Department of Economics

Creating Maryland’s Paper Money Economy, 1720-1739: The Role of Power, Print, and Markets

Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2008-16

Creating Maryland’s Paper Money Economy, 1720-1739: 
The Role of Power, Print, and Markets

Farley Grubb

ABSTRACT

The British North American colonies were the first western economies to rely on legislature-issued fiat paper money as their principal internal medium of exchange. This system arose piecemeal across the colonies making the paper money creation story for each colony unique. It was true monetary experimentation on a grand scale. The creation story for Maryland, perhaps the most unique among the colonies, is analyzed to evaluate how market forces, media influences, and the power of various constituents combined to shape its particular paper money system.

JEL Classification: E42, E51, H20, N11, N21, N41

Key words: Colonial Maryland; Commodity Money; Dual Currency; Economic History; Export Controls; Monetary Policy; Paper Money; Tax Policy; Tobacco Trade.

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