Untitled Document
Coins & bullion since 1973


Fiat Money Inflation in France

by Andrew Dickson White


Bank of New York

THE BANK OF NEW YORK AND TRUST COMPANY, which celebrates its one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary in March, 1934, considers it a privilege to be able to distribute some copies of this scholarly article of the late Andrew D. White. The article emphasizes the fact that the use of fiat money in France was in its beginning a sincere effort on the part of intelligent members of the National Assembly to stem the tide of misery and wretchedness which had brought about the Revolution in 1789. But the article also shows clearly that once started on a small scale, it became utterly impossible to control the currency inflation and that after some slight indications of improvement in conditions, the situation went from bad to worse. In the long run, those most injured were the people whom it was most desired to help--the laborer, the wage earner and those whose incomes from previous savings were smallest.

Andrew D. White had a long and distinguished career as educator, historian, economist and diplomat; his description of the events in France that followed the experiment with fiat money is intensely interesting and well worth the attention of every thinking person in the United States of 1933.


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