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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Responses to Crisis

Responses to Crisis

Refiguring the Monetary and the Fiscal in the Great Depression

(p.691) 31 Responses to Crisis
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

Roy Kreitner

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the measures instituted by the US Government to mitigate the effects of the Great Depression during the 1930s. It outlines three sets of responses: changes introduced into banking and the financial system; measures that impacted on monetary policy and the price system through non-banking channels; and the devaluation the dollar and the litigation over abrogation of the gold clauses in private and government bond contracts. The chapter argues that these responses to crisis refigured the theory of money and elicited new understandings of the role of government in the economy. The crisis made clear the state’s originary power to define the most basic terms in any monetary system, in particular the unit of account. Historical examination of the responses to crisis shows that money is a relationship between government and the governed, the state and its population.

Keywords:   US Government, Great Depression, monetary policy, fiscal policy New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt, Emergency Banking Relief Act, gold clauses

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