A History of Money and Banking in the United States

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A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II  
A History of Money and Banking in the United States cover.jpg
Author(s) Murray N. Rothbard
Country United States
Subject(s) Economic history
Genre(s) Non-fiction
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication date 2002
Media type Print, Digital
Pages 510 p.
ISBN 0945466331
OCLC Number 51205107

A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II is a collection of previously published writings by American economist Murray Rothbard, divided into five parts.

Part 1, "The History of Money and Banking Before the Twentieth Century," consists of Rothbard’s contribution to the minority report of the U.S. Gold Commission and treats the evolution of the U.S. monetary system from its colonial beginnings to the end of the nineteenth century.

Part 2, on the "Origins of the Federal Reserve," is a paper that lay unpublished for a long time and only appeared in an issue of The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics not long before A History was published.

Part 3 contains a formerly unpublished paper, "From Hoover to Roosevelt: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Elites." Here, Rothbard identifies the financial interests and ideology that drove the Fed to engineer an almost uninterrupted expansion of the money supply from the moment of its inception in 1914 through 1928. This part also includes an analysis of how concordance and conflict between the J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller financial interests shaped the politics and behavior of the Fed during the Herbert Hoover administration and the first Roosevelt administration as well as international monetary and domestic banking and financial policies under the latter administration.

Part 4, "The Gold-Exchange Standard in the Interwar Years," previously was published as a chapter in a collection of papers on money and the State. The paper appears for the first time in its original and unexpurgated version in this volume. Rothbard elucidates the reasons why the British and U.S. governments in the 1920s so eagerly sought to reconstruct the international monetary system on the basis of this profoundly flawed and inflationary caricature of the classical gold standard. Rothbard also analyzes the “inner contradictions” of the gold-exchange-standard system that led inexorably to its demise in the early 1930s.

Part 5, "The New Deal and the International Monetary System" is the topic of the fifth and concluding part of the book and was previously published in an edited book of essays on New Deal foreign policy. Rothbard argues that an abrupt shift occurred in the international monetary policy of the New Deal just prior to U.S. entry into World War II. He analyzes the economic interests that promoted and benefited from the radical transformation of New Deal policy, from "dollar nationalism" during the 1930s to the aggressive "dollar imperialism" that prevailed during the war and culminated in the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944.

See also