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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Africa and the price revolution: currency imports and socioeconomic change in West and West-Central Africa during the seventeenth century
Author:Green, TobyISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Geographic terms:West Africa
Central Africa
Subjects:economic history
international trade
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853715000754
Abstract:The past decade has seen much ink spilled on global interconnections in the early modern economy, especially those linking European and Asian economies. But this Eurasian concentration has excluded Africa from the discussion. This article addresses this absence by showing that West and West-Central Africa were integral to the global price revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Considering evidence from West and West-Central Africa reveals how the price revolution was a genuinely global phenomenon, with increasing imports of locally-used currencies that created inflation in line with the inflation of gold and silver in Europe and Asia. The article argues that the coexistence of exchangeable value and other social uses of currencies also contributed to a relative depreciation in Africa's global economic strength. Also related to this phenomenon were the rise of an export slave trade and changes in the production and distribution of West and West-Central African cloth industries. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]