Global silver trade from the 16th to 19th centuries

The global silver trade between the Americas, Europe and China from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries was a spillover of the Columbian Exchange which had a profound effect on the world economy. In fact, many scholars consider the silver trade to mark the beginning of a genuinely global economy, with one historian noting that silver "went round the world and made the world go round." Although global, much of that silver ended up in the hands of the Chinese, as they accepted it as a form of currency. In addition to the global economic changes the silver trade engendered, it also put into motion a wide array of political transformations in the early modern era. "New World mines," concluded several prominent historians, "supported the Spanish empire," acting as a linchpin of the Spanish economy.
Spaniards at the time of the Age of Exploration discovered vast amounts of silver, much of which was from the Potosí silver mines, to fuel their trade economy. Potosí's deposits were rich and Spanish American silver mines were the world's cheapest sources of it.
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