Does Capitalist Production Have a Long Cycle? (pt 5)

History of gold production from the ‘gold rush’ to 1914

In the years 1840-1844, 146 metric tons of gold are estimated by the World Gold Council to have been produced worldwide. Between 1855 and 1859, estimated gold production rose to 1,011 metric tons. This is an increase of 590 percent in a 15-year period. In terms of percentages, this is by far the greatest increase in gold production in the period that reasonable data on world gold production is available.

The reason for this amazing increase was the discovery of gold in California in 1848 and in Australia in 1851. It was this huge mass of newly mined and refined gold that drowned the hopes of Marx and Engels for a socialist revolution in Europe during the 1850s.

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