As revealed in the previous chapter, North Carolina came to emit fiat currency during the postwar period. This decision, supported unhesitantly by some legislators and reluctantly by others,1. was reached in response to the severe shortage of money and the pressing financial demands upon government. Fiscal conservatives found themselves engaged in another struggle against fiat policy, and it is to the details of that struggle that we must now turn.
The General Assembly that convened at Hillsborough on April 8, 1783, was the first to face the manifold problems of postwar finance. With specie practically unavailable and with the war currencies dead, the Assembly's overriding task was to attempt the creation of an adequate, viable medium of exchange. In addition to this general problem, there was an immediate and specific need for currency: the undeniably just demands of the North Carolina Continental Line concerning arrears of pay. Paying the Line, in turn, was not only a matter of simple justice but also, as a later chapter shall reveal,2. an important factor in state-federal relations as Congress sought to pay the Line with certificates and thereby____________________