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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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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.
The Journal of Economic History © 1991 Economic History Association