How did the money come about?

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The first coins appeared in the region of Lydia, present-day Turkey, in the 7th century BC. Ç. However, it was the greeks responsible for its diffusion and popularization throughout the ancient world.

It was from the Greeks that other peoples began to use metallic coins, such as the Persians, Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

Why did the money come?

There are a few theories about why money came into being:

  • The first states that it would have emerged with the aim of finding a mediation element in exchanges.
  • The second theory defends the creation of money as a form of create rewards or compensation.
  • For the third theory, origins are related to state needs in the management of fees and taxes.

The evolution of money: from food to coins

The basis of the existence of money is in the confidence. In order for a product or service to be paid for with money, there must be confidence that what is being given in exchange will be really valuable.

For something to be accepted as money, it must meet two requirements: be an object that everyone wants and not exist in abundance.

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For this reason, people throughout history have used food like money, mainly societies that were going through some crisis in food production.

However, what to do if the exchange to be carried out demanded a lot of these foods? Would it be necessary to transport hundreds of kilos to the place where the transaction would be carried out?

Thinking about it, the Babylonians, approximately 4 thousand years ago, developed the first banknotes and also a system similar to the current Banks.

It was possible to deposit sacks of grain in silos commanded by the State and, in exchange, receive a clay tablet with the inscription of the amount deposited. Afterwards, that same amount could be removed from other silos in the region.

Another problem arose: food was scarce, everyone wanted it, but they ended up spoiling. It would not be possible to accumulate wealth in this way.

Over time, some alternatives to solve this problem were found, such as salt.

How could salt be used to season and preserve food, taking into account the lack of refrigerators in the ancient world, in addition to being easy to transport, the Romans used it as a form of payment (that's how the term "wage").

Posteriorly, some metals were used in minting coins such as copper, gold, silver and bronze.

Materials used in making coins

Since antiquity, metals have been widely used in exchanges. This is due to a few factors:

  • Utility: could be transformed in ornaments, weapons or tools;
  • Durability: did not spoil, unlike food;
  • Fragmentability: Can be broken and preserve the value of matter. For example: if I break a gold bar in half, the two pieces still have their proportional value.

Metals like gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron were widely used in antiquity as currency because they had important characteristics: they were rare, durable, fractional and homogeneous.

O copper it was used a lot. As it melts at a relatively low temperature (1000ºC), the bars could be used to make weapons in wartime.

The same could be done with these coins if you wanted to trade with other peoples who had a different currency, melting it down and forming bars for the exchange.

With the discovery of new deposits and the development of new ways of smelting, the metals were losing value. Gold and silver, therefore, occupied this space.

History of money in Brazil

In Brazil, the use of money began with the arrival of the portuguese, as the indigenous people who lived here developed their commercial practices through barter (exchange of merchandise for merchandise).

However, even after the introduction of coins in Brazilian territory, the use of commodity coins, like sugar and tobacco, continued to occur.

A commodity money is a money whose value lies in the commodity itself that composes it. It is different, for example, from a banknote, where its value is not in paper money, but in the social agreement signed about that item.

Thus, what makes a R$50 note worth more than a R$20 note is not the amount of paper money it contains. has, but the confidence that its "50" inscription will make it worth more than the "20" inscription and less than the "100".

Coins in Brazil Colony

In 1568, the Portuguese king, Sebastião I, determined that Portuguese coins would be used in the Colony.

THE first currency unit Circulating in Brazilian lands was the Real, its multiples being the “reals”, which in popular language became “réis”.

However, the Real was not the only currency to circulate in Colonial Brazil.

The first coins from the Colony were brought through:

  • Portuguese;
  • invaders;
  • Trade with the Spanish colonies;
  • pirates.

During the colonial period there were several “invasions” in Brazilian territory, the main ones being the Dutch and the French.

The introduction of the coins of these peoples took place through these invasions. The Dutch even were the first to mint gold coins on Brazilian soil.

These coins were minted by the West India Company and aimed at paying suppliers and military troops besieged in Pernambuco.

Such multiplicity resulted in the circulation of different currencies in the Colony, which became a problem for local commerce.

With the end of the Iberian Union, in 1640, the Portuguese Crown sought to standardize the coins that circulated in the Colony. Thus, he ordered that Portuguese and Spanish-American coins receive a stamp, known as crowned stamp.

In 1694, the first mint in Brazil, in Salvador, Bahia. Its role was to mint only coins in the Bahian province,

However, as the need for coins was great in the Colony (taking into account the Brazilian territorial extension), it was transferred several times:

  • 1699: Rio de Janeiro;
  • 1700: Pernambuco;
  • 1702: Rio de Janeiro again.

After the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Court in Brazil, in 1808, the Portuguese created the Bank of Brazil. In 1810 he starts issuing tickets.

You Bank of Brazil tickets were the forerunners of paper money. The purpose of these issues was to cover the Crown's expenses with the installation of its administrative board in Brazilian territory.

Coins in Brazil Republic

With the Proclamation of the Republic, in 1889, Brazilian coins, which previously had the faces of the old emperors-in-law, now presented the female image representing the ideals of Republic and Freedom.

Brazil maintained the use of gold in minting its coins until 1922. This was due to the high cost of production. After that date, gold was used only in commemorative coins.

During the Brazilian Republic, the Real was replaced with the aim of correcting the excess of zeros in the currency (caused by its devaluation over the years).

The period of greatest instability in the Brazilian currency occurred after the Estado Novo (1937-1945), with the Vargas dictatorship, and stabilized only in 1994, with the Plano Real.

Between 1942 and 1994 there were 8 changes in the national currency, with the aim of curbing inflation.

  • Cruise (Cr$) - 1942 to 1967
  • New Cruise (NCr$) - 1967 to 1970
  • Cruise (Cr$) - 1970 to 1986
  • Cruzado (Cz$) - 1986 to 1989
  • Cruzado Novo (NCz$) - 1989 to 1990
  • Cruise (Cr$) - 1990 to 1993
  • Cruzeiro Real (CR$) - 1993 to 1994
  • Real (R$) - 1994 to today

The evolution of the economy in societies throughout history

The economy of a society is intrinsically related to the way it organizes its division of labor.

By division of labor, understand the way in which the essential functions for the maintenance of a society are distributed among individuals. The greater the division of labor, the more complex the society.

Thus, less complex societies, with less division of labor, have less complex demands. Societies with greater division have more complex demands.

The first societies were organized in a familiar, producing only what is necessary for their subsistence.

However, over time, the need for products that are not produced within the family begins to emerge. Thus, individuals began to exchange products for products, which we call barter.

Gradually, goods that had a high degree of sellability became commodity coins. A commodity coin is a coin whose value is dictated by the value of the object from which it is made.

When these commodity money came to be generally accepted, they were seen as money. It is in this phase, of monetary exchanges, that they passed through State regulation, guaranteeing uniformity and legitimacy to buyers and sellers.

It was through the State that the coins began to receive the same coinage, weight and composition. He would guarantee that all coins would have the same amount of precious metals in their composition.

Bibliographic references

AUGUSTO, André Guimarães. The origins of money: ontogenetic and historical-structural approaches. Journal of Economics, Editora UFPR, v. 37, no. 3 (year 35), p. 7-21, Sept./Dec. 2011.

FERGUSON, Niall. The Rise of Money: The Financial History of the World. Translation Cordelia Magalhães. – São Paulo: Editora Planeta do Brasil, 2009.

NASCIMENTO, Leonardo Pedroso do et al. The evolution of the currency in the historical context. III CONCISA, Unicentro, 2010.

VERSIGNASSI, Alexander. Crash: A Brief History of Economics: From Ancient Greece to the 21st Century. São Paulo, Leya, 2011, 320 p.

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