Constitutional Money

Constitutional Money : A Review of the Supreme Court's Monetary Decisions

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This book reviews nine Supreme Court cases and decisions that dealt with monetary laws and gives a summary history of monetary events and policies as they were affected by the Court's decisions. Several cases and decisions had notable consequences on the monetary history of the United States, some of which were blatant misjudgments stimulated by political pressures. The cases included in this book begin with McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819 and end with the Gold Clause Cases in 1934-5. Constitutional Money examines three institutions that were prominent in these decisions: the Supreme Court, the gold standard and the Federal Reserve System. The final chapter describes the adjustments necessary to return to a gold standard and briefly examines the constitutional alternatives.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 3 tables
  • 113960435X
  • 9781139604352

Table of contents

1. The current state of monetary affairs in the United States; 2. Emergence of money in civilized societies; 3. Bimetallic monetary systems and appearance of a national bank; 4. McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819, and the Second Bank of the United States; 5. 'To coin money and regulate the value thereof'; 6. Craig v. Missouri, 1830; 7. Briscoe v. Bank of Kentucky, 1837; 8. Government issues of treasury notes and greenbacks; 9. Track of the legal tender bills through Congress, 1862-3; 10. Bronson v. Rodes, 1868; 11. Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 1869; 12. Hepburn v. Griswold, 1870: the legal tender issue; 13. Knox v. Lee and Parker v. Davis, 1871: reversal of Hepburn; 14. Monetary affairs in the United States, 1871-83; 15. Juilliard v. Greenman, 1884: the final legal tender decision; 16. Judicial commentaries on the legal tender cases: sovereignty; 17. Other commentaries on the legal tender cases; 18. The [Gold] Currency Act of 1900: monetary affairs in the United States before 1914; 19. The Federal Reserve System, 1914-29; 20. The great monetary contraction, 1929-33; 21. Gold! Where was it? What happened to it?; 22. The Gold Clause Cases, 1934-5; 23. Gold and money in the twentieth century; 24. A Constitutional monetary system.
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Review quote

'Richard H. Timberlake provides a tour de force on the history and unconstitutionality of the US government's meddling in the US monetary system. Constitutional Money is the definitive reference in its field, a true classic.' Kevin Dowd, University of Durham 'The leading historian of US monetary institutions, Richard H. Timberlake further enriches our knowledge of the evolution (or devolution) of the dollar with his latest work. Constitutional Money shows how Supreme Court decisions paved the way for paper to supersede gold and silver, and for the federal government to supplant decentralized market-based monetary arrangements. Those who do not learn from this history will be unarmed in the coming battle of ideas over how we might constrain government's role in the monetary system.' Lawrence H. White, George Mason University 'Professor Timberlake's Constitutional Money embodies abundant research by himself and other scholars. His review of Supreme Court decisions, both majority opinions and dissents, makes a fascinating story with elements of suspense. Timberlake writes smoothly, with flashes of brilliant phrasing and an attractive mix of short and moderately long sentences.' Leland B. Yeager, Auburn University and the University of Virginia
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About Richard H. Timberlake

Richard H. Timberlake is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. His research specialties are monetary policy and the history of central banking. Dr Timberlake's most recent publications include Monetary Policy in the United States: An Institutional and Intellectual History and Money and the Nation State, with Kevin Dowd. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.
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