Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XV.: Examinations of the Reasons for the raising of Money. - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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CHAP. XV.: Examinations of the Reasons for the raising of Money. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Examinations of the Reasons for the raising of Money.
THE first Reason for the raising of Money, is the practise of Antiquity: it is true, as I have shewed before, that the Grecians and the Romans did successively raise the values of their Moneys, but it was not to draw thereby the materials of Money from other States unto theirs; but to supply the State, by that means on great and desperate Necessities, of the Wages thereof; and of the advantage, or disadvantage growing thereby to the Common-wealth, I intend to speak hereafter.
But this invention of raising of Money to draw a quantity of Gold and Silver from your Neighbours, or to preserve our own from being exhausted, is a conceit unknown to the ancient world, and introduced long since the decay of the Roman Empire; when as those Monarchies that are now settled in Europe, by succession from those Northern Nations, which did over-throw the antient Roman Empire, having together with many other necessary Arts, lost the knowledge and orders of the Mint, were fain to use the Subtilty and Industry of the Jews, and those of Genoa and Lucca (who did succeed the Jews in this Trade) for the coining of their Moneys, who for their own Advantage did (by subtil and specious Reasons many times by a seeming and not considerable Profit as Projectors use to do) allure Princes to make unnecessary alterations in their Moneys, from whence this Art of robbing Gold and Silver from one state to another is grown.
And therefore I will speak no more concerning the practise of Antiquity, but will examine the other Reasons: as for the second Reason, which is the Observation, that since King James raised the Gold so much as he did, Gold is grown much more plentiful in the Kingdom than it was before, but Silver having not been raised in Proportion is grown much more scant and rare:—
It is confessed that the Observation is true in this, that whensoever you raise the Material of (one sort of) Money, that material will encrease, and the other will grow scanty in Proportion. And what doth the Commonwealth gain by that, if there be more Gold now than heretofore, if there be less Silver in Proportion? But it is denied, That if you raise equally both the materials of Money, that then either of them will ever a whit the more abound; and this reason is given for it, Whatsoever the value of Money be in other Countreys, they will spend no more of your Commodities than they have use for: if so, the over-value of your (exported) Commodities must of necessity be returned to you either in Gold or Silver, whatsoever the value of them be, high or low: or suppose that, by reason of the low value of Gold and Silver in respect of their price in other parts, the Merchants do forbear the return of the over-values of your Commodities in those Materials, and do choose rather to return Forrein Commodities more than you can vent; this may fall out thus for one year, but two or three or more years, it is impossible it can hold, for that the Merchant should have these Forrein Commodities which are not consumed perish in his hands. And this Reason doth likewise answer.
The third Argument made for the raising of Money which is, That if you do not raise your Money to a parity with your Neighbours, the Merchant, who always seeks his profit, wil carry his materials of Gold and Silver, where he may have most for them; for if this reason stand good, the Merchant shall be constrained to bring his Gold and Silver hither, what price soever they bear.
But because this reason seems so evident and unanswerable in the Judgment of many, and that if it stand good, it doth absolutely confute the practise of all the States of Europe, who have continued many years raising of the values of their Moneys, upon this ground, To attract thereby greater quantities of Gold and Silver.
I intend to make a more strict Examination of this Reason.
And first for a most clear understanding of the Case, Let us suppose that all the Commodities, any way exported out of this Kingdom in one year, be worth one Million of pounds sterling, and that the Commodities imported, be worth but 900,000 pound, and that this Proportion, or near thereabouts, be constant; Then of Necessity, it follows, That an hundred thousand pounds must be brought in in Gold and Silver, what price soever Money bear.
But if it shall appear that the Low values of our Money doth cause the Kingdom to vent more forrein Commodities than otherwise it would vent; and, that where otherwise it would vent 900,000 pound, the Low values of Money cause it to vent a Million or more: then is the force of this argument lost; and it follows, That the low values are the cause why the Materials of Gold and Silver, or less of them than otherwise would do, come not in.
Now then this may come to pass several ways, First, If the value of your Moneys be so low as the Merchant shall lose by bringing you Gold and Silver, he will rather return you forrein Commodities, though he sell them as cheap as he bought them, and so gain nothing by them, than bring you Gold and Silver by which he shall loose.
As for Example, the Merchant trading into Muscovia, will rather return his Cloth in Furr, or in Silk of Persia, though he sell them as cheap as he bought them there, than in Silver and Gold, by which he shall loose the fourth part. Now the cheapness of forrein Commodities makes the greater quantity of them to be spent, as we see of Calico’s, of which few or none were heretofore vented in this Kingdom, the cheapness of them making greater Quantities of them to be spent.
And again, the Lowness of the values of Money may cause a greater Proportion of Forrein Commodities to be consumed, though not in quantity, yet in value.
As for Example, Though the Lowness of the value of Money should not make a greater quantity of Silver to be spent in England, than otherwise would be, yet it would make a greater Proportion in value to be spent, by reason that the Merchant, who in the return of his Commodities brings such a quantity of Silk as he judgeth may be vented here, if he find an over value of his Commodities exported, to those he doth import, he will rather, instead of raw Silks, return Silks manufactured, to equal the over-value by which he may save himself, than return the over-value in Gold and Silver by which he shall loose. As if our Gold were as our Silver in prices, by which the Turkey Merchant shall loose as much by bringing Gold from thence, as he should if he brought Silver, is it not manifest, that instead of Gold, which he now brings with his raw Silk, in return of his Commodities, he would carry both Gold and Silk into Italy, and imploy them in manufactured Silks, though he should sell them here almost as cheap as he bought them, rather than return the over-value in Gold, by which he should loose? And so though the same Proportion in quantity were vented here in Silk, yet a greater Proportion in value would be vented.
As the same may be said of divers other Commodities: and for confirmation of this, it is to be observed, That from Italy, France and the Low Countries, and the East Indies, in all which places the values of Moneys are as high or higher than with us, we draw hardly any Commodities but fully manufactured, and they receive none of our Commodities but either not manufactured at all, or, but so much manufactured as the Severity and Penalty of the Laws do otherwise prohibit to be exported: But in Spain where the Moneys are yet of a lower value than with us, it is clean contrary.
And although it may be Objected that that this Observation doth not hold in Turky and Muscovie, though in Turky the Silver, and in Muscovie both Gold and Silver be much higher valued than here in England;
To that it may be answered, That these barbarous Countries receive our Manufactures by Necessity, because they afford none of their own.