Qing Government Policy Dealing with High Copper Cash Value in Jiangnan During the Early Qianlong Era

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  • 清代乾隆初年の江南における銭貴の発生と清朝政府の対応
  • シンダイ ケンリュウ ショネン ノ コウナン ニ オケル センキ ノ ハッセイ ト シンチョウ セイフ ノ タイオウ

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At the end of Yongzheng era (early 1730s), the Qing government issued about 500,000 strings of copper cash in Jiangnan to eliminate the private minting of money, but ended up causing a high demand for copper cash there by changing the preference for the means of exchange from silver to copper cash among local residents. The risen copper cash also dealt a severe blow to the livelihood of workers whose salaries were paid in silver, forcing the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provincial governments to issue more copper cash in order to drive down the silver-copper exchange rate.At the same time, both governments attempted to profit from the minting and issue of the coins by selling them to local residents at a higher silver-copper exchange rate than official. However, they were ordered by the central government to use the copper cash they minted to pay military salaries. The Zhejiang government stopped selling the coins it began minting in 1740, and together with Jiangsu, which started minting in 1741, complied with the order, but both governments continued to issue them at a favorable exchange rate and to increase minting. In 1743, the central government ordered all provincial governments to adopt an official exchange rate: 1 kuping tael silver: 1,000 copper coins. As a result, Jiangsu and Zhejiang lost their profits and stopped increasing their minting, although their high value was felt in Jiangnan for more than 30 years thereafter.


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