's time, good meat, in nearly all parts of Great Britain was worth from 2 to 4 times as much as the same weight of wheat bread. (Wealth of Nations, I, ch. 11, 1.) The Thomas Hospital in London paid, on an average, for good beef per stone weight:
1701-1710: 1s. 7.9d. 1764-1773: 1s. 3.7d. 1794-1803: 1s. 5.d. 1804-1821: 1s. 10.9d. 1822-1842: 1s. 1.5d.
(Porter, Progress of the Nation, III, 112.) Among the most certain proofs of the high degree of economic civilization attained in upper Italy about the close of the medieval times is the fact, that the price of cattle, compared with that of wheat in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, varies very little from what it is to-day. (Cibrario, Economia politica del medio Evo, III, 335-383.) Compare Rau, Lehrbuch I, 185. In Athens, the cost of a medimnos of wheat was as great as that of a sheep in Solon's time. In the age of Demosthenes, it cost only half as much. (Boeckh, Staatshaushalt der Athener, I, 107, 132.) It is obvious, however, that the price of meat compared with that of corn, was lowered by the great extension of the artificial cultivation of meadows; for, when the former has reached its maximum, it becomes a great spur to the promotion of the latter. Thus, in England, the price of meat, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, was on an average, higher than in Adam Smith's time. (loc. cit.) To the same cause is to be ascribed the state of things in Prussia mentioned by v. Podewils, Wirth schaftserfahrungen, II, 15.
As a common basis for such calculations, the following may be accepted. It is plain that meadows, pasturages and forage-fields must yield as much in meat, as corn-fields of the same dimensions of equal goodness, and situated as favorably, in corn. According to Block, a Prussian acre (Morgen) of the best quality, used as a meadow, produces a hay-value equal to 1,000 pounds, a clover-value equal to 2,420; as a vegetable field, a beet or potato-value equal to 6,050-6,930 pounds, v. Lengerke's estimate is that 110 pounds of cattle-fodder expressed in terms of hay, produces on an average 40 pounds of milk, and from 3-1/2 to 4 pounds of meat. This would, at most, give 36, 88 and 220-252 pounds of meat. The yield of wheat, v. Lengerke estimates, on the best soil, and on an average, at 14 Prussian scheffels (at 80 pounds, i.e. 1,120 pounds) yearly per acre (Morgen). The three periods in the history of the prices of cattle were clearly recognized by Thaer, Landw. Gewerblehre, 1815, 100.
796 It is a very characteristic fact, in relation to the river fisheries, that the fable that servants formerly stipulated not to eat salmon except twice a week is to be found in so many places. Thus on the Elbe and the Rhine. Compare Thaarup, Daenische Statistik, I, 112. In Scotland, about the end of the seventeenth century, the story in places ran, that it was five times a week. (Walter Scott, Old Mortality, ch. 8.) In England, fish seems to have been a tid-bit among the poorer classes in the fourteenth century. (Rogers, I, 606.) It was dearer especially during Lent. (Statist. Journ., 1861, 544 ff.) The artificial production of sea-fish seems to have been tried only by the ancient Romans. On the whole, Adam Smith's law that a ten-fold demand can, as a rule, be met only by a greater than ten-fold labor, applies here. (I, 370, ed. Basil.) But this relation is obscured to a certain extent, from the fact that the source of the production of sea-fish, the ocean, which may be claimed at any time by occupation, is, practically, boundless. Here, therefore, the improvements made in nautical science, and the progress of geographical knowledge, may yet for a long time compensate for the exhaustion of the nearer seas, and even more than counterbalance it.
797 Among a great many nations in a low stage of civilization, agriculture consists in the burning down of the forest. In 1594, the Lauenfoerder forest produced 1,110 thalers' worth of food for hogs, and wood to the amount of 44 thalers. (v. Berg, Staatsforstwirthsch., 213.) The Harzgerode woods, at the ducal line of Anhalt-Bernburg, were estimated at 6,000 thalers. A hundred years later, they brought in yearly 70,000 thalers, although, in the meantime, very little progress was made in the science of cultivating them, (v. Justi, Staatswirthschaft, II, 211.) We may form a notion of the relativity of the idea of the dearness of wood from the fact that in Bavaria, for instance, in 1840, there was a great deal of complaint, that in the district of Isark the price rose from 6 to 9 florins; in the districts of Regen and the lower Maine, from 11 to 14 florins to from 15 to 18; in the Rhine district, from 20 to 26 florins per cord (Klafter). (Rau, Lehrbuch, III, 150, a.) Besides, the price of wood in the forest rises, with an advance in civilization, much more rapidly than it does in the market; in which last, labor and capital play a greater part. (Rau, I, 385.)
798 Plan for the artificial production of pearl oysters. (Novara-Reise, I, 303.) Ostriches seem now to be ceasing to be objects of mere occupation, and to be becoming objects of breeding. (Ausland, 1869, 13.)
799 Thus Wolff's experiments made at Moeckern have shown that in the case of sheep fed with hay, the wool becomes much heavier and the flesh leaner than those of sheep fed with a more concentrated food. While it is estimated in England, at the present time, that the wool of South-Down sheep is worth scarcely one-tenth what their flesh is (Jacob, On Corn Trade, 166), mutton, from the year 1260 to 1400, was, on an average, worth 17 pence; and this even at a time when prices were gradually rising; but the wool of one animal (1 lb., 7-3/4 ounces), 5-1/4 pence. (Rogers, I, 362, 395.) Even under Anglo-Saxon kings the fleece was worth 40 per cent. of the value of the whole sheep, (David Hume.) And so W. Macann, Two Thousand Miles Ride through the Argentine Provinces, 1853, I, 151, says that in the interior of Buenos Ayres, he purchased 8,000 sheep at 18 pence a dozen, and after a march of 200 English miles, sold the skins for sixty pence a dozen. In Goya, formerly, a live horse cost 3 pence, its skin on the coast 12 pence; and the slaughtering of the beast cost 3 pence, the removal and cleaning of the skin 3 pence; and 3 pence were paid for transportation. (Robertson.)
In Ireland, in 1763, it not unfrequently happened that the skin and tallow of an ox cost as much in a commercial city as the whole ox had cost in the nearest market town. (Temple, Works III, 13.) In England, from 1260 to 1400, the average price of a whole cow was 9s. 9d.; of the hide 1s. 8d., and cows were cheapest in the first decade, i.e., 6s. 2d., and the hides dearer than they were generally afterwards, i.e., by from 1-9-1/4d. (Rogers, I, 361, 451.) In Saxony, according to Engel (1853), the average price of horned cattle was about 46 thalers; of their hide, 4 thalers and 21 silver groschens. Russia exported, 1842-1847, 72,636,166 silver rubles worth of tallow, 1,832,137 silver rubles worth of horse hair, 10,811,735 worth of bristles (Borsten), 7,387,140 of uncured skins, 36,159,452 of sheep's wool, but flesh-meat only to the amount of 370,362 rubles, and entire animals to the value of 6,853,241 rubles. (P. Storch, Der Bauernstand Russlands, 289 ff.) Tallow is there ten times dearer than the same volume of wheat. (Steinhaus, Russlands industrielle und commercielle Verhaeltnisse, 294 ff.); while in Saxony, according to Engel (1821), a pound of wheat cost on an average 7.8 pfennigs, and a pound of tallow 30 p. However, Russia's recent progress in civilization has had for effect: that the exportation of tallow (1833 = 4-1/2 million puds; 1869 = 2-1/4 mill.) has greatly fallen off; while that of butter and live stock has increased. (v. Lengefeld, R. im 19. Jahrh., 220 ff.)
In England, during the fourteenth century, a pound of meat cost, on an average, 1/4d.; of lard, from 1-1/2 to 2. (Rogers, I, 411.) On the other hand, from 1848 to 1856, the average January price of beef from America was 110 shillings; of tallow from St. Petersburg, 48s. 11d. per cwt. (Newmarch.) And so, in the time of Pallas, the Cossacks chased the deer of their steppes only for the sake of its skin and horns. (Pallas, Reise, III, 524.) While the Greeks got horn from Macedonia and Thrace (Herodot., VII, 156), it is a striking proof of high civilization that at Athens (?), about the time of the hundredth Olympiad, an ox-hide was worth only 3 drachmas, and the whole ox 77 drachmas. (Boeckh, Staatshaushalt, I, 105 ff.)
As the ox is primarily serviceable as an object of food and an instrument of labor, and the sheep on the other hand, only an instrument to produce wool, it is easy to understand why, with the further advance of civilization, the price of oxen rises comparatively much more than the price of sheep. In Athens, during the time of Solon, an ox was equal in value to five sheep. (Plutarch, Solon, 23.) So also in countries with a low civilization in the time of Polybius. (Polyb., XXXIV, 8; Gell., XI, 1.) Why the same was the case in Rome at the beginning of the Republic? (Plut., Popl., 11). In England the proportion between the price of an ox and that of a sheep was,
in 927 as 6:1 (Henry.) in 1125 as 3:1 in 1182 as 6.3:1 in 1197 as 9:1 in 1229 as 8:1 (Eden.) in 1260-1492 (av.) as 9.2:1 (Rog.) in 1497 as 10:1 in 1500 as 11.6:1 in 1511 as 8:1 in 1528 as 10:1 in 1529 as 12.8:1 in 1531 as 9.4:1 in 1551 as 10.6:1 in 1597 as 8.2:1 (Eden.)
At present the proportion may be from 10 to 20:1. In Saxony, it is as 48 thalers to 5.27. (Engel.)
800 About 1793, Russia exported 10,000 rubles worth of fish, 452,000 of sturgeon bladders, 188,000 of caviar. (Storch, Russland, II, 184.) But this had undergone a great change even in 1850. At present, there are 64 per cent. of sturgeon bladders, 27 of caviar, and 7 of whole fish. (Steinhaus, Russland's industrielle und commercielle Verhaeltnisse, 102, 368.) Yet the Astrakan fishermen still throw the greater number of the sturgeon they catch back into the water. (Pallas, Reise im sued. Russland, I, 189; Steinhaus, 99.) Salt fish are adapted for transportation to a distance not only because they can be preserved, but also because they may be caught and prepared on the great highway of the water. Athens got from the Black Sea besides wood, tar, wool, hides, cordage, honey, wax and slaves, also salt fish. (Wolf, z. Demosth. Leptin., 252; Bockh, Staatshaush. I, 51.) The latter from Sardinia, Egypt and Spain. (Pollux, VI, 48.)
801 The principal countries that produce potash are Russia and North America. It is estimated that a cwt. of potash requires, on an average, 480 cwt. of wood. (Pfeil, Grundsaetze der Forstwirthsch. in Bezug. auf National-Oekon. etc., I, 128.) From 1800 to 1840, wood for fuel in Wuertemberg trebled its price; for building material the price increased 1.6 times. (Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift, 1847, No. 4, 104.)
802 Whereas barbarous nations take little trouble to turn the milk from their cows to account (Roscher, Ideen z. Politik und Statistik der Ackerbausysteme, Archiv. der politische OEkonomie, neue Folge, III, 202), Reuning, in 1844, calculated that the milk from all the cows in Saxony amounts to a value of 10,000,000 thalers, their meat to over 2,000,000, and the labor performed by them in various ways to 3,000,000. In Silesia, in the last decade of the eighteenth century, a quart of milk was estimated to be worth 2 pfennigs (Festschrift der deutschen Landwirthschaftsversammlung, 1869, 343), whereas as now it is sold almost everywhere for 12 pfennigs. (Schmoller.) In the rather high state of civilization which Saxony had reached at the end of the sixteenth century, when game was already dear, and the prices of other meat were almost as high as in 1800, a sheffel of rye was worth 44 measures (Mass.) of milk, and recently 82-⅔ measures. (Schmoller, Tuebinger Ztschr., 1871. 336 ff.)
803 The principal cheese-producing countries and cities are Holland, Limburg, Switzerland, Gloucester, Chester, Ayrshire etc. Compare Roscher, loc. cit., 195 ff.
804 In England, in the year 1000, a cow was worth only as much as two sheep. (Anderson, Origin of Commerce, a., 979.) The best butter was worth only 1d. per pound in 1550, while pork was worth 1-1/8, veal and mutton, 1-1/2, and beef, 2-1/4d. The price of butter was exceedingly variable in the sixteenth century. (Eden.)
805 During the middle ages, pork constituted the most usual animal food even of the best classes. (Buesching, Ritterzeit und Ritterwesen, I, 164.) Immense importance attached to pork by the Lex Salica. (Tit., II, XIV; Emendatt. Caroli Magni, II, 1 ff.) The archbishop of Cologne used every day 24 large and 8 medium-sized hogs, and four more on the three great festivals. The abbot of Corvey used daily five fat and one lean hog, besides two young ones. (Kindlingen, Muensterische Beitr., Urkunden, 147, 126.) In 1345, at the court of Dauphiny, there were used annually for 30 persons, 30 salt and 52 fresh hogs; whereas, in modern Paris, with 800,000 inhabitants, only 32,000 hogs are consumed yearly. (Roquefort, De la Vie privee des Fr., I, 310 f.) Compare herewith the place occupied by the swine-herds in the Odyssey in Greece's age of chivalry. In England, in the time of William I., woods were taxed according to the number of hogs they might feed. At present, there is an enormous production of hogs in Servia, which, in many places, constitutes the only source of ready money to the agricultural population.
And about the end of the eighteenth century, it is said that Servia received from Austria alone 1,300,000 florins yearly for hogs. (Ranke, Serb. Revolution, 95.) In 1864, Servia's total exports amounted to 62,500,000 piasters, of which 28,162,260 were for hogs, 7,043,000 for wool, 7,662,000 for the skins of sheep and deer, 5,732,000 for cattle, 1,222,400 for tallow. (Kanitz, Serbien, 598 ff.) Great production of hogs also in the Moldau and in Wallachia, in the United States and Mexico, where, instead of butter, only lard and suet are used; also in Lombardy, the Prussian Rhine province, Belgium, the English milk-producing districts, Gloucester, Wilt, Dumfries, Galloway and the districts where agricultural proletarians abound—Ireland and Yorkshire. It is a consequence of the same law that, among the South Sea Islanders, the hog was the principal domestic animal, as it still is among the Chinese. Similarly in the whole of Asia, beyond the Ganges (Ritter, Erdkunde, IV, 938, 1101); in semi-barbarous upper Italy in the time of Polybios (II, 15); in Gall itself, in the time of Augustus. (Strabo, IV, 192, 197.) The America of the ancient Greeks, Sicily, exported hogs, mainly, in the time of Hermippos. (Athen., I, 27.) And even among the Romans, the consumption of pork was much greater than the consumption of beef. (Marquard-Becker, Handbuch, V, 2, 39.)
806 In the cities of Prussia subject to a tax for the privilege of maintaining slaughter houses, a pound of beef cost on an average, in 1846, from 2 silver groschens, 5 pfennigs, to 3 s. gr. 4 pf.; pork, from 3 s. gr. 2 pf. to 4 s. gr. 4 pf. (Dieterici.) In Moscow, also, the latter is dearer at present. Before the time of Peter the Great, it was cheaper. (Storch, Handbuch I, 364.) It was a sign of high civilization, too, that in Florence, in the fifteenth century, veal cost, on an average, 2-1/2 soldi; mutton, 2-⅓ soldi; but pork, 4 soldi. (Pagnini, Saggio sopra il giusto Pregio delle Cose, 325 f., Cust.) It is especially the lower middle class who ask for fat meats. The very fat English sheep are taken not to London, but into the manufacturing districts. (Lauderdale, Inquiry, 322 f.) As to whether the relatively high price of pork, and the fact that in the later times of Rome, the wild boar was the most fashionable dish, compare Becker, Gallus, II, 186.
807 The production of fowl is similar in this, that they are frequently fed from remains of consumption; only their production is not adapted to uncivilized countries, because it is difficult to protect them there. In Texas, it is said, it costs more to raise ten chickens than to bring up ten children. (Kennedy, Czarnkowski's translation, 1846, 115.) The independent breeding of fowl is advisable only where there are a great many rich consumers; for the reason that they are naturally a delicacy. Enormous production of pigeons in Cambridge, Huntington etc. (McCulloch, Statistical Account, I, 189.) In Paris the consumption of pork and fowl has gained somewhat since the Revolution. (M'Chevalier, Cours. I, 113.)
808 According to Schuckburg, Philosophical Transactions of 1798, and Kraus, Vermischte Schriften, I, tab. I, the prices of the following species of animals rose in England between 1550 and 1795: horses, 904 per cent.; oxen, 896 per cent.; sheep, 876 per cent.; cows, 2050 per cent.; hogs, 1964 per cent.; geese, 300 per cent.; butter rose from 5d. per pound to 11-1/2d.; beer from 1d. per gallon to 2-3/4d.; agricultural day wages from 1/2s. to 1s. 5-1/4d.; wheat 326 per cent. Compare, however, Edinburg Review, III, 246 ff. In Germany also, cows and hogs have increased much more in price than horses and sheep. (Tuebinger Ztschr., 1871, 342.) Dutot, Reflexions, 946 ff., ed. Daire, says that the value of the precious metals in France decreased in value between the times of Louis XII. and Louis XV. in the ratio of 3-79/91:1. On the other hand, the prices of different commodities rise in very different degrees:
Fat sheep, from 7 sous to 10 livres. Lean sheep, from 5 sous to 5 livres 10 sous. Hogs, from 10 sous to 25-35 livres. Capons, from 1 sou to 12 sous. Hens, from 1-1/2 sous to 6 sous. Pigeons, from 1-1/2 sous to 3 sous. Deer, from 1-1/2 sous to 15 sous.
809 Thus, in Thuringia, the average price in silver of corn from the sixteenth century until the period 1848-61 increased in the ratio of from 1 to 3-4; the price of the different kinds of animals, on the other hand, from 1 to 5-10. (Knies, in Hildebrand's Jahrbb., 1863, 78.) The price of the different kinds of corn as compared with one another may, however, be modified by many different circumstances. Thus the Capitulare Saxoniae of 797, c., II, estimated the prices of rye, barley and oats to be to one another as 30:30:15; while the Magdeburg Chamber of 1804 estimated them to be as 17:14:8. In the kingdom of Saxony, in 1841-9, the average prices of wheat, rye, barley and oats stood to one another in the ratio of 144:100:75:47 (Engel); while, in the middle ages, wheat, rye and oats were as 9:6:3 (Gersdorf, Cod. Depl. Sax., II, p. XXXIV); under Prince August, corn, barley and oats were as 24:22:12. Assuming the price of rye to be equal to 100, the cost was:
At Brussels, in the 16th century, wheat 126.7, barley 80, oats 50 At Brussels, in the 17th century, wheat 138.8, barley 82.9, oats 51.9 At Brussels, in the 18th century, wheat 147, barley 86.7, oats 55.2 At Brussels, 1815-1844, wheat 156 At Brussels, 1841-1850, wheat 153, barley 82.7, oats 51 At Berlin, 1789-1818, wheat 135, barley 74.8, oats 54 At Berlin, 1819-1832, wheat 143.5, barley 74.9, oats 52
(Rau, Lehrbuch, I, 183.) To understand this, it is necessary to bear in mind the relatively great increase of wheat bread, beer made of barley, and horses, as objects of luxury. The unusually low price of oats in North America, as compared with the price of wheat, is dependent on the facility of exporting the latter. In Florence, in the fifteenth century, the price of wheat was 22-⅔, of rye, 12, of barley, 8 soldi. (Pagnini, Sopra il giusto Pregio delle Cose, 325.)
810 The English so called custom-house prices (Zollhauspreise) correspond to the market prices of 1696. If these are assumed = 100, the price
Of steel and iron was, in 1826, 83, in 1831, 56 Of coal was, in 1826, 47, in 1831, 45
Between 1835 and 1850, Scotch iron had already become cheaper by one-half (Meidinger, 387), and coal in London by one-third (Porter).
811 Rogers, History of Agriculture, I, 67.
812 In England, in 1172, an ox cost 2 shillings; in 1175, green cloth cost per ell, 2-10/12 shillings; red cloth, 5-1/2 shillings. (Eden.) In the western states of North America, the farmer gives two pounds of coarse wool for one pound of woolen yarn; he sends 4 bushels of wheat to the miller for the flour of three bushels (Ausland, 1843, No. 68), while in Ravenna, in the thirteenth century, the miller's fee was 1/10 (von Raumer, Hohenstaufen II, 437); according to the fixed prices in Fantazzi, (Monumen. Ravennet.); in Germany, during the last centuries of the middle ages, 1/8 (J. Grimm, Weisthuemer, III, 8); at the end of the sixteenth century from 1/8 to 1/5 (Coler, Oeconomia, II, 3); in modern Germany, generally 1/16 of the raw material, and in the steppes of southern Russia, when the wind is still, in summer, even the half. (Mitth. der freien oekonom. Gesellsch. zu Petersburg, 1853, 85.) In Guiana, in 1806, a very ordinary saddle and bridle could not be had under 10-1/2 guineas. (Pinckard, Notes on the West Indies, III, 1806.) Count Goertz was obliged to pay 2 dollars, in Demarara, for the cleansing of a rifle, and another person for the oiling of a carriage, 5 dollars. (Reise um die Welt, 1864, 327.) A lady's dress in Mobile costs four times as much as in London or Paris. (Ch. Lyell, Second Visit to the United States, II, 70.) In Athens, articles of clothing, even for the poorer classes, were never as cheap as they are in civilized countries to-day. (Compare Plutarch, De Tranquill. Anim., 10.)
813 In Upper Italy, between 1261 and 1400, a lady's chemise and the making of it cost 14.77 lire; Rheims linen, 7.04; ordinary mourning cloth, O.45; black cloth from Moriana, 2.83; cloth from Mecheln, 43.83; from Ypres, 47.04; scarlet cloth, 80.44 per ell. (Cibrario, 1. 1.) On the other hand, to-day, in the Leipzig market, the difference in price of the dearest and of the cheapest cloth will scarcely surpass the ratio 18:1. Even Scaruffi, Sulle Moneta, 1679, 163, Cust, remarks that hemp-linen and similar coarse articles had increased much more in price than brocades; but he ascribes this circumstance to the disordered state of the coinage. It is much better accounted for by Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, I, 386, ed. Basil.
814 Before the plague in the fourteenth century, the cwt. of lead was worth 10-1/2d.; of iron, 4s. 1d. (Rogers, I. 599.) On the other hand, between 1848 and 1856, the average January price of bar-iron was L7, 11s.; of lead, over L20. (Newmarch.)
815 Thus, in England, the price:
Of glass was, in 1826, 387; in 1831, 369 per cent. Of leather was, in 1826, 285; in 1831, 123 per cent. Of silk goods was, in 1826, 158; in 1831, 249 per cent.
of the price of the same articles in 1796. (Rau.) Of 29 chemical products of the Parisian manufacture, the wages of labor is on an average only 7.4 per cent. of the selling price; and, in some cases, only from 1 to 2 per cent. (Chabrol, Richerches Statistiques sur la Ville de Paris, 1821; Hermann, Staatsw. Untersuch., 137.) In Buschtiehrad, between 1670 and 1870, barley rose from 1 to 4.8; hops to 6.52; fire wood to 6.14; the excise to 6.54; but beer only to 2.81; although wages increased ten fold. (Inama Sternegg, Gesch. der Preise im oesterreich. Ausstellungsbericht von 1873, 43.)
816 A silk cloak lined with fur cost in the time of Charlemagne, 400 scheffels of rye, one not so lined 200. (Hullmann, Finanzgeschichte, 212 ff.) In Florence in the fifteenth century, one pound of sugar was equal in value to 15 pounds of mutton. (Pagnini, 326.) In Turin, in the fourteenth century, 1 pound of pepper was equal in value to 28 pounds of salt. (Cibrario, III, 359, 362.) As late as the middle of the fifteenth century, the court of Duke William of Saxony paid for one pound of sugar 1 thaler and 8 groschens, while ducal fees paid to servants and workmen seldom exceeded 2 gr. Hence, even at a princely meal, often scarcely 1/2 a pound was consumed. (Buesching, Ritterzeit, I, 137 f.)
817 Charlemagne's capitularies suppose a merchant's profits to be from 100 to 200 per cent. (a. 809, c. 34.) And even in our own day, merchants in the markets of Cabul are frequently not satisfied with a profit of from 300 to 400 per cent. (K. Ritter, Erdkunde, VII, 244), and the caravans which leave Maroc for the Soudan are wont, in exchange for commodities amounting in price to 1,000,000 piasters, to return with a supply of other commodities worth 10,000,000. (Stein-Wappaeus, Handbuch, Africa, 33.) According to Buesch, Geldumlauf, II, 10, the price of East Indian products in Hamburg was some 70 per cent. higher than at home, while Pliny, H. N. IV, 26, speaks of a price one hundred times (?) as high; and its spices, at the time of Portuguese dominion, were sold at a profit of at least 600 per cent., in Europe. (Crawfurd, History, VII, 360; Ritter, Erdkunde, V, 872.)
818 When Humboldt found a missionary near Cumana who paid 7 piasters for a cow, and was obliged to pay 17 piasters for blood-letting, rather unskilfully performed, he found an illustration of one of the peculiarities of colonial life—to have all the wants of higher stages of civilization but not the means of satisfying them. (Relation historique, I, 374.)
819 Enormous payments made to distinguished virtuosi, actors, sophists and hetares at the time in question, also to Appelles, Aristides etc., for works of art. (Plin., XXXIV, 19, 2, XXXV, 36, 19.) The actor Aesopus (see 233, note 6) had a fortune worth 20,000,000 sesterces, while Pompey, for instance, had 70,000,000. Roscius received from the state for every day he played, 286 thalers, and earned 43,000 a year. (Mommsen, Roemische Geschichte, III, 483, 547.) Compare Cicero, pro Roscio Comoedo, 10, and Plin., H. N. IX, 59, X, 72. The zither-player, Amoebaeos, received one talent for each appearance. (Athen. XIV, 623.) According to Pliny, H. N. XXIX, 5, the Roman principes gave the most distinguished doctors yearly 250,000 sesterces, and even more as an honorarium. At the end of the eighteenth century, the greatest Parisian actors received from 4,000 to 5,000 francs per annum. Now 100,000 is considered a moderate income for one. (Journ. des Economistes, May, 1854, 279.) It is said that Frederick Hase earned $30,000 in America in ten weeks. (Leipz. Tagebb., 15 Jan., 1871.) Steuart, Principles, II, ch. 30. Adam Smith frequently represents it as a rule, that superfluous goods like gold and silver, are dearest among the richest nations, necessary goods among the poorer, and vice versa. But the supply has much more to do with the permanent price of a commodity than the demand for it has. And the principle above mentioned applies only in so far as the supply is here an unlimited and there a limited one. Hence, the comparison of silver with painters' and sculptors' works is not an apposite one—in the case of these there is a natural monopoly, while the former, on account of its durability and capacity for transportation, may, on the contrary, be increased almost at pleasure.
820 Besides Boeckh., Staatshaushalt der Athener, 1817, Book I, compare Arbuthnot, Tables of ancient Coins, Weights and Measures, 2d ed., 1754, Reitmeyer, Ueber den Bergbau der Alten, 1785, and Michaelis, De Pretiis Rerum apud veteros Hebraeos, in the Comment. Societ. Gottingensis, vol. III. The principal sources of information among the ancients are Diodor., V; Strabo, III, V; Plin., H. N., XXXIII.
821 The money revenue of the Persian king, to the amount of 14,560 talents yearly, was transformed into bars and thus deposited in the treasury. Herodot., III, 95 f. Even the little vassal prince Pythios of Celaenae had a treasure of 2,000 talents of silver and 4,000,000 pieces of gold. (Ibid, VII, 26 f.) On the money stores of private persons, see Plin., H. N., XXXIII, 47.
822 An ox was worth, in Solon's time, 5 drachmas; in 410 B.C., 51 dr.; 374 B.C., 771/4 dr.; a medimnos of wheat in Solon's time, 1 dr., about 390, 3 dr., under Alexander the Great, on an average, 5 dr. (Boeckh., I, 102, f.) The usual amount of ransom paid for a prisoner of war, in Kleomenes' time, was 2 minae (Herodot., V, 77, VI, 79); under Dionys., I, 300 m. (Aristot., Oeconom, II, 21); under Philip of Macedon, from 300 to 400 m. (Demosth., De fals. Legat., 394); under Demetrios Poliorketes, 1,000 for a free man, 5 for a slave. (Diod., XX, 84.)
823 This booty for Susa alone amounted to from 40,000 to 50,000 talents; for Persepolis, to 120,000; for Pasargadae, to 600. Curtius, V, 2, 6; Strabo, XV, 731; Justin, XI, 14; Arrian, III, 16; Diod., XVII, 66, 71; Plutarch, Alex., 36.
824 Oros., VI, 19; Dio, C., LI, 21; Suet., Aug., 41. Decline of the value of money under Constantine the Great, when the precious objects of the heathen temples were coined. (Monitio ad Theod., Aug. de inbidenda Largitate, Thes., Antt. Renn., XI, 1415; Taylor, ad Warm. Sandvic, 38.)
825 Compare I Kings, 10, 14, 27 ff.; I Chron., 22, 2 ff.; II Chron., 9, 15 f., 12, 10 ff. On Ophir: K. Ritter, Erdkunde, XIV, 407 f.; on the wonders of the discovery of Spain: Herodot., IV, 152. Aristot., De Mirab., 146; Diodor, V, 35 ff. On the other hand, of Greece, Athen. VI, 19 ff.
826 Compare Plin., H. N., XIV, 1. Yet the value of money in the time of the Caesars seems to have stood much higher than it is now, as is proved, for instance, by the endowments by Trajan (16 sesterces per month for boys, and 12 sesterces per month for girls), as the alimenta furnished them according to Digest XXXIV, 1, embraced their entire support. Compare the excellent essay on this subject by Rodbertus, in Hildebrand's Jahrbb., 1870, I.
827 The conquest of the Avares seems to have temporarily produced a considerable cheapness of the precious metals. (Guerard, Polyptiques, I, 141.) Increase of the value of money in Scandinavia, during the later part of the middle ages. (Wilda, Gesch. des deutschen Strafrechts, I, 323 ff.)
828 In England, from 1279 to 1509, there were coined on an average only 6,8681/2 pounds sterling; from 1603 to 1830, on the other hand, 819,415 pounds sterling. The average in the time of George IV., per annum, was 4,262,652 (Jacob, ch. IV.) An evidence of the uncertainty of the history of prices in the middle ages is, that Jacob, ch. 12, infers, from the price of corn, that the price of silver remained rather stationary from 1120 to 1550, while Adam Smith, I, ch. 11, 3, infers from the same fact, a remarkable rise in the price of silver from 1350 to 1570. Concerning the latter, see Leber, Fortune privee au moyen Age, 16 f. Tooke-Newmarch, History of Prices, VI, 391; whereas Rogers, Statist. Journ., 1861, 544 ff., finds that in England, between 1300 and 1532, there was no change whatever in the price of silver. According to Soetbeer, Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, VI, 94, wheat and rye were, as compared with silver, worth during the Carolingian period, about one-fourth of its value, between 1750 and 1850. Hegel, Shassburger Chroniken, II, 1012, ascribes to gold over 21/2 times as great a purchasing power in the 13th and 14th centuries as in the 19th century; and to silver, a purchasing power about three times as great.
829 The silver ores of Peru and Mexico yield, on an average, only from 2 to 3 per 1,000 of metal; those of Potosi, at present, scarcely 1 per 1,000; those of Mexico, according to Humboldt, on an average, from 3 to 4 ounces per cwt.; so that many of the European ores are decidedly richer. While the veins of the Saxon mine, Himmelsfuerst, have a breadth of only from 0.2 to 0.3 meters; the Veta-Madre of Guanaxuato, is in few parts less than 8, and it is sometimes even 50 meters broad; and the Veta-Grade of Zacatecas is from 5 to 10 meters in breadth. In Pasco there are veins of silver ore which have 114 and even 123 meters. Tschudi, Reise in Peru, K., 12; Chevalier, Cours, III, 184 ff., 241 ff. According to Humboldt, Essai sur la Nouvelle Espagne, III, p. 413, eleven times as many miners are needed at Himmelsfuerst as at Valenciana to obtain the same quantity of silver.
830 Thus, for instance, the celebrated ransom-money of Athahualpa (even according to Garcilaso de la Vega) amounted to only 5,000,000 thalers, while the French King John, after the battle of Poitiers, in 1356, had to pay 41,000,000 francs for his ransom. (Leber, Fortune privee au moyen Age, 121 ff.)
831 Compare M. Chevalier, III, 190 ff. Discovery of the quicksilver mines of Guancavelica, 1567.
832 The yield of Potosi amounted from 1545 to 1638, to 395,619,000 pesos. (Ulloa, Viage, II, I, 13.) Up to the present time, the aggregate yield there has been estimated at from 6,000 to 7,000 million francs.
833 On the worse grounded assumptions of former writers, see Humboldt, N. Espagne, IV, 237.
834 There was really introduced into Spain, about 1525, not much over 2,000,000 francs annually; and after 1550, six times as much. (L. Ranke, Fuersten und Voelker, I, 347 ff.) Compare Humboldt, Ueber die Schwankungen der Goldproduction, in the Vierteljahrsschrift, 1838, IV, 18.
835 On the Brazilian exports of gold in the 18th century, see Schaefer, Gesch. von portugal, V, 192 ff.
836 According to Humboldt, N.E., IV, 218, the amount up to the beginning of this century was 17,000 kilogrammes of gold and 800,000 kilogrammes of silver.
837 Thus, for instance, Mexico, during this period yielded, on an average, 65,000,000 francs, instead of the former amount of from 130,000,000 to 140,000,000. In Carro de Potosi, there were, in 1826, of the former 132 pool-works only 12 in operation. Compare Adams, The Actual State of the Mexican Mines, 1822. Jacob assumes that about 1830, the quantity of money in Europe and America was 1/6th less than in 1809. (Ch. 28.)
838 Of this, 1,800 kilogrammes of gold from the United States.
839 Fischer, Geschichte des deutschen Handels, 2d ed., II, 616 ff., 673 ff. But the Schwaz mines, in the Tyrol, are said to have produced, until 1523, 55,000 marks annually; the Freiberg silver mine, from 1542 to 1616, 16,000 marks annually. Compare von Langen, Kurfuerst Moritz, II, 56.
840 The Russian gold ores, quite insignificant before the year 1814, have made very great progress since 1840. Their aggregate yield, between 1814 and 1861, not taking into account the amount embezzled, amounted to 37,000 puds, the pud being equal to 16.3 kilogrammes. The best year, 1847, gave a yield of 1,757 puds; 1852-1861, an average of 1,556 puds; 1861 alone, 1,442 puds, of which 1,041 came from the private Siberian gold-sand washings. (Walcker, in Faucher's Vierleljahrsschrift, 1869, II, 115.)
841 Spanish silver production yielded, in 1845, over 184,000 marks; in 1850, over 291,000. (Willkomm, Halbinsel der Pyranaeen, 1855, 537.)
842 Annales des Mines, X, 831 ff.
843 Of this amount, there came to Europe, not including Russia, 150,000 kilogrammes of silver, 2,650 kilogrammes of gold; to Russia, 24,000 kilogrammes of silver and 30,000 kilogrammes of gold (embracing the quantities probably withdrawn without the knowledge of the custom's authorities); to the rest of Asia, 100,000 kil. of gold; to Africa, 4,000. (M. Chevalier.)
844 According to Humboldt's assumption before the time of Columbus, Europe had a circulation of 170,000,000 piasters; about 1600, of 600,000,000; about 1700, of 1,400,000,000; in 1809, of about 1,824,000,000. Up to 1803, there was produced in America, 9,915,000 marks (Spanish) of gold, and 512,700,000 of silver. (N.E., 245.) Gallatin estimates that, before Columbus, there were 1,600,000,000 francs; in 1830, in Europe and America, from 22,000,000,000 to 27,000,000,000 francs. (Considerations on the Currency and Banking System of the United States, 1831.) According to M. Chevalier, 1850, all the silver which America produced had a volume of only 11,657 cubic meters; and all the gold of only 151 cubic meters. The latter, therefore, would not even fill the half of a French gentleman's salon.
845 All the more in favor with governments because they affect principally foreign consumers. Thus, the Spanish government at first imposed a tax of 50 per cent. of the gross yield of the raw material, on the purchaser of silver; since 1503, under Orando, of 33-⅓ per cent.; and later yet, of 20 per cent. This last tax was therefore in full force under Cortes. This tax was reduced in Mexico, in 1725, and in Peru in 1736, to 10 per cent., and later, in the case of gold, to 3 per cent. Heavy taxation of Russian gold ore (35 per cent. of the raw material), by virtue of the ukase of April 14, 1849. Compare M. Chevalier, III, 274.
846 Cantillon, Nature du Commerce, 215, 236, shows very clearly how the increase of the price of commodities was produced, in the first instance, by the increased consumption of the possessors of gold, and how it, therefore, first affected those commodities which they especially desired.
847 This is the opinion of Adam Smith. Similarly of David Hume, On Money. According to Letronne, Considerations sur l'Evaluation des Monnaies Grecques et romaines, 119, and Boeckh, Staatshaushalt, I, 88, the average value of wheat in relation to silver was, in Athens, 400 B.C., as 1:3146; in Rome, 50 B.C., as 1:2681; in France, shortly before 1520 after Christ, as 1:4320; in the nineteenth century it is as 1:1050. Th. Smith, De Republ. Anglorum, I, assumes that the price of silver, from the age of chivalry to 1625, decreased in the ratio of 120:40. The Spaniard, Moncado (1619), says as 6:1. (Jacob, ch. 19.) Jacob, himself, in comparison with his own time, as 7:1 (ch. 15.) Much more moderate is Newmarch in Tooke's History of Prices, VI, 345 ff., who assumes an increase in the prices of commodities of about 200 per cent. The estimated value of tithe-wine (Zehntwein) about doubled in lower Austria, during the sixteenth century. (Oberleitner, Finanzlage N. Oesterreichs im 16 Jahrhundert, 36.) According to the important researches of Mantellier, Memoires de la Societe Archeologique de l'Orleanais, vol. 1, 103 ff.; extract of Lespeyres in Hildebrand's Jahrb., 1865, I, 1, the purchasing power of silver as compared with the average value of twenty-seven commodities, assuming it to have been 1 from 1750 to 1850, was, from 1350 to 1450, 2.9; from 1450 to 1550, 2.8; from 1550 to 1650, 1.5; from 1650 to 1750, 2.1. According to Rogers, the prices of corn in relation to silver were from 1596 to 1636, at most 2.3 times as high as from 1260 to 1400; from 1637 to 1700, 2.6 times; from 1701 to 1764, 2.1 times; from 1726 to 1820, 3.2 times. (Rogers, I, 180.)
848 In Germany, the rise in prices was first observed in the price of foreign groceries, which partly rose 400 per cent. Popular opinion looked for the cause in the evil disposition of the large commercial houses. In order to facilitate the competition of the smaller houses with the larger, the Reichstag, in 1522, prohibited all companies with a capital of more than 50,000 florins; and, in 1524, the royal treasury wished to bring suit against the violators of this law. But the cities contrived to avert the blow. (L. Ranke, Geschichte der Reformation, II, 42 ff., 134 ff.) In Spain, the government, especially between 1550 and 1560, endeavored to oppose the growing dearness of goods of all kinds, by prohibiting the exportation of the most important commodities, and by putting obstacles in the way of retail trade. The lower classes in England ascribed the rise to the suppression of the monasteries (Percy, Reliques of ancient Poetry, II, 296), while Henry VIII. endeavored to improve the condition of things by laws against luxury, the governmental establishment of fixed prices, the expulsion of foreign merchants etc. (21 Henry VIII.) The first writer who seems to have clearly seen the true cause of the changes in price was Bodinus, Response aux Paradoxes de Mr. de Malestroit touchant l'Encherissement de toutes Choses et des Monnaies (1568). This work was translated into Latin by H. Conring, 1671; and done over in the work: Discours sur les Causes de l'extreme Cherte, qui est aujourd'hui en France (1574). Next, we have the English author W. S., A Compendious or briefe Examination of certayne ordinary Complaints of divers of our Countrymen of these our Days, London, 1581. In Befold's Vitae et Mortis Consideratio politica, 1623, 13 f., we have a right explanation of the caritas sine inopia which is to be considered as the common property of his time.
849 Similarly Quesnay, 77, Daire. Sir J. Stewart, Principes, ch. 3. Kraus, Vermischte Schriften, II, 131 ff. Hermann, Staatsw. Unters., 127. Helferich, Von den periodischen Schwankungen im Werth der edlen Metalle, 1843, 70 f.
850 According to Cibrario, a hectolitre of wheat was worth, in Turin, from 1289 to 1379, on an average, 905 gr. of fine silver; that is, about three times as much as in Paris before the discovery of America, and as much as in Paris from 1546 to 1556. In Turin, from 1825 to 1835, it was worth about 1702 gr. In the fifteenth century even, the foreign embassadors complain of the enormous cost of living there. So, for instance, Raumer's histor. Taschenbuch, 1833, 162. Compare also, Carli, Del Valore della Proporzione dei Metalli monetati con i Generi in Italia prima delle Scoperte dell' Indie, 1760, in which he, indeed, exaggerates the matter, and seeks to prove his views by the coarsest sophistry.
851 The chief result of Helferich's excellent researches. (Helferich, loc. cit.) The general opinion, indeed, is that this statu quo of the value of the precious metals was interrupted about the middle of the eighteenth century by another decline, and that the latter yielded to a subsequent rise in 1815 and afterwards. Thus David Hume, History of England, ch. 44, App. 31, ch. 49, App. A. Young, Political Arithmetics, ch. 6. More recently, Rau, Lehrbuch, I, 176. M. Chevalier, Cours, III, 320 ff. One of the principal advocates of the opinion that every increase made in the medium of circulation produces a corresponding depreciation is Nebenius, Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift (1841). In England a quarter of wheat was worth, on an average, 38s. 8/9d., from 1595 to 1685. On a similar stability of corn prices in Belgium, see Schwerz, Belgische Landwirthschaft, III, 37. According to Suckburg (l.c.), the value in exchange of money from 1640 to 1700 declined 32-2/9 per cent.; from 1700 to 1760, 43 per cent.; from 1760 to 1806, 84 per cent.
852 From 1637 to 1700 the price of corn in England averaged 51 shillings; from 1701 to 1764 only 401/2 shillings.
853 Thus, the dearness of wheat in Germany, during the first thirty years after the Thirty Years' War was caused, in large part, by the depopulation produced by the War.
854 In Germany, also, the cause of the enhanced dearness of so many goods during the Thirty Years' War is to be sought for in the goods themselves.
855 Since 1815, most Birmingham and Sheffield wares have fallen from 50 to 70 or 80 per cent. in price—at least from 20 to 30. (McCulloch, Statist. Account, I, 705.) The Quarterly Review, May, 1830, speaks even of an average decline of prices of English commodities in general, of 50 per cent.
856 Excellently carried out in Tooke, History of Prices, III, 1838. That the world's market is not so very readily affected by an increase of the medium of circulation, is established by this fact, among others, that the immense exportation of French metallic money in consequence of the issue of paper money between 1716 and 1720, and again in 1790 and the following years, is coincident with very low prices of wheat in the neighboring countries. (Helferich, loc. cit., 139, 190 ff.) And yet, in the former case, the amount was 400,000,000 francs, and in the latter, at least 1,000,000.
857 Jacob estimates this part at only 2-1/2 per cent., McCulloch, at 20, Lowe at 25, Necker and Helferich at 50, Humboldt at 66-⅔ of the whole quantity worked. It certainly is, in our day, on account of the ever growing aggregate supply, greater than hitherto; but it is very different in different countries. Nebenius, Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift, 1851, 56 seq., estimates the aggregate consumption of new gold and silver for industrial purposes at 14-1/2 piasters yearly, and in addition to this seven millions of old gold and silver (Bruchgold und Bruchsilber). The annual wear and tear of previously existing articles of gold and silver, it is estimated, amounts to 4,420,000 piasters (1/420); the annual increase of their aggregate amounts in Europe to 6,000,000 piasters (1-1/2 per cent., corresponding to the increase of population), and 4,200,000 (one-fifth of the entire consumption), is employed, as he claims, in gilding, plating etc. The last item is probably much increased by galvanic silver-plating, the invention of photography etc.
858 Jacob embraces in the amount of metal employed in industrial purposes, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 1/5 of the amount which, after deducting the loss in Asiastic trade, was added to the gold and silver stores of Europe; i.e., in the seventeenth century, about 2,500,000 piasters yearly; in the eighteenth century, ⅔ (!); that is, annually, 15,000,000 piasters; in 1830, in England, L2,457,221; in France, 120,000; Switzerland, 350,000; in the rest of Europe, 1,605,490; in North America, about 300,000; altogether, L5,900,000. Humboldt's estimate is 21,000,000 piasters; McCulloch's, L6,050,000. According to the records of the Paris Monnaie, the amount of silver ware in France increased seven fold between 1709 and 1759. (Humboldt.) In England, between 1807 and 1814, 8,290,000 ounces of silver were stamped for manufacturing purposes, from 1830 to 1837, only 7,387,000; in 1851, 924,000. McCulloch estimates the annual consumption of silver, in Birmingham alone, for plating purposes, at 150,000 ounces; in Sheffield, at 500,000; and the gold consumption in the pottery districts at L650 per week. Birmingham consumed (1831) for gilding purposes, L1,000 gold yearly. (Whately.) It now employs weekly 3,000 ounces of gold and 6,000 ounces of silver in the manufacture of gold and silver ware, besides the quantity intended for gilding and silver-washing purposes. (Quart. Rev., April, 1866, 381.) The jewelers of New York manufacture yearly 3,000,000 of dollars worth of gold and silver ware, mostly new material. (Economist, April 16, 1853.) There were in Vienna, in 1781, only 167 workers in gold and silver; in 1840, 229; in 1847, 539. (Baumgartner, in the Wiener Akademie, May 3, 1857.) Jacob estimates the aggregate mass of gold and silver ware, in plate, instruments etc., in Europe and America, to be 1-1/4 as great as that of the ready money; and in England alone to be twice as great (ch. 28); while Tengoborski thinks that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the coin constituted ⅔ of the entire amount of the precious metals. Sometimes a movement in the opposite direction takes place, as, for instance, in those revolutions in which the silver of the church was confiscated; in the unfortunate wars of Louis XIV., etc. Nebenius, loc. cit., 17, mentions a South German silversmith who melted down in the years succeeding 1802, monastery silver to the amount of 11,000,000 guldens.
859 On the wear and tear of coin, see 120, and Hermann, in the Archiv. der politischen Oek., I, 1841. Compare also, Faust, Concilia pro Aerario, 1641, 263 ff. This wear and tear is so great that M. Chevalier supposes that it alone would suffice to reduce an amount of money under Constantine the Great of 5,000 millions to 300 millions, in the time of Philip IV. (ob. 1314.) Cours, II, 322. How great a number of coins, especially of the smaller denominations, are entirely lost is evident from the fact, that at the time of the demonetization of the 15-sous and 30-sous pieces of 1791-92, amounting to 25,000,000, only 16,000,000 were presented for redemption. Of the 10-centime pieces stamped with an N, amounting to 3,286,932 francs, there were only 2,000,000 left when they were withdrawn from circulation, and this although individuals had added to the coinage. (M. Chevalier, III, 321.) The total loss caused on this score, McCulloch estimates at 1 per cent. per annum, and Helferich, at 3/4 per cent. The greater the aggregate stock of gold and silver, the greater the absolute amount of wear and tear. If, therefore, there were annually an equal influx of mineral products to the markets, the pressure of this increase of supply from that cause alone would take the shape of a converging series of prices. (Tooke, History of Prices, II, 151 ff.)
860 The British East India Company exported gold and silver on an average per annum from:
1711-1720, L434,000 1721-1730, 532,000 1731-1740, 487,000 1741-1750, 631,000 1751-1760, 571,000 1761-1770, 152,000 1771-1780, 43,000 1781-1790, 393,000 1791-1800, 352,000 1801-1807, 852,000
Milburn, Oriental Commerce, 1813, 419. According to M. Chevalier, Introduction aux Rapports de l'Exposition de 1867, the trade of Europe and North America, with India, China, Japan and the Australian islands, amounted in 1800, to only 410 million francs, in 1866, to 4,024 million. Yet, for a time, the largely increased exportation of English manufactures to East India and of East Indian opium to China, had changed the relation so that the exportation of the precious metals from South Asia, by a great deal, more than counterbalanced the imports. On the other hand, between 1853 and 1856 240,000,000 thalers were shipped to India and China from England and the Mediterranean harbors; in 1863 and 1864, even as much as 300 millions, to be, for the most part, buried there. Moreover, the immense quantity of cash money—often as much as from 12 to 15 million in pounds sterling—in the state treasury, and silver ornaments ( 44, 123) customary in India, demand a considerable yearly supply to make up for wear. Newmarch speaks of 400 million pounds sterling which can be maintained in its condition hitherto by a yearly increase of 1 per cent. (History of Prices, VI, 723.) From 1865 to 1869, English steamships carried gold and silver to the East in the following quantities, yearly: 93.9, 66.3, 24.6, 70.2 and 60.4 million thalers, in addition to which almost as much came directly from California. Statist. Journ., 1871, 122 seq.
861 Tooke-Newmarch, History of Prices, VI, 147 ff., estimates the aggregate stock of gold at the end of 1848 at L5,600,000; in 1856, at L172,000,000 more. According to Lavasseur, the amount of silver in the East increased, between 1848 and 1857, from 22 to 24 milliards of francs; and the amount of gold from 9-1/2 to 15-1/2 milliards. (Annuarie d'Economie politique, 1858, 632.) The total amount of gold and silver in the civilized world, Wolowski estimated at from 55 to 60 milliards of francs, in 1870. (L'Or et l'Argent, Enquete, 19.) Compare Mason, The Gold Regions of California from the Official Reports, 1848. Tengoborski, Sur les Gites auriferes de la Californie et de l'Australie, 1853. Goldfield's Statistics issued from the Mining Department in Victoria, 1862. W. R. Blake, The Production of the precious Metals, or statist. Notice of the principal Gold and Silver producing Regions of the World (New York, 1869).
862 Soetbeer's Denkschrift betr. die deutsche Muenzeinigung Mai, 1869, and earlier yet, in Faucher's Vierteljahrsschrift, 1865, II. According to M. Chevalier, all the mines of the world, a short time previous to 1865, produced 284,000 kilogrammes of gold, and 190,000 kilogrammes of silver in a year: a total of 373,000 thalers (Journal des Economistes, June, 1866), while, in 1848, the total amount of gold coinage in the world was estimated at 560,000,000; Great Britain, France, North America and Sidney had, since that time and up to 1871, added to this L597,780,000. The additions have been made in decreasing quantities: thus, 1857-59, 37.2 millions annually; 1869-71, 16.99 millions annually. (Statist. Journ., 1872, 376 ff.) The estimates as to how much a gold-digger might make in a day have been variously estimated. Thus, Larkin estimates it from $25 to $50; Mason, at $10; Folson, at $25 to $40; Butler King, at $16, reckoning one ounce at $16. All these estimates seem to give an altogether too high average. In Australia, according to Khull, Colonial Review, June, 1853, a digger can produce only one ounce daily, or less than 4 thalers. According to W. Stamer, Recollections of a Life of Adventure, II, 1866, a gold-washer in Victoria earned in 1858, on an average, L250 per year; in 1865, only L70; while day labor was worth 15 shillings. Hence, great hopes have to be built on the lottery-nature of gold-washing. On the Rhine, a gold-washer is satisfied with ⅔ of a gramme of gold, that is worth from 13 to 18 silver groschens. (Daubree, Comptes rendus de l' Academie des Sciences, XXII, 639.) It should be borne in mind, however, that the Rhine-lander devotes to gold-washing only the leisure time which his avocation as a fisherman leaves him, while the gold-washer in the new world, as a rule, devotes his whole time to it; and that his labors are interrupted by the long rainy season, attacks of fever etc. To this must be added the great difference of the average prices of the means of subsistence and the difference of all social conditions.
863 Compare, for instance, on the early productiveness of the Brazilian gold districts which soon ceased: Spix und Martius, Reise nach Brasilien, I, 262 f., 350. Gardner, Travels in the Interior of Brazil, 1846. On Hispaniola, see Benzoni, N. Mundo, I, 61, and Peschel, Gesch. der Entdeckungen, 304, 556. Hitherto, gold had been obtained by the usual mining process, only in very few places. As a rule, it has been found in alluvial land not far from the surface. Compare Ansted, The Gold-Seekers' Manual, 1849. These circumstances have made the production of gold important from the first; and they still make it comparatively easy, while it causes little demand for capital but for great skill. As soon, therefore, as the greater part of the country washed for gold has been worked, which does not require a long time, the whole is abandoned, while in the production of silver the great amount of capital fixed in pits, shafts, kilns etc. ties the parties engaged in the enterprise to the spot, and necessitates the continuation of the enterprise. In recent times, however, Australia and California have developed the mining and machine production of gold to a surprising extent. According to Laur, La Production des Metaux precieux en Californie, 1862, 33, and the Journal des Economistes, Nov. 1862, Californian gold-quartz produced, in 1851, on an average, 635 francs per ton; in 1860, only from 80 to 85 francs; but the gold-washing methods have become cheaper in the ratio of 2,500:1. However, the production of the precious metals seems even now to be decreasing. According to the Statist. Journal, 1866, 99, it amounted on an average to:
in 1849-51, gold L23.9 million, silver L15.5 million. in 1852-56, gold 38.7 million, silver 16.1 million. in 1857-59, gold 36.5 million, silver 17.1 million. in 1860-63, gold 33.5 million, silver 18.2 million. in 1864-68, gold 30.0 million, silver 19.5 million.
The number of gold-diggers in Victoria steadily decreased from 125,764 in 1857, to 63,053 in 1867.
864 One of the chief difficulties in the way of the production of gold is the loss by embezzlement, which is estimated at an average of 20 per cent. Small companies of men working on their own account would be less exposed to temptation, and the Anglo-Saxon races and the North Americans are very well adapted thereto. (M. Chevalier, III, 261.)
865 Gold is in a certain sense one of the most widespread of metals, although it is found anywhere only in small quantities; so that on the Rhine, for instance, it takes from 17 to 22 millions of gold grains to make a kilogramme. An extraordinary large number of places owe their civilization to gold-seekers. Compare Tacitus, Agr., 12. I select the following "finds" from Ritter's Erdkunde. The Shangallas (I, 249); still more the terrace of Fazoglu itself (I, 253, compare Bruce, Travels, V, 316, VI, 255, 342), in Monomotapa (I, 140); in Manica, west from Sofala (I, 145), especially since the suppression of the slave trade (I, 305, 471); in Mandigo land (I, 360, 372); on the road from Gambia to Timbuctoo (I, 457); on Lake Mangara (I, 493); between Timbuctoo and Finnin (I, 445); in Nubia (I, 667, seq.); unused silver and quicksilver mines on the lower Bagradas (I, 493); gold wealth at Malacca, aurea chersonesus (V, 6 f., 27); Tonkin, Lao and Ava (III, 926, 1, 216, IV, I, 213); Assam (IV, 294); smaller Thibet (III, 657); Kashmere (III, 1,155); on upper Setledsch (III, 654 ff., 668); in the mountainous sources of the Indus (III, 508, 529, 593, 608); on the Cabool (VII, 23); in Peshaver (VII, 223); Badakschan (VII, 795); rich silver mines abandoned for want of wood near Herat (VIII, 243); in Armenia (X, 273). It is said that in southern China there are great treasures of the precious metals, the removal of which has been opposed thus far. (IV, 756.) Arabia's richness in gold mines, spoken of by Diodor., II, 50, III, 45, and Agatharch, De Mare rubro, 60, is of doubtful existence, as no traces of them are to be found in the country to-day. On the other hand, on both shores of the Pacific Ocean, the portions of the earth richest in volcanoes seem to possess almost everywhere quantities of gold equal to those of California and Victoria. (Edinburgh Review, Jan., 1863, 82 ff.) What an amount of treasure can be obtained at times from old and long since forgotten "finds" is proved by the Altai (that is gold mountain), which even the old Tschudi had rummaged (K. Ritter, II); and where Herodotus' (III, 16) love of truth, so frequently called in question, has recently been so brilliantly vindicated. Compare v. Ungern-Sternberg, Gesch. des Goldes, 1835. A. Erman, Ueber die geographische Verbreitung des Goldes, 1835. According to Murchison, Siberia, ch. 17, gold is to be found only "in crystalline and paleozoic rocks, or in the drift from these rocks, which is a tertiary accumulation of the pliocene age;" and that it is found most abundantly "in quartz-ore, vein-stones and traverse altered Silurian slates, chiefly lower Silurian, frequently near their junction with eruptive rocks."
866 Compare Humboldt, N. Espagne, IV, 147 ff.; St. Clair Duport, Essai sur la Production des Metaux precieux en Mexique, 1843; M. Chevalier, Cours., III, 483 ff.
867 The cost of a kilogramme of silver, expressed in terms of silver itself, up to the moment that it is shipped, is estimated by Duport as follows: salt and magistral, 61 grammes; quicksilver, 112 grammes; stamping it, 171 grammes; transformation of the ore, 72 grammes; rent and superintendence, 38; duties etc., 145; smelting, transportation and shipping, 35. There remains as profit for mining it, 336 grammes. As to how the production of American silver increases and runs parallel with the cheapness of quicksilver, see Humboldt, N. Espagne, IV, 91 ff.
868 Wolowski calculates that the absolutely much smaller yearly increment to the amount of the precious metals in the sixteenth century, frequently 1/12, now constitutes only 1/50 of the greater existing amount. (L'Or et l'Argent Enquete, 50.)
869 In the United States the stock of cash money in 1820 was estimated at 5.1 thalers per capita; in 1849, at 8.6 thalers; in 1854, on the other hand, at 13 thalers.
870 The weight of the mass of gold introduced into Europe annually stood to that of silver in the ratio of 1:60-65 in the seventeenth century; in the first half of the eighteenth century, in that of 1:30; in the second half, in that of 1:40; and yet the variations in price were not in the least parallel. According to Soetbeer (Beitraege und Materialien zur Beurtheilung von Geld und Bankfragen, 1855, 102 seq.), the average silver-course (silbercurs) of gold had, 1852-54, sunk only 2.05 per cent., as compared with that of 1800-40. And yet the value of the annual production of gold stood to the annual production of silver, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, as 29 to 71; in 1846, as 47 to 53; in 1848-56, as 3 to 1.
871 While the public, even since 1850, think they have noticed a depreciation in the value of money, there are a great many learned political economists who are by no means prepared to grant it. The principal advocates of this opinion are Tooke, and Newmarch, in vol. VI. of the History of Prices (1857). Also Lavergne, in the Journal des Economistes. And really the enhanced dearness of many kinds of goods up to 1857, might have been accounted for by causes affecting the goods themselves: diminished supply by reason of bad harvests, commercial gluts etc.; increased demand by capitalization on a gigantic scale, speculation, but especially by the elevation of the lower classes etc.
The London wholesale prices were on the 1st day of January, 1869, nearly all lower by 10 per cent. than on the 1st day of July, 1857. Only indigo, cotton and meat had risen. (Hildebrand's Jahrb., 1870, I, 328.) In many instances the enhanced dearness is entirely local, by reason of the greater facilities for transportation in places where prices were already higher. But as new truths are very easily exaggerated by their discoverers, much of Tooke's view concerning these events depends upon a polemic carried too far against the theory of the balance of trade which was customary in the so-called currency school. Compare, in opposition to Tooke, Lavasseur, in the Journal des Economistes, March, 1838, and M. Chevalier, La Baisse probable de l'Or, 1858. Lavasseur, from the difference between the official and real custom-house prices in France, calculates that raw materials in 1856 were on the average 63 per cent., and in 1858, 20 per cent. higher than in 1826; and that manufactured articles were in 1856, just as high, and in 1858, 6 per cent. lower than in 1856. An average made of all commodities showed, in 1856, an enhancement of 30 per cent, and in 1858 of 9 per cent. (Hildebrand's Jahrb., 1864, II, 118.)
In the Hamburg market in 1847-65, 87 articles declined in price, 183 rose in price, and 24 remained about stationary. (Amtl. Statistik von 1887, 18 ff.) Jevons assumes a general rise in the price of commodities between 1849 and 1869 of about 18 per cent. (Economist, May 8, 1869.) He makes this estimate from the average March prices of 50 of the principal articles. Assuming the average March price of 1849=100, we have, according to him, for the following years, respectively: 101, 103, 101, 116, 130, 125, 129, 132, 118, 120, 124, 123, 124, 123, 122, 121, 128, 118, 120, 119. Previous years showed: 1789=133; 1799=202; 1809=245; 1819=175; 1829=124; 1839=144. (Compare supra, 129, note 1.) The budget of a Swiss teacher's family consisting of five persons has become dearer since 1840 ff., their consumption remaining the same and of only the simplest articles, by 72.5 per cent. (Boehmert, Arbeiterervhaeltnisse etc., I, 302 ff., 355.) That, however, the depreciation is under-estimated most precisely in England and over-estimated in Germany, Knies very well accounts for by the price-leveling effects of the more modern means of communication. (Tuebinger Zeitschr., 1858, 280 ff.)
872 Compare Leibnitz, on the consequences which would follow the realization of the dreams of the alchemists. It would be a great misfortune, since then a pocket would no longer suffice for the transportation of money, and people would have to use wheel-barrows as they do now in Sweden. (Opera ed. Dutens, V, 199, 401.)
873 Beccaria considers it equitable that the debtor should always pay the original value of the metal. (E.P., IV, 2, 17.) Galiani, on the other hand, would not permit individuals, even when the state arbitrarily causes a diminution in the real value of money, to maintain the real value of the coinage in their contracts. (Della Moneta, V. 3.)
874 It is precisely this class which first comes to an understanding of the essential nature of the change effected.
875 Thus the English lessees, who in the sixteenth century had leases for a long term of years, saw themselves rise in the social scale in consequence of the revolutions in price—a fact of importance in the political struggles of the seventeenth century. Compare Sir F. M. Eden, State of the Poor, I, 119 ff.
876 Too much stress is laid upon this by Tooke-Newmarch, who, on that account, considers almost every increase of the precious metals as a blessing. As a matter of fact, the population of Australia, of the United Kingdom, and of the United States, increased, between 1848 and 1871, 44.5 per cent.; the production of coal and of railroads in England, between 1856 and 1869, by about 60.6 per cent.; the English production of woolen goods, linen and cotton and yarn, between 1848 and 1870, by from 110 to 335 per cent. (Statist. Journal, 1872, 376 ff.)
877 Luther's complaint concerning the poor condition of the clergy. See Schmoller, in the Tuebinger Ztschr., 1860. This very clearly shows how much surer for the crown domains are than a civil list, and donations of land to a church than payments in money. Law of Elizabeth, 18 Eliz., that, in the case of university property, ⅔ of the lease rent should be paid in metal and ⅓ in corn. In Adam Smith's time, this latter third was worth as much again as the other two. (I, ch. 5.)
878 In the sixteenth century, this class was of small importance in most countries; in our times, their ruin would cause general disturbance. The wiser class of capitalists would, indeed, find means to exchange their credits for more certain values, or make it a condition that they should receive in the end a large sum.
879 Thus, for instance, the son of a deceased land owner who retains the lands as his own acquits himself towards his brothers who have entered the military or civil service of their country by paying them a certain sum periodically. If a revolution were really impending, the owners of land would soon emulate one another to improve their estates by borrowing capital, if for no other reason, to turn the depreciation of the medium of circulation to their own advantage. In the sixteenth century, the indebtedness of land owners was relatively unimportant.
880 It appears from Roger's Tables, Statist. Journal, 1861, 551 ff., that, between 1583 and 1620, a time during which the population of England increased neither in wealth nor in numbers, there was a considerable increase in the price of nearly all English commodities. Thus, for instance, wheat was, from 1591 to 1600, 468 per cent., and from 1611 to 1620, even 495 per cent. higher than from 1530 to 1533. The Saxon laborer earned, in 1599, in corn, only half as much as in 1455. (Tuebinger Ztschr., 1871, 354.)
881 When labor is indispensable to employers, it may happen that a small decline in the supply may largely raise the price. Wages, in almost all branches of labor, rose between 1851 and 1856, by about from 15 to 20 per cent.
882 This, also, was of little significance in the sixteenth century, but how important now!
883 Income taxes, ad valorem duties and tithes rise and fall in their nominal amount as the price of the medium of circulation falls and rises.
884 Thus, for instance, the victory of the English Parliament over the unlimited power of the crown, in the first half of the seventeenth century, was very much promoted by the fact that the crown, in spite of all its economy, was always in financial straits in consequence of the depreciation of money. (Power of the purse, power of the sword!) However, any force kept steadily in action is a two-edged sword. While under favorable circumstances, it may be thereby developed, under unfavorable circumstances it may be thereby exhausted. How great a number of representative assemblies, during the revolutions in prices in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, allowed their energies to grow dormant!
885 Most of the above points are very well discussed in the work W. S., cited above, 137.
886 As no one then doubted: Compare W. Raleigh, The Discovery of Guiana, Pref. I refer to Philip of Macedon.
887 Compare Roscher, Kolonien, Kolonialpolitik und Auswanderung, 1856, 145 ff.
888 Something similar might have been observed in England in 1819 etc., at the restoration of a depreciated paper currency. Among nations in a comparatively low stage of civilization, a variation in the medium of circulation is of less importance than among more highly civilized nations, because trade in money, and still more, credit, are relatively speaking undeveloped.
889 Fawcett greatly exaggerates when he says that with an increase of population and wealth, an increase of money is as much a want as hunger. (Manual, 370.)
890 Galiani, Dellab Moneta, III, 1. At the time of the Lex Salica, 10:1. After the Edictum Pistense of Charles II., ch. 24 (Pertz, Mon. Germ., III, 488), 12:1. At the time of the Sachsenspiegel (III, 45), again, 10:1. Under Saint Louis, King of France, 12.5:1. (Leblanc, Traite historique des Monnaies de la France, ch. 1, 2.) In Poland, 1356, 12:1. (Muratori, Dissertt. Medii Aevi, II, 28.) In England, 1262, 9.6; 1272 = 12.5; 1345 = 13.7:1. (Rogers, 1, 593 ff.) Under Henry VI., and in 1494 = 12:1. (Anderson, Origin of Commerce, a. 1422, 1494.) In Denmark, under the former Kings of the Union = 8:1. (Dahlmann, Daenische Geschichte, III, 52.) And so throughout almost the whole of Scandinavia's medieval period, as for instance in the Graugans. (Wilda, Gesch. des deutschen Strafrechts, I, 329.) In Italy, 1579 = 12:1. (Scaruffi, Sopra le Moneta, 1582.) In Holland, 1589 = 11.6:1. Bodinus, De Republ., 1584, II, 3, maintains 12:1 as the general ratio; but the Apostolic Chamber adopted the ratio of 12.8:1. In Germany, according to the instances cited by A. Riese, 1522 = 10:1. The monetary laws of Germany give it in 1524 = 11-⅓:1, in 1551 = 11:1, 1559 = 11-3/7:1; Budelius, De Monetis, 1591 = 11-1/4:1. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the relation in Spain was = 13.3; in Germany = 12.16; in Flanders = 13.22; in England = 13.5:1. (Forbonnais, Finances de la France, I, 52.) About 1641, in Flanders, it was 12.5; in France, 13.5; in Spain, 14.1. Immediately after Colbert's death it was, in Genoa, 15.03; in Milan = 14.75:1. (Montanari, Della Moneta, 80.) While in the seventeenth century gold rose, it sank in the eighteenth, on account of the Brazilian gold washings and the many bank notes in circulation, which were for the most part of a large denomination. (Steuart, Principles, III, ch. 13.) Still it was in Amsterdam in 1751 = 14.5:1.
891 In Hamburg, the relation of the price of gold to that of silver bars, varied, between 1816 and 1852, from between 15.11-16.2 to 1 (Soetbeer); in London, from 1816 to 1837, between 15.80 and 14.97 to 1.
892 In Asia, it is generally lower than in Europe—for centuries mostly = 10:1. But in Birmah it is = 17:1, mostly on account of the extent to which indulgence in luxury is carried there. (Crawfurd, Embassy, 433. Ritter, Erdkunde, V, 244, 266.) Concerning China, see M. Chevalier, Cours, III, 359. In Africa, gold is low as compared with silver, in proportion to the distance from the civilized world. Thus, an ounce of gold in Shenaar cost 12 piastres; in Suakim, 20; in Djidda, 22. (Ritter, Erdkunde, I, 538.) In Timbuctoo, Mungo Park found the relation of gold to silver to be as 1-1/2:1. Compare Marco Polo, II, 39 seq.
893 In antiquity, a similar course is to be observed. According to Manu's Indian laws, VIII, 134 seq., = 2-1/2:1; in the East, for a long time, = 10:1; under Darius Hystaspis, = 13:1. (Herodot., 111, 95.) In Greece, in the time of Lysias, = 10:1 (Lysias, pro bonis Arist., Conon); according to Plato, = 12:1 (Hipparch., 231); according to Demosthenes, adv. Phorm., 214, = 14:1 (Boeckh, Staatst., I, 43); Menander's estimate, = 10:1, probably because Alexander's victory had made gold cheaper. (Pollux, IX, 76.) Among the Romans, about 189 B.C., = 10:1 (Livy, XXXVIII, 11); somewhat later, = 11.9:1 (Mommsen, in the histor. phil. Berichten der K. Saechs. Gesellschaft, 1851, 184 ff.); in the fourth century after Christ, = 14:1. (Theod., Cod. VIII, 4, 27.) We sometimes find sudden variations. Thus, according to Polyb., XXXIV, 10, gold, in Italy, sank about ⅓ in consequence of the opening of the mines at Aquilea. It sank to the proportion of 9:1 when Caesar spent the contents of the Roman treasure, which consisted of gold. (Surton., Caes., 54.) The ratio of 17:1, during Hannibal's wars, was a species of National bankruptcy. See Plin., H. N., XXXIII, B.
894 After the February revolution, the gold-agio, as compared with silver, rose from 10-17 to 70 per 1,000. (M. Chevalier Cours, III, 346.) On the other hand, since the discovery of America, gold, as compared with commodities, has declined much less than silver. Compare Hermann, Ueber den gegenwaertigen Zustand des Muenzwesens, in Rau's Archiv., I, 151 ff. According to Lord Liverpool, Treatise on the Coins of the Realm, the value of gold coin in the London market, as compared with bank notes, varied in 40 years, almost 51/2 per cent.
895 In recent times, it has become possible to extract from ancient silver coins a small quantity of gold, and with some advantage. European industry produced in this way about 1,600 kilogrammes of gold per annum. One half of this amount is obtained in France and the rest in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels and St. Petersburg. (Michel Chevalier, Cours, III, 302.)
896 Senior, On the Value of Money, 77 ff. It is certain that a simple variation in prices would not induce people to have gold table services, or architectural ornaments of silver.
897 Rau, Lehrbuch, 6th ed., I, 277 c. In Rau's opinion (loc. cit.) we may, in the course of the next decades, expect a decline of the price of gold of about 76 per cent., and of only 10 percent. of the price of silver (because of the low prices of quicksilver.) But here he seems to overlook entirely what influence a change of standard in important commercial districts would have.
898 Compare the works already mentioned. Fleetwood, Chronicon preciosum, or an Account of English Gold and Silver Money, the Price of Corn and other Commodities etc., for Six Hundred Years last past, 1707; Dupre de Saint Maur, Essai sur les Monnaies ou Reflexions sur les Rapports entre les Denrees et l'Argent, 1746; Unger, Ordnung der Fruchtpreise, 1752; Paucton, Metrologie ou Traite des Mesures etc., des anciens Peuples et les modernes, 1780; the appendix to Macpherson's Annals of Commerce, 1805; the tables in Garnier's translation of Adam Smith, vol. II, 1822; A. Young, Inquiry into the progressive Value of Money in England, as marked by the Price of Agricultural Products, 1812; W. F. Lloyd, Prices of Corn in Oxford, in the Beginning of the fourteenth Century, and also from 1583 to the present Time, 1830; Helferich, in the Tueb. Zeitschrift, 1858, 471 ff. There are some very interesting notes on the history of prices during the Merovingian and Carolingian periods in Guerard, Polyptiques, I, 141 ff.
899 Thus, for instance, the bonds (and their coupons) of states, cities, great corporations, certificates of stock, mortgages, bills of exchange, checks.
900 A Prussian regulation of 1765 (Goldschmidt, Handbuch des Handelsrechts, I, 550), calls money-paper (Effecten), instruments of trade in which a value or a valuta is designated.
901 Garnier, French translation of Adam Smith, II, 143 ff., distinguishes between coin-paper and promise-paper: the latter is never found in circulation at the same time with the capital which it represents. Say says that, for instance, evidences of state indebtedness, state bonds, call for money if they would circulate, but they seldom act as money in circulation. (Traite, III, ch. 2.) Sismondi very well determines the difference in his Richesse Commerciale, I, 160. Rau, Lehrbuch, I, 293, requires of all good paper money: a., that its mere transfer, even without any proof of its rightful acquisition, should suffice to vest the property in it in the receiver; b., that the power emitting it should enjoy universal confidence or be able to compel universal recognition; c., that its redemption should not be fixed for any definite point of time.
902 That it is not possible to keep paper money from declining in value, by the payment of interest, the people of North America learned from more than one experiment during the eighteenth century. (Benjamin Franklin, Remarks and Facts relative to the Paper Money of America, 1765.) The same phenomenon was observed in the case of the Spanish vales, which were created during the North American war in consequence of the absence of the silver fleet. (Bour-going, Tableau de l' Espagne, II, 38 ff. Humboldt, N. Espagne, II, 808.) When the Portuguese apolices (since 1797) still bore six per cent. they depreciated in value; and when the payment of the interest was suddenly stopped, the rate of exchange did not become any lower. (Balbi, Esai statist. sur le Portugal, I, 323.) In Austria, in September, 1820, the bank notes which bore no interest were at a premium as compared with the imperial treasury notes, which did bear interest of 1 per cent., although the credit of both kinds of paper had ultimately the same foundation, namely, Austrian state-credit.
903 The attempt to make paper money pay interest suggests (as the Saint Simonists recommend it should, with much ado; Enfantin, Ser les Banques, d' Escompte in the Producteur, 1826), that awkward sword, invented by Count Wilhelm von Bueckeburg, to the blade of which a pistol is affixed! Shortly before each term for the payment of interest, the circulation of such paper money would be arrested. If the rate of discount should sink below the rate of interest such notes bore, they would be sought after eagerly and disappear in quantities, and, not be ever seen again until the rate of discount had risen to a high figure, when they would be suddenly presented for redemption. Such interest-bearing paper money, therefore, would be a serious element to aggravate the fluctuations of the money-market between good and bad times. When interest-bearing paper money pays interest at the rate usual in the country, it is hoarded by misers, (v. Struensee. Abhandlungen, III, 387.) Compare Forbonnais, Principes economiques, p. 234, ed. Guill., whereas v. Prittwitz, Kunst reich zu werden (1840, 359), takes delight in elaborating the idea of an interest-bearing paper money.
904 Of jurists, see Thoel, Handelsrecht, I, 51, and the authorities for and against in Goldschmidt, Handelsrecht, II, Kap. 4, 1, 2. The compulsory circulation of paper money is an essential element only in reference to the person that issues it. Of political economists, especially A. Wagner in Bluntschli's Staatswoerterbuch, Art. Papiergeld, Band, VII, who, however, is very soon compelled to oppose to paper money "proper," another kind not "proper." Adam Smith unhesitatingly accounts bank notes also paper-money. (W. of N., II, ch. 2, p. 28, Bas.) Huskisson understands by "paper-money" only the irredeemable paper-money of the state, while bank notes should be considered as "paper currency." (The Question concerning the Depreciation of our Currency, 1810.)
905 Seyd, Muenz, Waehrungs- und Bankfragen in Deutschland, 50 ff., distinguishes four classes of paper-money: 1st class, paper-money covered by cash; 2d class, bank notes covered after the manner of banks; 3d class, state paper-money; 4th class, such paper money as the notes of the Southern Confederacy after its defeat.
906 Even Plato, De Legg., V, 742, was acquainted with money after the Spartan type, intended only for internal trade: νόμισμα ἐπιχώριον, αὐτοῖς μὲν ἔντιμον τοῖς δὲ ἄλλοις ἀνθρώποις ἀδόκιμον. Besides the state kept for foreign trade a supply of the universal Hellenic money, of which in case of need, private individuals could acquire what portion they needed by exchange. When Dionysius I. issued tin instead of silver money, all the Syracusans, although they noticed the forgery, acted in their intercourse with one another as if they considered the coins genuine. (Aristot., OEcon., II, 21, Pollux, IX, 79.) Timotheos behaved more honorably when, pressed by the dearth of money, he gave his troops copper coin tokens, which passed for the time being for their full value in the camp; but which were later to be redeemed at their full value in silver. (Aristot., OEc. II, 22.) Compare Polyaen, Strateg., IV, 10, 2. The iron money which the Klazomenians exchanged with the rich for silver, which bore interest, but which the rich were forced to take, had a longer duration; the silver was used to pay foreign state creditors, the iron money circulated for the time being in the city, and was gradually redeemed. (Aristot., loc. cit, II, 17.)