Revolutionary New Hampshire: An Account of the Social and Political Forces Underlying the Transition from Royal Province to American Commonwealth

By Richard Francis Upton | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 10

Paper money always has promoted, and ever will promote corruption, and a multitude of other concomitant evils.

RESOLUTION OF PORTSMOUTH TOWN MEETING, 1786. 1

But this depreciation, though in some circumstances inconvenient, has had the general good and great effect of operating as a tax, and perhaps the most equal of all taxes, since it depreciated in the hands of the holders of money, and thereby taxed them in proportion to the sums they held and the time they held it, which generally is in proportion to men's wealth.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 2



Revolutionary Finance in New Hampshire

REVOLUTIONARY governments have always been faced by the vexing problem of finance. They usually find themselves arrayed against a relatively well-established political and administrative system which enjoys superior advantages with respect to financial credit and resources. The historian has only to recall the days of the French Revolution, with its inflationary assignats and the wholesale repudiation of 1797, to perceive to what extremities revolutionary governments have frequently been driven. Within modern times the vast currency inflation of the Communist Revolution in Russia serves as a vivid example of the principle that the end justifies the means. This is the method of all violent revolutions, and it must be expected that revolutionary governments will adopt every expedient for the sake of their own survival.

It was not different in the case of the American Revolution. The revolting colonists were fighting a nation possessed of tremendous

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