Historical geography is an active, theoretically-informed and vibrant field of study within modern geography, with strong interdisciplinary connections with the humanities and the social sciences. The SAGE Handbook of Historical Geography provides an international and in-depth overview of the field with chapters that examine the history, present condition and future significance of historical geography in relation to recent developments and current research. The Handbook is in two volumes, divided across nine parts. Volume One includes commentaries on the history and geography of historical geography, and reviews how historical geographers have considered the appropriation, management and representation of landscape, the changing geographies of property, land, money and financial capital, and the demographic, medical and political analysis of the world's growing and mobile population. Volume Two shows how historical geographers have made significant contributions to geopolitical debates about the relationships between nation-states and empires, to environmental challenges posed by human interaction with the natural world, to studies of the cultural, intellectual and political implications of modern science and technology, and to investigations of communicative action, artefacts, performances and representations. The final part reviews the methodological and ethical challenges of historical geography as a publicly engaged research practice. Part 1: Histories and Geographies; Part 2: Land and Landscapes; Part 3: Property and Money; Part 4: Population and Mobility; Part 5: Territory and Geopolitics; Part 6: Environment and Nature; Part 7: Science and Technology; Part 8: Meaning and Communication; and Part 9: Studies in Practice.

Chapter 12: The Place of Money in History

The Place of Money in History

The place of money in history
Chris Muellerleile

Introduction

How does one store wealth over time? Most answers to this question would include a discussion of money. It is possible to store wealth in other forms – historically, the most obvious examples are food and land. Then again, physical objects like these must be protected from among other things, spoilage and plunder. Furthermore, as a form of wealth, useful objects are limited by their particular qualities. If, in order to eventually realize their value they are meant to be exchanged, that value is also limited by others’ need for those qualities or ‘uses’. Simply put, the value of useful objects is unstable. If the goal is to store wealth, ...

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