Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yuan dynasty paper money

Genghis Khan had united the Mongol tribes and he has led the Mongols to numerous victories and had conquered such a vast are of land that it is known as the largest empire in history.Well as they say,like father like son,his descendents continued to expand the Mongol empire,Asia was mostly conquered during Genghis Khan and his descendents went on to stretch the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia, conquering all of modern-day China, as well as substantial portions of modern Russia,southern Asia,Eastern Europe and the Middle East..A man such as Genghis Khan would of course have many wives and offspring.And one of his children was named Tolui and through his christian wife he fathered children and one of them was named Kublai Khan who was his second son.
Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan then went on to become the founder of the Yuan dynasty with further conquest of the remaining Song dinasty which were the Southern Song in 1274 and finally destroying them in 1279 and united China.During his rule he tried to conquer Vietnam, Japan,Java and Myanmar but failed.His empire was visited by some Europeans,most famous one was Marco Polo.Kublai was impressed with him and made him an official.He travelled much in China on missions and,he made notes and wrote about customs and the geography of China.He stayed there for 17 years and when he returned he wrote and published a book about his travels.During his stay he was impressed with the paper money that he wrote an entire chapter on it.(You can read it in his book)
Porcelein plate,14th century

The Yuan dynasty was the shortest dynasty,however its issuance of paper money was so rampant to sustain commerce..These notes were to circulate without a time period unlike notes of previous dynasties,There were more Yuan dyansty paper money surviving and one has also been found ini a cave and some during archeological excavations.The brass plate was also found in this way.
Invasion of Japan

First type of money issued was known as Silk Money because they were backed by silk but of course was made of paper in 1227.Yuan notes appeared in 1287 and circulated not only in China but also in Annam,Siam and Burma.There denominations of 10,20,30,40,50 cash ,100,200,300,400,500 cash, and 1,2 kwan.There were also another type of money used to buy military supplies
Invasion of Japan

There were 3 issues during the Yuan dynasty.The inflation which started in 1287 became worse after every issue. Although there were efforts to reduce the inflation in 1350 by minting coins however the number produced was insufficient to help and people practiced barter and not using the worthless notes.Soon there were rebellions all over China,this caused militray spending to increase and the use of paper money increased to finance the army.In the end the Yuan dynasty was finally overthrown and led to the establishment of the Ming dynasty.

A few examples of Yuan paper money
2 kwan note

200 cash note

No comments: