Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700

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University of California Press, Dec 27, 1996 - History - 408 pages
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The most striking feature of Wutong, the preeminent God of Wealth in late imperial China, was the deity’s diabolical character. Wutong was perceived not as a heroic figure or paragon but rather as an embodiment of greed and lust, a maleficent demon who preyed on the weak and vulnerable. In The Sinister Way, Richard von Glahn examines the emergence and evolution of the Wutong cult within the larger framework of the historical development of Chinese popular or vernacular religion—as opposed to institutional religions such as Buddhism or Daoism. Von Glahn’s study, spanning three millennia, gives due recognition to the morally ambivalent and demonic aspects of divine power within the common Chinese religious culture.

Surveying Chinese religion from 1000 BCE to the beginning of the twentieth century, The Sinister Way views the Wutong cult as by no means an aberration. In Von Glahn’s work we see how, from earliest times, the Chinese imagined an enchanted world populated by fiendish fairies and goblins, ancient stones and trees that spring suddenly to life, ghosts of the unshriven dead, and the blood-eating spirits of the mountains and forests. From earliest times, too, we find in Chinese religious culture an abiding tension between two fundamental orientations: on one hand, belief in the power of sacrifice and exorcism to win blessings and avert calamity through direct appeal to a multitude of gods; on the other, faith in an all-encompassing moral equilibrium inhering in the cosmos.

 

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Contents

Rising Value of Coin
157
The Second Wanli Coinage Offensive
161
The Sovereignty of the Market
166
THE GREAT DEBASEMENTS THE TIANQI AND CHONGZHEN REIGNS 16201645
173
Fiscal Crisis and Monetary Expansion
175
Operation of the Ministry of Revenue Mints
178
Fiscal Distress and Monetary Retrenchment
185
Deterioration of Coin in the Chongzhen Period
187

Erosion of the Bronze Coin Monetary Standard
49
The Yuan Regime of Paper Money
56
The Demise of Paper Money in the Early Ming Dynasty
70
COINAGE IN THE DAWNING AGE 14351570
83
The Rise of Private Coinage
84
Chinese Coin and the Japanese Monetary System
88
The Retreat of Coin
97
In the Later Jiajing Period
104
FOREIGN SILVER AND CHINAS SILVER CENTURY 15501650
113
The Circulation of Specie in East Asia During the Silver Century
125
Quantitative Estimates of Silver Imports in Late Ming China
133
COIN VS SILVER EXPANSIONARY POLICIES OF THE WANLI REIGN 15701620
142
Inadequacy of Silver as the Monetary Standard
143
Monetary Policies of Zhang Juzheng
145
Postmortems on Zhang Juzhengs Monetary Offensive
152
The Campaign to Restore Paper Currency
197
THE MONETARY CRISIS OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
207
Early Qing Currency Policy
208
Depression and Deflation in the Early Kangxi Period
211
Bullionism vs Economic Autarky
215
Bullion Movements in the Late Seventeenth Century
224
New World Silver and the European Price Revolution
233
The SeventeenthCentury Crisis Hypothesis
237
CONCLUSION
246
List of Abbreviations
259
Notes
261
Glossary
303
Bibliography
311
Index
329
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About the author (1996)

Richard von Glahn is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the coeditor of The Song-Yuan-Ming Transition in Chinese History (2003) and The Country of Streams and Grottoes: Expansion, Settlement, and the Civilizing of the Sichuan Frontier in Song Times (1987).

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