The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective / Edition 1

The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective / Edition 1

by Eric Helleiner
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801440491

ISBN-13: 9780801440496

Pub. Date: 12/28/2002

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Why should each country have its own exclusive currency? Eric Helleiner offers a fascinating and unique perspective on this question in his accessible history of the origins of national money. Our contemporary understandings of national currency are, Helleiner shows, surprisingly recent. Based on standardized technologies of production and extraction, territorially…  See more details below

Overview

Why should each country have its own exclusive currency? Eric Helleiner offers a fascinating and unique perspective on this question in his accessible history of the origins of national money. Our contemporary understandings of national currency are, Helleiner shows, surprisingly recent. Based on standardized technologies of production and extraction, territorially exclusive national currencies emerged for the first time only during the nineteenth century. This major change involved a narrow definition of legal tender and the exclusion of tokens of value issued outside the national territory. "Territorial currencies" rapidly became bound up with the rise of national markets, and money reflected basic questions of national identity and self-presentation: In what way should money be managed to serve national goals? Whose pictures should go on the banknotes? Helleiner draws out the potent implications of this largely unknown history for today's context. Territorial currencies face challenges from many monetary innovations—the creation of the euro, dollarization, the spread of local currencies, and the prospect of privately issued electronic currencies. While these challenges are dramatic, the author argues that their significance should not be overstated. Even in their short historical life, territorial currencies have never been as dominant as conventional wisdom suggests. The future of this kind of currency, Helleiner contends, depends on political struggles across the globe, struggles that echo those at the birth of national money.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801440496
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction1
Pt. 1The Birth of Territorial Currencies in the Nineteenth Century
1The Initial Transformation: From Monetary Heterogeneity to Territorial Currencies19
2Two Structural Preconditions: Nation-States and Industrial Technology42
3Making Markets: Transaction Costs and Monetary Reform61
4Multiple Macroeconomic and Fiscal Motivations80
5National Identities and Territorial Currencies100
Pt. 2The Contestation and Spread of Territorial Currencies
6Two Nineteenth-Century Challenges: Currency Unions and Free Banking123
7The Coming of Age of Territorial Currencies in the Interwar Years140
8The Monetary Dimensions of Imperialism: Colonial Currency Reforms163
9The Final Wave: Post-1945 Macroeconomic Activism and Southern Reforms186
10The Current Challenge to Territorial Currencies218
References245
Index271

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