The history of business and money

Business And Money - You could be forgiven for believing that Business and Money have always gone hand in hand - infact, that’s far from the case.

Although "business" is likely to date back to pre-historic times when the Neanderthal fore-runners of modern man swapped primitive goods, food and skills, money itself is a relatively new innovation.

Our more recent ancestors traded internationally by ship, horse and camel without linking Business and Money.

As recently as a thousand years before the birth of Christ, Business and Money were only just becoming related as the use of money evolved out of deeply rooted customs, as is shown by the study of primitive forms of exchange goods like cattle, cowrie shells, whales’ teeth and ornamental jewellery.

The clumsiness of barter was merely one factor in the development of Business and Money as a trading marriage, and not the most important one. Banking was invented before coins and reached a high level of sophistication in the Egypt of the Ptolomies. Military conquests, such as those of Alexander the Great, spread the use of coins which became the most convenient means of payment.

Business and Money became so closely linked that early businessmen themselves would strike their own coins in gold, silver or copper and bronze to facilitate transactions.

So widespread did international trading becomes however that Business and Money had to be strictly regulated and it became the norm for currency to be issued by states and often bore the image of a king or emperor.

Each form of currency, however, carried a different value and Business and Money became a business itself as merchants defined the worth of coins depending on the reserves of the country of issue. As late as the eighteenth century, it would not be uncommon for a dozen countries’ different coinages to be in circulation in a city and exchanged in a single transaction.

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