Thursday, July 06, 2023

Pg. 99: Farley Grubb's "The Continental Dollar"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Continental Dollar: How the American Revolution Was Financed with Paper Money by Farley Grubb.

About the book, from the publisher:
An illuminating history of America’s original credit market.

The Continental Dollar is a revelatory history of how the fledgling United States paid for its first war. Farley Grubb upends the common telling of this story, in which the United States printed cross-colony money, called Continentals, to serve as an early fiat currency—a currency that is not tied to a commodity like gold, but rather to a legal authority. As Grubb details, the Continental was not a fiat currency, but a “zero-coupon bond”—a wholly different species of money. As bond payoffs were pushed into the future, the money’s value declined, killing the Continentals’ viability years before the Revolutionary War would officially end.

Drawing on decades of exhaustive mining of eighteenth-century records, The Continental Dollar is an essential origin story of the early American monetary system, promising to serve as the benchmark for critical work for decades to come.
Learn more about The Continental Dollar at the University of Chicago Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Continental Dollar.

--Marshal Zeringue