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British Coinage And The Gold Standard

818 words - 4 pages

In Sixteenth-and seventeenth-century, the precious metals - silver was assigned as standard currencies by British government. The value of the coins was reflected by the bullion value that was the radio of the metal content to denomination. However, the England silver coinage were threatened by some unethical individuals and governments’ actions that physically alternated, debased, devalued, or revalued it. (Black, Module 4, Topic 4.4).
The manual minted sliver coins at the time were often irregular in size and shape. Besides, after periods of usage, the old sliver coins were naturally worn and torn which normally had thinner edges. The bullion content of these coins became less weight than ...view middle of the document...

The government could make more profits by charging a minting fee and issuing the new coins in smaller size with reduced bullion content. Frequent re-coining made the public losing their confidence on the silver coins’ value. This re-minting of underweight coins also resulted in a shortage of silver coins in circulation. (Black, Module 4, Topic 4.4)
John Locke strongly objected the revaluation advises. He saw revaluation of the coinage as monetary devaluation which would cause price inflation. He debated that money’s value depends on faith, and the faith relied upon the bullion content value. In his work Further Considerations Concerning Raising the Value of Money (1696), he argued that “if the denominations of the money were raised by 20 percent, hoarders would be the only beneficiaries.” However, these hoarders tended to take silver out of circulation, compounding the shortage. (Black, Module 4, Topic 4.4) Locke advocated all people were equal and independent, and “no one ought to harm another's life, health, liberty, or possessions.” (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Users/jgf21/Locke.html, retrieved on October 23, 2006)
Locke suggested gold or silver as money because they may be “hoarded up without injury to anyone,” since they did not spoil or decay in the hands of the possessor. He insisted silver was the correct money of account and should not be altered. (C.R. Fay, “Newton and the Gold Standard,” Cambridge Historical Journal 6,...

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