A Brief History of Humankind Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari
Contributed by Tereasa Jacob
Chapter 10

Generally, the chapter discusses the history of currency. Trade was happening and it was barter trade, but later gold and silver were introduced. According to the chapter, Mexicans had gold, but did not know its values. The Aztecs living in Mexico did not know the reason foreigners liked the yellow metal that was present on their land. The yellow metal in this case was money, but it is unfortunate that Aztecs used bolts and beans to pay for the goods; they had instead of the yellow metals. Fortunately, the Spaniards knew the value of gold and exploited it. Notably, the idea of using gold as currency came from the Spaniards and they were the ones that spread it across the Afro-Asia and other parts of the world. Later, the Christians after their victory against the Muslims made gold as well as silver coins and the use of these coins became widespread among the Christians. In a nutshell, the chapter discusses how the use of money came into existence.


The main theme that is drawn from the chapter is currency evolution. In the past, people practiced barter trade, because they did not have an alternative means of payment like metal or paper money. However, the love of gold by Spaniards and the Muslim-Christian supremacy battle instigated the making of coins and paper currency people use today in trade or sales as well as purchases. The evolution of currency seems to be based on the argument of Harari revolutionized and modernized trade.

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