11 texts from Song China

11 texts from Song China - Texts from Song dynasty...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Texts from Song dynasty China (960-1279 CE) The invention of paper money a) Ma Duanlin, Comprehensive Study of Civilization (13th century CE) In the time of Emperor Taizu (960-976 CE) the old Tang system of “flying money” was adopted. Commoners were permitted to pay cash in at the capital and draw it out in the provinces … Originally, merchants were allowed to pay in their cash to the Treasury of the Left and be repaid out of provincial funds; but when they presented their applications to the financial authorities and then paid in their money to the Treasury, the officers through whose hands the matter passed would illegally deduct twenty copper coins from every string of a thousand. In 970 the Bureau for Money of Convenience was established. It was ordered that merchants who paid in cash should present their applications to this Bureau, which would on the same day pass them on to the Treasury of the Left and issue certificate. As before, the provincial authorities were commanded that, whenever a merchant arrived bearing one of these certificates, payment should be made to him on the same day without procrastination, any offenders against this provision to be fined. After this, no one suffered from delays. By 997 merchants were drawing over 1.7 million strings worth of money of convenience annually. By 1021 the sum had risen by a further 1.13 million strings. b) Li Yu, Factual Account of the Song Dynasty (c. 1120 CE) Originally [in the late tenth century CE], more than ten wealthy commoners in Chengdu mutually guaranteed each other for the issue of paper notes of exchange. Every year [in return for this privilege] they provided the officials with the personnel for measuring the tax-grain taken in the summer and autumn at the granaries, and with men and materials for the repair of the damaged dykes. These rich persons would meet at regular intervals and [agree] to print the notes on the same kind of paper. The printed design would feature buildings, trees, men, and other objects, and bear the seal of the shop of issue. Each one would have a secret superscription in interlocking red and black to serve as a private mark. The value in strings of cash would be written in, there being no maximum or minimum amount. These notes of exchange were issued in return for the ready cash that people deposited. They circulated in enormous quantities without regard for distance, and were exchanged in the streets and markets. If anyone wanted ready cash in place of a note of exchange, the merchants would deduct thirty coins per string of a thousand as their profit. Every year, just before the silk cocoons, the rice, or the wheat were about to come to maturity, they would print off more such notes of exchange, either on one of these
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 4

11 texts from Song China - Texts from Song dynasty...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online