The Practice and Politics of Fiat Finance: North Carolina in the Confederation, 1783-1789

By James R. Morrill | Go to book overview
Save to active project

IX. Conclusion

As this study has emphasized, the financial policies and practices adopted by the government of North Carolina in the post-Revolutionary period should be judged by the economic realities and immediate fiscal options of the eighteenth century rather than by those of the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century. Possessed in the 1780's of an agrarian economy that afflicted the state, as it had throughout the colonial period, with an unfavorable balance of trade, North Carolina faced a drain of specie that was accelerated during the postwar years by heavy purchasing of manufactured imports, overextension of credit, and overproduction of domestic produce that glutted world markets and thereby greatly reduced market prices. Restricted by limited resources, sparse population, and a shortage of investment opportunities other than land, the economy of North Carolina was, for the foreseeable future, inescapably pre-industrial and therefore saddled with its unfavorable balance of trade and its specie shortage. These, then, were the economic realities facing the government of eighteenth-century North Carolina and these are the realities by which, as E. James Ferguson suggests,1 the government's policies should be evaluated.

Plagued by the severe and inescapable shortage of specie, North Carolina in the 1780's faced many pressing demands, not the least of which was the enormous certificate and fiat currency debt incurred by the state in fighting the Revolution. So large was this debt that its redemption with specie or other tangible property was patently impossible, and it was

____________________
1
E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776-1790 ( Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1961).

-215-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Practice and Politics of Fiat Finance: North Carolina in the Confederation, 1783-1789
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 242

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?