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A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars

Michael D. Bordo and Eugene N. White
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 303-316
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2122576
Page Count: 14
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A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars
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Abstract

The record of British and French finance during the Napoleonic wars presents the striking picture of a financially strong nation abandoning the gold standard, borrowing heavily, and generating inflation, while a financially weaker country followed more "orthodox" policies. This paradoxical behavior is explained by Britain's strong credibility that allowed more flexible policies, while France's poor reputation forced reliance on taxation.

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