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Courses - Fall 2022
History Department Site
Special Topics in History; American Money: Rethinking Finance and its History
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Standard macroeconomic treatments of money and finance cannot be supported by the historical record. While most textbooks say otherwise, money has its origins in credit instruments, and meanwhile its value and uses are inseparable from the public authority that issues it. We will briefly revisit that well-documented history and debates among scholars about money's origins and nature. Then we'll look at case studies--from the colonial period to the present (from the issue of the first paper bills to Bitcoin)--to examine money's role in shaping American development.