Daily Archives: April 27, 2014

890 Years Ago Today

David I becomes King of Scots. And while one could write a nice treatise about how he was a pious king, a reformer and civilizing agent in a barbarian nation and on the effects of his changes on Scottish cultural development, I’m not going to. (Wikipedia) There are full bodies of work out there you can read if you are interested.

The only reason SI is mentioning his royal coronation 890 years later is because he was the first to bring Scotland into the modern era. Despite the fact that it is England’s northern neighbour, the Scot’s didn’t have their own coinage until David’s reign, even though the Celts (which immigrated from Northern France) were producing coins as early as 80 BC and the Anglo-Saxons, after the departure of the Romans around 450 AD, began to produce their own coinage around 600 AD with the Viking colonization of the north-east of England (that minted coins in York). Charlemagne produced denier in the Kingdom of the Franks around 755 AD, and when Eadgar became king of England in 959, he introduced a silver penny that was used throughout the whole of England. But Scotland didn’t get their own coin for another 170 years!

The modern economy runs on the global banking system, which runs on banknotes, which was a replacement for the copper, silver, and gold coins that defined the monetary system of the time. This was an important first step in Scotland’s economic development, and a reminder of just how young our modern global economy really is when some places, known to be inhabited for millennia, didn’t even have coins a thousand years ago!

But the Scots learned fast. Now they are one of the most fiscally sound countries in Europe and even considering Independence in the fall (in a national referendum on September 18) as they believe they can do better economically on their own than as part of the UK!

Anyone have any thoughts on this?