Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Right of Coinage

From The End of the Ancient World and the Beginnings of the Middle Ages, by Ferdinand Lot (first published in 1927 in French). Chapter 12 section 3.
In the seventh century, the right of coinage, the royal prerogative par excellence, passed over to the episcopal or monastic churches or to private persons; the treasury perhaps still collected part of the profits of coining. Mints multiplied in the cities, "chateau" (castra), vici, and even mere villas. The history of the coinage shows in a striking fashion the disintegration of the royal power.

After the end of the seventh century, the issue of gold coins slowed down and then completely disappeared, to re-appear in France only under the reign of St. Louis, an undeniable sign that relations with the gold-producing countries had ceased and also that Gaul, if it still perhaps bought something from the East, no longer sold it anything. In the eighth century even silver money tended to pass out of currency, at least in the Rhine districts, payments being made in grain, cattle, horses, etc., rather than in metal specie.

These are unequivocal signs of the retrograde trend of the economic system to more primitive forms.

Looks to me like St. Louis is Louis IX of France (April 25, 1214 – August 25, 1270).


Luke Smith said...

Cannot remember where I originally found this:

"Wee finde just reason to propose, in his majesties name, that these ensuing alterations…be made That, page 61, title money, the law [on] a mint house, etc., be repealed, for coyning is a royall prerogative, for the usurping of which ye act of indemnity is only a salvo."

Royal Edict Repealing the “Law on a Mint House,” May 24, 1665

Royal prerogative is necessary for chartalism.

Luke Smith said...

Forgot, the quote was referring to a British edict given to Massachusetts colony. The price to pay for going against the act seems kind of harsh.

The Arthurian said...

Interesting, Mercantile stuff.

We witness challenges to the concept of royal prerogative -- bitcoin, for example -- These are unequivocal signs of the retrograde trend of the economic system to more primitive forms.