The vast reforms of that period, though a lasting blessing politically, were a temporary evil financially. Never were great expectations more cruelly disappointed. As the situation worsened, the worst rose to the top, with Clavière becoming Minister of Finance with the promise to increase printing. It grew as naturally as a fungus on a muck heap. This plan lingered in men's minds, taking shape in various resolutions and decrees until the whole culminated on September 29, 1793, in the Law of the Maximum. At these city centers abundant wealth seemed to be piled up: in the country at, large there grew a dislike of steady labor and a contempt for moderate gains and simple living. This historical information reveals the financial trouble brought about when un-backed paper currency was produced by the government.
Like every supporter of irredeemable paper money then or since, he seemed to think that the laws of Nature had changed since previous disastrous issues. Chabroud came to the rescue. The evils which we have already seen arising from the earlier issues were now aggravated. Month after month, year after year new issues went on. Our shopping cart is designed to charge shipping of 2. .
During the various stages of this debate there cropped up a doctrine old and ominous. Written by Andrew Dickson White, a former president of Cornell, in 1912, this short book written prior to word processors describes the French Revolution's approach to financing the state. Among those who struggled to aid him outside the National Assembly was Bergasse, a deputy from Lyons, whose pamphlets against an irredeemable paper exerted, perhaps, a wider influence than any others; parts of them seem fairly inspired. Since May, 1797, both assignats and mandats had been virtually worth nothing. In the leading French cities now arose a luxury and license which was a greater evil even than the plundering which ministered to it. That this excuse was valid is easily seen by the daily lists of those condemned to the guillotine, in which not infrequently figure the names of men charged with violating the Maximum laws.
Please email us at: jlynn aeneas. Sarot directed to the editor of the Journal of the National Assembly, and scattered throughout France. This brought new evils, worse, if possible, than the old. Singular, that the man who so fearlessly stood against this tide of unreason has left to the world simply a reputation as the most brilliant cook that ever existed! Of these were Madame Boland and Madame Desmoulins; but now all was changed. It was simply legal robbery of the more enthusiastic and trusting by the more cold-hearted and keen. They knew too well, from that ruinous experience, seventy years before, in John Law's time, the difficulties and dangers of a currency not well based and controlled. Citizens who were found to be hoarding gold and silver coins specie had their assets seized and their lives threatened page 33-34.
Sarot solemnly lays his house, garden and furniture upon the altar of his country and offers to sell them for paper money alone. Nor was this the case with the home demand alone. They had then learned how easy it is to issue it; how difficult it is to check its overissue; how seductively it leads to the absorption of the means of the workingmen and men of small fortunes; how heavily it falls on all those living on fixed incomes, salaries or wages; how securely it creates on the ruins of the prosperity of all men of meagre means a class of debauched speculators, the most injurious class that a nation can harbor,—more injurious, indeed, than professional criminals whom the law recognizes and can throttle; how it stimulates overproduction at first and leaves every industry flaccid afterward; how it breaks down thrift and develops political and social immorality. And, even if you don't make the connection, it certainly is an interesting story. War was going on in the East, on the Rhine, and in Italy, and civil war, in La VendÃ©e. When Bonaparte took the consulship the condition of fiscal affairs was appalling. Even in spite of this, additional issues were made amounting to about ten thousand millions.
The working classes had no such foresight or skill or means. But they soon found that, as they increased prices to cover the inflation of currency and the risk from fluctuation and uncertainty, purchasers were fewer, purchases less, and payments less sure; a feeling of insecurity spread throughout the country; enterprise was deadened and general stagnation followed. On the 18th of May, 1796, a young man complained to the National Convention that his elder brother, who had been acting as administrator of his deceased father's estate, had paid the heirs in assignats, and that he had received scarcely one three-hundredth part of the real value of his share. Orators in the clubs, local meetings, and elsewhere, endeavored to enlighten people by assigning every reason save the true one. The sequences in that whole history are absolutely logical. His theory grew by what it fed upon,—as the paper-money theory has generally done.
For his pungent remarks above quoted, see Levasseur, ibid. As a result, it was found that the assignat printing press was the one resource left to the government, and the increase in the volume of paper money became every day more appalling. And it would also be a mistake to suppose that the National Assembly, which discussed this matter, was composed of mere wild revolutionists; no inference could be more wide of the fact. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg: 1. Then, too, as values became more and more uncertain, there was no longer any motive for care or economy, but every motive for immediate expenditure and present enjoyment. Against this tendency toward the issue of irredeemable paper Necker contended as best he might. It is obviously far too late for most nations to return to the gold standard, but this book also reveals the dangers inherent in a constantly and unlimited expansion of a nation's money supply.
Such members of the legislative body as Jullien of Toulouse, Delaunay of Angers, Fabre d'Eglantine and their disciples, were among the most noxious of those conspiring by legislative action to raise and depress securities for stock-jobbing purposes. Fear nothing; your currency reposes upon a sound mortgage. Prisons, guillotines, enactments inflicting twenty years' imprisonment in chains upon persons twice convicted of buying or selling paper money at less than its nominal value, and death upon investors in foreign securities, were powerless. This does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell. Out of the inflation of prices grew a speculating class; and, in the complete uncertainty as to the future, all business became a game of chance, and all business men, gamblers. Thus was the history of France logically developed in obedience to natural laws; such has, to a greater or less degree, always been the result of irredeemable paper, created according to the whim or interest of legislative assemblies rather than based upon standards of value permanent in their nature and agreed upon throughout the entire world.
When this currency had sunk to about one three-hundredth part of its nominal value and, after that, to nothing, in whose hands was the bulk of it? Lynn at All rights reserved. For an account of ' 'new tenor bills'' in America and their failure in 1737, see Sumner, pp. These men were logical enough to see that it would be inconsistent to stop at the unlimited issue of silver dollars which cost really something when they could issue unlimited paper dollars which virtually cost nothing. As a result, the issues became larger still, and four hundred workmen were added to those previously engaged in furnishing this paper money, and these were so pressed with work from six o'clock in the morning until eight in the evening that they struck for higher wages and were successful. Nor did the most lavish aid of Nature avail to help matters.
Dixon ably relates the dangers of politically run inflationism. The result has been that large additions have been made regarding some important topics, and that various other parts of my earlier work have been made more clear by better arrangement and supplementary information. As far back as just before the civil war I made a large collection of documents which appeared during the French Revolution, including newspapers, reports, speeches, pamphlets, and illustrative material of every sort, and especially specimens of nearly all the issues of paper money then made—from notes of ten thousand francs to those of one sou. The doctrine of governmental regulation of prices, has, however, made its appearance in embryo. The Parisian populace and the Jacobin Club were especially loud in their demands for them; and a few months later, on June 19, 1791, with few speeches, in a silence very ominous, a new issue was made of six hundred millions more; less than nine months after the former great issue, with its solemn pledges as to keeping down the amount in circulation. This decline in the government paper was at first somewhat masked by fluctuations.