ABSTRACT

This chapter seeks to contribute to the rethinking of global history that has grown out of challenges to Eurocentric understandings, particularly those that articulate the regional and the global in the making of the modern world economy. It does so by tracing the world-wide movement of silver from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century. In the process, it problematizes the unilinear notion of world history as determined by the discovery of the “New World,” followed by the flow of silver to Europe, and thence from Europe to Asia. Instead, it shows the value of analyzing the world of silver circulation in terms of regional, and particularly Asian, perspectives on silver given the fact that Asia long dominated world silver markets and it was the articulation of Asian silver markets with Euro-American silver dynamics that shaped world financial flows throughout the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.