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Fiat Money Inflation in France

by White Andrew Dickson

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Andrew Dickson White, academic, ambassador and author, offers a detailed examination of the inflation, which took place in France of the 1790s: the reasons and consequences. The book describes irrational human behavior in times of financial crises, when currency had sunk to about one three-hundredth part of its nominal value and, after that, to nothing. Inquiring into the subject and the chain of events that occurred, White tried to dissuade the US Government of printing its own paper money.

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ISBN: 1463705433
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...answered vigorouslyand foretold evil results. Pamphlets continued to be issued, --amongthem, one so pungent that it was brought into the Assembly and readthere, --the truth which it presented with great clearness being simplythat doubling the quantity of money or substitutes for money in a nationsimply increases prices, disturbs values, alarms capital, diminisheslegitimate enterprise, and so decreases the demand both for productsand for labor; that the only persons to be helped by it are the richwho have large debts to pay. This pamphlet was signed "A Friend of thePeople, " and was received with great applause by the thoughtful minorityin the Assembly. Du Pont de Nemours, who had stood by Necker in thedebate on the first issue of _assignats_, arose, avowed the pamphlet tobe his, and said sturdily that he had always voted against the emissionof irredeemable paper and always would. [21]Far more important than any other argument against inflation was thespeech of Talleyrand. He had been...

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